The Slow Fashion Movement is here-Is your favorite brand part of it? Here are 4 ways to check!
Slow Fashion is the reactionary movement to the Fast Fashion that has overtaken Industries and society is here for it! This can be a wonderful thing, if we are mindful of what Slow Fashion means and how to use that when you are shopping for something new. Here, I focus on Jewelry, but these tips can be applied to almost any consumer item.
Slow Fashion, or the Maker Movement, as it is termed in the Handmade Jewelry Community, is one that most creative small businesses are founded on and it is why people tend to gravitate towards them. Knowing who crafted the piece you are buying, the materials, and their principals can help create the lasting change this movement strives for. Here are 4 things to focus on when selecting which businesses to buy from.
In a Society where we have gotten used to having everything at our fingertips, and our attention turned to the next big thing, it can be difficult to slow down and be mindful. Yet, doing so is like a small ripple that turns into a wave too big to ignore. From where we buy our toiletries to where we buy a new car, there is a way we can do it while honoring our own principles. The best way is to start small. What brands do you love? Why? What is important to you? What ethics are most important to you? See if you can pinpoint one or two of these and cross reference them with your favorite businesses. If you find that these companies don't align with what is true to you, then find one that does. These days, a lot of business respond quickly to requests. If you can't find the information you need, email them. (If they don't answer, that may be an answer in itself) Remember, being conscious doesn't have to mean expensive. For example, many second hand boutiques have beautiful jewelry for a fraction of the original price. Or, saving up for that piece you have been eyeing can also help with more mindful shopping habits.
When we buy something, we are saying we approve of that brands practices. Its a huge responsibility, and one we take far to lightly. For example, we all have seen the huge piles of mass produced jewelry sitting in crates waiting for the landfill. Now, imagine how that came to be, and how can that be adverted in the future? A Business that upholds strong sustainable environmental practices, from how they source the materials used in their designs, to the packaging, to the care and consideration as they adhere to said practices is a big indicator on whether they are truly sustainable or just acting like it. Sadly, far to many brands will abuse the trust placed by their consumers, which is why working with small and handmade makers can (in most cases) be a better option.
You know those FAQ's and small snippets of information on your brands website? They should be addressing at least one of these 4 areas. Lack of information on how and where they source material, and what the environment they create in is a red flag. Businesses should be earning your trust at every turn, and if they cannot be honest, even boastful, about the foundation of their business-it is most likely one you want to pass on. The Brands i have found do this well is with a page dedicated to the making of their product(s), as well as in each items description. Being transparent is a must in the maker movement and many sole-owned creative jewelry brands have really embraced this. It makes for a better customer relationship, since you can be sure the values align with yours, and you would then be more likely to become a repeat customer. Of course, some small business don't have a website. Reaching out via social media or by phone to would be a good way to get the information you seek.
Ethical Production Standards
Ethical production standards have one of the biggest impacts in the slow fashion movement. For to long, we have seen people being paid less than livable wages, working in unsanitary building without proper equipment, toxic cultures and poor ventilation; especially when working with machinery. As consumer demand went up, this has only increased. The Fair-trade commission has done wonderful work in recognizing the brands that are committed to upholding beneficial practices, but we still have a ways to go. This is, again, where small business comes in. Small businesses do not have the CEO in the corner office booking their next vacation, disconnected from the underpinnings of their business- they are the CEO who are determined to change the world one piece at a time, ethically and with passion that never wavers.
Even if just 1 of your next 5 purchases follows these steps, it will help bring you to a place more often where you are mindful of what you are spending your money on, and with who. Encourage your friends and family to be more conscious also- together we can get to a place where the Makers Movement is no longer a movement, but a way of life. One that benefits the all, not the few. This is a goal we can all get behind.
Share this Article and don't forget to subscribe!