Slow Fashion: Meaning and Significance

During the nineteenth century, industrial growth influenced every type of business and gave rise to many new industries, one of which was the garment industry. Since then, the garment industry has expanded rapidly. By the 2000s, the garment industry had become a billion-dollar industry. During such development, the concept of fast fashion was conceived and materialized, which was, in fact, a demand for time. In due course, the concept of fast fashion reached its apex as garment production reached its peak, and complicated supply chains were developed to market and sell them. As a result of the rapid growth of the fashion industry, some of its negative aspects also became perceptible. So, because of its many negative consequences, people at a mass level started opposing fast fashion, and to down the fast fashion, the concept of slow fashion arose.

What is the Meaning of Slow Fashion?

In the textile industry and fashion world, slow fashion is a movement that actually started as a reaction to the fast fashion movement to create an ideal garment industry which can benefit the planet earth and its biodiversity. The slow movement supports the clean environment and green environment by setting up a fair market place where both producers and consumers can benefit from each other. Likewise, slow fashion began with the concept of involving local artisans and the use of eco-friendly materials. Their ideology is to preserve local crafts as well as the environment in order to provide value to local traditions while also benefiting manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Why did Slow Fashion Movement Begin?

After the 2000s, the swift rise of fast fashion has impacted the environment and society on a large scale. The volume of environmental pollution caused by fast fashion has become a global issue. For example, one of the top brands, Zara alone, manufactures about 850 million pieces of clothing for sale around the world every year. Surprisingly, the workers who are manufacturing and selling its products, their salaries and wages are very low. Furthermore, the most populous Asian countries like China, India and Bangladesh, their natural environment damaged badly. Most of the rivers of these countries are polluted at extreme level, only because of the discharge of untreated (polluted) water directly into the rivers coming from these factories. Over period in time, the polluted water created biological dead zones, which is full of carcinogenic chemicals. In addition to this, the miniature plastic microfibers that fall from synthetic clothing during the laundry process are polluting the water supply and food chain. It is threat to all living organisms of this world.

So, to oppose and avoid fast fashion, which is the main cause of environmental pollution, some of the garment companies and brands have started putting emphasis on "slow fashion" by means of producing clothes by using natural raw fibers or re-usable fibers, and giving trendy designs and reliable, long-lasting quality. It involves manufacturing and supplying better-quality garments that will last a long time and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the whole biodiversity of the planet. Likewise, slow fashion is an awareness and approach to fashion by which the environment can be conserved and the quality of human life can also be improved.

Salient Features of Slow Fashion

Following are some of the salient features of slow fashion:

1. High quality and eco-friendly fabrics are used, such as cotton and linen.

2. Clothes, which are produced with high quality materials, are not only trendy but also long lasting.

3. It is preferred to be sold through local stores instead of hi-fi malls or complicated, huge chain enterprises.

4. Local resources (including human resources) are used.

5. Maintain the uniqueness of the style, as manufactured in limited number.

6. Prefer to supply on demand principle, which reduces unnecessary production.


Because of the noble idea and environment friendly act, in recent years, slow fashion has gained much popularity and support. Many people across the globe, in an attempt to shift towards slow fashion and promote it to the next level, have started using eco-friendly garments and promoting slow fashion. So, being a consumer and a responsible global citizen, we should also promote slow fashion.


1. Rashmila Maiti. Fast Fashion and Its Environmental Impact (URL -

2. Prakati. Slow Fashion: Concept & Meaning (URL -

3. Good on You. What Is Slow Fashion? (URL -

4. Sharmon Lebby. What Is Slow Fashion? Definition, Progress, and Tips (URL -


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