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Ask Me Anything: 8 Answers to Your Questions About Slow Fashion

Are you new to the idea of slow fashion, sustainable fashion, and ethical fashion?

Maybe you're wondering what it all means, how it all works, or how best to get involved. Or maybe you've been reading about the issues and want more information on what you can do. This article gives answers to top 8 frequently asked questions about slow fashion.

What is slow fashion?

There is so much debate about the term "slow fashion". It's tricky to figure out what it means and how it can be applied to your everyday life. You ask yourself questions like, "If I buy something from a thrift store, does that count as slow fashion?" or "Can I still purchase new items from fast fashion chains if I plan to wear them only once?". Unfortunately we aren't all designers living in regulated eco-friendly buildings with our own farms. But hear me out, this isn't an impossible way of living at all. It just takes a little bit of planning and patience which is something we need more than ever in today's world. 

Slow fashion is a term used in the fashion industry to define clothing that is designed, produced and sold at a rate that maintains high standards of sustainability and ethics. The term was coined in 2006 by Kate Fletcher and Caroline Woolard, and since then, many companies have adopted slow fashion practices. Although it's been over a decade since the term was first coined, not everyone knows what it means. Here are ten answers to some common questions about slow fashion.

How is it different from fast fashion?

I get this question from a lot of people. As much as I want to say that the devil is in the details, the reality is there are a number of differences. At its core, Slow Fashion is about valuing authenticity, quality, transparency and craftsmanship which are not things that you will see in today's fast fashion industry. I don't know that anyone has captured all of the specifics in one neatly packaged definition but I think it might be this – slow fashion is a curated collections of clothing made by artisans using materials with a high regard for sustainability and environment.

Why should I care about slow fashion?

Why should you care about slow fashion? Because you will be better off. You will care about making ethical choices in your clothes and that means shopping in a way that keeps people out of sweatshops, uses your money to put more money into your local economy, and makes sure to take care of the world around us so it can be around for generations to come. 

Many of the clothes we buy today are made with speed and cost efficiency in mind. Unfortunately, the cost of that speedy production and delivery is often including toxic chemicals. The brands you love are still churning out cheap clothing, but they're doing so at a cost to the environment and to the people working in their factories. Why should you care? Because slow fashion isn't anything like a fad or some type of trend. Slow fashion is about being mindful of your own choices, where you buy from, and how your purchases affect others.

How do I start shopping slow fashion?

You're not alone. In fact, millions of people around the globe are in the same position as you. Every year more and more people want to know how they can shop greener and slow fashion. With so much information available on the internet it might be hard to pick which resources are the best to look at, especially if you're new to this subject. But there is one thing for sure, you don't have to go at it alone.

First, you should know that it's very easy to practice slow fashion. You don't have to buy high-end fashion brands or spend a lot of money to be a sustainable shopper. But if you're still struggling with how to start shopping slow fashion, we've got some answers to your questions on how to start shopping slow fashion. Slow Fashion is when companies sell things that are ethically produced, environmentally friendly and locally sourced. When you buy something that follows these lines, you promote sustainability while also saving money (and saving your wardrobe). It's also about promoting things that are locally sourced and ethically produced, which means they're both better for the environment and your wallet.

How can I make slow fashion sustainable in my budget?

If you're working with a limited budget, slow fashion can still be sustainable!

Slow fashion is always going to be more expensive than fast fashion, but some of the changes you can make will actually save you money in the long run. By purchasing clothes that last longer, you're eliminating a lot of the environmental costs of fast fashion—not only those related to water and energy consumption (both of which are high in fast-fashion manufacturing), but the landfill waste and pollution that come with clothing disposal.

In addition, think about all the time you'll save by not constantly shopping for new clothes! You won't have to spend time searching out new items and figuring out how to wear them into your wardrobe; instead, you can focus on enjoying your life and the relationships in it.

And finally, there are ways to save money on slow-fashion purchases. Try shopping at secondhand stores, or buying from small businesses that offer their products at more affordable prices.

How do I know if a retailer is slow fashion?

Slow fashion is a trend which has sparked a new way of thinking about and buying clothes. Unfortunately, it could be argued that the slow fashion trend has been hijacked by high-street retailers and large companies, who have stripped down the idea of slow fashion to include the words “studio” or “bespoke”, putting many eco-conscious shoppers off. But if you're interested in shopping for environmentally-safe products, you're likely wondering how you can tell if a retailer is slow fashion — an eco-friendly “label” which you can trust.

It's not always easy to tell the difference between slow fashions and other types of fashion, so we've rounded up some tips and tricks to help you find your way.

1) Check the website for information about where their products are made. If it's not clear, or if they don't provide anything at all, be wary—you might be looking at a fast fashion retailer.

2) See if they have any certifications. When it comes to slow fashion, the more certifications a brand has, the better: it means that the company is dedicated to being as transparent as possible about their manufacturing practices.

3) Look through their social media channels and see what kinds of things they post about. If a brand only talks about their products and doesn't mention any of the people who make them or where they're made, then chances are that they're not very slow fashion-focused. This isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, though: some companies may just not want to disclose that information publicly because they want to keep competitors from finding out too much about how they operate (and we can respect that).

4) Read reviews online! Reviews can tell you more than anything else about what kind of company you're

How do I know if a brand is truly ethical and sustainable?

I'm glad you asked!

It's all about the company's ethos. Slow fashion companies are much more concerned with sustainability, quality, and ethical labor practices than with fast-paced production and mass sales. They're more likely to get you thinking about what's behind your clothes and where they come from. Slow fashion companies will be open and honest in their communication with you—they'll tell you where their factories are and what those factories are like. They'll share information about the materials that went into your clothes, and if there are any chemicals or additives.

You can also tell a slow fashion company by looking at the clothes themselves. If a piece of clothing is well-made, made of quality materials, designed for longevity rather than for trendiness, and if it doesn't have a designer logo on it—chances are it's from a slow fashion retailer.

How can I keep up-to-date with the latest news in slow fashion?

The fashion industry is fast-moving and always changing. If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, it's important that you have a strategy. Here are some ways to keep your finger on the pulse of slow fashion:

1. Subscribe to magazines like Slow Fashioned and Fabric Magazine.

2. Follow influential bloggers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Some of our favorites are @SlowFashioned, @FabricMagazine, and @SustainableStyleGuide.

3. Keep an eye on the hashtags #slowfashion, #sustainablestyle, and #fabricmagazine.

4. Take advantage of web searches: Google slow fashion news regularly to find new articles from around the world every day!


Slow fashion, sustainable fashion, and ethical fashion are relatively new concepts to many people. There are plenty of misconceptions about what each term entails, and even about how these movements relate to one other. But you don't have to feel lost. Here, we hope we've given you the tools to dive into the world of slow fashion and sustainable fashion head first.

We believe that you shouldn't have to choose quality over sustainable fashion. You should be able to buy clothing while having a positive impact on the world, which is what Madsbay is all about. If you want to learn more about our approach, check out our website or email us directly!

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