Allow me to introduce myself, before I get into a topic I am very much passionate about. My name is Regine-maria Sinatra and I come from a fashion, retail and film background and nothing about my previous working environment or what I wore was ever about putting our planet first. I was very much contributing to the mass destruction of our planet. This wasn’t because I didn’t care, it was purely ignorance. I was living unconsciously – the idealized fast paced life, supporting the fast fashion industry.
Fast fashion emphasizes high volumes of low cost clothing and accessories. Manufacturing is usually carried out in impoverished countries with weak or nonexistent labor and environmental regulations, and using low-quality textiles and dyes, fast fashion companies are able to mass produce cheap clothing to satisfy short-lived consumer fashion trends. This leads to tons of CO2 polluting our atmosphere an, contributing to the increasing global temperatures. Exponential amounts of microplastics and fibers contaminating oceans and poisoning the food chain, including ourselves. Millions of people, mostly young girls and women, even children as young as 5 years old ,working in in-humane conditions for an unlivable wages and facing all kinds of abuses.
I was stuck and had no time to look around to see the immense damage and harm it was causing to people, to animals and our environment. Sitting here as I bind these sentences together with the intention of sharing my growing knowledge and hoping to make a difference by encouraging change towards more intentional and conscious fashion choices when we shop brings me immense joy.
We have all fallen victim in some way to shopping cheap, fast fashion making it is easy to shop frequently and unconsciously and for those who have not fallen victim to these harsh choices, I sing your praise. We do however have the choice of shopping ethically and sustainably and in a way that ultimately respects our planet. Don’t we want to conserve this planet for our grandchildren?
And why does it matter?
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” — Anna Lappé
Don’t we want to start living with intention especially now more so than ever before? Wouldn’t you rather have a timeless piece that actually lasts and keeps it’s longevity? We are under the illusion that flashy trends worn by celebrities will make us feel amazing and seen, only to find that a month later we are completely bored and looking for our next trendy fix.
Ofcourse it does feel good to wear something new for the first time but perhaps it’s about relearning how to consume and leaving impulsive consumption behind and at the same time we are practicing mindfulness.
“Demand quality not only in the products you buy, but in the lives of the people who made it.” – Orsola De Castro
Slow Fashion defined by design activist and professor Kate Fletcher as quality –based rather than time-based. Other slow fashion pioneers note that the movement encourages slower production, unifies sustainability with ethics, and ultimately invites the consumers to invest in well-made and lasting clothes.
It’s not about quitting shopping or trying to live a perfect minimalist lifestyle but more about questioning the value our clothes are brining into our life. Clothes should not be disposable they are meant to be worn, loved and appreciated not to be tossed away after a couple of uses. Slow fashion is mindful and thoughtful towards the planet and it’s people. When you embrace it, it influences every part of your life from what you consume, to how you live. When you are fully aware and understand the impact on what you wear has on the environment, and other living beings only then can you make the connection and fully appreciate and honour that bond.