When you walk into our pop-up at Raft Mkt Cambridge, you’ll immediately see the words “[email protected]*K FAST FASHION” emblazoned along the top of one of the walls. It’s precisely this provocative, but poignant statement that I want to dedicate our first ever blog post to. Whilst fast fashion has gained a certain notoriety in the industry over the past few years, its counterpart – the slow fashion movement – has remained relatively lesser known.
It only takes a quick google search to get a definition of slow fashion; typing ‘what is slow fashion’ returns a rather unremarkable definition:
“Slow fashion is a concept which advocates for manufacturing in respect to people, environment and animals.”
If dense explanations and wordy paragraphs aren’t for you, here’s a simple infographic that lays out the three core components of slow-fashion – embodied here at Tom’s Trunks.
That’s all well and good – but it’s also information that you could access alone. So what I really want to get at, is why is rejecting fast fashion so important to us, at Tom’s Trunks?
Amidst the growing realisation that many big retailers rely on practices which are damaging to the environment, and exploitative of communities in which their materials are grown and their production is based, retailers like us are taking back control. We are rejecting quick, easy and cheap solutions and turning instead to ethical and sustainable methods of fashion production, thereby protecting the environment and our workers. Here at Tom’s Trunks, all of our clothes are made from 100% cotton – ensuring their durability. We also pride ourselves on being single-use plastic free, using plastic free earthpositive mail bags to reduce our impact on the environment, employing efficient machinery to reduce waste, and condensing packaging to reduce cube fill in lorries. Our slow-fashion policies include our ‘pocket packaging’ and our goal to ‘carbon off-set by offering our customers free plants is on track to be finished by Christmas – further detail can be found here.
The Pulse of the Fashion Industry’s 2018 report states that less than one percent of all clothing materials are recycled into new garments, with brands like H&M burning 12 tonnes of unsold garments per year in spite of its ongoing sustainability efforts to close the loop in fashion.
So here’s your chance to do your bit. No more sitting on the sofa and passively scrolling through news apps on your phone, staring in horror at headlines about global warming. Gone are the days of waking up each morning with a sinking feeling of helplessness as you get yet another alert about another wildfire burning a chunk out of a corner of the globe. Support small businesses; look for ethical production processes; talk to your friends; do your part to drive the slow fashion movement forward. There’s no doubt that the burden of responsibility for stopping climate change in its tracks falls on big retailers; that stigmatising and blaming individual consumers for a problem this big is unfair and causes stress. But by putting pressure on bigger retailers, by doing our part to lessen demand for their clothes, we can make a difference. That’s what Tom’s Trunks are all about.