We are all well-acquainted with fast fashion and its various problems, but what on earth is slow fashion? Firstly, there is no solid definition, but we need to deviate from the common belief that these two names have anything to do with time to begin with.
Slow fashion finds much inspiration in the Slow Food Movement, which was created by Carlo Petrini in 1986 and linked together food and its ensuing pleasure with greater awareness and responsibility, both as an individual and as a community. It fiercely guards biodiversity, preserves the need for consumer information and protects cultural identities through its food.
Similarly, slow fashion is a more peaceful, mindful way of consuming fashion – it focuses on the planet and all its people. It begins with an individual breaking down and understanding what their needs are and proceeding to address these needs in the most sustainable, ethical way, along with as much information as possible. This could mean shopping second hand and vintage, putting together a capsule wardrobe, highlighting the importance of natural, high-quality fabrics, or simply buying less.
“With increased awareness and demands for improved sustainability and ethical practices – the viscous cycle begins and ends with us”
Slow fashion is so much more to do with choice and autonomy, and along with it, bolsters our psychological need to create our own identity, communicate through our clothing and be creative; it strives to strike a balance. On the other hand, fast fashion offers zero individuality and does everything it can to disrupt said balance. It shifts focus onto quantity and frequency, hiding behind it poverty, climate issues, unfair production practices and completely disengages us from reality.
Slow fashion allows companies themselves to plan accordingly and build upon profound, mutually beneficial partnerships in order to provide employees with more secure employment and improved opportunities. The concept of slower fashion has gained traction in recent years, and we are lucky enough to be provided with a great deal of options. With increased awareness and demands for improved sustainability and ethical practices – the viscous cycle begins and ends with us. Remember that.
Here’s what slow fashion in Hong Kong has to offer.
Basics for Basics was founded by Kayla Wong and focuses on… who guessed it? Basics. Comfy t-shirts, jumpers and tank tops are the name of the game here, all designed in-house, produced in ethically mandated factories and aim to reduce carbon footprint. Its limited stock is a result of relying on excess fabric found, which is used in conjunction in its collections, with organic cotton that is certified by FLO and GOTS. A passionate supporter of fair trade, Basics for Basics also works with local programme Hands On Hong Kong, whose mission is to empower us all to volunteer.
Eschewing the standard pre-order protocol for material sourcing, Love From Blue searches for deadstock yarn to use in its folky knitwear, whose designs are dictated by said deadstock yarn and inspired by the landscapes of Hong Kong. Its first collection named “Drop 1” features the cosy Bay sweater, which pays homage to memories of camping in Tai Long Wan.
A thoughtful company at heart, Love From Blue was founded by Grace Lant and promises a mindful, closed-loop approach to its collections.
For proof slow and sustainable fashion isn’t simply relegated to basic pieces, fashion designer Angus Tsui began his journey with an unyielding intention to be environmentally sustainable without compromising his futuristic, avant-garde ideas and silhouettes.
Having already reached international acclaim since its 2014 inception, Tsui worked closely with upcycling pioneers such as Orsola de Castro to offer a fashion line that undertakes a sustainable journey from supply chain, design, sourcing, production, retailing, campaign and even after-sale services. Moreover, Tsui established an educational charity named ANCares, which works closely with NGOs such as Friends of the Earth, Redress and St. James Settlement to present workshops and exhibitions. He has, in the past, partnered with companies such as Cathay Pacific, Swire Properties and H&M, for example, to work on upcycled projects using various sustainable materials.
Support local and go SLOW.