May 2018 brings the return of the Slow Fashion Challenge on Instagram. This month long photo challenge asks you to consider the environmental and ethical aspects of clothing and its production. Our mission is to celebrate, educate and connect around slow fashion, and everyone is welcome! Whether you are just learning about slow fashion or are already a sustainable fashion master, follow @slowfashionchallenge on Instagram, where we will be posting a calendar of daily prompts for the month of May. Just share a post related to the day’s topic and its connection to slow fashion, and use the hashtag #slowfashionchallenge, so that we can all connect. We will be sharing a few of the participants’ posts each day, and you can see all of the posts by following the hash tag. Join in everyday, or when the prompt inspires you!
Slow fashion is clothing made with integrity. It is fashion created with concern for the environment and the people who make it. The concept involves buying less but choosing wisely so that you value each piece you own enough to take good care of it through gentle washing and repairing instead of discarding. It can be choosing pieces made with organic fabrics and fair trade production, garments that are locally made, upcycled, artisan made, vintage or second hand, mending, washing less and choosing classic styles of well made items that you will want to wear over and over. It is inspiring and fulfilling when you actually know who made your clothing and support companies whose values you believe in.
The eye opening documentary The True Cost tells the story of what is happening behind the scenes of fast fashion. It has inspired the Fashion Revolution, which is aiming to show that we all have the power to make change possible to create a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Fast fashion is incredibly harmful in ways that many people don’t even realize. Clothing can be purchased extremely cheaply, which encourages consumers to buy lots and toss what goes out of trend. This cheap clothing is actually sold at a very great cost: the people who make these garments are often not paid fairly and work in unsafe conditions. The fabrics can be of poor quality, so they get holes and wear out after only a few washings. Garments are created with fibers made or grown with chemicals toxic to farmers, land, waterways, animals, and your skin.
Fashion Revolution week is April 23-29, the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more. During this week people are encouraged ask brands: who made my clothes? and to demand more transparency in their production. Since the start of the Fashion Revolution thousands of brands have been influenced to make their manufacturing more ethical, sustainable and transparent. To learn more, check out www.fashionrevolution.org.
The Slow Fashion Challenge is hosted by Nicole Gonzalez of Inca Colors, an indie sustainable fair trade knitwear company based in San Diego, California, Louise Kane of ReAdorn, an upcycled jewelry company based in London, England, and me, Amy Daileda of Vivid Element, a vibrant artisan women’s wear line made from eco friendly fabrics in Portland, Oregon. We changed the name from Eco Fashion Challenge to Slow Fashion Challenge this year in order to be more inclusive of both eco fashion and ethically made fashion.
We are excited to connect with you around slow fashion, and hope that you will join us this May!