Sustainable vs Ethical vs Slow Fashion – What Is The Difference?

The rise of the ‘Conscious Consumer’ has introduced new buzzwords to the fashion world. Words such as sustainable, ethical and slow fashion are constantly being thrown around, often interchangeably. However, understanding the difference between the terms can get confusing. So, we did some research and decided to make the world of green fashion a little easier for you!

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion most commonly refers to the environmental impact of garment production and focuses on the effect of using earth’s natural resources on the planet. If a brand is sustainable, they produce in a way that cares for the environment and prevents resource depletion. Sustainable brands will most often use organic/ reused/ recycled materials, safe dyes, minimise water and energy usage and eliminate plastic usage in packaging for example. 

Ethical Fashion

On the other hand, Ethical fashion encompasses the idea of our moral obligation to the planet, its people and its animals. Ethical fashion looks at the entire production process from start (raw material) to finish (final product). Hence, ethical brands ensure fair wages and fair treatment of workers in terms of both wage and safe working conditions. Further it involves the safe treatment of animals and the earth’s resources alike. In essence it goes a step further than sustainable fashion by factoring in more elements of the entire production process.

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is the exact opposite of fast fashion. Essentially as the fast fashion business model is based on overproduction, overconsumption, multiple seasons a year, pollution, waste, inexpensive and low quality products, it has developed a throwaway culture. Slow fashion aims to tackle each of these characteristics or “flaws” by encouraging an entirely new model. Therefore, slow fashion refers to higher quality, durable and more timeless pieces. The main ethos behind slow fashion is to reduce both consumption and production while bringing together both sustainable and ethical fashion by developing a production and consumption process that values the fair treatment of the planet, its people and animals. 

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