Slow Fashion Vs. Fast fashion

Whats the difference between fast fashion and slow fashion?

If you don’t know what fast fashion is, or are new to the slow fashion revolution, you’ve come to the right place.


Slow Fashion Vs. Fast fashion

Fast fashion: These are low-cost clothing collections that mimic current luxury fashion trends.

Slow Fashion: Recognizes the impact that clothing can make on society. Clothing companies practicing ethical manufacturing ensure the workers making their clothes are in a safe-working environment and paid fairly.

Related Article: Forget Fast Fashion: Slow Fashion Industry’s Sustainable Efforts

Here are some comparisons guidelines:

Fast Fashion

Slow Fashion

Size of the industry  Big industry – $1.44 trillion dollars annually. Small industry – usually owned by small businesses.
Materials Rayon and nylon, petroleuim-based synthetic materials, copper and chromium. Locally sourced fabrics, organic and natural fabrics, as well as recycled materials.
Quality Cheap and tends to be of low quality. Can be expensive, but lasts for years and much longer than a few washes.
Volume High Volume with new styles in stores every 2 weeks. Low volume and usually only produces new styles after each season.
Labour Force Outsources labour to sweatshops in developing countries. Usually locally made and employs the local community.
Methods Modern, unethical, and causes environmental damage. Less harmful, often traditional, methods of garment/textile making.
Ethics No or low labour standards with garment workers working 12 hours a day for $3 or less. Helps develop small garment industries in communities, building co-ops to profit workers with fair wages.
Sustainability Impossible to produce ethical, eco-friendly clothing at the quantity and rate that fast fashion demands while maintaining genuinely high quality and environmentally sustainable standards. Made on a slower scale, with higher quality and a focus on sustaining the environment and workers.
Toxins Use of harsh chemicals and dyes to produce fabric and make clothing. Organic and natural fibres with safe manufacturing process.


It’s your choice what you put on your skin, including your clothes. Being able to buy five pieces of clothing from fast fashion brands for the same price as one or two pieces that are well-made and from organic and ethical companies can be a tough choice when on a budget. But consider that a fast fashion bargain isn’t really a bargain when it’s made by a 9 year old child in Bangladesh for less than $3 a day.

Related Article: Little Fingers: Child Labour in the Garment Industry


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