What is slow fashion and why is it important?
If you have shopped the clothing rack at Bella Vita, you know that we are all about Slow Fashion, but we realize that many people may not know what that means and why we are intentional about carrying this type of clothing. We often use the phrase “consciously curated” to describe gift items and apparel in our shop, and this is especially evident in our clothing selection process.
Slow fashion centers around consuming and creating fashion that is better-quality, will last for longer and values fair treatment of people, animals and the environment. According to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report in 2018, ”Seventy-five percent of fashion supply chain material ends up in landfills. This amounts to ‘the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles per second.’”
Our goal is to encourage sustainable fashion choices, so we don’t contribute more to the landfill. Committing to slow fashion is an aspirational goal… it requires you to rethink how you shop and what you wear. Slow fashion focuses on designing, producing and purchasing garments for quality and longevity. It also encourages fair trade practices, which is something we can always get behind!
Benefits of slow fashion:
- Higher quality clothing
- Longer lasting materials and fabrication, creates longer lasting garments!
- Ethical production encourages fair wages for workers
- Eco-friendly production lowers carbon footprints and works toward zero waste
- Involves local artisans, with items handmade using techniques that have been around for centuries, which preserves the craft
- Provides higher value to both consumers and producers
Many slow fashion styles are one size fits most, and considered Free Size. ‘Free size’ is not a size, it’s a style of apparel that is generally loose and flowing (although it can be stretchy instead of loose), such as a gown, kaftan, serape, etc. This means it has flexible sizing, depending on how tight or loose you'd like the fit! Most of our garments of this nature fit from a size S-XL. We try to take photos in the clothing on different body types when we receive it, so you can see how the fit varies for different heights and weights.
Maelu is an ethical women’s apparel line designed by Meghna Dave in her studio and handmade using traditional block printing techniques. They focus on sustainable textiles made with natural fibers and vegetable dyes.
I had the opportunity to travel to India with Meghna in 2019 to see her process and meet the family of Artisans in India that have been block printing for generations. Wooden blocks are hand carved out of teak wood and then applied with natural dyes before being stamped on cotton or silk. The natural dyes are made with a variety of materials including jaggery, pomegranate skins, alum and indigo bush. Each color and design in the pattern requires a different block, resulting in an incredibly intricate process. After being stamped the printed fabric is laid out in the village field to dry in the sun and set the color. The fabric is then steamed, washed and ironed to permanently fix the colors.
Maelu strives to follow a sustainable business model by not only creating naturally made global textiles but by also making responsible business decisions. Maelu directly supports the artisans in India that block-print the fabric and also donates a portion of all profits directly to www.globalfundforwomen.org, a non-profit foundation supporting the advancement of women's human rights around the world.
UPCYCLED SILK SARI APPAREL
Baizaar is a woman-owned company committed to the ethical sourcing of clothing and jewelry, paying the makers a fair wage. Their eco-friendly clothing line is created in India using vintage sari fabric. We carry this line of super soft, 100% vintage sari silk, handmade clothing. Each piece is one of kind and we are always in awe when we get a new shipment of these beautiful pieces!
Baizaar features unique apparel made in partnership with empowered artisan groups in India and beyond. Following Fair Trade principals and made in small production, their collections help to offer sustainable income for artisans as well as the preservation of their traditional crafts. They travel the world working with skilled artisans and small businesses who handcraft the one of a kind and small production pieces. The always evolving collection offers an adventurous mix of traditional ethnic and innovative designer work. Baizaar prioritizes ethical sourcing and supports Fair Trade practices, and seeks to empower makers in their home countries.
Rubyzaar is a collaboration between the Rubin sisters in Brooklyn and the Ruay sisters in Bangkok. They are sweatshop-free and fiercely independent. Rubyzaar is a fair trade business that works with select artisan crafts groups, tailors, weavers & farmers from southeast Asia & east Africa paying livable wages & supporting sustainability. By bringing together the contemporary designs & their traditional techniques, they create unique products, all of which are handmade from all natural materials & dyes. It’s important to preserve the tradition & quality of these crafts, so they personally travel throughout these regions sourcing all raw materials & the people they work with.
We particularly love the tie-dye clothing from Rubyzaar… it has style and comfort in beautiful color mixes!
We have intentionally chosen companies and artists that are “anti-sweatshop” to produce our T-Shirt designs. These Tees are produced overseas in a fair trade factory, that produces little to no landfill waste on the sewing floor, and focuses on creating an environment that healthy, save, environmentally conscious and treats all employees with dignity and respect.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
I hope you have enjoyed this quick dive in to Slow Fashion. If you are looking for more, check out Elizabeth Cline's website and her book "Overdressed: The High Cost of Cheap Fashion".
Do you have resources to add? We'd love to learn more ourselves. Drop your thoughts in the comments below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org