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There was a time for high turnover, mass produced, cheap, badly made fashion. Fast Fashion.
That time has gone. Now it's time to buy fashion that lasts. It's time to think about the real cost of quantity over quality.
It may not be obvious yet, but the move away from fast fashion - purchasing that cheap and cheery one wear top for a special party night - to slow fashion - classic styling, good design with long term appeal and quality to match - is already well under way. The trends for classic shapes, trenchcoats, simple handbags, tailored pants are already with us, minimalism is back, and is feeding the needs of value-conscious consumers.
A buying public are thinking more carefully where they spend their dollar, linking awareness and responsibility to their purchasing decisions. High-quality and handmade are two of the key differentials for the movement. The hidden price tag of overconsumption is both human and environmental so slow fashion is all about designing, making and wearing better products by taking responsibility for the impact of production on environment, workers and communities.
How does this work?
Well....lets look at environment first.....Slow Fashion producers recognise that we are all interconnected to the larger environment. They have made a commitment to slow down consumption, and reduce the number of raw materials used over a period of time. But in addition to reduced new materials, the movement encompasses a wide mix of business models and product types, Second hand, recycled and vintage garments are all recognised alongside established design studios, national and international brands. The handmade, homemade cottage industries are also a big part of this picture.
Human Impact- well with Slow Fashion there is a fundamental requirement for respect in all parts of the human supply chain. Fair treatment of workers, local community, trade and skills development, no interest loans for self employment initiatives in developing countries. Working relationships are valued, and workers are honoured for their part of the process. There is a commitment to consciousness in thought and action by the practitioners of Slow Fashion. A willingness to take responsibility for business decisions, and an aspiration to make a difference, to lead by example, to make positive change in the sector.
The financial cost of producing Slow Fashion is sometimes higher than in mass produced traditional markets because there are sustainable resources and fair wages involved. But it's important to recognise that 'expensive' can be objectively measured, and there are a lot less hidden costs to both long term human and environmental sustainability when a Slow Fashion model is engaged.... read more [+/-]
How does Bird fit into this? Well, Bird Textiles has committed to the principles of Slow Fashion on many levels. Our products are made from certified organic cotton. The fibre is grown without use of herbicide or pesticide. The yarn collection, and fabric production is managed using Fair Trade principles for all workers involved. Fabrics are printed using water based dyes, and run off from the washing process goes through a three tier rinsing system. Products are manufactured locally, at our studio in Byron Bay and at the homes of co-workers in the local area who sew using solar power. Workers are paid fair wages. Remnants from the manufacturing process are recycled into smaller products in the range, or sold as remnant craft packs to our customers.
Bird has been making Slow Fashion since 2002, and we believe our efforts have made a significant contribution to the growth of the movement in Australia.
Slow down. Enjoy Slow Fashion. Enjoy fashion at Bird.