What is the difference between slow fashion, sustainable fashion and ethical fashion

What is the difference between slow fashion, sustainable fashion and ethical fashion

Slow fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion...  these terms might create a bit of confusion as to what they really mean. Many think that these concept are synonyms and all stand for responsible fashion. 

Well, Can't quite agree. Why? First, let me break down what is behind each one of thwse concepts


  • slow fashion- basically means that these clothes are not meant to get out of style quickly, these are not trends, but more like basics that you could wear over and over again. It usually (but necessarily) goes in hand with better quality as the focus is to make clothes last longer. 
  • sustainable fashion is one that, above all, cares about the environment when designing and manufacturing their clothes. Sustainable brands tend to use natural and organic fabrics, recycled packaging and generally aspire to reduce to the maximum their carbon footprint and possible contamination of water, air etc. 
  • ethical fashion is one that prioritizes human rights in production and distribution, meaning right to good working conditions like fair wages, reasonable working hours, clean air, clean water, not exposing employees to toxins etc. These rules apply to all elements in the supply chain. 


So as you see, a brand could one... or all three. It can:

- promote slow fashion with quality garments and timeless design but use toxic fabrics and excessive plastic packaging 

- it can use sustainable fabrics but produce the clothes in cheap factory in China or Bangladesh

- it can manufacture locally, using sustainable fabrics but promote latest trends and overconsumption. 

What is best then? 

So you might wonder what is the best option? The best and most responsible brands advocate for all 3 concepts at once. You can be sure you are supporting a responsible brand if:

  • they don't follow all trends. Instead they opt for timeless pieces and promote healthy attitude towards shopping. 
  • they only use ethically sourced natural fabrics that are recyclable at the end of their life cycle. 
  • their production is either local or proved to support small communities in developing countries, paying them fair wages and creating a supporting environment to thrive in

Want to know more?

I hope this post helped you clarify these three concepts and will make it easier for you to make decisions when shopping. Follow us on instagram for more responsible fashion tips or head to our Pinterest to save infographics with sustainable fashion content. 



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