“Slow fashion” is a sustainable and ethical alternative that is fundamentally reconstructing the contemporary fast-fashion system. Slow-fashion principles guide my textile-based label, Slow Palette by Jessica Robertson, within which I create pieces that transform consumption and disposal habits. Our planet and workforce are already stretched at the seams; to go faster is not the option.
SLOW AND STEADY
In the way that slow food is the antidote to fast food, slow fashion is the alternative to fast fashion.
Fast fashion involves high speed and high volume production, consumption, and disposal. It’s a system where the consumer is intentionally alienated and veiled from the real production processes, particularly the negative ethical and environmental impacts. This cultivates a passive consumer who happily consumes at alarming rates, most of which heads straight to landfill. I see this linear process as futile and uninspiring as a designer.
Slow-fashion design is environmentally and socially responsible because it utilizes local materials, suppliers, and producers while honoring traditional skills and knowledge. I produce textiles using regionally appropriate materials such as wool and angora fur from a local supplier who passes on knowledge of the raw materials.
I produce textiles using wool and angora fur from a local supplier.
I’m currently working with some of the last wool to be processed in Australia from Fletcher in rural New South Wales. All of Australia’s wool is now processed offshore—a major transformation for a country that “rode on the sheep’s back”—so I am reverential about my use of this wool and, consequently, design and make pieces that will be cared for and valued by the wearer instead of becoming obsolete waste within weeks.
All of my designs are handmade with minimal material waste, either by myself or a local dressmaker. In this way, I’ve been able to create garments with low energy use, resulting in a significantly reduced carbon footprint.