Slow Fashion

What is "Slow Fashion"?
To understand "Slow Fashion," start by understanding the status quo of fashion:
Globally, fashion is a $1.5 trillion dollar industry employing roughly 75 million individuals and producing anywhere from 80 to 100 billion new articles of clothing annually. It’s an impressive scale, but sadly 87% of textiles and fibers produced end up discarded, adding up to an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste in landfills annually.
How does this happen? Over recent decades, we've been trained as consumers to see clothing as disposable, rather than as an investment. The average American purchases 68 articles of clothing a year, 400% more than just two decades ago! Yet we generally only wear 30% of what's in our closet, and those individual items are generally worn 36% less times before we dispose of them. 
Much of this shift in consumption is driven by Fast Fashion trend cycles. On one hand, Fast Fashion giants are pushing out an average of 52 micro-collections per season - that's one new collection every week! Not only has it trained consumers to expect constant newness, but also extremely low prices to accommodate the increase in goods ultimately being purchased. On the other hand, these giants can barely keep up with themselves. In order to turn around new products at this pace, things need to be fast, easy, and cheap to make (read: inexpensive synthetic materials, disregard for proper construction and fit, stolen designs, and limited quality control).
The economics of producing and consuming at this scale has huge implications for both the environment as well as human labor. In order for a company to produce garments and still turn a profit according to Fast Fashion demands means that labor costs must be kept as tight as possible to keep landed costs as low as possible. This doesn't just impact the Fast Fashion giants though. The artificially low pricing and extreme pace of Fast Fashion puts a downward demand on pretty much every mass market retailer in order to compete and meet consumer expectations.
As a consequence, exploited labor is the norm, not the exception. Less than 2% of global garment workers make a living wage, meaning 98% of the people who make most clothing available on the mass market live in systemic poverty and struggle to meet their basic needs. 
“Slow Fashion” is the precise antagonist to this system: slow down, make less, make it right, make it last. Brands embracing this philosophy anchor their practices around three pillars:
Will this garment last, both functionally and stylistically?
What is the environmental impact of this garment through its entire life cycle?
Is the person or community who made it being fairly treated and compensated?
That's the big picture, but what are some hard & fast facts? 
80-100 billion garments are produced by the fashion industry every year
92 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills or burned annually
Only 20% of textiles are successfully collected for reuse or recycling globally
Almost 60% of all clothing material is actually plastic
42 million tons of plastic waste is generated by synthetic textiles annually, making the textile industry the second-highest industrial plastic polluter
Upwards of 500,000 tons of microplastics end up in our oceans every year
9% of those microplastics are directly linked to the fashion industry
8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to fashion
1.35% of global oil consumption is for the creation of synthetic fibers
Nylon, acrylic, and polyester textiles are some of the most popular petroleum based fibers in circulation and take up to 200 years to degrade in a landfill
20% of the world’s wastewater is polluted by toxic chemicals used in clothing production, including AZO dyes, PFAS, BPAS, lead, and more
93 million metric tons of water are used by the industry annually; much of this cannot be repurposed for any other use due to contamination
What about the people?
75 million workers are employed by the industry globally
85% are women
Only 2% of all global garment workers earn a living wage
98% live in systemic poverty
In most countries, garment workers labor an average of 14 hours/day over a 6-7 day work schedule with limited breaks or access to basic amenities, such as kitchens or bathrooms
In most countries, the average wage of a garment work is 2-5 times less than the regional living wage; in certain areas this is less than $2.00/day or $0.15/hour
Of 40 million known humans, including children, who are trapped in modern slavery as victims of trafficking, 16 million are forced to work in agriculture, production, or fashion

Where can I learn more or get involved?

Some of our favorite industry resources include:

The Fashion Revolution