We don't make things the way we used to. Mass production, factory systems, and industrial machines have replaced the heart and soul of creating. The clothing and textile industry is designed for efficiency and profit.
But the industry works in all the wrong ways. From many perspectives, human progress has done just a much harm as it's done good. Its efficiency also translates into human and resource exploitation, and cutting corners because it's easy to get away with.
What if we went back to pre-industrial revolution days. Not because we want to reverse progress but because we want to do less harm. What if the best way to make a shirt is the old way, by hand, one at a time?
We have to ask ourselves, have we ever assigned value to our clothing? Say you've ordered an inexpensive shirt online after a rough day. You feel slightly better after the purchase, but you forgot your ordered it until it arrives at your door. You open it up, try it on, and it doesn't fit perfectly, but it was inexpensive, so you put it in your closet and forget about it. It's just another shirt, right? It has no value or origin.
Is there weight behind one shirt?
We are far removed from the origin of our clothing. We often don't think about the person who made them or the time they spent making them. When we get a new shirt, it's almost as if it didn't exist before it was in our hands.
Since we often undervalue most of what's in our closets, we are surprised when we come across a slow fashion shirt. We think, oh, that's too expensive. We know that there is something different about it, but we are subconsciously comparing it to the inexpensive shirt we just bought so effortlessly. There's a disconnect. Suddenly we have to think. Why is this slow fashion shirt so expensive? It's thoughtfully designed, thoughtfully made and materials thoughtfully sourced. It's expensive because it requires more time and effort. It's expensive because it was made one at a time.
The more we understand the creation process, the more we value it. When we can put a name, a face and hands to a piece of clothing, we discover a story, and it becomes conscious. Once we know its story, we are less likely to forget about it, and we are more likely to take care of it, wear it and love it.
Slow fashion can be more than our buying habits it can be a state of mind. It's thoughtful actions and thoughtful living, no matter who you are.