At Abel, slow fashion is our relationship to the women who make our clothing, the responsibility of the community we build as a brand and the impact that both have on our planet.
We define slow fashion as a way of creating, operating, and relating in the fashion industry that is central to human nature and well-being. That means that everything we do is to the benefit of our team, our community and, in turn, our environment. Our mission is to fight poverty with fashion for community economic development. What that looks like is offering flexible additional income to women who sew our clothing. We have a small sewing team that operates in their own time, in their own home, so that our clothing reflects our intention to grow slow and live and create beyond what's on trend.
We love this paraphrase by Sharmon Lebby written for an article titled What Is Slow Fashion? Definition, Progress, and Tips on treehugger.com:
"Though Fletcher presented slow fashion as an opportunity to create a synergistic relationship between designer, production, and consumer, it has evolved over time to encompass even more. No longer is slow fashion only a theory on connection and better products; now, it involves consumer lifestyles and ethical production."
Our responsibility as an organization in slow fashion starts with the people we impact the most, our team. Our production is entirely people-centered. With a people-first mindset, we consider the livelihoods of the women who sew our clothing above all else. The pace is automatically slow when the women sew in their own time, when they can and when they want to. We keep our team small intentionally. We want to know each other and offer support outside of our working relationship. When someone sews for Abel, it's more than just additional work and income; it's a fostered relationship with respect and compassion. We encourage their well-being above production timelines and client requirements.
"I like to work with you because you are people who value my work and I also enjoy sewing. I am passionate about it, it is very important to feel a part of, I like how they treat me with respect and affection." - Maria
It is our job as an organization to communicate the intention of our products and services to our community. We began by sharing some of our origin story, our inspiration, and our mission because we want the public to know we are real people seeking to help solve real problems in the fashion industry. We desire that our customers choose clothing that they will wear for many years and commit to wearing with care. So even small details like encouraging hand washing and hang drying are important to us!
Apart from the people we impact directly, we consider the impact of the planet as a whole. We believe the planet suffers because of a common mindset and lifestyle that our home is indispensable. Therefore, we try to hold a boundary with ourselves and our community that we are not limitless. We don't produce to maximize profits; we produce intentionally to create meaningful work. Sustainability at Abel means our economic, social, and environmental decisions are made in light of each other.
The goal of our storytelling is to attract and build a community that not only believes in our mission and will purchase our clothing with a slow fashion mindset, but believes that they can make a difference one slow intentional purchase at a time! We cannot be one without the other. We need each other. This responsibility to hold each other accountable will keep slow fashion a priority! At Abel, we believe, “How” is really important and how we all work together in our slow fashion decisions will create the future we all share.
Kristin Anton & Robyn Mitchell
Photography by Christine Phang
Catering by Genevieve Kang