There is nothing about fast fashion that isn't toxic; a few years ago, certain companies made it their niche to get cheap versions derived from runway designs immediately into their stores and it swiftly became a mainstream practice. They took manufacturing abroad to low wage countries where there was little or no regulation of health and safety standards, where large quantities could be produce at a very low cost. Meanwhile, shopping for fast fashion became an addiction to the impulse purchase of disposable clothing. By expressing our values though our shopping habits, we told brands we were not concerned about the working conditions of those making the clothes or how little they were paid. The Rana Plaza tragedy of 2013 in Bangladesh where 1,135 people died when the building they were working in collapsed and over 2,500 were injured, some permanently disabled, was a brutal awakening to the reality behind cheap clothing.
The phrase 'slow fashion' is about adopting a different approach to fashion and clothing. It assumes the principles of sustainable fashion, but also looks beyond the impact of what it cost environmentally and socially, to the consumer being aware of the whole lifespan of a garment, from it's design and making to it's use and care and it's potential to be re-used. It's about recognising the quality of a garment from the outset; that it is well made and finished and that the fabric is not only beautiful, but will endure.
“Another kind of consumer has emerged: the conscious customer. A clientele that respects craftsmanship, authenticity and transparency. For the millions of people who love the constant newness of fashion, there are others who value the beauty of the story as much as the design itself.”
Bruno Pieters, sustainable luxury fashion designer
Our studio workshop - somewhere in West Cork
West Cork, where we're based, is a hub of inventiveness with artists, craftspeople and artisans settling in a community of likeminded creatives. Being away from city life and close to nature brings with it a different kind of stimulus and a pared back lifestyle. The design and sewing studio in West Cork looks out towards the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, with the Atlantic Ocean just 100 metres away. The sea, sky, landscape and islands are constantly changing with the wind and sun, inspiring clothing for all seasons.