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4 min read

Slow fashion is the secret behind some of the worlds biggest style icons – but even they might not know it.

As more people turn away from fast fashion to embrace more sustainable and ethical choices, an unexpected and wonderful consequence has emerged.

Those mindfully choosing to align their shopping habits with well made, timeless pieces are finding that same je ne sais quoi that’s elevated style icons like Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson, and Michelle Obama.

But it’s not always easy to mindfully choose sustainable or ethical fashion choices.

There are two ready-to-wear collections showing in New York, London, Milan and Paris every year – not to mention dedicated Pre-Fall, Resort and Couture collections that show in-between.

How do you keep up? The answer is, you shouldn’t.

Invest in key, staple pieces that will last for years and even generations. Accessories can be a wonderful tool for self-expression but trying to keep up with latest trends can become an addiction. Some people feel they constantly need something new. Trendy clothes and accessories are often mass produced with cheap, toxic materials, and sadly, cheaper labour. This is called fast fashion.

We know we aren’t the only ones who have a section in our wardrobes full of timeless, beloved hand-me-downs. Trends have re-emerged through the ages and our grandmother’s big faux fur coat has once again found itself at the height of fashion. Yet, how many of us can count on one hand the items of clothing and jewellery which we can pass on, or even reuse in a few seasons’ time. And there lies the problem. The amount of textile that ends up in the landfill in Canada alone is equivalent to every single person throwing away more than 50 loads of laundry a year. It all adds up to approximately 70 million tons. And that doesn’t even include the number of cheap accessories and costume jewellery that goes to waste. 

Is All Kinds of Kind slow fashion or fast fashion? 

The long-term effects of fast-fashion on ourselves as well as the environment is top of mind for us. That’s why we embrace the slow fashion mentality from the very start of our design process. Kindness was at the heart of the design of our bracelets. We make quality, lasting bracelets and cases made from well sourced materials including 100% recycled chopsticks. Our pieces are mindfully designed and created to endure changing trends. These are not one season items. Our bracelets have purpose above being a beautiful piece for your wrist. 

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We aren’t alone. Ethical fashion choices are growing in popularity every single day. But first, we need to identify fast fashion, and steer clear of it. Some fast fashion brands are easy to identify, but others take a little more research.

5 signs you’re looking at fast fashion 

  • Fast turnaround

Shops get their inspiration from designer collections at prestigious Fashion Week shows – so if you see a piece that has debuted on the New York Fashion Week runway in September, then see something similar in a shop in October, that’s a red flag.

  • The “made in” label

Labels are everything – and we aren’t talking about big designer labels. Check the label to see where the item is made – if it’s close to home, there’s a good chance that workers have been paid a fair wage. If it’s outsourced internationally, it makes it harder to find out if it was made in a sweatshop by underage workers.

  • The quality

You don’t need a degree in fashion design to spot bad quality material. Refer to the label and look for transparency. If you can’t easily find information on the craftsmanship, the maker may be trying to hide something. Instead, look for something like this: https://www.allkindsofkind.com/pages/kindness-by-design. For textiles, look out for polyester. It’s one of the most popular fabrics in fast fashion; derived from fossil fuels. It is a huge contributor to climate change, which is one of the biggest problems we are currently facing.

  • Care labels

Not only will the materials be a big hint, but the washing and care instructions will also confirm your suspicions. For example, cheaper clothing tends to fall apart quicker, especially at higher temperatures. You’d be right to raise eyebrows if your brand-new sweater needs to be washed at cool temperatures and not tumble dried. 

  • The quantity

Fast fashion is all about mass produced on-trend items which are instantly available at the touch of a button. The bigger the brand or chain, the more likely they are to carry mass produced items. 

So, what can we do about it? 

To quote British designer Vivienne Westwood: “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” 

Having more clothes and accessories than you know what to do with won’t make you more stylish. Choosing well and knowing what to do with the items you do have will. Stylish men and women tend to have fewer clothes, as they buy cautiously. Staple pieces such as a well-made black dress, for example, can be worn time and time again, and accessorized up or down according to the occasion. Jewellery which is ethically sourced will not only earn you style points but will also make your conscience happy – not to mention the friend or family member you may kindly lend it to a few years down the line. 

With a little research and a lot of love, light and positivity, we know we have what it takes to put an end to fast fashion and build up an ethical and sustainable industry.

Kate Finlay
Kate Finlay

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