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The Real Difference Between Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion

Sustainable shopping is becoming increasingly popular. One of the biggest industries ripe for socially conscious disruption? Fashion.

Unfortunately, the world of fashion hasn’t always been known for being ethical and environmentally friendly.

As conversations about ethical and sustainable fashion come to the forefront, terms like fast fashion and slow fashion are getting used more and more frequently. But what exactly is the difference between fast fashion and slow fashion? And more importantly, what does choosing fast or slow fashion mean for the conscious consumer? To help you make smart, sustainable choices, we explore some of the key differences.

fast fashion costs less

There’s no way around it, fast fashion is cheaper. That trendy sweater on the mannequin costs less to produce and therefore more affordable to purchase.

The price might seem attractive, but in order to keep costs low, clothing is made as quickly as possible and with the cheapest materials—and methods—possible. While the clothing may look great at first, low-quality materials won’t last as long and will deteriorate quickly. This also means that brands are subjecting workers to less than livable wages to keep costs down.

Unfortunately, with the surge of fast fashion, consumers are used to seeing lower price tags, making it difficult to justify slightly higher prices on more sustainable options. While you may save a couple of dollars in the short-term, you’ll actually save money long-term by choosing higher-quality, sustainable fashion.

In addition, shopping for sustainable, longer-lasting styles mean that each piece will live longer and spend less time in a landfill.

quality over quantity

Slow fashion brands choose sustainable and ethical fabrics that are often only available in limited quantities. This means you get beautiful, higher-quality clothing that minimizes the overall negative impact on the world around us.

In contrast, fast fashion is produced en masse—meaning brands are able to scale quickly and make styles more affordable. However, the mass production of clothing is a huge strain on the environment, causing excessive carbon emissions and water pollution, among other negative effects.

Avoid clothing that is machine manufactured in mere seconds. The quality and magic is in the details, the artistry, and the craftsmanship.

At Amour Vert, we put thought into the entire lifecycle of every single garment. We create limited quantities of clothing to ensure the highest production standards and to create minimal waste.

fast fashion increases consumption

Fast fashion considers only the latest trends in order to keep consumers engaged, so the turnaround from the runway to the closet is lightning fast.

The fast fashion cycle is purposely designed to keep you wanting and purchasing new pieces—even when you don't need them.

The model is built on the expectation that you’ll only wear your new clothing only a few times before it’s no longer 'in style'. Once a new trend emerges, shelves are stocked with brand new styles, and old styles start their march to the landfill. There is always something new to keep the shoppers coming back for more.

Shopping the trendiest styles sooner rather than later might sound appealing but ultimately it becomes a vicious cycle of never ending spending and consuming.

Slow fashion is not built around the need for you to purchase new pieces over and over again. At Amour Vert, our slow fashion goal is to help you fill your closet with iconic staples, allowing you to build a wardrobe that stands the test of time.

slow fashion uses sustainable materials

Slow fashion takes sustainability seriously, using business practices that are intentionally designed to minimize their impact on the planet. From raw material sourcing to your closet, slow fashion is thoughtfully produced with every step of the production process in mind.

Amour Vert’s slow fashion clothing is ethically produced from natural, raw, and upcycled materials that are biodegradable, recyclable, or upcyclable. Whenever possible, clothing is manufactured locally to reduce our carbon footprint.

Fast fashion clothing is often made form cheaper materials that are plastic-based and not biodegradable. Combine this with the large amounts of waste generated—the environmental impact of fast fashion is enormous.

From ethical wool to organic cotton, Amour Vert partners with mills to ensure our range of styles features fabrics that are ethical, traceable, and use eco-friendly raw fibers and materials. Almost 60% of a garment’s impact happens during fiber and fabric manufacturing, which is why fashion made with ethical materials makes a huge difference.

Choosing slow fashion doesn't mean you have to compromise on comfort or style. Sustainable fashion can be beautiful and often feels even more luxurious. Amour Vert’s signature fabrics like the Dream Collection and signature Cottonseed Cupro (made from literal cotton waste!), are silky to the touch and deliver unmatched buttery softness.

fast fashion is getting faster

The name says it all—fast fashion is meant to be lightning fast.

Clothing is produced quicker with new trends hitting shelves in the blink of an eye. The business model was created with the intention of bringing runway styles to the masses quickly and affordably. New styles are often added weekly or even daily.

There’s no denying that fast fashion has made the hottest fashions more accessible. However, the more fast fashion dominates the industry, the more consumers expect from these brands. In order to stay competitive, fast fashion brands are producing more clothing at a faster pace than ever before. In turn, brands try to cut every possible corner they can to meet this highly unsustainable level of demand. The speed comes at the expense of quality and conditions—putting immense pressure on the workers and the environment.

When you choose slow fashion, you choose to wait to get the latest runway style. You choose clothing that has been thoughtfully designed to last for years to come. You choose people and planet over trends and the knowledge that your favorite pair of sustainable jeans were made with love, kindness, and care.

slow fashion values workers

When it comes to manufacturer working conditions, the fast fashion industry has come under fire more than once. The pressure to produce garments at record paces (and at a low cost) has many fast fashion brands paying unlivable wages and turning a blind eye to poor working conditions.

At Amour Vert, we believe sustainability is about more than just the environmental impact. Our workers play an important role in bringing our iconic styles to life. Manufacturing teams are a core part of our business operations which is why we partner directly with mills and ensure our workers are provided with safe working conditions and fair wages.

Almost every single Amour Vert piece is made right in California. From our beautiful blouses to luxe loungewear, our commitment to our workers shines through in every piece you choose.

slow fashion stands the test of time

Slow fashion is made to last. The goal is to provide you with high-quality pieces that wear well, so each style can spend more time being worn and less time in a landfill. The lifespan of a garment shouldn’t be limited to one season. High quality clothing should last years—if not a lifetime.

The lifespan of your clothing shouldn't end with you. If your aesthetic changes and you’re ready for something new, slow fashion pieces can be passed forward.

As a fashion-forward brand, we always want to provide you with the option for beautiful new pieces. But we also know it’s more sustainable to embrace the circular model and help extend the life of your Amour Vert favorites. That’s why we launched ReAmour, our resale marketplace. We’ve created an easy new shopping experience where you can browse, buy, and sell your pre-loved styles and your slow fashion legacy can live on.

slow fashion is très chic

While fast fashion has dominated the industry for years, slow fashion is starting to enjoy its day in the sun. Just because the slow fashion cycle is inherently slower than fast fashion doesn’t mean you won’t find styles you'll love.

Slow fashion is produced intentionally, which is why slow fashion brands are careful in designing pieces they know their customers will love. When you shop slow fashion, you can feel confident knowing you’ll only find styles that are versatile, beautiful, and won’t ever go out of style.

At Amour Vert, we evaluate the environmental impact of everything we design before going into production. Instead of investing in the latest trends, you’ll find luxe and polished comfort and you can breathe easy knowing your new Amour Vert styles will make the cut time and time again.

slow fashion supports community

Slow fashion brands are at the forefront of the social responsibility movement, leading with transparency and holding themselves accountable. Slow fashion brands believe in the value of supporting community.

Meanwhile, in order to meet the demands of the conscious consumer, fast fashion brands are finding themselves searching for new ways to look socially aware while maintaining their business models. In a world full of performative action, it’s important to ask if your favorite brands are truly embracing social impact or if it's just PR facade.

Amour Vert is proud to support our community with more than just a sustainable production model. For every tee you buy, we plant a tree in North America through our Tees for Trees program in partnership with American Forests®. Since 2010, we’ve planted over 350,000 trees, helping to protect our forests, neighboring communities, and the planet. 

slow fashion forever

Don’t call it a comeback—sustainable fashion has been on the market for years.

However, as consumers increasingly understand the impact of their choices, slow fashion is seeing a new rise in popularity. There is still a lot of work to be done in the fashion industry, but one of the best things you can do is choose brands that invest in sustainable and ethical business practices. By putting your money where your mouth is, you're supporting fashion brands that are leaving a more positive impact on the world.

We know that making the switch from fast to slow fashion can be challenging at times, but sustainability and fashion can go hand in hand. We guarantee that by making conscious fashion choices, you’ll look and feel more confident knowing you’re doing more good in the world. If it feels overwhelming, just start small and add one or two pieces at a time. Before you know it, your closet will be filled with beautiful, sustainable, high-quality clothing designed for your everyday!

Embrace slow fashion and fill your closet with beautiful, versatile styles that protect the planet. Shop Amour Vert’s newest collection of sustainable women’s fashion today.

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