Slow Fashion May Not Sound Exciting, But These 8 Brands Definitely Are
Using the words slow and fashion in the same sentence may sound contradictory. Wait a minute. Isn't a constant need to buy newer, better things the very lifeblood of the fashion industry? Technically, yes, but I think we're all finally starting to wake up to the importance of sustainability within the industry—as in, celebrating the brands that integrate ethical practices at every point in production, from sourcing to selling, not just tacking on the word as a buzzy new way to sell the same thing they were before.
We've covered it before here, but I had never been able to shake my murky perception of slow fashion as something more ambiguous rather than tangible. It wasn't until I stumbled upon an Instagram account selling colourful market bags last summer, and subsequently went about trying to get my hands on one, that the real meaning of slow fashion started to sink in. The brand, Chivatas Bags, seemed to be perpetually sold-out, and in the end, I acquired my very own bag after months of emailing back and forth with the brand, turning on its Instagram post notifications, and waiting patiently for it to hand-make more. (Now do you see why it's called slow fashion?)
My natural curiosity to hunt down the coolest under-the-radar brands took me to down yet another Instagram rabbit hole, landing me on the following eight sustainable fashion brands that bring a lot of life to the often ambiguous term slow fashion. From the French mother-daughter duo behind a certain celeb-loved brand for dreamy blouses to the brand making quirky earrings out of found objects, keep reading to discover and shop the coolest sustainable fashion brands of the moment.
Shop here for: Fun-loving statement outerwear and hand-painted jackets with a whimsical bend.
What makes them a slow brand: Each piece is designed and created in NYC using reclaimed materials like fur and leather and almost everything is made to order from the designer's atelier.
Shop here for: Dainty puff-sleeved blouses that scream summer.
What makes them a slow brand: The mother-daughter duo behind Maison Cleo is based in Paris where they handmake each top in their streamlined collection. The stock is currently sold out online, but keep an eye on their site when they restock key styles each Wednesday.
Shop here for: The colorful beaded bags and fruit-inspired jewelry you've seen splashed across Instagram.
What makes them a slow brand: Each piece is handmade in NYC by designer Susan Alexandra herself.
Shop here for: Retro '70s-inspired faux fur-trimmed coats in an enticing array of candy colors and It prints like leopard and zebra.
What makes them a slow brand: The London-based brand hand paints all the printed faux suede and each collection is made in the U.K.
Shop here for: Crafty pendant and seashell earrings, many of which are sold (and meant to be worn) solo.
What makes them a slow brand: "Born from the union of ethics and aesthetics," each piece of SVNR jewelry is crafted from found, and up-cycled natural materials.
Shop here for: Dreamy satin evening bags and pretty baroque pearl jewelry.
What makes them a slow brand: The Miami-based designer behind NST handmakes each piece to order using original materials, "resulting in a one-of-a-kind product that is as unique as its wearer."
Shop here for: Victorian-inspired tops and dresses with puffy sleeves and shirred details.
What makes them a slow brand: The small British clothing line is handmade to order by designer Olivia who produces each piece from sewing and cutting to packaging and shipping, each with its own personal handwritten note. According to the site, "most pieces take around 4 hours to be made, Olivia can accept up to 30 orders per week, no items are pre-made as Olivia likes to have as little wasted fabrics and resources as possible. She sources and purchases all her fabrics locally in the UK."
Shop here for: Mini market bags in an array of rainbow colors that capture the easygoing feel of summer dressing.
What makes them a slow brand: Small batches are handmade in Spain where varying colors and patterns rotate in and out of stock.
On the topic of indie fashion brands, these are the indie jewellery brands my personal collection is overflowing with.