Slow fashion and being sustainable
I have been asked a couple of times, what is sustainable fashion? what is slow fashion? In big cities like New York, London and LA almost everyone knows the answers to these questions. But in the mid west, I find people don’t always have the answers, but the great news is, people ask the questions! And healthy conversations are the best way to bring about change and impact!
Slow fashion is a revolt against fast fashion retailers, where thousands of clothes are manufactured using poor quality materials, sold at low prices and consumers end up purchasing more than they require. This overconsumption creates a strain on the environment and the workers in the supply chain pay a hefty price. On April 24, 2013 the gament manufacturing commercial building, Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapased killing 1,134 people and injuring over 2500 people. This was the incident that brought to light the terrible working conditions of workers in the garment industry. They have terrible work environments, paid far below decent living wages.
Ecocult.com wrote a wonderful blog post explaining slow, ethical, eco-fashion and alot more.
So what makes AMU a slow fashion brand? Well a couple of reasons actually. The art form of block printing uses wooden blocks that are hand carved by local artisans in India. They use simple tools to carve these blocks and it takes 2-4 days to carve a single block. These blocks are then used to stamp designs onto fabric. The process of printing can take 3 – 8 hours based on the outfit. And then the stitching can take a couple of hours as well. All together each outfit can take a 6- 36 hours to complete.
Everyday we strive to become more sustainable through our business practices. We use fabrics that are made from natural fibres like cotton, rayon and wool. We are always on the look out for new and imporved fabrics that leave a lower carbon footprint and have a lower impact on the environment. Our second method of being sustainable, is Made To Order. Every piece of clothing is made when an order is received. We choose not to keep a larger inventory because producing large number of clothes leads to wastage and lower quality in production.
To further reduce our post production wastage, we reuse our fabrics and create very unique fabric bags, what we use in our packaging. We have no fixed color palette or design for our bags. We mix and match fabrics to create these bags, which makes it a wonderful surprise for our customers, who don’t know what to expect!
When we source our fabrics we ask questions like where was it woven, who made it and understand if the workers were fairly paid for their work. We want to build transparency in our processes and be able to give precise answers to questions our customers have. Fashion Revolution is a movement started after the Rana collapse that encourages consumers to ask ‘Who Made My Clothes?’. This helps to increase accountability of consumer brands.