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What is slow fashion?

You may be new to the world of slow fashion and potentially unsure on the meaning of it, but fear not, we will cover various aspects regarding this topic including why we possibly should be paying even more attention to it.

Slow fashion advocates buying better-quality garments that will last longer, and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet along the way. This is a subject that is being discussed more often as the trend towards sustainable fashion practices intensifies! Whether you know a little or next to nothing about this matter, this blog aims to inform you of the harm it may be having on our environment.

A slow fashion brand is one where it uses higher quality materials and charges a little extra. However, in the long term this provides cost savings as the user will be able to re-wear the item on a more frequent basis without it becoming extremely worn or damaged in the process. A designer that has taken a stand with the slow fashion movement is Vivienne Westwood, who quoted, “buy less, choose well, make it last.” A statement like this in the fashion industry is a huge one to make as it emboldens other designers to stop and think about the potential effects fast fashion could be having on the earth.

Fast fashion is simply rampant within society today. Factories are mass producing more clothing then ever with the average consumer purchasing cheaper clothing and a lot more of it. Some stats behind this reveal that on average a person only wears a fifth of the clothing they own, which in turn means the other 80% is unused and potentially directed to the bin, resulting in it being sent to landfill.

Every single second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of clothes is making its way to a landfill or to be burned. This is enough to fill up 1.5 Empire State Buildings every single day. Most of our clothes are made of plastic, too, which means they’re non-biodegradable, which also means that they can remain in landfill for up to 200 years.

Sustainable fashion supports fairer and safer working conditions

Slow fashion is not only better for the environment, but arguably for staff as well. More focus is on human rights and a company who really embrace this are SANVT, a company who majors in sustainability producing ‘high quality essentials’. They work exclusively with certified production partners and independent family businesses in Western Europe that treat people (and the environment) with respect. The factories they work with share their commitment to exceptional quality, high labour standards and fair wages. This is a great example of slow fashion companies demonstrating a duty towards their staff.


At Murray we are proud partner of Sedex to ensure the fair treatment of those producing our garments through our supply chain. Sedex believe every person working in the supply chain should have equality, a safe place to work, and the means to support themselves and their families, free of bribery and corruption, using sustainable methods that keep the environment intact for future generations. Murray supports this mission and are happy to be a part of it to ensure better conditions for those we work with.

Post Pandemic

Analysis that was produced post pandemic stated that consumers are changing their shopping behaviours and attitudes towards favouring the consumption of slow fashion. In 2020 the ‘Conscious Fashion Report’ by global fashion platform Lyst stated that, over the 12-month leading period, “slow fashion” generated more than 90 million social impressions suggesting what is called “the beginning of the shift in shopping behaviour”. In this time, it has been said that shoppers now want to invest in high-quality long-lasting products rather than buying large quantities of poorly made items. Due to this there is an increase in the rise of handmade / customer made orders, pushing artisan’s skills and talents to great use. With this mind, it can be argued that slow fashion is becoming the new luxury of the fashion industry.

Some characteristics of a slow fashion brand are:

  • Items made from high quality, sustainable materials like linen
  • Garments are more timeless than trendy
  • Often sold in smaller (local) stores rather than huge chain enterprises
  • Locally sourced, produced, and sold garments
  • A few specific styles per collection, which are released twice or maximum three times per year. Or a permanent seasonless collection

Often made-to-order to reduce unnecessary production


Another key thing to keep in mind when it comes to slow fashion is that although it is a great step on the path to cut down on fast fashion, there are still many other factors that can contribute to this, in order to become more sustainable. Examples could include shopping in thrift stores for more vintage, exclusive items or using online apps and marketplaces such as Depop to sell and buy old clothing instead of sending it to landfill. People are buying less and recreating more outfits with old clothing they’ve repurposed or even borrowing from a friend.

It is great to see people adapting to a more sustainable way of thinking with regards to fashion, with many people using thrift stores or buying pre-loved clothing from online marketplaces such as Depop, as mentioned above. They are ‘thrifting’ their way forward in relation to fashion, as vintage becomes the new rage but it is also a way to support local communities as  charities feel the benefit too. The younger generation are particularly welcoming slow fashion with open arms, repurposing parents’ old clothes and even creating a modern look with the fabrics!

Is it time to consider your options?

Based on the information mentioned in this blog, it’s a fair assumption that the more someone invests in an item of clothing, the more likely it is to be made to a better standard. As a result, the return on investment will be higher as they will invariably invest less in future garments vs someone than buys a poorer made garment but for slightly less money.

Here at Murray, we like to think along those lines! With over 100 years’ experience, we apply technical expertise on uniform fit and combine it with the Science of Uniform® and insights to design and manufacture the best corporate wear and workwear for our clients

Don’t just take our word for it. We rolled out uniform to City Electrical Factors (CEF) and our case study  highlights a successful programme for them. They were that pleased with the quality of uniform, the longevity resulted in their regular refresh was pushed back, saving them more money.

We ensure we work very closely with our customers to make sure all bases are covered, especially with the return on investment piece. Not only do they receive a high quality, smart uniform to be proud of but the bottom line gets a helping hand too.

To find out how your company can benefit from our fully managed service, email or call 02476 587980.