Slow fashion. What is it?

We’ve all been throwing those words around quite a bit of late. Well I know that I have. And I’ve been hash tagging the hell out of them. But what does slow fashion mean? Where has this movement sprung from? And why does fashion now have speed radar attached to it? 

Well first and foremost the slow fashion movement was born from the desire to push back on the current state of our fashion industry. Which on an average day is both fast and furious. 
Fashion, in its purest essence has always been and hopefully always will be, an art form. Yes clothing is a practical necessity. We all need to cover up some.
But clothing is also a language, a beautiful vehicle of expression for both the maker and the wearer. And our relationship to this sacred art form is slowly and insidiously being stripped away. We are fed an ever-revolving wardrobe of cheap endless choices. Through the fast rotating fashion door, clothing goes in and then goes out. It looks great, for now. It’s cheap. I’ll buy it. Wear it once. Next! What else do you have? More please.
Where clothing was once a highly valued possession, it is now becoming a cheap throw away commodity. Diminished in value and once thrown away, forgotten. How do we sit in relationship with the clothing that graces our back? Yes clothing has grace. How do we value its gift, both for what it can say and what it can do. Let alone its own personal back-story. 

There is so much awareness now coming to light on the problems caused by fast fashion. Massive overproduction, which fosters massive over consumption. Cheap disposable garments not durable enough to last beyond a season, leading to mountains of landfill. Not to mention the toxic damage to our environment. And this vicious cycle in perpetual motion continues. Then we need to look at the ethics of how, where and by whom this overproduction happens. I can safely say that the bulk of fast fashion happens offshore. It’s a case of out of sight, and out of mind.  

But I digress. I’m climbing up onto my old soapbox, and I really didn’t come here to do that. And I also didn’t come here to quote you fast fashion facts. As they can all be easily found on reputable blogs and websites all over the internet. Great articles written by very smart, well researched people who all really know what they’re talking about. It’s worth exploring. As the facts will boggle your mind and make you squirm just a little in your seat. Or maybe a lot. Which is a good thing. A good squirm never did any of us any harm.

So why am I here and what I banging on about, if it’s not to shove these facts down your throat? 
Well I don’t really want to shove anything down your throat. That has never been my way. Instead I would prefer to lead you down a garden path, filled with the prettiest of blooms and the sweetest smelling of flowers. My embracing a world of slow fashion was not a consciously thought out decision. It didn’t come from the studying of figures and facts or even trying to do the right thing. You see I have never been a very good or even slightly diligent student. I drift off too easily. And end up in a world of my own making. It evolved naturally and organically through my love for slow living. I’m a slow moving kind of gal. Fast paced decisions really stress me out.  My hustle broke before I even had the chance to pull it out of its box. Hence I live with a perpetual feeling of somehow having been left behind.    
So it was always going to be.

Many many moons ago, when I was a student, working part time jobs in hospitality, one of my favourite things to do was stroll to either school or work. Both of which were a good half hour walk away, at least.
And pick wildflowers along the way. I would linger for longer on a sunshine filled day. It was my ritual. To stop, smell and greet all of the beautiful flowers. Watch them dance to the gentle breeze. I’d pop a yellow or pink flower in my hair and then float along carrying my little posy of picked blooms. Wafting along on the scent of nature. Roses were a particular favourite to shove my twitching nostrils into. 

Smell for me has always been one of the most potent and intoxicating of senses. It’s pure. It stills my being and fills my heart with bliss. It nails me into the present and throws me back in time. Its gift so complex, yet so simple. 

I can still see myself so clearly, as I was back then. Young, carefree, unhurried and so open to savouring the beautiful moments that life gifts us. Wrapped up in sensations and experiences. Unconcerned with obligations. 

Some memories never fade. The funny thing is, it’s not the distinct memory of an event that my mind has returned to me. But a feeling. Of simply being present within myself. Of precious moments, soaked in beauty. Fragrant adventures, seeping in under my skin. Infusing my blood, my bones. Imprinting my soul with essence  

It has been a long while since I have drifted through my floral memory bank. You see, I had temporarily forgotten. Yet all it took for these luscious memories and feelings to come flooding back to mind, was a wish to share my love of slow living with you. It was there waiting at my fingertips.  When I started tapping away on the keyboard I really didn’t know what I was going to write about. I wanted to chat about slow fashion a little. But I had no laid out structure or plan.  And the words found their own way and led me here to my garden. 

So I thank you.
I guess I needed your to help remind me. That it has been way too long since I’ve stopped to smell the flowers. 
I’ve gotten older. And my life is full of speed and obligations.
I have a child and a business. Bills to pay.
And a big heavy bag full of worries. 
Life is a beast sometimes and can swallow us whole. And the sad thing is, we often don’t realise how fast we have been running. 
But my desire to savour life and go slow has always been my barometer.
For a life out of balance. And when I forget and have run for too long, I fill with empty yearning. And my soul aches for fragrance. 

And of late, I have been too full of ache. 

So where am I headed with this piece of writing? Nowhere in particular I guess. 
I stumbled upon a precious forgotten memory.
And willingly got lost there. 
Maybe it has been about a finding my way back. Because writing to you, has felt like taking a long slow stroll to work.
And picking wildflowers along the way.
Maybe it’s a reminder to slow down our pace. And breathe. Soak in the beauty around us. And make time to appreciate the small sweet things. 
Because it is these small precious moments that have the fluidity, endurance and strength, to fill the aching holes in our heart. 
Maybe it’s simply a moment of sharing. Which in itself is enough, yes?
Because we don’t always need to reach for the end result, or have a firm destination. 
So finally I’ll leave you with this.
Maybe the scent of a sweet smelling flower is sometimes all that we need.
A salient guide
Slow and loving
To remind us
That beautiful meaningful precious life
Is always there, in our tender little hands                                                                                                                     
From my wildflower heart
To yours   xx