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Slow's Founders On The Current State Of The Fashion Industry

by: Courtney Sanders | 10 months ago | Features

Slow Fashion founders Anny, Nat, and Emily.

Slow is an ethical fashion festival taking place in Adelaide between September 20 to October 19, in which panel discussions, runway shows, and a pop-up shop will bring people together to celebrate Australia’s leading responsible fashion designers.

We’re really chuffed to be involved, and you can come hang out with us at Slow x Well Made Clothes pop up store, which will house our favourite labels with ethical values between September 20 and October 19 in Adelaide Central Plaza, and Slow Runway, which will showcase our favourite labels with ethical values.

If you’re in Adelaide, and would like to join us at Slow Runway (we’d love to have you), enjoy 20% off Slow Runway tickets with code DAZZLE at checkout until midnight 13 September 2019 – you're welcome!

To find out a little more about Slow, and what we can expect from the event series, we caught up with founders Anny, Emily, and Nat. Onwards!

The Nora Dress by Arnsdorf, who will be presenting on the Slow Runway.

Courtney Sanders: Firstly, there's three of you behind Slow Fashion Festival, but you all do your own thing, too! Introduce us to the team behind Slow – who are you and what do you do when you're not doing Slow.

Slow: Yeah it’s a pretty tiny team behind SLOW! Anny Duff runs Good Studios, an Adelaide based sustainable consultation and clothing label, Emily Sheahan, hails from a background of archival and pre-loved garments with specific emphasis on circularity, and Nat Ivanov, our seamstress extraordinaire works as a lecturer and machinist in the industry and for her zero waste swimwear line Re-Swim Club.

Courtney: Where did the idea for Slow first come from?

Slow: The three of us came together (after crossing paths through various shows and panels), with a shared desire to build something that focussed on celebrating better practices in the industry. We had all been slogging it out in the local sustainable fashion industry and felt there was a more relevant and elevated way to tell this story.

The Yew Sneakers by EKN, who will be presenting at Slow Runway.

Courtney: How has Slow developed over the years?

Slow: We wanted to tell our stories to an audience who shared our values, and to educate and push for actual change in this industry and beyond. 

Courtney: From the outside, it seems like there's a really supportive ethical fashion community in Adelaide? True? False? Elaborate please!

Slow: There certainly is! By banding together, we have been able to both strengthen and support this growth in the local community. In its third year, Slow is trying to share our values to Adelaide’s broader fashion community by hosting a masterclass on circular fashion. Our dream is to become the ethical fashion capital of Australia.

The Lucia Jeans by Denimsmith, who will be presenting at Slow Runway.

Courtney: Slow is a runway event, a pop up shop, a talk series, and a workshop series. Why do you think it's important to incorporate 'ideas' based events into a fashion event?

Slow: Fashion events can come across as shallow. At their core they should celebrate an age-old industry that continues to diversify and reinvent itself in miraculous ways. We stand on the verge of yet another shift, and society needs to be more aware than ever of how our garments are made, what it will take to move to a circular system, and to call out the industry when it employs dangerous and outdated practices. We also feel sharing new ideas in an environment that is celebratory and full of festival energy can only be a good thing!

Courtney: Slow essentially unites people and brands under the big tent idea of ethical fashion. Why do you think creating community in this way around people interested in ethical fashion is important?

Slow: As conscious consumers, we can be overwhelmed with how much we should know, and every day there’s something new! By creating a platform that celebrates the brands that are doing it right, and inviting the community to take part, we hope that we can take some of the leg-work out of making more informed purchasing decisions.

The Cropped Rib Sweater by Nagnata, who will be housed in the Slow x Well Made Clothes pop up store.

Courtney: Ethical fashion is 'hot right now' but you guys have been in it for a long time. Do you think real change is occurring in the fashion industry? If so, how? If not, why not?

Slow: Let's be honest, it can be very easy to get bogged down by the inadequacies of our industry, where pollution, waste and water wastage is still rampant, without broad solutions in sight. But we really do see evidence of change happening around us each day. Our industry is starting to take part in these conversations, driven by desire by both designers and consumers to be better. As well as this, we’re seeing sustainable fashion designers elevating their aesthetic, and appealing to a broader generation of consumers, which, in turn, motivates other designers to be part of this side of the industry.

Courtney: What are the developments you're most excited about that are making the fashion industry more responsible?

Slow: We are most excited about how interested customers are becoming in where their clothes come from. Technological developments which help create circularity get us excited, too. Using new information and technology to understand how to turn synthetic materials into new materials is really important to us in  the fight to reduce the waste currently created by the industry.

Courtney: What can individuals do to fight the good fight against fast fashion?

Slow: The three of us at Slow believe that every step someone takes towards more conscious consuming deserves to be celebrated – whether it’s calling out problematic production practices or encouraging people to buy better. We are in this fight together. We cannot be apathetic about how broken the current system is, and now is the time to understand our purchases and the impact they have. Now is the time to be part of something new, and something better for all of us! 

Check out all Slow events here.

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