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The Rise of Slow Fashion

30' (GER, ENG subs)
The fashion industry is going through a major transformation. What will the future hold?

Europe is in a clothing frenzy. A daunting estimate of 100 billion new clothing pieces are produced every year. The term “fast fashion” is being used to describe the trend of buying a new collection of clothing every week. Always more, always faster, and always cheaper. The production process of so much clothing requires an enormous amount of resources like water and energy. Shockingly, most consumers dispose of more than half of the clothes they buy within a year. The “slow fashion” movement is fighting against this overexploitation, and it is gaining a strong following. The movement emphasizes the importance of having appreciation for what someone already owns, along with sacrifice and new ideas. Eco-designers present numerous new, innovative solutions to fix this problem of overconsumption. One of which can turn plastic bottles into beautiful, silky dresses. “Slow fashion” is long gone from the alternative corner and is regarded as a future market. The pressure is growing on manufacturers who mercilessly profit from the fast fashion trend. Do we have to rethink fashion?

The hip teddy bear jacket or the trendy “buy -and-wear” jeans can make people very happy in the short term. Unfortunately, clothing like this often ends up in the trash or the old clothes collection within a year. The spiral of consumption adds to the enormous mountains of garbage and forces our natural resources to dwindle.

“By 30 years, the consumption of resources in the fashion industry will triple,” says Alf-Tobias Zahn. The fashion blogger and environmental activist frequently writes about the pressing topic of sustainable fashion. He provides the statistics about everyday clothing like a cloth t-shirt, which requires 2500 liters of water just to keep the cotton plants alive. To make this same shirt, the same amount of CO2 is produced as a 55-killomiter car journey.

On the bright side, things are changing. A growing group of environmentally conscious consumers want to stop the exuberant consumption of clothes. They have completely dedicated themselves to the slow fashion movement. “Just these days and weeks, something is happening that I didn’t expect to happen so quickly. People are beginning to realize that the fashion industry is overexploiting and it’s time for them to do something about it.“ says Kate Fletcher, professor of sustainability at London University of Arts and founder of the slow fashion movement.

The philosophy of the movement: appreciate your clothes and wear them to their maximum lifespan. The goal is to slowdown the pace that the fashion industry is setting. “Cotton doesn’t grow faster just because consumers always demand the latest,” says Kate Fletcher. In the meantime, there are unique and sustainable alternatives to the fast fashion industry.”

In Neonyt, young entrepreneurs present their latest innovations for the fair of sustainable fashion at Berlin Fashion Week. The number of exhibitors has quadrupled in the last 10 years. The products of slow fashion labels are more creative than ever before, such as shoes made of algae, moss, or milk. Plastic bottles are turned into silky dresses. Old Jeans are turned into brand new fibers that can be made into new clothing pieces. The everyday consumer’s waste is fueling the innovative slow fashion industry that produces brand new materials.

Industry experts are even saying that slow fashion is the market of the future. Pressure is growing on fast fashion manufacturers, and they are beginning to respond. The need for recycling, for example, is apparently recognized by the industry… but are they doing anything about it?
Original Title: Slowfashion - Wertschätzen statt wegwerfen
Year: 2020
Length: 30' (GER, ENG subs)
Resolution: HD
Produced by: NZZ

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    Screener - German with English subtitles
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