My small brand’s big principle: why slow fashion is at the heart of my business
Slow fashion. Ethical clothing. Sustainability. Are terms like this so overused? Are their meanings becoming diluted?
As a fashion designer, being transparent both creatively and in a business sense is paramount for me. This is why slow fashion has always been front and centre of my brand ethos.
I believe that your clothes should have value. They shouldn’t be purchased, worn a few times and then tossed aside.
When I began designing, I wanted to make clothes that would last - which meant creating longevity in both a sense of material and style. For one, I love working with high-quality fabrics. Pure silk, wool - natural fabrics that are not only wonderful to wear but also durable and will survive years of wearing, washing and loving. Secondly, I want my pieces to last beyond a season, or two or three. This means that my designs have to be classic to a degree, with a strong focus on cut. As much as there are elements throughout each of my collections that have a contemporary edge, there’s still timelessness within them. This has always been my intention as a designer.
Long before the environmental and ethical benefits of slow fashion were in the spotlight, I was advocating sustainability because it encourages an appreciation of what we wear and what we own. When starting a business, you have to know what you want your brand to stand for. Slow fashion has always been at the heart of Amanda Thompson Couture, and now as I learn more about the movement I am increasingly proud to be small scale and a slow fashion brand.
And even though I am a small business, it is important for me to be aware of my impact. I have an interest in sustainability and ethical practices and I try to do what I can to improve my own carbon footprint. Luckily one of the benefits of my small-scale production is that I have complete control over how things are done. I know where my fabrics come from, I know the seamstresses who help me create my collections and I know that my customers won’t be throwing this season’s pieces out come next year.
The facts are shocking. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow the cotton to make just one pair of jeans. And then consider how mass clothing production contaminates the water that local people in Asia need for survival. Where do our responsibilities lie in the West?
I’m well aware that these stories come in and out of the press from time to time. I find it positive that even fast fashion names like H&M are making conscious choices and implementing steps towards sustainability.
I know there’s a mountain to climb if we're to change how a lot of fashion is designed and manufactured. But at Amanda Thompson Couture that struggle reinforces my slow fashion ethos and reminds me to be accountable every step of the way.