We have all heard of slow food, but what is "slow clothing" and what does it have to do with knitting?
Just as the slow food movement encourages people to think about where their food comes from, how it is grown and cooked and how what they eat impacts on their health, their community and the environment, the 'slow clothes' movement is a counter-movement against the ever increasing speed with which we consume clothing.
Over the last 20 years, the cost of clothing has come down substantially. Clothes are now a throw-away item. And the speed with which we are encouraged to cycle through our clothes is getting away from us - instead of 2-4 fashion seasons (spring-summer, autumn-winter), fast fashion labels now come up with new must-have items every week.
The popularity of knitting dropped off just as fast fashion came onto the scene. By the 1990s, it had become much cheaper to buy a jumper in a shop than make your own.
The human and environmental cost of this ever increasing consumption of clothes is enormous. Factory workers who produce the cheap clothes earn as little as $3.00 a day working under conditions that are dangerous and appalling. The rubbish mountain of discarded clothing that is no longer usable is growing alarmingly, causing environmental damage and further social upheaval. Consumers are under endless pressure to consume more and more, without any real gain in happiness.
Find out more what our obsession with cheap clothes is actually costing us and the world. The documentary "The True Cost" takes you deep inside the fashion industry and shows the aspects of modern clothing that the industry would like to keep hidden away.
The good thing is that we can all be part of the solution.
People around the world are taking a stance against the level of consumerism that has taken over the clothing industry. The slow clothing movement is starting to gain acceptance, just as we saw in the slow food movement. The resurgence of knitting and crochet over the last decade plays an important part in this wider movement.
As a knitter, you can make your own garments and appreciate the work that goes into creating something beautiful. Personally, I find I get more enjoyment out of wearing something that is unique and hand-made than out of something bought in a fast fashion shop.
Choose good quality yarns with a high percentage of natural fibres. Create something that lasts and be proud of it!
The complete documentary "The True Cost" is currently showing on Netflix Australia.