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Slow Threads

Bringing sustainable fashion to life.
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Driving sustainable fashion choices

Today's fashion industry is responsible for a number of negative social and environmental impacts, including textile waste, exploited labour, poverty, water pollution, gender inequality, and climate change. Society’s consumption has increased, driven by societal shifts such as increased online buying, social media pressure on self-image, and increased paths to purchase. Moreover, the demand and mass production of cheap disposable clothing is reaching unprecedented heights. Slow Threads: The Sustainable Fashion Fair was launched in 2022 with the aim of raising awareness of the impact of fashion on the planet, and encouraging Glasgow's citizens to be savvier with their textile consumption.

Bringing sustainable fashion to life

Launched during Scotland's Climate Week, Slow Threads brought together members of the public and the sustainable fashion community through a two-day event. It was brought to the city of Glasgow by Ecosurety, environmental charity Hubbub, Glasgow-based Advanced Clothing Solutions (ACS), and backed by Glasgow City Council. The itinerary inspired creativity, captured the imagination, and laid the foundation for visitors to begin to take practical steps towards making sustainable fashion choices.

Showcasing the wide variety of affordable fashion options, visitors had the opportunity to swap, rent,
and buy second-hand and sustainable clothing.

The event featured hands-on learning areas hosting skills workshops, expert talks and panel discussions.
There were also appearances from Fashion Revolution, LoanHood, Glasgow Caledonian University,
Cancer Research U.K., and Community Couture.

 

 

 

“Right now we’re dealing with a climate crisis and a cost-of-living crisis simultaneously. Changing our habits around what we buy and exploring more sustainable options for sprucing up our wardrobes like renting, second-hand or swapping is one of the best things we can do for the planet, and it helps reduce household budgets." Sarah Divall Creative partner, Hubbub
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Behaviour change on the rise

Although Gen Z consumers are aware of and support the benefits of sustainability in the area of climate change and protecting the environment, research has found that approximately 73% of 16-24-year-olds shop online monthly and tend to buy more online compared to other age groups. There is evidence however that consumers are starting to make wiser decisions around their fashion choices. Mintel's 2021 report about UK fashion and sustainability revealed that 66% of all British consumers had either bought or were interested in buying pre-loved fashion items in the previous year, predicting a future shift towards prioritising the environment.
"The rise of the sustainable wardrobe is growing with cultural attitudes shifting towards preloved and pre-owned fashion. Consumers are more conscious now than ever of the carbon footprint of their clothing and are also more motivated to rent clothing or accessories rather than buy them for special events." Lyndsey Pell Head of Marketing, Advanced Clothing Solutions (ACS)

Exploring circular solutions to fashion's problems

Day one of the event kicked off with a compelling panel discussion touching on various areas of issues facing the textile industry. Chaired by Zero Waste Scotland, the panel covered various topics such as behaviour change towards sustainable fashion, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on consumer choices, policy, and ideas on accelerating change towards sustainable fashion, amongst others.

Pledges to take action

Responses to the survey conducted by Hubbub after the event, demonstrate a willingness from people to take action and change their behaviour. 73% of the visitors that responded to the survey said they learned something new at the event. 100% of attendees that responded intended to take action by renting, buying second-hand, swapping, repairing, or customising their clothes, as a result of attending Slow Threads.

This is what some of the stallholders had to say:

“Rental is still emerging but something that attendees and other stall holders are definitely interested in as an option. I think it shows that rental can co-exist with other ways of sustainable consumption and that more collaboration of this sort needs to happen.”

“People care more about how every piece of item is coming from. Not just from machine-made and mass production. But they also care about forced labour, fair trade and how sustainability is important in nowadays.”

“Most interesting conversations have been about charity shops' place in the sustainable cycle of clothing. But still how much wasteful the clothing industry is”

“That there are a lot more people doing clean fashion (not fast fashion) and yeah great experience! Can’t wait for the next one!”

 

 

 

“Getting recycling systems and collaborations in place, with the hope of managing the throwaway culture around textiles, is not addressing the heart of the problem because it’s not only a waste issue. There needs to be an entire system change, at policy level, to build the foundation for sustainable fashion to thrive.” Robbie Staniforth Innovation and Policy director, Ecosurety

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