The debate between slow fashion and fast fashion has now reached a new milestone, thanks to technology. Many slow fashion brands like OOAK (One of A Kind) have started to use technology to personalize their products in hopes of encouraging an increase in slow fashion consumption.
In this article, we uncover the ins and outs of slow fashion’s new relationship with technology and evaluate whether swapping to sustainable slow fashion is the right move for you.
What is Slow Fashion?
To understand the importance of technological advances in the field of ‘slow’ fashion, we first must understand what the terms ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ entail in terms of fashion.
‘Fast’ fashion encompasses the mass production of typically lower quality and ethically obtuse products. This includes large online companies such as Shein or Ali Express whose focus is on producing a great variety of products for the cheapest price possible.
Meanwhile, ‘slow’ fashion is used to label brands whose goal is to produce unique, good-quality pieces that are produced ethically, using sustainable means of production. Their prices seem to be higher as a consequence but economic profit is usually not at the forefront.
Essentially, Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion. However, this definition is quite limiting as slow fashion’s evolution has crossed technological boundaries that we did not even know were possible.
As put by the Head of OOAK Craft Manufactory, Angelina Dimitrova:
” ‘Slow fashion’ is a bit like calling the Millennium Falcon a ‘leisurely spacecraft.’ It’s technically accurate but misses the spirit of adventure and innovation.”Angelina Dimitrova
Since 2021, slow fashion’s increasing interaction with technology has moved it past the non-fast realm. Dimitrova continues, “It’s about making every stitch count, like programming each line of code to create a masterpiece.”
Perhaps our shopping habits are not the only thing that should change, but also the language we use to engage with this discourse.
The Emerging Relationship Between Slow Fashion and Technology
During an interview with Angelina Dimitrova, she revealed that the relationship between Fashion and Technology is the “future of fashion” due to its ability to “enhance efficiency and transparency throughout the production process for brands and making selection more efficient for customers.”
Essentially, by integrating technological advances like “AI, virtual try-ons, and fashion configurations,” slow fashion brands will be able to compete with fast fashion on another level. They will be able to avoid surplus production by producing clothing that has already been bought whilst increasing their personal engagement with their buyers. Both elements that fast fashion, due to its pace, cannot provide.
What Else Can Technology Do for Fashion?
Technology not only optimizes the production and shopping process, but it also improves the working conditions of those involved. For instance, “state-of-the-art machinery streamlines production processes, ensuring adherence to stringent quality criteria while reducing worker fatigue” (Dimitrova).
Similarly, the ability of these technologies to adapt to the customer’s measurements is likely to help heal the relationship of today’s society with body image by erasing the toxic connotations attributed to clothing sizing.
We shall no longer be worried about fitting into clothing but, instead, be able to enjoy clothing that will fit us perfectly and sustainably.
What Effects Will This Have on Your Style?
And don’t worry about being in trend; slow fashion has plenty of potential! Not only is slow fashion able to reproduce the styles of fast fashion, but it also enables the buyer to include a personalized touch in each piece.
In fact, Angelina Dimitrova claims that “Slow fashion is the best way to follow fashion trends and at the same time to have individual and unique products” due to the inclusion of the buyer in each step of the production process.
So, don’t worry about being on trend, create the trend! (and save the environment in the process).
So, Where Do I Start?
There are a couple of brands that are already investing in these technologies; however, OOAK offers a unique experience due to the passionate input of its creators.
Angelina Dimitrova describes her brand “as a kind of both designer and printer for style, giving users the power to create clothing that’s as unique as their DNA.” She envisions a ‘galaxy’ where slow fashion is elevated by technology, creating “a universe “where every piece of clothing has its own story, its own journey.”
So, what better place to start your slow fashion journey than with OOAK?