Fast Fashion vs Slow Fashion

Fast and slow fashion are production models belonging to the fashion industry. With opposing features, each model has its pros and cons.
However, it's always more sustainable want slow fashion and we leave this image that proves it.

In this article we will learn more about these production models and address the negative and positive aspects of both.

Fast Fashion

The Fast Fashion production model, as the name implies, is characterized by “quick fashion”, prioritizing speed in the production and delivery of the product, which makes it cheaper. The low cost is due to several factors, such as cheap labor and often the use of child labor.
Although we live in a technologically advanced world, there are still people who are exposed to degrading working conditions, such as the lack of workers in hygienic conditions in the workplace, huge workload and unfair remuneration.
Some large fast fashion groups known worldwide have already been caught committing such injustices, and this is just one of the reasons that justify the low prices. However, it is worth noting that not all fast fashion uses unfair means of production.

Photo: Unsplash
While Slow Fashion works with seasonal collections, that is, launched each season, fast fashion presents several collections throughout the year, without specific date for the launch. In general, many brands that adopt the fast fashion production they not carreful in terms of sustainability, because the product is fabricated in large quantities as the latest trends, which causes the products are produced in large quantities and without the need to consider the latest production. The pieces are "disposable", designed for momentary use, there is no concern with the consequences of this type of production.

Slow Fashion

The Slow Fashion production model has a more humanistic and conscious character.
Productions with this system are characterized by attention to the environment and quality of the pieces, through the use of natural fabrics and the hiring of qualify labor. Production is limited and on a smaller scale. In addition, slow fashion is characterized by the shortening of production chains, producing all of them as stages of development of collections locally (modeling, cutting, making, distribution).

The brands that bet on slow fashion, have a more fairer prices due to the high cost of materials. However, this does not necessarily have to be a negative aspect of slow fashion, as it is the result that the brand has invested in quality raw material, qualified labor and which provides decent working conditions and ecological responsibility. This production model is not only present in the development of the pieces, but also in the way they are used. The better for making a piece, the longer it will last, and this is not only useful for those who buy from the store, but also for resale in second-hand stores.
This movement of the fashion industry is not directly linked to trends, as it is opposed to the idea of ​​the "new". This concept is relatively recent, originated in 2007 by researcher Kate Fletcher - Slow fashion was developed based on the “Slow Movement”, which gave rise to Slow food in Italy. Thus, Kate Fletcher was responsible for taking this concept to the fashion world, revolutionizing the industry's relationship with the environment.

Photo: Unsplash

Materials used in Slow Fashion

One of the main differences between Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion is in the materials used. In Slow Fashion they are usually used natural resources without chemical resources or invasive processes.
For example, a cotton t-shirt causes 2 kg of CO2 in production, less than in fast fashion, which can predict 10kg.
It is always important to be aware of sustainable trends and understand the meaning of some names that appear on clothing labels, here are some of the materials most used in a Slow Fashion production.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is an alternative to conventional cotton, which, despite being a natural fiber, is produced in a way that is harmful to the environment. This is because it uses large amounts of pesticides, as well as water and energy to manage its plantations.
On the other hand, organic cotton needs less chemicals, in addition to other natural resources, representing a more sustainable option for big brands.
It is a sustainable fabric commonly used to make jeans, t-shirts and underwear.

Organic Cotton / Photo: Unsplash


Hemp is grown near rivers and is one of the most sustainable plant fibers in the world.
It is produced from the Cannabis sativa plant, it does not need chemicals like herbicides and pesticides to grow. Strong and durable are its main features and it also gives rise to sustainable and biodegradable fabrics.
It is usually used in the production of t-shirts and pet clothing.

Hemp / Photo: Unsplash

Banana Fiber

The banana tree trunk can be very well used instead of being discarded by the food industry.
It is from it that the banana fiber can be extracted, a material with great resistance and that can be used in sustainable fabrics similar to cotton and silk, for example, in kimonos.

Banana Fiber / Photo: Unsplash

Orange Fiber

Produced from the pulp of orange pomace used in juice factories, orange fiber has a silk-like finish. It's light, smooth and can be glossy or matte.
It is normally used by luxury goods brands for the fabric of blouses.

Orange Fiber / Photo: Unsplash

Soy Fiber

Soy fiber is made from the leftovers from processing the soy industry. It's a soft sustainable fabric that feels like cashmere. This fabric has a good absorption of pigments, reduces the use of dye in the dyeing of the pieces and is biodegradable.
This raw material also has antibacterial action and is resistant to UV rays.


Soy Fiber / Photo: Unsplash


Lenpur is a biodegradable fabric made from the white pine tree. It is soft, has great capacity for absorption and release of moisture. Can be used in home accessories as well as jeans and socks.




Linen is a sustainable fabric used since ancient civilizations, for example for tents and boat sails in Ancient Egypt.
This fabric is resistant and versatile, requires low irrigation to be cultivated and no pesticides in its planting. It is from its stem and root that the fibers used for the composition of sustainable fabrics for accessories, bedspreads, clothing and bedding and bath are extracted.

Linen / Photo: Unsplash


Made from wood pulp, lyocell is a fiber that uses chemicals free of harmful solvents in its production. The latter are fully recycled after the process. Can be used for pieces like pants and t-shirts.

Lyocell / Photo: Unsplash


With production similar to lyocell, modal is a fiber made from the bark of wood.
It is a raw material that does not use harmful solvents, is soft and ideal for pieces such as underwear and lingerie.

Modal / Photo: Unsplash


Made with pineapple leaf fiber, the piñatex material is a leather that can be used in accessories, clothing and shoes.
It has the same function as animal or synthetic leather and does not generate other costs for its production, such as water.

Piñatex / Photo: Unplash

Biodegradable Polyamide

Developed so that clothing can decompose more quickly after being discarded, biodegradable polyamide is a fiber that degrades in just three years.
The raw material can be used in bikinis, shoes and clothes.

Photo: Unsplash


This material comes from milk protein. In addition to being an all-natural fiber, it requires low water consumption and no chemical additions.
Qmilk comes from curdled milk that would be for the food sector.
The fabric has antibacterial action, contributes to the regulation of blood circulation and body temperature can be composted.
It's soft and feels like silk, can be used on curtains and sportswear.
Photo: Unsplash


Sustainable Makers selects brands through a curation process taking into account various impacts that respect slow fashion.

  • Cruelty Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Local Production
  • Non Toxic
  • Recycling
  • Social Projects
  • Sustainable Innovation
  • Handmade
  • Vegan

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