Slow clothing is a way of thinking about, choosing and wearing clothes to ensure they bring meaning, value and joy to every day.
As a slow clothing pioneer, Jane Milburn, of Textile Beat, is inspiring people to reclaim their individuality and help save the planet.
Few people sew their own clothes these days because it’s so cheap and easy to buy factory-made options, but our fast and furious, throw-away lifestyles have resulted in an astounding 6000kg of clothing being buried in landfill every 10 minutes.
“We are marketed to on every level in our lives, which has us believing we must have new, brighter, better to compete and appear successful. We’re left feeling insecure and unfulfilled by that endless cycle,” Jane says.
“There is something totally empowering about stepping away from the pressures and falsity of the fashion industry and living by a slower, more mindful philosophy.”
Jane urges us to resist the rush to own for reasons of status and looks.
“Our clothing story runs parallel to our food story. Fast food has had a dramatic effect on our health and similarly, industrial clothing has health and environmental impacts that we are only now coming to realise. Synthetic fibres made from petroleum dominate the clothing market and yet research shows these plastic clothes are shedding microplastic particles into the ecosystem with every wash,” she says,
“I started this slow-clothing journey after being selected for the Australian Rural Leadership Program in 2009 and reflecting on the shift in the way we buy, use and discard clothing.
”At 27kg per person per year, Australia’s clothing consumption is twice the global average. We have to change our ways.”
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Before you buy anything new, take time, revisit what you already have and consider how it may be revived, repurposed or recreated.”
Textile Beat is a national platform discussing ethical issues around contemporary clothing culture.