What is slow fashion?

Slow fashion is the use of artisan and traditional methods to take time producing high-quality garments, instead of (for example) fast fashion - which is mass-produced clothes, using industry standards.

Slow fashion compared to fast fashion is the difference between an H&M suit and a handcrafted Kiton or Cesare Attolini masterpiece.

Here are 16 of the best Italian slow fashion brands you can buy as a tonic to fast fashion in 2022:

Slow fashion is a movement that incorporates the following ideas:

Clothing should be beautiful! - There should be no rush when purchasing new clothing.

Slow fashion brands are designed to last for years. They are produced using the highest quality fabrics - ethically sourced from proper channels and are then (hopefully) handmade into garments built to last decades, if not a lifetime

Slow fashion brands produce less clothing in order to reduce the amount of textile waste

What does it mean? In essence, slow fashion is an effort to encourage a long-lasting relationship with clothing - therefore, you should invest in quality pieces that will never let you down or make you regret your purchase!

What are the characteristics of slow fashion?

  • Made from high quality, materials

  • Garments are more timeless than trendy

  • Often created by (local) businesses rather than huge chain conglomerates

  • Locally sourced and produced garments

  • Often handmade - All brands in this article are made by hand

Why is slow fashion so important?

In today's world of social media and instant gratification - we sometimes forget the real cost of the things we wear. Fast fashion is a travesty  - both for the environment but also for the people who work in the factories where these clothes are made.

This is where slow fashion comes in - not always a direct opposite of fast fashion, but always with much clearer and humanistic principles behind it. Although you wouldn't necessarily class some of the clothes these companies tailor as environmentally friendly - they are still considered slow fashion.

Let's take Kiton as an example - Kiton makes clothes using fur and leathers, so obviously not completely environmentally friendly - but their clothes are still slow fashion. The sources of all their materials (vicuna for example) are from official sources. All of their tailors work by hand and are highly-paid skilled workers. 

This makes a huge difference, both in the morality of the products, but also in the quality. It is almost impossible to find something as high quality as a Kiton Suit.

How to find slow fashion brands

The best way to find a slow fashion brand that fits with your principles is to look for products that are created locally. For example, if you want to buy a piece of clothing from an Italian company, make sure their clothes are made in Italy.

If they are instead created somewhere like China or Vietnam, there's a large chance that they come from exploitative labour, and therefore are not classed as slow fashion. At the top of this article there are 16 slow fashion brands which are created almost exclusively in Italy (Zilli, for example, often is created in France instead of Italy).

Get creative with your wardrobe - mix and match pieces to create new looks from Slow Fashion brands