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Slow fashion vs. fast fashion explained: why we are a slow jewellery  brand 

Slow fashion vs. fast fashion explained: why we are a slow jewellery  brand

The terms ‘fast fashion’ and ‘slow fashion’ are being used more and more frequently, but
what do they actually mean? Each term refers to a different movement in the fashion
industry. In this blogpost, we will share the differences between fast fashion and slow fashion
in a nutshell, as well as what both movements have to do with the jewellery industry, and
why we are a slow jewellery brand.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is the term that is being used to describe the longstanding dominant
consumption-driven culture within the fashion industry, which encourages customers to buy
as many clothes as possible, as often as possible, for the lowest possible price. Part of what
makes this matter so complex is that it is reinforced by both brands and customers: big
fashion brands produce and sell increasingly large amounts of clothing for increasingly cheap
prices, while customers sustain this vicious cycle by actually buying more and more clothes.
This tendency is also seen within the jewellery industry: it’s all about buying more for less.

So, what’s the issue with fast fashion?

There are several problematic aspects when it comes to fast fashion culture. First, to keep up
with their own race to the bottom, big fashion brands continue to drop their prices to keep
their pieces ‘affordable’. The thing is, you can’t make something cheaper than it actually is,
which means someone – or something – else has to pay for the difference. In the case of fast
fashion, the ones bearing these costs are the makers, and the environment. Around the
world, close to 47 million people work in the clothing industry (of which more than 80% are
women) and manufacturing conditions are often awful. Most clothing is produced in
sweatshops in low-wage countries; workweeks can be as long as 90 hours, and the majority
of the makers doesn’t earn a living wage as there’s no margin for that in fast fashion’s
impossibly low prices. Apart from the inhumane working conditions hiding behind those
cheap clothes, fast fashion is also very polluting. In fact, did you know that the (fast) fashion
industry is one of the most polluting industries of the world? Since the low prices put so
much pressure on production costs, the quality of clothes has decreased and as brands
stimulate us to buy new pieces again and again, tons of clothing end up in landfills only to be
burned. Furthermore, emissions from both factories and transport all over the world as well
as the use of toxic chemicals and excessive amounts of water are extremely harmful to our
planet. Similarly, trend-sensitive, low-priced jewellery is often made from poor quality
materials and under irresponsible conditions for both people and planet.

The rise of the slow fashion movement

In response to these issues, a new movement has arisen: the slow fashion movement. This
movement consists of brands, customers, thinkers and creatives who want to take the
pressure off the current fashion system by doing things differently. Supporters of slow
fashion want to lower the industry’s pace by creating pieces of long-lasting quality, producing
items in a manner that is people- and planet-friendly, and stimulating conscious and
intentional consumption. Slow fashion doesn’t encourage you to buy more clothes you don’t
need, it rather inspires you to invest in pieces that truly align with your values and style and
that will last you a very long time. Slow jewellery upholds these same ideals, focusing more
on timeless, high-quality pieces that you’ll want to wear for years to come, produced in a fair
and environmentally friendly way.

What is slow jewellery and why are we a slow jewellery brand?

As you may have guessed, Julia Otilia is a supporter of slow fashion and slow jewellery. Slow
jewellery can be viewed as a part of the slow fashion movement, as it shares the same
ethics: our sustainable jewellery is of the highest, long-lasting quality, it is handmade with
love under fair conditions in our studio in the Netherlands, our materials are sourced (mostly
locally) with great care and we aim to design timeless and classic pieces that never lose their
beauty, rather than trendy pieces that quickly go ‘out of style’. By buying from (local) slow
fashion and jewellery brands, you have a chance to support a different movement in
jewellery and fashion that is more sustainable and kind to the people who make it as well as
the environment. As a slow jewellery brand, we also fully embrace slow living as a lifestyle,
inspiring ourselves and our customers to live consciously and with full presence, to enjoy
every moment.


Julia Otilia is a sustainable, ethical and fair jewellery brand from Utrecht. Are you looking for
a new piece of jewellery? Don’t forget to check out our collection.