Slow Fashion

High Fashion Photography for Well Loved Clothes

 

watercolor sketch of empty photo studio with lighting equipment
Image credit: Maltiase

A project creating a new narrative for slow fashion. Over the course of 2018 I will be creating an initial series of fashion portraits featuring people wearing  professionally styled outfits from their existing wardrobes.

Working closely with wardrobe stylists, hair and make-up artists the project aims to breathe fun and style into perceptions of slow fashion. While each of the portrait concepts will be unique to the person and their wardrobe the intended overall style is deliberately ‘high fashion.’ The aim is to bring some of the glamour only given to new items and trends to the slow fashion movement.

I have specifically titled this project  as ‘slow fashion’ to emphasize its focus on tackling our overconsumption of textiles. Reducing purchases of new products is the most important element to achieving a more sustainable and just fashion industry. More information on this can be found in the FAQ section below.

Getting Involved


As we are still in early stages I would love to hear from people or organisations interested in the concept. Also looking to hear from wardrobe and hair stylists and make-up artists.

If you are interested please get in touch or email at ashleyerdman@gmail.com

FAQs

Why the Fashion Industry?

Fashion/textiles are widely recognised as one of the most polluting industries on the earth.i The drive for ever cheaper and faster to market clothing is also the cause of human rights abuses around the globe, most recently exemplified in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh resulting in the deaths of 1,138 people.ii Finally the fast fashion business model not only results in more textile waste, as we increasingly treat clothing as disposable items,iii but also results in our mental exhaustion from this never ending accumulation of stuff.iv

What do you mean by slow fashion?

Creating the radical structural change needed within the fashion industry requires a holistic approach. The first and more urgent task is to slow the flow of materials entering into the textile chain.v This is about slowing down fast fashion. Here fashion brands need to design clothing for longer life and people need to extend the use of their clothing. Promoting extended use for clothing in a era of cheap disposable fashion means challenging the allure of instant gratification.

Currently much of the industry focus is on how to recycle garments at the end of their lives and on reducing the broader ecological footprint of garments: the use of water, chemicals, energy, and land.  These are all important elements but the emphasis on recycling risks creating a sense of guilt free consumption which will only increase overconsumption.

Why Fashion Portraits?

Consumerism/overconsumption cannot be tackled simply by admonishing people not to buy things. We must understand that “the pleasure of cheap fashion is neurologically very real” and efforts to retrain how we think and feel about buying clothes needs to be able to provide an element of pleasure as well. Taking part in a fashion shoot aims to be both fun and memorable experience in and of itself but also one which increases people’s emotional attachment to clothing they already own.

Notes

i. There is a widely stated statistic that the textile industry is the second most polluting industry on earth, second only to oil. I have been unable to find a source or calculations for this statistic however which is why I have written it as ‘one’ of the most polluting industries as there is no doubt that the textile industry causes extreme environmental harm.

ii. http://fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/

iii. Timeout for Fast Fashion, Greenpeace, pg 2. https://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/toxics/2016/Fact-Sheet-Timeout-for-fast-fashion.pdf

iv. Fashion at the Crossroads, Greenpeace, pg. 14. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/detox/2017/Fashion-at-the-Crossroads.pdf?utm_campaign=Press%20Release&utm_source=Link&utm_medium=HK

v. Fashion at the Crossroads, Greenpeace, pg. 6. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/detox/2017/Fashion-at-the-Crossroads.pdf?utm_campaign=Press%20Release&utm_source=Link&utm_medium=HK