1. Instinct vs Principles
One of the versus facts we're focusing on this week is that Slow Fashion appeals to our principles whereas Fast Fashion appeals to our instincts.
According to David Kahneman (Nobel prize winner and author of “Thinking Fast and Slow”), the way we make our choices is based on two thinking systems:
● System 1 is automatic, quick and involuntary and does not require a lot of effort on our side when making a decision, as it is based more on instinct generated by habit - like walking and knowing where to turn or dropping something and instinctually picking it up.
● System 2 implies ‘effortful, deliberate & orderly mental activities’ and necessitates voluntary attention and decision making. System two ‘is in charge of self-control’ and is connected to the more major decisions we need to take in life.
Translating this in fashion terms, we see a lot of system 1 behavior in the way purchases are done within Fast Fashion. Big fashion houses and shops offering millions of products every season – spring- summer, fall- winter. Within the season, comes the mid-season. And in between the new products of the season and those of every mid-season there is another new item thrown in to keep us busy and wanting almost every week.
Items are delivered at an incredibly fast pace and because of people who are being constantly “fed”, end up wanting or ‘needing’ more. Buying more is what will most certainly happen because shopping is many times a way of entertainment. If that is the case you will end up spending more often and buying for the sake of buying instead of for your own benefit.
In the end you will spend more, you will not wear it all, and you will end up giving a lot away with great chances that part of what you give will end up in landfills as does all the extra left-overs from the huge production demand of Fast Fashion.
Very different than when you make a conscious decision which brings us to the Slow Fashion part.
In Slow Fashion we stop and think about the impact we are making with our purchase for ourselves, the people making it and the environment. A designer applying the principles of Slow Fashion will seek for natural fabrics with little to no environmental impact, will make sure the employees are fairly treated and fairly paid, will work from and for the resources of the local economy and will not be afraid to use what is left.
We have been given a wonderful planet and we are to take care of it and take pride in the way we do it.
All in all, nothing wrong with buying things and looking beautiful, but just like other responsible, effortful decisions we need to make in life let’s stop and let our minds take over our instincts and think: Is the product fairly made? Does it have sustainability, ethics and/or environment in mind? What am I paying for an why? (Sometimes with a very low price tag you can ask yourself – how can it be so low when there are so many factors involved before it even gets into the store?) By purchasing this will I be investing in the kind of world I want? By wearing this will I be empowering the good.