Why We Go Slow
Think of your closest. How many outfits do you normally wear a week? Now think of a piece of clothing that your really love. How many times have you worn that same item of clothing this week? How many years has that piece of clothing been in your wardrobe? Can that piece of clothing be worn during different seasons? Who do you think made that piece of clothing?
These are all questions that we ask ourselves before sitting down to design new Huaywasi products, and they are key elements to building a slow fashion wardrobe.
At Huaywasi we pride ourselves on building a brand that is based on the concept of slow fashion - one that utilizes a two season collection concept. This means that instead of operating on a classic four season collection, or the ever popular, fast fashion 52-week collection, we only release two collections per year. During the fall and winter months, we design and create our Spring/Summer collection, and vise versa. This means that we only launch two unique collections per year.
Before the 1960s, most people waited for months for new styles to launch in stores. But with the rise of "rebelling for the norm," 1960s teens needed an ever-changing style, distinct from their elders, and thus the concept of fast fashion was born. By 1965, H&M founder Erling Persson had launched his first store, and by the early 2000s, shoppers were accostumed to seeing new trends each week. Nowadays, labels such as Zara, Top Shop, Forever 21 and H&M can conceptualize and produce a garment in as little at 15 days!
Quick and frequent garment production, however, does not typically embrace ethical and sustainable practices. Huaywasi chooses to slow down our design process for three reasons. The first reason is that we want to create pieces that will fit into your wardrobe all year long. We want our Tela Andina Skirt to be a staple in your closet - something that you can wear all summer long, and then re-style with leggings in the winter. Our team spends a lot of time researching products such as these, that we are confident our customers will love. We also chose to embrace a slow fashion method because Huaywasi is a small team made up of only seven artisans. Without these ladies, our brand would be non existent! Huaywasi values its relationship with each artisan, and we depend on our artisans to produce high quality products, which tend to take some time. It’s important to us to ensure that our artisans have plenty of time for production, while maintaining a balanced personal life, and earning a fair wage. Lastly, we want to create fashionable apparel that leaves minimal impact on the earth. This means creating fewer products, minimizing transportation, buying local Peruvian fabric, and up-cycling our scrap fabrics whenever we can.
So, where do you start? How can you stay fashion forward and be a conscious consumer?
1. Buy Basics
The key element to building a slow fashion wardrobe is a closet with basics. Neutral colors and items that can be layered will ensure that you get the most out of your clothing. Have you seen Huaywasi’s Basics Line?
2. Spend More = Spend Less
It’s true that fair trade and sustainable apparel tend to be more expensive than fast fashion. However, the higher price is a result of higher wages for producers, which ensures higher quality production and higher quality of materials, resulting in durable fabrics with minimal ecological impact. You may pay more for the piece up front, but you can be certain that it will last for more than one season!
3. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat outfits
Challenge yourself to create new outfits from the same piece of clothing, mix and match pieces in your wardrobe to build a new look. Enjoy the strapless feature of you Máncora Dress in the summer months, and throw on a cardigan and leggings as you transition into fall!
Start with the basics in your closest for the base of your outfit, and have fun layering accessories! The same outfit can look completely different depending on how you accessorize.
5. Launder responsibly
It all starts with the individual – your choices matter! 18.3 pounds of CO2 emissions are accumulated after washing one t-shirt 50 times. The drying stage of product care takes the most energy during product use. Cut your carbon footprint by 1/3 by skipping this step! Luckily Huaywasi is here to help you every step of the way – get started by finding a well-made, high quality piece of clothing or accessory that you can utilize for years to come! What does Huaywasi love to wear (and repeat)?
Check out a few of our favorite fair trade / slow fashion / sustainable apparel & accessory brands:
Fortress of Inca