May 26, 2023

Slow/Fast/Faster Fashion

Chilean desert clothing dump from space - the tragic result of fast fashion.

I am a big proponent of slow fashion. Really slow.

What am I wearing right now? Mostly Spring of 1995.

My slow fashion is so slow it would be better labelled no fashion. 

My small collection is purely functional - just stuff to make sure I stay a comfortable temperature, and not naked.

My slow (glacial) wardrobe changes have happened over years and decades. 

Things come out of my closet when they wear out, or if I haven't worn them for a period of time. It is amazing how long a good piece of clothing can last.

Items may or may not be replaced. If replaced I try to acquire them from second hand shops rather than new.

On the other hand, the latest fast fashion news is a dump in the Atacama desert of Chile where unsold brand new clothing goes to die. 

This tragic eyesore is visible from space.

Most of the clothes are manufactured under questionable circumstances in Bangladesh or China and sent to retail stores around the world. 

When they aren't sold they are shipped to Chile for disposal. 

A savvy shopper desert dump diving for brand new clothing - 100% off.

How is that for fast? Usually fast fashion gets worn a few times before hitting the dump.

They should call it Faster Fashion. 

"Just pay for it and we will arrange to send it straight to the dump so you don't have to take it home, get disappointed, and throw it in your own garbage."

At least 39,000 tons of faster fashion clothes have accumulated in landfills in the Atacama Desert.

I don't do slow fashion to save the earth, necessarily. I am frugal so dislike waste, and I don't mind saving money, either. I also really dislike shopping.

But if saving the planet is a minor side-effect of my slower fashion, that is alright by me.

No fashion?

No problem.

No functioning ecosystems?

Big problem.

The slow part of fast fashion. What a waste of human potential, not to mention resources.


  1. Anonymous5/26/2023

    Horrible industry for sure and provides a useful summary of the stupidity of consumerism. I only really buy work clothes, otherwise my clothes are very old or what other people have given or bought me, don't care what I look like outside of work and a lot of my stuff is falling apart now. When people occasionally bump into me in work clothes they look a bit shocked as they are used to me wearing clothes which are falling apart.

  2. Gosh this is depressing. Why is seasonal fashion even a thing? It doesn't mean anything to me outside of keeping warm, keeping cool and covering up. Like Alex, most of my clothing is years old....and has seen me through work, casual, pregnancies and everything else in between. I recall as a child clothing being VERY expensive here, it was often shipped from the UK so we had much smaller wardrobes and often lived in hand me downs. I have carried on that with our own children, buy used, hand it down and then re donate it. We look after our clothing and I repair it when required. Oh to have the freedom of our youngest, who feels clothes are optional most of the time and wears them only when required (school, public outing etc). I guess a society of adults doing that wouldn't work lol

  3. Anonymous5/27/2023

    Yes, I was a part of the fast fashion frenzy when I was first employed in business, as I was expected to dress a certain way. Thankfully my innate sensibilities are fine with wearing things for longer periods than most, although I did purchase more than was necessary, for sure. Now that I'm retired I have given away nearly all my business clothing, and live in comfortable pants, shorts, tees, etc. One thing I do buy often are athletic shoes. I'm quite active and tend to wear my shoes down within a year (or less). And although the upper shoe looks fine, the sole is worn, and it can begin to hurt my legs and feet - so I know the structure has broken down. Yes, I keep them going as long as possible with inserts and shoe goo. But at some point they become another pair of "yard-work" shoes, or ones I wear when riding my bike. It's very hard to wear out the upper of a shoe, so I have lots of these types of shoes. Well, just keep doing my best. Oh, and we do cut up our very worn clothing into rags to be used multiple times. BTW - I had no idea about that clothing dump in Chile. It's sickening, isn't it?

  4. At the continual nagging of my adult daughters I finally replaced my 14-year old jeans. I am keeping the new ones as "good" jeans for dress-up occasions (yay retirement); kept the old ones because - well, they're just so darn comfy and except for a touch of fraying along the hems look just fine to me. Besides, the legs fit perfectly over my cowboy (cowgirl?) boots. My pride and joy wardrobe-wise are three sweaters I purchased on Aran forty-four years ago now - fabulously warm, perfect for prairie winters. The price, with the cost of shipping them home, seemed a little outrageous at the time but they are worth every penny (I guess it's "nickel" now) spent. I make a point of always wearing a thin cotton t-shirt under them and they still look as good as they did when they first arrived at my door. I really loathe shopping, especially for clothes - my late husband always said that was one of the primary reasons he hooked up with me.

    PS: Wore my GIMO t-shirt out on my walk this morning. No one's asked what it stands for yet - can't wait 'til they do!

    1. Oh Mela do you mean you bought those jerseys from the Aran Islands? I used to live there years ago- on Inis Mor! I also bought one (at huuuge cost) and I still have it, am wearing it today haha. They are lovely, worth every single penny. I also hate shopping with a passion, unlike my husband...he's better now and seen the GIMO light lol. LOVE that you made a t-shirt with it. I am inspired to do the same! We could start a movement hahaha

  5. Anonymous5/29/2023

    This makes me think of all the grocery stores and retail stores that keep their garbages locked up so that no one can dumpster dive what they throw away. God forbid they gave away the food or merchandise to people in need of it rather than spending more money to dispose of it where it will rot uselessly in a dump and pollute the earth further.

  6. Anonymous6/01/2023

    Hi Gregg and Linda,

    wonderful post, I hope it will be read by many.

    A little off topic, but the post in your side bar about living in a small space reminded me of this wonderful small home and it's occupant. Totally inspiring! I thought you and your readers would enjoy it.

    As always, delete if not appropriate :-)


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