Floating Stone is proud to be part of the growing slow fashion movement. We are putting our products into the marketplace with a deep respect for the people who hand weave the silks, construct and sew the items and share their way of life with us. Floating Stone works with small production workshops, and family run enterprises. Workers are paid fairly and some are provided with healthy home cooked meals, accommodation, occasional health care, holidays and other benefits. All of the producers we work with strive to be fair trade and supportive of their workers and communities in need. All of them use dyes that are AZO free and many use EU certified dyes for lowest toxicity. That being said, you might be wondering what “Slow Fashion” means.
“Slow fashion” is a term coined in 2007 by Kate Fletcher (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK.) Basically, Slow fashion is antithetical to fast fashion. Fast fashion pumps out cloths at ever faster rates with; cheaper prices, poorer quality, increasing amounts of chemically derived fibers and massive amounts of waste and pollution.
Slow fashion is a calm, reflective philosophical approach where clothing choices are made from conscious awareness. Without harsh judgement on ourselves, or others, we think about; what we buy, how much we buy, how long we wear it for, if we really need it, if it is made from fabrics which are heavily laden with chemicals and so on. By doing this we start to realize the treadmill of unconscious consumption and how it is filling our wardrobe with junk. If we then think about who makes the cloths, under what conditions, for what rate of pay and so on, we start to see the essential components of the bigger picture. Concerns about fabric waste, pollution, the gross inequalities facing garment workers and the risks they are exposed to in making our clothes emerge. It is these sober second thoughts that come to mind before we slap down the cash and pay for more trash. So, if not fast fashion, then what?
If the cheap clothing is clearly not a “cheerful” option, where do you get your clothes from? Slow fashion offers a wide variety of options to gradually or quickly, depending on your skills and budget, fill in your wardrobe. Good articles on this have been written and you can check them out here for great ideas and a deeper look at slow fashion in general.
Floating Stone has been an active slow fashion provider for almost ten years. We use natural silk that is woven by hand in villages using traditional techniques. Minor improvements to looms and equipment have made the process easier over time and a bit faster but essentially it is still a skillful, slow and gentle process. We work to help revitalize silk production (sericulture) in Cambodia. We have introduced permaculture methods to preserve and reclaim waste lands, growing food and Mulberry orchards (silk worm food) in small villages. We spend time in the silk weaving villages to find out what is needed to assist in keeping this way of life alive. Then we find funds to support community driven projects with Cambodian leadership. In the process of increasing sustainable ways of life we manage to design and source amazing accessories.
Most women know that one of the fastest and inexpensive ways to upgrade your wardrobe is to accessorize. You don’t necessarily need to buy new clothes, but a new silk scarf will make that perfectly gorgeous dress you love, go for another season or three. Or perhaps one of our silk necklaces will work to breathe new life into an old but much loved sweater. Pair both outfits with one of our upcycled fabric purses or bags and you have opened creative possibilities in personal fashion that trendy mall shops and big box stores can never offer. When you are finished with something don’t throw it out. Throw a party, invite your friends to bring their cast offs and take home “new to you” treasures. Or try your hand at remodeling pieces of old garments into something delightfully different.
Slowing down consumption, choosing natural and upcycled fabrics, reusing and remodelling clothing is the new “black“!