The term “slow fashion” was coined by Kate Fletcher to counter the growing trend of the “fast fashion” industry. In recent years, the clothing industry has been dominated by fast fashion that has spurred overconsumption whereby people buy more than they need.
This study aims to develop a critical-creative thinking framework based on the understandings and insights of how Millennials view apparel consumption. Lynda Grose and Kate Fletcher’s chapter “Transforming Fashion Product” from their book Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change (2012) provided useful information regarding the fashion process, helping to reveal new patterns to frame how participants of this study view apparel consumption. This research investigated the way in which consumers viewed material, consumer care, and disposal of their clothing.
In order to understand the Millennial mindset with regard to apparel consumption, responses were collected from over a hundred Millennials through an online survey (Phase One), where they discussed their reasons for placing themselves along a scale from slow to fast fashion. The findings uncovered a new group of consumers, the undecided+exploring, who identified with both slow and fast fashion. Valuable insights extracted from the survey informed the development of a research toolkit for a series of participatory workshops (Phase Two) with the goal to construct a conceptual model of Millennial apparel consumption.
Further understanding of slow fashion, as seen through the Millennial mindset, will inspire and guide designers, manufacturers, and consumers to make more sustainable decision when developing, selling, and buying clothing items.