The difference between sustainable, circular, and slow fashion: know the differences to make better choices.

The difference between sustainable, circular, and slow fashion: know the differences to make better choices.

The fashion industry produces 35% of the plastic microfibres in oceans, 20% of industrial water pollution, and 10% of the global emissions. It dumps chemicals in rivers and millions of tonnes of waste in landfills yearly. It consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined, as stated by the United Nations.


As consumers become more aware of the damage caused by the apparel industry, they become increasingly mindful of the brands they purchase from and demand transparency in the supply chain.


The increasing popularity of eco-friendly clothing has created new buzzwords that can confuse those new to the trend. To clear things up a bit, here we explain what’s the difference between sustainable fashion, circular fashion, and slow fashion.


What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion aims to create clothing and accessories that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable. It seeks to minimise environmental impact and promote social responsibility throughout production.

Unfortunately , especially on a large scale. Fast fashion chains struggle to source sustainable materials and stick to traditional, time-tested methods for reliable results and revenue.

Is it impossible for fast fashion and sustainability to exist together? Well, fast fashion be sustainable due to its inherent characteristics.

What is circular fashion?

According to Anna Brismar[1], circular fashion can be defined as “clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced, and provided to be used and circulated responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use”.

In short, circular fashion involves reusing items and materials instead of constantly producing new ones. This results in a more sustainable approach to fashion by promoting investing in long-lasting clothes instead of fast fashion brands.

The garments are designed to be recyclable, biodegradable, and long-lasting. Additionally, a significant element of circular fashion is extending the lifespan of garments through good care, repair, reselling, recycling and refurbishment.

What is slow fashion?

This term is the opposite of fast fashion, and it describes a fashion movement that prioritises quality and longevity while reducing consumerism.

The slow fashion philosophy advocates for shopping from small local producers who use local eco-friendly materials, buying vintage or higher quality garments that last longer, and repurposing old garments and accessories. Thus, slow fashion is also considered to be ethical and sustainable.

If you want to know more about slow fashion, here are the five things everyone should know about slow


Still confused? Here is a quick summary:

Sustainable fashionuse of sustainable materials and means of production.

Circular fashion – keeping existing items in circulation.

Slow fashion – involves local artisans and the use of eco-friendly materials.


By embracing alternatives to the conventional fast-fashion model, we pave the way for a sustainable future in the fashion industry. Together, we can create a better world for ourselves and the planet.


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