Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Living

The Slow Living Movement Explained

Understanding Fast Living vs. Slow Living

Fast Living is the opposite to Slow Living. We live in a world that moves at 100mph. Fast fashion, fast-food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are commonly known terms for products that are sold quickly, and at relatively low cost.

Examples of popular brands that sell these types of goods include McDonalds, Topshop and L’Oreal. Most of us will have purchased something from at least one of these brands at some point in our lives. It’s also very likely that we consumed or disposed of it over a very short period of time. Am I right?

The growth of the internet over the past few decades has directly contributed to consumers’ awareness and loyalty of brands. This has caused a severe rise in brand consumption. And it’s this trend that we now know is having multiple negative effects on our environment.

As pressures rise to reduce the cost of goods, more ‘corners’ are likely to be cut. Criticisms of FMCG companies include water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of waste.

Slow Living for our Mental Wellbeing

But it’s not just our demand for cheaper, more accessible products that’s having a negative impact on our pace of life. It is also the increased pressures we now face in our jobs, businesses, families and communities that are having a direct impact.

According to Mind millions of us are impacted by mental illness each year. With official data revealing that one in three work sickness notes handed out by GP’s are now related to mental health. Common related concerns include financial pressures and an expectation to succeed in our career.

The important thing to know is that there are many things you can do to slow down your pace of life. The collective term for doing this is called ‘The Slow Living Movement’.

The Slow Living Movement Explained

The slow living movement is a lifestyle emphasising slower approaches to every day life. This includes our attitude towards fashion, food, work, business and money.

Many of us feel like our lives are overly hectic or emotionally out-of-sync. We are now looking for ways to restore the balance. Many of us are looking to lead a more mindful life, trying to feel present in an ever-changing world.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: Why are we trying to go so fast and what can we do to slow down?Understanding our intentions can help us find ways to slow down.

“Why are we trying to go so fast and what can we do to slow down?”

The slow living movement isn’t about slowing down to a stand-still pace, it’s about slowing down enough to move through your day with purpose. Physically slowing down can help calm the nerves, allow us to make personal connections and to also improve the feeling that we have more time.

With so many modern world challenges facing us today, we can’t tackle them all in a frenzied, anxious, short-sighted and disjointed way. These approaches only contribute to our distress. Sometimes, if not most of the time, it is better to take a step back, understand the depth and complexity of the situation and approach it in a more holistic way. By connecting to the people around us and the planet that supports us, we can attempt to counter-balance the chaos.

In theory, slowing down should be simple, but for one reason or another, in a world that moves so quickly, slowing down can seem like the hardest thing to do.

Just finding the time to take 10 minutes for yourself can feel like a daily struggle, so we have broken it down into three manageable areas to help you make a change and join the slow living movement:

Choose Slow Living

Put simply, slow living is the simple idea of actively slowing down enough to enjoy your life. From how you eat your meals, to the way you get to work and to how you spend your free time. The slow living movement encourages you to consciously and physically slow down.

At it’s core, slow living is about acting and living the SLOW values to the best of your ability:

S = Sustainable

L = Local

O = Organic

W = Whole 

Our Zero Waste essentials are designed to help you adopt a slower pace of life. Browse our collection: 

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is all about integrity. It’s about choosing to consume fashion consciously. It’s also the deliberate choice to buy better quality items but less often.

Slow fashion is driven on purchases that are environmentally and ethically conscious rather than trend-driven. The movement challenges brands to be as transparent as possible. Buyers will then know where their clothes are coming from and how they are made.

It connects social and environmental awareness and responsibility with the pleasure of wearing well-made, long lasting and well-designed products. A stark comparison to the immediate gratification of fast fashion.

The Venn diagram below shows the different components of the slow fashion movement, the intersection of ethical, eco and lasting fashion.

Graphic Credit: https://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/slow-fashion-movement

As the graphic above shows, each component has its own positives. But we agree with Who What Wear. Brands and clothes may have varying slow-credentials, but they don’t necessarily need to tick all the boxes to be considered ‘slow’.

Eco Fashion relates to the impact of the product’s production on the environment. This can include the use of local materials. As well as the resources used to create the product reducing its environmental impact. It also takes into consideration the manufacturing techniques.

Ethical Fashion is about the human and animal rights. It aims for the fair treatment and respect in relation to the people employed to create and produce the clothing. This coincides with providing equal opportunities for staff and consumers.

Lasting Fashion focuses on the garment itself. It’s about improving the consumption rate of products. Clothes that are made of high-quality materials and are made for longevity should encourage a shift away from throw-away fashion.

“The more a product or brand embodies all three of these things, the closer it is to a purer representation of slow fashion.”

The current industry is dominated by giant retailers such as Topshop, Primark and Zara who churn out cheap, disposable items. This process is riddled with problems relating to pollution, waste and unsafe working conditions. The aim of slow fashion is to change this for the better, improving peoples lives and the environment around us.

If your thinking of shopping more consciously, check out of range of eco-friendly, sustainable Leisurewear: Click Here.

Slow Food

The concept of slow lifestyles started with the slow food movement. It began with Carlo Petrini’s protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagana in Rome 1986. This directly sparked the creation of the slow food movement.

Put simply, slow food aims to provide an antidote to fast food. It favours mindful eating and conversation rather than what has become the norm – gulping down food and racing back to what we were doing.

People have become increasingly aware that fast food, whilst convenient, does not supply us with the essential ingredients that our bodies need to function properly. It also eliminates the creativity, passion and community associated with food that is made from fresh ingredients and prepared by people who we consider to be close to.

Mass-produced food not only overwhelms our systems with far too many empty calories. But also, it doesn’t support the social aspect of creating and enjoying food with friends and family. Many people who follow the slow food movement appreciate the connection food gives us to our neighbours, our land, our loved ones and ourselves. All critical to our body, mind, spirit and overall wellness.

Visit our recipes page for some plant-based, home-made meal inspiration:

Top Tips

Tips for slowing down more:

Do less
Be present
Disconnect
Focus on people
Appreciate nature
Eat slower
Find pleasure in the little things
Single task
Breathe

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