When you hear the term “slow fashion”, what do you envision? Do you imagine cream-colored linen dresses hanging on a rack in front of a white wall? A curated minimalist wardrobe of trousers, tees, and shift dresses in ranges of grays and creams?
You wouldn’t be alone if that’s what you’ve thought slow fashion is restricted to — after all, that’s been the aesthetic promoted on curated slow fashion Instagram feeds and online shops since the early days of the movement.
But slow fashion is not limited to just one singular aesthetic. If you love an eclectic style, you don’t need to give up color — or even bold prints! — to embrace slow fashion.
You don’t need to suddenly change your personal style to belong in this movement. In fact, quite the opposite.
First of all: slow fashion goes deeper than aesthetics and is about a mindset of buying fewer, better if you can and caring for what you have. After all, there are fast fashion brands that can (and do!) just copy and paste styles from slow fashion labels.
Secondly, slow fashion is about personal style over microtrends. Rewearing and outfit repeating is the name of the game! The thing is, if we genuinely love our clothes, we’re going to feel more invested in caring for them, mending them, and even altering them.
Slow Fashion Brands For Your Style
While at the beginning of the slow fashion movement, the aesthetics did seem quite limited, the space has matured and expanded vastly over the years.
Today, there are an incredible number of brands out there with a variety of aesthetics — from feminine to grunge, minimalist to bold, outdoorsy to preppy chic.
And our partner wearwell is a conscious fashion marketplace that curates clothing, accessories, and jewelry (along with home goods and secondhand items) from trusted fair fashion brands that produce slowly and thoughtfully in a wide range of aesthetics.
Wearwell goes through a multi-step process with each of their brand partners to ensure that they’re working with brands that are truly making a positive impact. Since each brand goes about conscious fashion a bit differently, you’ll notice that each brand on wearwell has a set of icons — from zero-waste production and circular business model to employee-owned and BIPOC-owned — which you can learn more about here.
So without further ado, here are slow fashion brands for eight different aesthetics!
Note: this post was sponsored by wearwell. As always, all opinions expressed are our own and we only work with partners that meet high standards for sustainability and style that we truly love — and which we think you’ll love too!
Sustainable Colorful and Bold Fashion Brands
Many craft communities use traditional techniques and practices that celebrate color and prints. Take block-printing or natural dyeing practices using locally-sourced plants, for instance! For many artisans, different colors and motifs may hold significance far beyond aesthetics.
These artisans who weave, embroider, hand-dye, or print clothing are the original slow fashion practitioners.
The following brands partner with artisan communities — and pay fair living wages, ensure safe healthy conditions, and invest in educational and growth opportunities — to celebrate and sustain their traditional crafts.
Sustainable Artsy Clothing and Accessory Brands
Creating a wardrobe that’s as creative and free spirited as you are? These brands partner with skilled artisans and source natural fibers and materials to craft unique pieces in easy going silhouettes and interesting textures. From rattan bags to flowing dresses, these pieces are perfect for festivals, trips to the beach, and everywhere in between.
A Few More Picks from Wearwell
Outdoorsy & Adventurous Eco Fashion Brands (“Granola Girl”)
While “granola girl” is an aesthetic born from TikTok’s rapid trend cycle, the basic premise is pretty timeless. Essentially it’s an outdoorsy aesthetic featuring pieces you might wear hiking or cozying up in a cabin in autumn.
Think layering with flannels and fleece, adding in functional cool-weather accessories like boots and beanies, and making a statement with graphic tees and reusable bottles with funky stickers. Add in a pair of overalls and some chunky sweaters and you’re ready for the “granola girl” glamping life.
A Few Athleisure Picks from Wearwell:
Feminine & Vintage-Inspired Ethical Fashion Brands (“Cottagecore”)
Another aesthetic that had a major moment on social media but is actually quite classic is “cottagecore”. This is basically an old-world, feminine style that features ruffles, lace, puff-sleeves, and flowy midi and maxi dresses.
And cottagecore has gone beyond fashion to encompass self-sufficiency (think growing your own veggies and baking homemade bread) and a slower pace of life.
While trends can encourage overconsumption, I love that cottagecore inspires sufficiency and slowness. Plus, I’ve personally been a fan of puff-sleeves and prairie dresses long before it was filling TikTok feeds.
If cottagecore is something you’re into (for your home or closet), vintage shops are always a great place to start. For clothes that fit the bill with their vintage-inspired silhouettes and feminine styles, check out these ethical fashion labels.
Classic & Minimalist Slow Fashion Brands
Timelessness is a quality we often emphasize when talking about slow fashion. And for good reason — focusing on timelessness over trends can help us make more intentional choices for the long-haul.
Timeless may mean something different for everyone, but classics tend to be considered as “timeless” because they don’t necessarily go in or out of style. (To be clear, just because a trend is considered “out”, doesn’t mean we have to stop wearing it. But you may prefer to just opt out of the trend cycle completely and embrace these “classics”.)
Some may worry that classic means boring and bland, but these brands are proving that is anything but the case.
A Few More Picks From Wearwell
Easy & Effortless Conscious Fashion Brands
Sometimes we just want to keep it simple. Some days I’m all about creativity and experimentation, while other days, I frankly just want to get dressed in something that feels as close to my PJs as possible! And most often, I like to mix it up with stylistic pieces and more basic ones to balance out an outfit.
So whether you like to have a few basics as foundations or you like to keep your wardrobe streamlined with exclusively comfy mix-and-matchable pieces, here are a few brands to know.
Modern Preppy Slow Fashion Brands
You don’t have to be enrolled in a Northeastern college-prep school to love this polished aesthetic. This style features plaid, stripes, and solids in ranges of blues, beiges, and creams.
More Clothing Picks From Wearwell:
More Accessory Picks From Wearwell:
Rocker Chic Conscious Fashion Brands
If you’re looking for an aesthetic that’s polar opposite to cottagecore, you’ve met your match! Inspired by punk and rock bands, this edgy aesthetic features leather, denim, and graphic tees.
Whether you want to go 100% grunge or mix in a few edgy pieces to balance out more feminine styles, here are a few picks from wearwell.
Not Sure What Your Style Is?
Wearwell has a “Find Your Style” quiz right on their website. Just answer around 25 questions to get a curated selection from their team of stylists.
If you’re looking for more personalized attention, wearwell also offers personal styling services through their membership program. Their monthly membership includes access to styling whenever you want for a small fee, while their annual membership includes seasonal styling sessions. Both memberships include 10% off all orders as well as free shipping & returns and other great perks.
Wearwell is also a 1% For The Planet Member and wearwell members and shoppers can select which nonprofit they’d like to help support through Beam Impact.