The history of the Slow movement (1/2)

The Slow Movement advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life’s pace.


  • Slow Food 

The Slow movement is originated back in 1986. The 62 founding members of the slow food movement meet in Italy to inaugurate Arcigola, the forerunner of Slow Food.

Opposed to the culture of fast food, the sub-movement known as Slow Food seeks to encourage the enjoyment of regional produce, traditional foods, which are often grown organically and to enjoy these foods in the company of others. It aims to defend agricultural biodiversity.

In 1996 Slow Food is constituted as a legal entity, and the Slow Food International Office is opened.

Meanwhile Carl Honore, first explored how the Slow philosophy might be applied in every field of human endeavour and coined the phrase “Slow Movement.” in his book In Praise of slowness (2004).  The Financial Times said the book is “to the Slow Movement what Das Kapital is to communism.”

Honoré describes the Slow Movement thus:

“It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”

  • Slow Fashion

The term “Slow Fashion” was introduced by Kate Fletcher in 2007 (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK). “Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum.”

The Slow Fashion Movement is based on the same principles of the Slow Food Movement, as the alternative to mass-produced clothing (AKA “Fast-Fashion”). Initially, The Slow Clothing Movement was intended to reject all mass-produced clothing, referring only to clothing made by hand, but has broadened to include many interpretations and is practiced in various ways.

Some examples of slow fashion practices include:

  • Opposing and boycotting mass-produced fashion (AKA “Fast-Fashion” or “McFashion”).
  • Choosing artisan products to support smaller businesses, fair trade and locallymade clothes.
  • Buying secondhand or vintage clothing and donating unwanted garments.
  • Choosing clothing made with sustainable, ethically-made or recycled fabrics.
  • Choosing quality garments that will last longer, transcend trends (a “classic” style), and be repairable.
  • Doing it yourself – making, mending, customising, altering, and up-cycling your own clothing.
  • Slowing the rate of fashion consumption: buying fewer clothes less often.

The Slow Fashion movement is a unified representation of all the “sustainable”, “eco”, “green”, and “ethical” fashion movements. It encourages education about the garment industry’s connection and impact on the environment and depleting resources, slowing of the supply chain to reduce the number of trends and seasons, to encourage quality production, and return greater value to garments removing the image of disposability of fashion. A key phrase repeatedly heard in reference to Slow Fashion is “quality over quantity“. This phrase is used to summarize the basic principles of slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer.

  • Slow Toys

The Slow toy movement and awards was launched in 2011. The slow toy movement aims to support and promote toys sourced ethically and toys that let the child develop at their own pace.  Children should never be in a race to talk or walk first, this is not a competition. Development should be left to follow it’s own pace. There should be a time to play and a time to study, work and develop.

The original criteria in 2011

  • not made of plastic
  • ethically sourced
  • fun to play with
  • without batteries
  • sold in independent toy shops
  • durable
  • without thousands of different functions

The criteria in 2012

  • Encourages traditional play Boosts creative thinking
  • Inspires the developments of one’s own  imagination
  • Not made of plastic
  • Without batteries
  • Sold in independent toy shops
  • Durable, stands the test of time
  • Without thousands of different functions

Somehow, the aspect of ethically produced and sustainably sourced got lost along the way. Why?

Please see our next blogpost for further info on our explanation and criteria for the above acronym.

References: parts of this text have been taken from WikiPedia, SlowToyMovement, Not Just A Label

4 responses to “The history of the Slow movement (1/2)

  1. Pingback: A Slow Toy Christmas Linky | The Toadstool·

  2. Pingback: The Wooden Bandwagon: Slow Toys | Baked Potato Mummy·

    • Thank you for the link back and mention! However I must state not all wooden toys are from sustainably forested origin, and not all wooden toys are proven to be made under good and fair trade working conditions eg. Ikea and others


I love and value your comments, the way to let me know you read a post!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s