The Importance of Slow Fashion: Meet Ehop

Imagery provided by Ehop

“Sustainable” is an adjective that is increasingly becoming associated with fashion. With new generations being more socially conscious and dedicated to making a positive change in the world, it isn’t surprising that consumer behaviours in fashion are being addressed. With around 100bn garments being produced every year, the industry is now responsible for a shocking four to 10 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions every year. But that’s not everything: systemic human rights abuses pervade the global garment industry, from poverty pay, long working hours and denial of trade union rights. More and more people are now demanding the fashion industry acknowledge how it is negatively impacting the world.

Wearing pre-loved items, buying from independent creatives that re-work vintage or create their garments with ethical and environmentally-conscious materials are some ways consumers can reduce their personal contribution to the fast fashion industry whilst supporting new designers and artists. To encourage this, three fashion students decided to found Ehop.

Ehop is a platform that supports sustainable fashion designers and sellers, having a sellers fee being a small 2.5% commission from sales made on the website.They feature emerging Independent designers who sustainably handmake, upcycle and rework unique fashion, and sellers of vintage and second-hand clothing too, as there are many benefits of pre-existing, pre-loved apparel. Vendors ship directly to customers, a conscious choice to minimize Ehop’s footprint. A deeper knowledge of fast fashion and the shock at the secrecy of industry practices were the main driving forces for creating Ehop, along with the lack of purely sustainable clothing platforms for Gen Z and the rising volume of talented slow fashion designers & sellers.

On Instagram, they promote their sellers and talk about the wider issues in fashion and how to promote sustainability. If you're looking for something in particular on the website, from the Explore page one can browse through four clothing categories: Independent Designers, Vintage, Second-hand and clothes made from Sustainable Materials.

On Ehop sellers don’t simply put their unwanted clothes for sale, or partake in drop shipping: they provide eco-conscious buyers and sellers a marketplace which solely features slow fashion. Slow fashion is not only a radical reaction to fast fashion, but also a way to consciously hit the brakes on supporting excessive production, complicated supply chains, and mindless consumption. It focuses on the quality of the garments as opposed to the quantity one can buy, and most importantly it looks at the connections between the raw materials, the environment, the designers, and the people that manufacture clothes and accessories. Slow fashion is a return to a personal connection with fashion, where people don’t buy garments because of passing trends, but because it appeals to their unique style and personality, enabling the consumer to appreciate fashion as an art form, rather than another way to participate in capitalist consumerism.

Making an informed decision on where to buy clothes, and being conscious of the brands that are purchased and how they affect the world, is an ethos now ever-growing in Gen Z consumers, with Forbes even reporting that 54% of Gen Z would rather pay more for a product if it meant it was sustainable and ethical. Therefore, Ehop enables buyers and sellers to purchase and sell in a space that shares those core beliefs that are imperative to so many people today, while promoting sustainability in the industry and focusing on slow fashion, as a radical protest against fast fashion and the negative impact the fashion industry has on nature and people.

Article by Anna Crysel