Bold quotes, high end looks, and a top made out of radicchio. This is what the face of slow fashion can look like.
When Eliza Edwards first entered the world of fashion, she became part of the high speed trends worn by, as she describes them, ‘shiny characters’ on ‘glossy pages’. Exposed to the reality of what fast fashion means for the environment and for workers, she came to see the need for alternatives.
She became interested in the brands and designers that are doing things differently – and decided to set up a journalistic platform that would spotlight and celebrate them. In 2019, she launched Slow Exposure as an Instagram account and website, then later introduced a podcast in partnership with Vestiaire Collective.
The platform showcases slow fashion brands, designers and other thinkers, focusing on the lesser known – while always maintaining focus on the beauty and self-expression of fashion.
“I really care about people who are creating responsible clothing,” Eliza says. “I think it’s brave and not a task to be taken lightly. I had discovered so many brands working in the sustainable sphere that just weren’t being written about in the mainstream media. In 2019 there were articles about Stella McCartney, but not about the swathes of responsible brands that were coming into Instagram. I wanted to give those people and ideas a space.”
Through Slow Exposures articles and on the podcast, we meet marine biologists, vintage store owners, journalists, and activists – as well as designers that use deadstock denim, make t shirts carefully grown and sewn to last, and have pioneered luxury upcycling.
Dialogue dominates Slow Exposure’s content, opening up space, Eliza says, for “complexity and nuance. Podcasting is my favourite format. I’m obsessed with the rhythm of a conversation, listening to people’s hesitations, hearing their intonation, and therefore emotion, through spoken word.”
She is motivated by her own mission – to “promote thoughtful consumption at no aesthetic compromise” – coupled with a journalist’s determined curiosity. “Ultimately the world has enough ‘stuff’; when interviewing someone, I want to know why they think their ‘stuff’ is good enough to add to the masses. Of course, it’s much more nuanced than that, but the bottom line is that design ends in production.”
“My role in the media is two-fold,” she adds. “Holding people to account, and as a change-making force.”
The podcast’s first series launched in 2020, and its second will land in Spring/Summer 2021. Eliza explains that Slow Exposure will sharpen its focus on issues that are linked to, and ultimately an inherent part of, sustainability: “I’ve been thinking a lot about my position in this community of people working within sustainability. It’s no longer enough for me to just write about sustainable brands but sincerely assess the extent to which colonialism defines the fashion industry. Also, that’s a good one to whip out the next time someone tells me the world of fashion is frivolous.”
AtlasAction: Follow Slow Exposure on Instagram (spot the horny denim and fluorescent knitting) and meet Eliza’s expert guests on the Slow Exposure podcast.
Nature-geek, urban forager and all-round wordy sort. Freelance writer for organisations that care about the future. Often found reading while walking.
Eliza Edwards, Founder
This project has been selected as part of FashionFutures, a new content channel that maps the work of people transforming the fashion sector: the designers, craftspeople, social innovators, educators, community leaders and communicators. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with Makerversity, with the support of The J J Charitable Trust and their network of fashion friends.
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