DENVER — For a growing number of shoppers, finding the right clothes is a more thoughtful process than just trying items on and seeing how they look.
Amanda Tromp, who calls Denver home, said she chooses smaller boutiques and consignment stores for most of her clothes shopping.
"I follow a lot of companies I really believe in, and research a lot of stuff," she said.
Many of these stores are part of a new movement, #SlowFashionDenver. Founder Cheyenne Thomas is asking stores to carry a special sticker, indicating that they support socially and environmentally conscious fashion.
“It’s raising awareness about the origin of clothing, who makes it, where it comes from, and how it’s made,” she said.
Slow fashion is the opposite of so-called fast fashion, where companies churn out new clothing by the week. Much of this apparel is made in impoverished countries like Bangladesh, which had a garment factory collapse in 2013 that killed more than 1,000 workers.
“I think if women were aware of the impact their shopping choices had on women halfway around the world, they would approach shopping differently,” Thomas said.
On the #SlowFashion Denver website, Thomas lists dozens of companies that support slow fashion and pay a living wage to workers. Their clothing is more expensive than fast fashion, but Thomas said slow fashion can also include making your own clothes, or buying used clothing.
Consignment store Common Threads is one of over 20 Denver stores involved in #SlowFashionDenver, according to co-owner Jennifer Wilshire.
“We’re all kind of supporting the same cause, which is trying to move away from disposable fashion, where you buy something from Forever 21, and you wear it three times, and you throw it away and it goes into a landfill,“ Wilshire said.
For shoppers on a budget, thrift stores are another option to support slow fashion. Boutique versions like Goodwill’s Deja Blue in Denver carry higher end items marked down to a fraction of the original cost.
Deja Blue manager Lauren Payton said she buys all her clothes from Goodwill, and donates many of them back when she no longer needs them.
“Giving them back to Deja Blue and sharing them with people I love is a really great experience it makes me feel good,” she said.
Thomas said she hopes #SlowFashionDenver will make it easier for people to support sustainable stores and brands, and get people to think about their clothing as a long-term commitment.
“The slow fashion sticker than I’m asking stores to carry kind of works like the non-GMO label that got us all thinking about where our food comes from,” said Thomas. “It’s going to start conversations, get people asking questions: Where does my clothing come from? Who made it? What conditions? And what impact did it have on the environment?” she said.