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What is Slow Fashion ?

What is Slow Fashion

What is Slow Fashion? An Ethical Shopping Guide.

Slow Fashion is a combination of ethical principals applied to fashion shopping. It’s also a backlash to the consumerism of the fast paced fashion world.

The clothes industry is the second biggest polluter on our planet. It’s often responsible for unsustainable farming child labor & sweatshops. The need for change was highlighted in 2013 with the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 1138 workers and 2500 non-fatal injuries. At the time of writing this, huge problems with safety in Bangladesh still exists.

 

Stroud Fair trade

 

Slow fashion requires the workforce to be treated and paid fairly. Slow fashion is about long lasting clothing too as there is a less environmental impact. It requires using sustainable resources. The environmental impact of goods transportation is also a consideration. All this, with some transparency in the supply chain.

Slow Fashion was a phrase first used in 2007 by Kate Fletcher. Amongst other things, Kate Fletcher is Professor of Sustainability, Design & Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion UK.

Style

Slow fashion is also about style. Style is there to last as opposed to the throw-away mentality of Fast Fashion.

Slow fashion is growing. It’s a movement! Choices can be made by how you shop too. If you would like to join the slow fashion movement, here are some things you can do:

How to shop for slow fashion

Check out the shops and brands you often use. Do what we always do, Google them. Search for your usual brand/shop followed by “slow fashion” “fair trade” or Ethical”. If your brand is making an effort, you can bet their shouting out. Equally, you’ll soon find out if they’re up to mischief. A lot of company websites have Ethical Sourcing Policy Statements.

 

Fairtrade logo

Look at the labels

Look out for the fair-trade or the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) symbols. The official fair trade symbols represent a guarantee. Fair Trade isn’t the only labels out there. Shops and brand have their own as well. Look out for labels mentioning organic, sustainable or ethical. Some guarantee a few slow fashion aims, some list them all.

 

Slow Fashion Jute Handbag

 

Labels can give you “don’t buy signals” too. If it just says Made in the China then it hardly says a lot. Sorry to single you out China but your average manufacturing wage is just £0.50 per hour!

 

Boutiques

A good way to take up slow fashion is to use small shops. Boutiques tend to know their customers and suppliers. That’s good for transparency in the supply chain. When you shop at a boutique, you get quality, so clothes last longer. Style is long lasting and boutiques know that. Small shops tend to focus on quality, which is long lasting fashion!

Charity Shops

Did you know that in the UK, £100million of used clothing ends up in landfill every year? Making that extra effort to take re-useable clothes to charity shops matters.

Charity shops are great for that bargain. I go to some charity shops in a right posh area! I’ve grabbed some of my best stuff there.

Online

With online shopping, you can check out a companies credentials as you shop. The popularity of ethical shopping has created plenty of small businesses with online stores. We’re one of them. You can see CotswoldGiftware Ethical Sourcing Policy here. Don’t forget the endless opportunities for a second-hand bargain. Finding a local group on Facebook is a popular trend for finding bargains.

 

Portobello Road Market
Michael Brace / Via Flickr: emaybe

Markets

Local markets are back in a big way. With the rise of the Farmers Markets so too are Clothes Markets and stalls. In London UK there are over a dozen. Pictured above is my favorite: Portobello Road Market Open all week except Sunday and Thursday afternoon. Fantastic for second-hand clothes, vintage and up and coming designers.

Fair Trade Town

Is your town Fair Trade Designated? Why not badger your local council. Fair trade status is good for business, great for the community and slow fashion too. Find out more

Stroud Fair trade

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How to use a Tibetan Singing Bowl

How to use Tibetan Singing Bowl

A look at what to do with a Singing Bowl

Is a Tibetan singing bowl just an ornament. What else can I use it for? As well as charming sounds, they have a variety of purposes. Also known as “Himalayan Bowls”, they are used in prayer, chanting and meditation. Other uses include chakra healing, yoga practice, and relaxation techniques. Did you also know you can levitate water in a singing bowl?

 

Tibetan singing bowls

 

More on that in a moment, but first a little bit about them. Tibetan singing bowls come from throughout Asia. They pop up in Tibet, China, Japan, India and Korea. Although largely associated with Buddhism there use is thought to predate Buddhism by centuries. Singing bowls originate from Himalayan fire cults. Prior to religious use, it is understood that they were merely begging bowls.

Craftsmen traditionally made Tibetan Singing Bowls from seven metals: Gold, silver, iron, copper, lead, tin and mercury. These represent the seven heavenly bodies: The Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter and of course Mercury. You may find an antique singing bowl made of these metals. Craftsmen use brass or various recycled metals today.

How to use Tibetan Singing Bowls for music.

 

How to use Tibetan singing bowl

 

Choosing your bowl can make a difference as each bowl has a different sound. If they are handmade the difference is greater. Larger bowls tend to make a much deeper tone. Handmade singing bowls sometimes take more practice to get a tune from than the manufactured ones do. As Singing Bowls make great first instruments for children, the less expensive ones can sometimes be the best buy.

To play, place the bowl in the palm of your right hand. Then with the mallet in the left-hand strike the outside of the bowl. This primes the bowl, starting vibrations. Then with the left hand, run the mallet around the outside of the bowl in a clockwise motion. This doesn’t have to be fast. Imagine the action is like stirring soup in a pot.

If you bought a Singing Bowl that’s too large to hold in your hand, then place on a small cushion. If you would like to invest in a Tibetan Singing Bowl, large or small we have some here to look at.

How to use Singing Bowls for relaxation meditation and yoga

 

Tibetan singing bowls

 

Buddhists have been using Singing Bowls for prayer and meditation for centuries. You too can use Singing Bowls to aid your relaxation, sleeping, meditation and yoga. Singing Bowls produce a vibration when played that penetrates the body and mind.

Up there with whale song

Sitting on the floor and playing will help induce meditation. Try playing for a while to calm the mind before sleep. You can introduce  Tibetan Singing Bowls at your meditation or yoga class with great results. The soothing sounds are up there with whale song. The vibrations are real.

These techniques are not all new, Buddhists have been doing this since 500 B.C. Give it a try and will feel the benefit.

How to use a Tibetan Singing Bowl to make water levitate

Singing Bowl Fountain Faraday Effect

Medical properties have been attributed to singing bowls which I can not verify. What you can try is making water levitate!

Fill your bowl with tap water about ¾ to the top. Place your Tibetan Singing Bowl on its cushion and play. Water appears to come to the boil. Vibrations hold water droplets hovering above the rippling surface in the water. Enjoy!

It’s called a Singing Bowl Fountain or scientifically the Faraday Instability Principle (pdf). Enjoy!