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September 5, 2017

Introducing: SLOW Fashion Festival

This October marks the launch of SLOW Fashion Festival - a festival with a focus on sustainability and mindful consumption.

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  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne
  • Campaign images: Eric Brumfield

This October, Adelaide will welcome a new independently-run, sustainability-focused fashion festival called SLOW Fashion Festival.


SLOW Fashion Festival will be running from the 6th to the 15th of October, as will the marketplace at Ensemble.

The SLOW runway presentation will take place on October 7, and tickets can be bought here.

CityMag are the official media sponsor of SLOW Fashion Festival.

The festival is the brainchild of three local makers and businesswomen, Emily Sheahan, Anny Duff of Good Studios and Natalie Ivanov of RE-SWIM Club.

The trio have been working, living and talking about sustainability in fashion for longer than the state has had a fashion festival, but talks of Emily, Anny and Natalie launching their own festival arose off the back of the wildly successful SWOP The Seams runway event, which proved to them that this state has a vested interest in the little guys – the independent makers doing things differently.

“Because we are all involved in this industry, it’s been so important for us to be doing it a different way. And when you’re not stopping and taking stock of that and celebrating it, it becomes just a really hard slog. I think one of the great things about SLOW is that all these people from those fringe industries have a different opportunity to come together and celebrate,” says Anny.

“The fact that the Eastern states have done it for so long and we’re only just starting, it just feels like we should have done it a long time ago. It’s not so much a why [are we doing SLOW], it’s why now. And the answer is so clear: if we don’t start now, we’re contributing in the wrong way,” says Anny.

The festival will begin the week before the Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide, and will run concurrently (and with the support of AFF) until the 15th of October.

Creative Director of Adelaide Fashion Festival, Chris Kontos, says that SLOW is yet another example that Adelaide is a leader in creativity and innovation.

“It’s really exciting to see Adelaide designers exploring ethical and sustainable side of fashion and lifestyle,” says Chris. “The Adelaide Fashion Festival is really proud to see SLOW Fashion Festival as part of our 2017 program – it’s rewarding when the festival can give our talented industry the space to create something that represents who they are and what they stand for.”

Anny, Emily and Natalie at Ensemble.

A SLOW marketplace will exist in Ensemble on Gilles Street for the entirety of the festival, bringing together a huge pool of independent makers from Adelaide and interstate under the one roof.

“For us AFF is a really great platform to launch, but it’s not just about having it during AFF. This is a concept that is a year round concept,” Anny says.

“It’s pushing that sustainable fashion can have a really curated aesthetic and be as desirable as whatever is being pumped out in the shops. And we think more and more people are actually looking to spend their money in ways that have a story, which is why experience-based purchasing is happening in the economy. It’s the same thing with clothing now – people want to be able to tell a story about their garment.

And that’s really what we’re growing here. It’s about having a festival that celebrates the stories behind what everyone has been slogging it out and doing for so long.”

But the festival is about more than about just the clothes we wear and the stories they tell.

“There are so many facets of the local industry – fashion is one element, because that’s what we do. But we’ve also integrated living and food and lifestyle into elements of the fashion festival so that people can see that it’s a wholesome approach. It’s not just about wearing organic clothes or shopping consciously, it’s also about thinking about how you can support other industries,” says Anny.

“And I think, year round, we’ll reignite that flame that’s lit. But, for us, it’s the start of something that hopefully AFF take on as an official part of the program ongoing. And we’re really happy to help that happen.”


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