15.11.17

The Slow Mode – Ethical Fashion & Mindful Living

find your slow

Emily Uebergang

We live in a world fueled by fast food, clothed in fast fashion and driven by fast results.

It pays to stop and ask the question – what are we sacrificing in the process? For some, this question will beget an answer that’s hard to stomach.

In wrestling with this question, you may come to a realisation that for many, our fast paced lives are making us sick, tired and bankrupting our lives of meaning.

The Shake Down

For Kaitie Manani, she wasn’t so fortunate to have the time to think much about this question before it slapped her right across the face. After the mammoth effort of building a successful swimwear brand from scratch, the fatigue started to set in.

slow fashion

“hand select unique fashion, home and beauty brands with thoughtful detail all made 'slowly' with meaning and purpose.”

For the 5 years to follow, thyroid, fatigue and autoimmune issues started creeping in. On a daily basis she would face the roller-coaster ride of extreme fatigue, nausea and vertigo. Her cortisol was through the roof and her panic attacks were becoming more frequent. She was brought to her knees when she nearly landed herself in hospital with complete adrenal failure.

At some point in our lives we have all faced, or will face, such a personal crisis of our own. It’s not so much about the crisis itself, but where we turn in these times and who we become as a result.

Kaitie woke up to her reality. She couldn’t continue on like this. Feeling overburdened and misaligned, she yearned a slower pace where she had time to explore more meaning in her work that aligned with her personal beliefs.

During a meditation session, the idea of The Slow Mode came to mind. And the idea stuck.

slow fashion

On Slowing Down

Embracing a slower pace in life does not mean forgoing all of life’s little luxuries. It’s as much a state of mind as it is a way of life. These two intersect where your attitude infects all areas of your life and you can’t help but make choices that align with your slower state.

For Kaitie, turning down the slow path led her to a new business venture, The Slow Mode, where she is able to “hand select unique fashion, home and beauty brands with thoughtful detail all made ‘slowly’ with meaning and purpose.”

On a personal level, Kaitie explains what slowing down means to her.

“It means turning inwards, being truly present, non-judgmental and allowing space in your everyday for nature, peace and clarity.”

This concept of slowing down is integral to not only Kaitie’s personal life, but her business model. The Slow Mode’s range of boho clothing, hand woven baskets, bags, jewellery and skin care products won’t just slow you down, they’ll stop you in your tracks.

“It’s absolutely core to what The Slow Mode stands for. Beautiful fashion, home and beauty products made slowly by artisans around the globe, with thoughtful and meaningful details. I look for those little ‘extras’ handmade finishes and touches that tells a unique story for our customers. They want a deeper connection to the designs and designers behind the brands, not a fast fashion impulse buy.”

#FindYourSlow

In an effort to #findyourslow, it takes concerted effort to practice the things that bring you joy and fill you with a sense of peace. This plays out in your personal life through the choices you make each and every day. From daily rituals to how and where you choose to shop.

For Kaitie, she found her slow through daily meditations which she credits to being a lifeline during her time of healing.

She goes on to explain about her daily practices,

“My personal favourites are twice daily, 20 min Vedic meditation sessions that can be done pretty much anywhere. I love infusing doTerra essential oils through the home and my work space which helps to transform the whole space into a spa-vibe. Then there’s the multiple bullet-proof matcha’s I make which I find to be a very therapeutic ritual. I also make sure I don’t sit for longer than an hour without doing some yoga or Pilates sequences. Just getting my body flowing on and off throughout the day feels good.”

slow fashion

Moving On

This counter-intuitive approach to business has not come without its fair dose of challenges. It involves shifting deeply ingrained belief systems about how things should be done in a certain way.

Kaitie gives an example, “Switching my mentality of everything should be arriving in a week to be patient and allowing products to arrive in their own time – thus is the nature of slow-fashion!”

Operating with a slower intention for your business may not make sense from an efficiency view point but as Kaitie has come to learn, there is so much more to it than that.

“This is my second online business I have started from scratch. I feel so grateful for everything I have learned from my first business, as it keeps me aligned very much with what my intentions are for The Slow Mode and not to be caught up with competition. It’s my journey and I want to enjoy every moment with the community I am connecting with and not wish it away to be something. Building a brand / business takes a lot nurturing and patience. This time round I feel very aligned personally to my business ethics and journey. This I feel is key to finding your true purpose.”

slow fashion

In the months to come, Kaitie will be expanding her range and connecting deeper with the wellness arm of her website which instigated this whole journey.

She elaborates more on what we can expect, “More beautiful slowly-made fashion, bags, natural beauty, homewares, shoes and jewellery online. And I will be rolling out the full Wellness Guides format  – talking with wellness warriors that I have connected with, whose personal stories have an important message to share on healing and happiness.”

Use the code at checkout: TSM10 for 10% off all first time orders + free shipping worldwide – shop The Slow Mode here.

This story was sponsored by The Slow Mode.

Emily Uebergang

Emily Uebergang is a writer, farmer and ecoprenuer who transitioned from the urban jungle to a working farmstead in the beautiful mountains of the Manning Valley in New South Wales, Australia. She writes like she's out to try and save the world... or at least make a difference for the better.