The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes

The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes

If you’re a fashion lover who spends a little too much time on social media (as we all do), then you probably get a good dose of thought-provoking slow fashion quotes on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feed.

Many of these inspirational quotes come from brilliant women in fashion, business, politics, arts, and entertainment who are shaping or have shaped the ethical fashion industry we see today.

Unfortunately, the women behind these quotes rarely get the attention and the credit they deserve, but we are here to change that! Yes, quotes can be inspirational, but what is even more inspirational are the amazing people behind the quotes.

Here are 15 slow fashion quotes for you to return to, as well as a short bio and list of accomplishments from the awesome women behind each quote. For when you need that extra bit of motivation!


Anne Klein

Anne Klein | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & Fair

Anne Klein was a groundbreaking designer who changed the way American women dressed in the 1960s and 70s.

She started out as a sketcher in Varden Pettite, where she upgraded the firm’s junior collection from frill designs to a more sophisticated aesthetic.

In 1968, she co-founded Anne Klein & Company with Gunther Oppenheim. Her clothing range comprised of classic wearable pieces inspired by menswear with a feminine touch. The designs became hugely popular and in less than a decade were being sold in 750 department stores and boutiques across the United States.

Klein was the only woman among ten designers to receive an invitation to The Battle of Versailles fashion show, a historic fund-raising event for the palace in 1973.


Anne Lappé

Anna Lappe | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairAnne Lappé is a rockstar in the sustainable food industry.

Lappé and her mother Francis Moore Lappé were way ahead of their time with their activism, writing, philanthropy, and public speaking about sustainable food systems.

 Lappe has authored three written bestselling books including Diet for a Small Planet and Daring Democracy, which have been translated into many languages and featured in leading publications such as The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, Natural Health, and Vibe, among other outlets.

She is founder and co-founder of three national organizations, including the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund, which finances community-based projects throughout the U.S.

Her powerful TED talks have been watched over one million times on YouTube.


Orsola De Castro

Orsola De Castro | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & Fair

Orsola De Castro is the queen of upcycling.

She founded From Somewhere, a designer upcycling label, back in 1997 when the word “eco fashion” didn’t exist.

In 2006, Orsola co-founded and co-curated Estethica, a platform at London Fashion Week showcasing ethical designers.

She launched Reclaim To Wear with partner Filippo Ricc in 2011. The sustainable fashion company collaborated with Livia Firth for her Green Carpet Challenge and with retail giant Topshop for an upcycled capsule collection in 2012.

In 2013, she joined forces with her longtime friend Carry Somers to start Fashion Revolution following the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Her first book Loved Clothes Last explores the issue of waste and gives practical tips on how to make clothes last longer.


Ann Lowe

Ann Lowe | Inspirational Women behind the Slow Fashion quotes | Rare & Fair

Ann Lowe’s story is extraordinary. Although the first African American fashion designer to receive international recognition, her place in history is often unacknowledged. 

Her resume is astounding. Her one-of-a-kind designs were favored by American high society between the 1920’s-1960’s, even designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress in 1953. One of the few articles about Lowe called her “Society’s Best-Kept Secret”, due to the number of gowns worn by the rich and famous. 

However, in all the coverage of the Kennedy’s wedding, Ann Lowe, was never identified as the dress designer. Mrs Kennedy’s answer to the press when asked about the beautiful creation - “a colored dressmaker did it”. 

It’s truly remarkable that Ann Lowe managed to reach the top of her profession, solely on talent, in an era and society set up for her oppression.


Elizabeth L. Cline

Elizabeth L. Cline | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairElizabeth L. Cline is an author, journalist, and expert on fashion waste.

Her critically acclaimed book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, uncovers the hidden toll of fast fashion on the environment, economy, and society. The book received rave reviews in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Newsweek, and is now available in six languages.

Her second book, The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good, is a comprehensive guide on how to build a sustainable wardrobe.

Cline has contributed to Forbes, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The New Yorker, among others. 

She’s also an avid used-clothing collector and runs a successful online clothing resale business on eBay and Poshmark.


Lucy Siegle

Lucy Siegle | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairLucy Siegle is an eco-fashion warrior. She uses her journalistic flair to champion environmental issues, ethical consumerism, and social justice.

She’s a columnist for The Observer and The Guardian, and a presenter for BBC’s ‘The One Show’.

Her book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? presents bleak stats highlighting the true cost of fast fashion, but also lays out a realistic plan on how to become an ethical fashionista.  

Siegle has chaired debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords on fast fashion and often criticises large clothing retailers for their misleading greenwashing marketing practices.


Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairThe 1930s and 40s were all about Joan Crawford.

She started her career as a dancer in nightclubs and Broadway musicals before landing on the silver screen in 1925. Her major turning point was in her role in the 1945 American film noir, Mildred Pierce, which won her praise from critics and audiences and an Academy award.

Crawford’s distinctive style was the epitome of glamour and sophistication. Her shoulder pads and ruffled dresses were the talk of the town for weeks, eagerly copied by girls all over the country.

In the 70s, Crawford published a cult classic, In My Way of Life, where she shared her juicy secrets and tips on travel, relationships, etiquette, makeup, and fashion.


Sass Brown

Sass Brown | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairSass Brown is the original eco-fashionista.

She is a UK-based researcher, educator, and author. She started writing about ethical fashion in the early 2000s and her enormously famous book Eco-Fashion is centered on ethical fashion and slow design. It’s often described as “the bible of eco-fashion” and has become the most referred book in the sustainable fashion field.

Brown was the founding Dean of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation and is now a sustainable design advisor to educational institutions, governmental agencies, and women’s artisanal cooperatives.

She completed her PhD in January 2021 and has published several papers, taught workshops, and continues to speak around the world about sustainable fashion.


Emma Watson

Emma Watson | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & Fair

Vogue named Emma Watson “the voice of a generation” and with good reason.

Watson hasn’t shied away from using her platform of 59M Instagram followers to share her love for sustainable fashion and promote ethically sourced fashion brands.

Her ethical stance on fashion started in 2009 when she collaborated with fair trade fashion pioneer, People Tree, to create an ethical fashion range. She also worked with ethical fashion designers for her Disney film Beauty and the Beast.

At the 2016 Met Gala Ball, Watson dazzled crowds with a gorgeous Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles for the Green Carpet Challenge.


Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairVivienne Westwood is the embodiment of British fashion. She singlehandedly made punk and new wave fashion mainstream. Her huge influence in the fashion scene earned her the prestigious title Dame of the British Empire given by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Vivienne Westwood brand has inspired provocative and avant-garde pieces as well as unforgettable political statements on the runway. In 2018, Vivienne expressed her stance on fashion waste through her circus-themed SS18 collection, which featured recycled plastic bottles and aluminum cans stuffed in tights.

Today, Vivienne Westwood is one of the last independent global fashion brands in the world.


Livia Firth

Livia Firth | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairLivia Firth is an ethical fashion crusader with an impressive set of credentials

She is the co-founder of Eco-Age - a consulting company that provides sustainable solutions, and founder of Green Carpet Challenge (GCC). Livia is also a UN Leader of Change award winner and a global ambassador for Oxfam.

In 2015, she produced the award-winning documentary The True Cost and the miniseries Fashionscapes, now available on Amazon Prime.

Livia co-wrote, produced and hosted The Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2020 honouring the best of sustainable fashion. It was the first event in the world to fuse augmented reality, hologram technology and special effects. The eye-catching film can be found on YouTube’s Fashion Channel.


Carry Somers

Carry Somers | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairCarry Somers is a British fashion designer, social entrepreneur, and campaigner.

She created the blueprint for radical supply transparency through her hat brand Parachuti in 1992. It became the world’s first fair-trade certified company certified under the World Fair Trade Organization. Using GPS technology, Parachuti was able to trace the production of a Panama hat from a community-owned straw plantation to a weaver’s house.

In 2013, Somers teamed up with Orsola de Castro to create Fashion Revolution following the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and is currently the Global Operations Director.


Solitaire Townsend

Solitaire Townsend  | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & Fair

Solitaire Townsend is an entrepreneur, author, and sustainability expert. Her hopeful and positive approach to activism is captivating.

She co-founded Futerra, one of the first sustainability agencies in the UK, in 2001, and founded the #climateoptimist campaign in 2017.

Solitaire was named “Ethical Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2008 and chaired the UK Green Energy Scheme between November 2009 and July 2015. She is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Lifestyles Taskforce.

Her book, The Happy Hero - How To Change Your Life By Changing The World, reveals the secret to feeling good by doing good. 


Lucy Shea

Lucy Shea | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & Fair

When it comes to influential people in the sustainable fashion industry, Lucy Shea is in the major league.

Shea is the chief executive of Futerra, a global sustainability agency whose mission is to “make sustainable development so desirable it becomes normal.” She got the big job in 2003 and her strong leadership grew the company from a start-up of five to a global agency with offices in London, New York, Stockholm and Mexico City. Futerra is also proudly majority owned and run by women.

Shea is a founder member of the United Nations Sustainable Lifestyles Taskforce. She authored Communicating Sustainability, which is one of the most read UN reports.


Elizabeth Joy

Elizabeth Joy | The Inspirational Women Behind The Slow Fashion Quotes | Rare & FairElizabeth Joy has one mission, and that is to prove that sustainable and ethical fashion can be both stylish and appealing.

She’s the face behind Conscious Life & Style, a blog dedicated to ethical fashion, eco living and responsible travel.

Joy makes conscious living accessible through her simple home, fashion, and beauty guides but she’s not afraid to delve into complex environmental topics when necessary.

She currently owns and runs Conscious Fashion Collective, a directory of sustainable fashion brands which features brands, founders, and creatives that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, non-straight-sized, and/or belong to other traditionally marginalized groups.


Saa Romeo - Founder, Rare & Fair


Having grown up around handwoven fabrics and handicrafts in Thailand, Saa has always been fascinated about Thai cultural heritage and it’s preservation. For her tourism thesis she investigated ways of combining tourism and traditional products to boost revenue to rural Thai communities in a sustainable way. After graduating, she moved to Chiang Mai to be more integrated in handicrafts and began working at Thai Handicrafts Ltd., connecting handmade products from Thai villages to buyers in the West. Fashion has always been Saa’s passion and to combine the two she educated herself on fashion design at London School of Fashion before creating Rare & Fair with the aim to continue to support rural Thai communities by combining traditional handwoven natural fabrics with modern fashion creations.

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