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Crafting an Antidote to Fast Fashion: The Case of Toronto's Independent Fashion Design Sector


  • Deborah Leslie,

  • Shauna Brail,

  • Mia Hunt

  • Deborah Leslie is Professor, Department of Geography, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G3. Her e-mail address is: Shauna Brail is Senior Lecturer, Urban Studies Program, Innis College, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1J5. Her e-mail address is: Mia Hunt is PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK. Her e-mail address is:


The fashion industry has undergone a profound transformation in business practices and production systems over the past several decades. These shifts include the globalisation of production chains and the emergence of a new model of “fast fashion.” This paper investigates the response of independent fashion designers in Toronto, Canada to the growing competition posed by fast fashion. It identifies a number of strategies utilised by designers to compete, arguing that they are increasingly adopting a new model of “slow fashion,” which opens up possibilities for forging locally and ethically based relationships in the fashion sector.

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