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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

In recent years, the damage that many fashion companies caused from throw-away fashion has gained attention among shoppers, and more and more people have become conscious of their consuming habits when it comes to buying the next addition to their closet. Buying clothes second-hand from thrift stores is a popular and effective way to shop sustainably, but more people are learning to create their own clothing and participate in the Slow Fashion movement. 

“Slow fashion,” the term coined by design-based research professor Kate Fletcher (Ph.D.), is a movement that retaliates against fast fashion and intends to prevent overproduction and overconsumption in the fashion industry. Fast fashion companies like Shein and Forever 21 had an annual growth rate of 15.6 percent in 2023. The attractive prices these companies provide on “trendy” clothing have accelerated the demand for these types of companies, creating vast amounts of waste and carbon emissions yearly.

One area of slow fashion is fiber art, which has gained more exposure within the last few years. Interest has spiked in one subcategory of fiber art within fashion industries, specifically crochet, which uses hooks to create different kinds of stitches. The reason why crochet is a large part of slow fashion is because crochet cannot be replicated with a machine; crochet designs can only be hand-made. This way of making or upcycling clothing has been used for centuries, but all kinds of communities have hopped on the bandwagon of using fiber art in fashion.

Prominent designers like Louis Vuitton have implemented crochet in their 2023 Spring and Summer collections in both Men’s and Women’s fashion, using bright, vibrant colors in bags and jackets on the runway. Many celebrities have also been seen displaying crochet pieces in public, like Pedro Pascal, Hailey Bieber, and Harry Styles.

On social media sites like TikTok and Instagram, artists create designs and crochet garments, as well as teach others how to make them. Many crochet artists like Lizzie Kaya, who uses bright colors in her designs, and Knotted Neon, who makes intricate and editorial headwear, specialize in crochet fashion and create unique and eclectic designs. Some of these artists even develop and sell follow-along patterns so others can recreate their designs at home.

Not only has crochet gained popularity among public figures, but it has also become an attractive medium because of the low cost of supplies, as well as the many tutorials provided on sites like YouTube and Ribblr for free. Almost anyone can pick up a skein of yarn from the store and follow a free tutorial on how to make something that can be worn with pride (and the knowledge that you made something out of some yarn and a crochet hook). 

Crochet fashion is such a large aspect of the slow fashion movement because the ability to make hand-made pieces is universal. Learning to crochet your own wardrobe not only contributes to sustainable shopping and a better environment, but it also allows you to create fully customized pieces that can go with any style!

Sarah Perez is a second year staff writer for Her Campus UCF. Studying English with a certificate in Editing and Publishing, she loves to read almost any genre. When she isn't reading, you can find her crocheting or drawing.