I’m back…again. It has been a quite a journey these past few years with lots and lots of bumps in the road as well as numerous forks (not the eating kind) the forks in the road that require you to choose a path or just stand there dumbfounded, those forks! Showing up on your path just when you think you’ve figured things out,
and then…you didn’t.
Perhaps these forks were illusions , subconscious distractions, or just the pure chaotic mess that seems to be looming over all of us. Just something in the air , perhaps?? A midlife crisis perhaps? Anyone feeling it? We all travel roads like this occasionally, but this one seemed a bit too long, tired me out to be honest. Which way do I go? How can there be so many options and so little guidance? What is happening ? What is the new normal? Will there ever be a normal again? Unsettling is how I can best describe the feeling. Trying to focus on what would make the most positive impact with my work, for over two years I kept a journal dedicated to “figuring out” the fashion industry and which road would be best to take (which, by the way, could quite possibly land me in an insane asylum if anyone ever gets hold of this journal).
So I pondered questions on repeat, analyzed and over analyzed …
What does anyone even need anymore? There is so much out there, so many brands, so much clothing, there probably isn’t even a need to ever produce a single piece of clothing again, ever. There would, most likely, be enough to go around a few times. It’s not breaking news here that the fashion industry has become a major player in polluting our planet. Am I the only one in the industry feeling conflicted by making more in a world that is drowning in clothes? I doubt it. It’s a constant internal battle of making more and making less.
It's extremely hard as it is to make it in this industry, but throw in caring about the planet and you really have a challenge.
Operating with a conscience is unfortunately not easy…as the saying goes “ ignorance is bliss.” I imagine this is the frustration for the conscientious consumer as well. Here you are doing your part by actually being mindful of what you buy, considering the fabric, where its from, who made it , how well its constructed and shelling out a decent amount for it while others are buying 20 times more for the same amount on “cute trendy” items they got online and will “just get rid of it” when they’ve worn it …once. Do they really not know the true cost behind this? I’m not judging how much you buy , if you want a full closet with tons of options, go for it…its how and what you buy that makes a difference. If you wear the pieces and take good care of them, they will last, so you’ve made an investment and it's not hurting anyone. Its the over consumption with the idea that clothing is disposable that make me so so frustrated and angry!
I often think that everyone should try and make a garment to see what really goes into it. You can’t imagine the time and energy it takes unless you have done it and that’s just putting the pieces together, the making of the fabric and trim (buttons, zippers, elastic, etc) is an entirely separate process that also requires immense energy and resources that should not be taken for granted. Knowing all this is what makes being in this industry so challenging and the most difficult part of it all is the struggle of wanting to create but not wanting to produce. Does that even make sense? It’s a battle of making but not contributing to the overly saturated industry. So I’ve spent the last couple years trying to figure out where to fit in without becoming a typical “brand” that needs to constantly push new products for profits, and then I remembered why I started a n d t h e n ... and it was not to become that typical brand, it was to inspire and encourage you to wear what you love and to advocate for truly sustainable fashion. And truly sustainable fashion is using what already exists, whether its finding new ways to wear what you already have, shopping second hand, upcycling, supporting slow fashion brands using deadstock fabrics , and perhaps if you’re up for it , making your own clothes. This is truly sustainable.
So, as I course correct to the original path, I will use this space to share ideas with you, to help navigate and support your journey with sustainable fashion , to offer advice on making or styling or whatever else you need, and to hopefully spark inspiration to incorporate forever clothes in your wardrobe. So please reach out with questions , comments, or any ideas or thoughts you may want to share…we will walk together for the sake of our planet.
So let’s get started… tell me, what is the biggest challenge you have on your sustainable fashion journey right now?
photo by Jens Lelie