As explained in my 'About Me' section, I studied fashion design and for a time worked in 'the fashion industry'. While still at collage I went on a tour of the headquarters of one of Australia's largest clothing chains. Something our tour guide said has always stuck with me:
'Our clothes are disposable fashion', she said. 'We're lucky if our designs make it to the washing machine.' ...
While I was impressed with the sheer volume of the garments produced and proud that an Australian company was thriving, the idea of the wastefulness and the ethical and ecological consequences of such mass production never sat well with me.
I got started working at the bottom of the food chain for a tiny importing company, who sent me out with a camera and a buying budget, to knock off whatever the top chain stores were selling. I would spend hours scouring the Internet for the latest trends and get them into production before the market changed again. Needless to say, it was exhausting and left me creatively disillusioned. I knew that the garments I was helping to produce couldn't be good for the environment, for the people constructing them or ultimately the consumer wearing them. But I couldn't see any other way for the market to still make its profits and Australia to be able to afford fashionable clothes.
Now don't get me wrong I LOVE FASHION and understand that style has been evolving since then beginning of time. I also think that Australia boasts some of the greatest designers on the earth. But this demand for disposable or 'fast fashion' causes labels and thus manufacturers to produce minimally designed, poorly constructed garments that are worn a few times and then discarded to landfill. Garments might make it to an op-shop or vintage store, but let's face it, garments of this quality weren't worth wearing the first time and will hardly hold up through the ages.
It is for these above reasons that I now find myself here; discontented with the moral, ethical, and ecological choices of the mainstream fashion industry and I'm definitely not alone. Supermodel Lily Cole was quoted in Peppermint Mag saying: 'I have long had misgivings about the industry I work in'. The demand for 'slow' fashion is on the rise with interest in fairtrade, organic and vintage becoming more and more popular.
And so the time has come to start making good fashion choices, even if I'm only making them for myself.