In my previous blog posts I have talked about a wide range of things, from sports to politics, pharmaceuticals to nutrition.
J/K. No, we keep it light around here.
Or light enough, anyway. Mostly my thoughts, and therefore previous blog posts, revolve around conscious consumerism, travel, aesthetics and art, and just general musings. I have always been into textiles and garments, and I love patterning, sewing, and creating. From this genuine interest a slow fashion concept developed, and my Port Amelie Vintage and Upcycled Shop was born. It’s zeitgeisty, I know. Caring about sustainability, consumerism, mother earth, and minimal living is trendy and topical. Accuse me of jumping on a bandwagon and I won’t argue, because this is one bandwagon I don’t mind hitching my last horse to. Merging my love of textiles and clothes with conscious consumerism and thoughtful living seemed to fit my personality like a solar eclipse. Just the right time, just the right alignment, just the right amount of don’t-look-directly-at-it-or-you’ll-burn-your-eyeballs.
Slow fashion means something to me, and I’ll be blunt: it should mean something to you, too. I don’t expect people who aren’t into clothes to care about fashion. I don’t expect people who love buying things to stop buying things (economy says: no thank you.) But I do have a general expectation from fellow human beings to care that in a report published by the UK Parliament about the disastrous impact the fashion industry is having on the planet, they state that by 2050 ‘’the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles given the growth in global population.’’ (1)
I will break down that quote with this further information:
The fashion industry follows the automotive and technology industry as the world’s third biggest manufacturing industry. (2) This means that continuing our current consumption of textile products will play a huge role in depleting the natural resources needed to sustain life on this planet. Fast fashion is unsustainable. Unsustainable means: not capable of being prolonged or continued. It’s not just a fancy, zeitgeisty word people like to throw around right now to be down with the 411. Unsustainable means things will run out. Resources will run out.
*pause for doomsday effect*
As I said, we keep things light.
I won’t overwhelm with more facts and figures. What I really wanted to communicate today was why I started my Port Amelie slow fashion shop, why it means a lot to me, and why I think taking a deeper look at what we are consuming and why is just super duper important. The more you know, right! (knowledge is power and stuff)
Clothing can be so meaningful. Our bodies live in them, our memories are made in them.
With that said, I don’t believe that halting all shopping is the answer! The economy won’t thank us, and if we forewent fashion altogether, we would miss out on a deeply human and history-laden experience. Buying and wearing clothing for self expression, personal aesthetic, style, body confidence and self confidence is nothing new. We have been doing it for centuries, and it’s a great thing!! Through clothing, we can tell the world something about ourselves without ever needing to open our mouths. Clothing can make us feel powerful emotions and tell wonderful stories.
Wearing beautiful clothes we love is not a joy we have to abandon. Clothing can be so meaningful. Our bodies live in them, our memories are made in them. They are like old friends and they hold value in our lives. I truly believe if we value the source of the garments we spend our lives in, we can change the world. We can change working conditions, and therefore lives. We can save our natural resources. We can cherish our wardrobe and the world.
I upcycle clothing and hunt vintage because it is one of the most sustainable and consumer conscious ways to produce ‘‘new’’ clothing in our wardrobes. Fibers in upcycled and vintage products have already been grown, harvested, woven, dyed. Their materials have been cut, sewn, and manufactured. Their footprint has already been irreversibly made and yet their fate is likely a landfill or incineration. The most sustainable option is to reuse them! I take great pride in rescuing these textiles and giving them a new soul, to be valued to the end of their lifecycles as they should be.
This is why slow fashion as a concept is meaningful to me. It brings hope to a disappointing reality. If we all work together to make small changes (even baby-step changes!), and expand hope-giving concepts we are passionate about, we impact the world at large. That can only be a good thing.
Won’t you join me?