A love letter for sustainable fashion
Every time someone asks me how I chose to be a fashion designer, I tell a beautiful sentimental story how it started when I was around 9. Although the truth is I became a designer because of my dandy nature and being unable to buy everything I wanted.
Wanting something I couldn’t afford inspired me to make my first steps in fashion and experiment with sewing - a skirt from paper cuts, ripping a pair of best jeans I had, using a black marker to write a quote ‘Punks are not dead’ on a t-shirt... Boy, do I need to say more?
All these little fashion miracles I did were also first attempts in sustainable fashion*. When you hear sustainable, eco or recyclable fashion it means so much more than a skirt made from bottle caps or shirt of wrapping paper. Unfortunately, it is exactly what people imagine when they hear these word compilations. Thank god, these words start to get a a broader meaning of minimalism and vintage clothing, that gives us a wider picture.
I could say I am a defender of this movement through all my conscious life, but the real enlightenment struck me not so long ago, when I saw a documentary called ‘The True cost’ about fast fashion* manufacturer's daily routine. At that very moment I realized that we are responsible for these people suffering in poor conditions just because we want fashionable clothes here, fast and now.
I am not ascetic kind of girl who could imagine herself having three tops, two blazers and one good pair of jeans. My personal opinion is that it's too boring and makes us all look alike (as well as shopping at fast fashion stores).
Since the early childhood when my mom understood that we CLEARLY have different sense of style, I got a right to choose what to wear. It didn’t take long to earn an honourable title of a Thrift Shop Queen. Finding out where all clothes came from, man oh man, interested my young and wild soul more than anything. If there was a problem with size or detail, it was fixed as soon as I got home (with the help of a needle and a thread).
Sustainability became my lifestyle and I always like telling a story of my black classic trousers - 4 years ago I fell in love with them when I found them in a thrift store for 2 euros. Later when I got tired of flare it had, I remade them to a straight cut and now for the third time it got renewed with fringes. Same crazy story about my bathrobe that after a few cuts and stitches here and there reborn as a coat!
And now couple of tricks that helps my wardrobe to stay original & sustainable:
- If you have an urge but no skills to make a sustainable item - ask help from your mom. Or dad. Or a seamstress. Or give it to me for heaven’s sake and I promise you will fall in love with that top you used to like once again.
S W A P P I N G. Swapping*** parties are the new bridal/baby/bday showers. Seriously. Try it.
As a young designer I stand for all of us. Over a cup of tea I can tell you how an idea for an item came up and talk it all through. No H&M could do that.
Let’s be responsible for what we wear. It’s even more fun and gives you an extra 1000 karma points every time you choose to be sustainable.
*SUSTAINABLE FASHION - also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. It can be seen as an alternative trend against fast fashion.
**FAST FASHION - a phenomenon in the fashion industry where clothing production is expected to get new trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible.
***SWAPPING - A clothing swap is a type of swap meet wherein participants exchange their valued but no longer used clothing for clothing they will use. Clothing swaps are considered not only a good way to refill one's wardrobe, but also are considered an act of environmentalism.