Slow Fashion - The Significance of ‘Good Design’
We believe good design is about the lasting power of a garment. It means moving away from trends and thinking of fashion as a commodity, items to be replaced at lightening speed. It is about moving away from the social pressure to be 'in' and moving toward a human connectedness and desire to ensure that everyone has --enough. Moving toward an aesthetic which embraces creativity and personal expression while recognizing that moderation in consumption is both a value and an aesthetic.
It is about seeing clothing not as a means toward securing popularity, but as a means of telling the human story of the many hands who made it, the human story that brings all of us together. It is about valuing the longevity in every garment, learning to mend, to share, to recycle and upcycle. It is also about good design. Good design is not trendy; it is practical, effortless, wearable and becomes more beautiful the longer its story is told. So called 'sustainable' fashion, which appears as one time evening gowns is not sustainable. It is the well-loved and well worn dress that I wore through multiple seasons, mended and finally passed on to my daughter, then added bright colored patches to, that has stood the test of time and is part of the deeper human story; it is part of the SLOW FASHION world. A world where we are human beings first and realize that we can't couple words like organic and fair trade and artisan with sustainability until we rethink what type of fashion we're producing, what type of designs, at what speed, with what longevity --and what marketing message.
For any of this to be sustainable, all of us need to rethink what type of clothes we are making and what our responsibility is to make things that will last, stand the test of time, be a part of a person's wardrobe for years to come and be part of the greater message to humanity. Design which allows those who made it to live decently and those who wear it to be an active part of that human story is the only 'fashionable' thing to do. Making the best use of what we have so that others will have enough is the only road to sustainability.
I have found much inspiration for understanding and developing our own concept of slow fashion from various Japanese expressions which share the same aesthetic. There is a Japanese term 'boro' which is used for lovingly patched and repaired old or tattered garments or textiles. The Japanese term 'mottainai' which has partially been adopted by the green movement, and which refers to something being a 'waste', signifying regret in wasting things--as in something which should not be wasted, like water, food, clothing, but rather should be guarded against waste. Another Japanese term, 'kintsukuroi' refers to the art of mending broken pottery with gold, but expresses beautifully, the idea that something broken is more beautiful having been repaired--as a symbol of its resilience and the deeper story of its existence.
In essence SLOW FASHION is an intrinsic part of the road to sustainability and to the core principles underlying ethical fashion. It is a different understanding of art, design, process, durability, longevity and the human story encoded in the garment.