PURE London has recognised the global shift towards the super conscious shopper – the organic, the ethical, the short design run, the limited edition, the rare and exclusive artisan products… this year the UK’s biggest trade show launched their new element Pure Conscious.
How conscious are you?
As mainstream fashion slowly catches up to the fact that the industry is the world’s number 2 killing our planet can we take a sigh of relief? I’d say no, not yet.
Three years ago I introduced “The True Cost” movie to the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival. Five years ago The Fashion Revolution launched on the back of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and has held annual events on or around the 24th April, globally.
There are multiple attempts by small design houses, production facilities, start-ups and even some headline designers and high street names. However, the celebration of shopping hauls, and the abundance of people buying clothing with little or no consideration for who made it, where it came from and how it was made continues apace.
You maybe know that the idea of buying something new makes us feel happy (but only for a short moment). This in my mind is why we have little chance of changing society unless there is a dramatic shift. What would replace that adrenaline rush, and why would we even want to stop?!
But wait, those that buy ethically and sustainably, the adrenaline rush lasts much longer, they are more proud and tell their mates more than if it’s just a new top for going out at the weekend…
Do we need a bigger more dramatic shift to make us all think differently?
I’m no fan of BREXIT – putting up walls, closing borders or pushing people away. Hell, fashion thrives and blossoms on diversity! But is it time for a revolution a real positive change that fashion can play a part in, not just now but for years to come?
Let me be the one to remind you that “Sit-In’s” (American civil rights), that “Marches” (the Salt March by Gandhi and the Suffrage Parade), “Boycotts” (Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat to a white man on the bus), that “Singing” (100,000 Estonians sang for 5 straight days to take power back from Soviet Rule). There are loads of other examples of peaceful protest; never however, has fashion been a successful example of change.
Is that time now?
As I walk into high-street stores to see what’s hanging there, to see what’s on the shelf, to browse the sale rail and then immediately reflect, “what am I replacing?” I continue to walk out with nothing. I don’t “NEED” any more stuff. I might want it, I may even passionately desire it, I just don’t need it.
If we’re to look at building on the Fashion Revolution – it is promoted by amazing people in the industry continuing to be ethical, sustainable – which to quite a few that I’ve spoken to, shouts: “Yeah, I don’t want that hippy shit.” How do you help the cause? How do you stand up to an industry that is continually killing our planet by the dyes, production processes and so much more (watch True Cost).
What is the answer?
Don’t tell me buying more stuff is the right thing to do, unless it is putting money into the hands of people down the road who will use it for good, use it for change, use it for making a real difference. And how do you know it’s not funding some ridiculous lifestyle? Who can you trust?
At least the person down the road, you can see where they live, what car they drive, the clothes they wear…
If there is to be a Fashion Revolution, let it be that you only buy locally, and ask where they get their cloth from, and… WAIT… we’re back to the hippy shit again!
Or are we?
How hard have you looked or researched your next purchase, how good do you want to feel having made the right choice?
Where will you buy your next piece of clothing?