In the picture I’m wearing a skirt I bought in a thrift store, for just £4, practically new and the a friend gave me the sweater cause she wasn’t going to be using it anymore – The sofa was also a gift from a friend, second hand win!
Fashion and me
Mi story with fashion has never been a very interesting one. In truth, I’ve never been a gal that loves brands, or that admires models or anything that resembles that.
No awareness whatsoever
Nonetheless, I did have a time in my life when I used to buy a lot of clothes, shoes and others trying to fulfil my “fashion style” especially during the sales season. I bought without looking the fabrics, without considering who or where it was made. I never asked the environmental or human cost, not until many years later.
When I came to London, one of the cosmopolitan and central cities for fashion, I realised that:
- I wanted to have a simpler life
- I didn’t want to partake in things that were going against my values, which meant against the environment
I started with food, but one thing leads to another and you end up in the world of fashion. Even though I rarely bought anything, I did buy a couple of things in places (that I know now) that do not provide fair labour conditions to their employees or care about polluting our Earth and that have questionable work ethics.
Fast fashion and its effects
It is overwhelming when I go to any of these places where they profit from fast fashion, and after watching a film like The True cost, and realising how everything is been made in countries where there is so much inequity and/or that are highly contaminated. After the Rana Plaza incident is just too difficult to forget that we are all responsible for what is happening everywhere.
Living in tune with my values
In this picture I am wearing a second hand jacket that a friend left me before she moved to Spain – The beautiful background is Regents Park
Once you know something you simply can’t unknow it and turn your head around, to keep with your same habits. So, in terms of fashion, I decided for myself that either I buy something second hand or I should always verify the ethos of the company and see if it fits my requirements.
Fashion and costumes
At the beginning, I thought it was going to be too difficult, but in reality, everything is a matter of getting used to it. What is worth to being fashionable if after you buy that t-shirt that cost you less than your coffee you’re going to have to throw it away because it has no use after a few weeks or months? It’s much better to buy something with a story, something that you truly appreciate, that allows you to express your identity and authenticity.
Fashion art or pollutant?
I have nothing against fashion, I actually think is a beautiful way of artistic expression. But, when it becomes a machine that generates profits for a few, while impoverishing the life of many and contaminating the world, then that it can’t be fashion, that’s cruelty.
Be truth to your values whenever you can and however you can
- Reduce what you buy (I have a future project of developing a capsule wardrobe for myself)
- Repair the lovely clothing pieces you cherish
- Reuse (buy second hand and/or donate)
- Recycle into a new thing or give it to someone who can create something beautiful with it
Finally, if you decide to buy something new, investigate the ethos of the company, ask if they have any intentions of taking care of the environment, to respect their employees and to give something back to the world after they’ve taken so much to elaborate their products.
Call it ‘eco-fashion’ if you like, but I think it’s just common sense. – Livia Firth