I said it. Coming from a Fashion student, I suppose I should explain myself.
Making clothes and the idea of fashion are totally different ball games. Clothes made for the sole purpose of making profit shouldn’t be called fashion at all. If you ask me, that’s an insult to the designs that can express parts of the human experience that are sometimes hard to put into words. Fashion that can enlighten, evolve and devastate and have a story told with each stitch.
Some examples of fast fashion. It’s lifeless. You can smell the dispassion in the rushed craftsmanship, churned out with no real love or thought put into it. Fashion can be beautiful and expressive and a useful tool within society to say who we are without words – what are these clothes saying about us? It’s cheap and accessible, but at what real price? Underpaid and exploited workers, tonnes of textile landfill and an ‘I want it now’ culture that acts before it thinks.
I decided to follow a career in fashion to make a difference. But it can be a lonely world sometimes. A world that is shallow and out for itself – occasionally it carries me back to my school days, where being at the top of the social food chain is all that mattered. What’s the point of wearing something if you don’t know where it came from, who made it and what it represents? If you don’t know any of these things, how could it possibly be self expression at all?
We can’t all afford the better quality clothes. But there are much better alternatives than fast fashion. Making your own, buying second hand, buying with the intention of making it last. I would love to see clothes treated as investments, not quick fixes.
Trend-following is not fashion. If you do that, where are you? Who are you? It can be hard to tune out the background noise and listen to what you want to be. Saturated advertising can numb our reactions to fashion, so it can be difficult to keep a clear head.
But what is clear is that we need to bring the passion back into clothes – ask the questions. Because they do matter in the real world, they matter a whole lot.