Inspired by the task at class I continue along the lines of Elina and Annasofia; sustainable fashion. I think there is a lot of knowledge about the sustainability issues regarding fast, cheap fashion. Still, people go to H&M and the likes of it. I think it is about the culture of consumption and the ‘culture of the default choices’ – people also eat unhealthily when most people very well know what’s healthy and what’s not. Luckily, there has been a trend around a while on downshifting also clotheswise, focusing on classics and quality over quantity. All those books and magazine stories about the perfect Parisian elegance, with ten pieces in your wardrobe…
Like Annasofia mentioned, there are some sustainably operating small and medium fashion brands even in Finland. Samuji is one of them. Samuji is not labeling itself as an eco-brand or a sustainability brand, but sustainability is at the very core of the brand’s essence; a natural part of doing things well. The brand’s philosophy is indeed about quality, in both the process as the outcome. None of its garments are made in China or Bangladesh under shady circumstances. The materials as well as the manufacturers are chosen with transparent principles, supporting European craftmanship when we still have it. They have said that they would produce in Finland if there were possibilities left to do so. Obviously, the pricing of the brand is very different from, say, H&M, but then again, it’s about choices. For the price of ten dresses that lose their shape after a couple of washes you get one that lasts to your daughter.
Like my title suggests, this is not an advertisement so let’s move on 🙂 In the recent Intelligent Life (March/ April 2013) there is an article on the topic “what women want from fashion”. Editor Rebecca Willis has asked 40 women this question. The story is not about sustainability, but the outcome is very much aligned with the idea of sustainable fashion – women want less speed and more style. Better quality garments that don’t feel outdated after a season or two. “Women are sick of low quality, poorly made, ill-fitting clothes that don’t last.” Besides concern for the impact of the fashion industry to the wallets and the sanity (in trying/ wanting to keep up with the current trends) of women, from the replies can be read a concern for our planet. One key insight in the story is the wish to have clear information about how the clothes are produced.
According to Rebecca Willis, “there is a market out there for designers who treat women with respect”. I very much agree with her. As designers and business professionals, let’s just start working.