Slow it down
With the start of London Fashion Week, I cannot help but think about The Slow Fashion Movement- what it’s all about and how we can benefit from it. Whilst we’re bombarded with imagery that illustrates homogeneous styles, shop windows that change daily with new drops of merchandise, The Slow Fashion Movement is more about a mindset, a lifestyle choice, an ethos and values that supersedes the look of ‘now’.
Fashion weeks occur every 6 months with in-between seasons gaining more and more commercial precedence over the main the shows. Here, I talk of the ‘resort’ and pre’ collections that finds brands designing 6 seasons’ worth of merchandise a year. Many high street chains offer new merchandise every week. That’s an awful lot of weaving, dyeing…toxins in the environment.
The True Cost Movie a film co directed by Lucy Siegle, The Guardian ethical and lifestyle journalist, Livia Firth and featuring Orsola de Castro, co founder of Fashion Revolution and #whomademyclothes, further explains the effects of fast fashion on people and planet, citing Capitalism as a root cause. I’m inclined to delve deeper and offer Imperialism and Colonialism as root causes.
When we wrote an article about Primark and the supposed ‘cry for help’ labels sewn into the garments found, we posed the question: “How do you solve a problem like Primark?” To which Livia Firth, founder of The Green Carpet Challenge, replied, “By slowing down”
The Slow Fashion Movement is about the pleasure derived from buying a well made garment, timeless in design and for this very reason the Kitty Ferreira label has been designed with classic silhouettes that can work with a variety of different pieces in your existing wardrobe and still offer a new look each time; why there are more separates than dresses on offer in the collection. It is also the reason why I don’t follow fashion seasons when designing. To be honest they come around so fast, it makes it difficult for small companies to keep up and why would we want to anyway? The Slow Fashion Movement is also a rebellion against the establishment, an antithesis to what is deemed as ‘normal’ and unchanging. But in the great words of Otis Reading, “ A change is gonna come”. It also explains the chosen colours of the collection you wouldn’t ordinarily find on the homogenous high street, to the colours of models used in our catwalk shows- diversity is not only fair but representative of the people around you and again, to the range of sizing we offer. We’ve recently won a Design Innovation award from the Royal College of Art which will enable us to train and employ youths from disadvantaged backgrounds into the world of real fashion. Not only is sustainability practiced within our supply chain but we’re hoping to encourage sustainable UK job creation and sell our items in a sustainable manner; juxtaposing a luxury service with a down-to-earth conscious ethos. More on this shall be revealed in due course. The Slow Fashion Movement extends to the repair and proper care of your wardrobe; an antithesis to throwaway fashion. Where some of the fabrics I’ve used in the collection are dry clean only, due to the nature of the hand-dyeing process using natural materials, there are dry cleaners that offer chemical-free cleaning:
Dry Green Only, in Leeds
Blanc Clean again in London. If you know of any other eco-friendly dry cleaners within the UK and abroad, then please do drop us a line below.
I also aspire to a circular economy, using upcycled fabrics and food waste to dye our fabrics with, but also in the post-purchase phase of a garment through recycling and rentals, such as through a peer-to-peer garment rental company, Rentez-Vous, whose ethos is based on the fact that we over-consume fashion.
So whilst London Fashion Week is a spectacle in its own right, making the careers of the newest, hottest designer, allowing more established brands to showcase on a global scale and for us mere mortals who can only admire the artisanship from our screens, it does concern me the sheer volume of clothes that are being created; with new brands sustainable and not, popping up all the time ready to jump on the season band wagon.
Slow it down!