There’s a shift taking place– in some ways it’s always been here but now more so apparent thanks to social media. As a refresher for those reading this post and not familiar with what we do at BMS, we celebrate independent and ethical fashion designers. One of our top goals is to create a beautiful world for the future. We do so by presenting ethical/sustainable/fashion-forward designers through creative showcases, our annual eco-collective, Fashion Envie, editorial placements, and collaborations throughout the year. We love it because we know it’s much bigger than us.
As an African-born woman and an immigrant that has been living in this country for many years, I have come to appreciate more than I did growing up in a third world nation. I recently came across a post on Huffington Post that touches on how fast fashion impacts the lives of women. After reading this article, I was left speechless knowing how most women crave their independence (financial and otherwise) in taking care of themselves and their families. The role of evolving fast fashion (and I use evolving here loosely as it is simply creating more waste through the introduction of new technologies) is quickly eradicating for some, their sole source of income.
So it begs the questions; With the introduction of new technologies, will fashion become more sustainable and ethical? How are we to minimize waste, curb air and water pollution, and treat the labor workers to fair wages no matter the origin?
As the garment jobs are becoming more automated, women are now at risk of losing these meager/less paying jobs that once was a source of relief (even with the conditions.) The writer states that “[a]utomation might create a higher number of skilled jobs and make factory work less dangerous for some.” This reassurance is lost on many that might end up in the unemployment line.
This fast moving train affects us all. The separated families, pollution, harassment of different kinds, and lack of fair wages. Shouldn’t the introduction of new technologies be designed to benefit the communities if it will eliminate jobs? Shouldn’t we, as part of the human collective, do our part in reducing clothing waste by using all methods available to us.
I will leave you with some good news! There are some examples of amazing initiatives designers are embarking on. One perfect example is the recent collaboration between Vionnet Paris and Marc Quinn in creating 100% recycled ocean waste.
Here’s a flashback from the WARM BODIES editorial envisioned and styled by me with Seamstress skills from Tamara Leacock of ReciclaGem NY. This dress was made from a used foam wrap.