I just finished a book in record time – one month, instead of three ( all thanks to the #tenpagesaday initiative ). And this aforementioned book happens to be one of the most important I have ever read, or opened. It is the book that everyone needs to read.
Clare Press’ hilarious, moving, insightful book, titled Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion. Even those who claim to not care about ‘fashion’ should pick it up ( you still wear clothes don’t you? – I hope ). The thing is, this isn’t just a book about fashion, it is about the WORLD.
One of our largest industries is currently operating in such a way that lives are put on the line ( both human and animal ), and the environment is brought to destruction. What does that say about us – the consumers, the feeders of all this? We can’t separate ourselves from these problems, because we are the ones living with a desire for constant excess, show, labels and status.
Even though not a fashion brand, Apple puts this innate human desire on show every year when they release something new ( when it has a headphone jack at least… ). Queues line the streets as we want immediate upgrades, getting rid of our perfectly fine and functioning old version because of this desire for the ‘new’. Same goes with fashion. New trends, new fabrics, new looks. And we lap it all up.
The book had me on the verge of vomiting at times, knots lurching in my tummy, anxiety building. Necessary to incite a change. I came close to considering becoming vegetarian for good, and not just because of the meat expense. Do me, and the world, a favour and pick it up – you might become more cynical, more stingy, more angry – but something has to be done, and we can only start forcing a change when we band together. Borrow my tabbed, cornered and starred version if you must.
The biggest lesson for me is to pick your battles. It isn’t possible to find a brand that grows their fibres organically with no harm to the environment, uses sustainable production processes, loves their human workers, treats animals kindly at all times, and happens to have the most efficient distribution methods. Find what matters most to you and focus on that. Ditch harmful leather, embargo any label not paying at least a living wage or choose to shop locally always. If we each focus on even one aspect a revolution will occur.
On a lighter note – as the mornings become brighter and the temperature a little warmer, our toes are searching for a way to break free of the confines of socks and boots and sneakers. They want to be on show, pedicured or not, in a fittingly sustainable way. Palmaira Sandals are sitting on my wishlist, delivering all of the above. The comfy, practical and colourful creations are handmade on the island of Menorca, hiring local village workers to weave their traditional magic into each pair. The sandals have a wonderful simplicity about them, taking a conventional footwear profile and modifying in every possible way to build a range to suit all.
Whether you are after a flatform for striking streetwear, a casual beach sandal, or something a little more jazzy and glittered up for an evening of dancing and twirling, it’s there. Next step is to book an island getaway, bring out the bikinis and gaze at the reef for days. All while pondering how to change the world.
(Images from here)