My new year’s resolution is to actually write on this blog. And to take some pictures.
During the walking part of my morning commute, I have been listening to podcasts: That’s Not My Age, The Collector’s House ( the Matches fashion podcast), The Liberty London podcast, among others, and latterly, the Business of Fashion podcasts. All of this has been a series of reminders that I really don’t need more clothes, and if I do, I need to know as much as I can about where it came from.
The podcasts have been interesting, ranging as they do across different creative types, but I’ve found myself drawn to the ones where a designer either convinces me that their efforts to create in an ethical and sustainable way justify the prices of their clothes, or the podcasts give me an insight into the workings of the fashion industry. I’ve listened to Dana Thomas discussing her book Fashionopolis several times (and made others listen to it), and something she said has stuck with me – that when we pay a ridiculously low price for a garment, it’s because someone else has already paid the price … and it isn’t the manufacturer, or the brand.
From my perspective, the fashion press is in a strange place at the moment. Sustainability is a hot topic, and they address it earnestly. And then they put in a couple of links to “more affordable” options… or, in other words, fast fashion.
I get it. I listened to a podcast with Gabriela Hearst, and I was sold. But I can’t afford her clothes even at sale prices, so I need more affordable options, and I can probably afford to stick to my principles and find clothes made by companies who are fighting the good fight. Not everyone can afford them, I get that. But there is something duplicitous about the idea that fast fashion is ok as a cheaper option, because it sells the idea of sustainability as elitist.