12:30 pm

"I'm trying (my best) to become a slooww fashion girl"

lol this is extremely rich coming from a girl who almost tripled her coat and jacket inventory last year and had to pay raaacks in overweight baggage just to get them on the plane back home. A girl whose heart flutters at the glimpse of a Topshop or Zara sign in the mall. A girl whose 'Clothing Items I NEED' list keeps getting longer and longer as I scroll through tumblr, insta and the likes.

But no. I'm taking a stand. This needs to stop.

I've done some research and some thinking. 
This all consuming world of fast fashion, encompassed by the likes of H&M, Zara, Topshop, River Island- basically all the places you probably get your clothes has some dirty little secrets. Dirty big secrets perhaps? 

These enormous multi-billion dollar companies literally rose from nothing and revolutionized the entire process of fashion. No longer did large fashion houses and small boutiques play the game of fashion alone, as huge entities, huge companies really, stepped onto the scene and changed the rules all together. No more waits for fashion shows and seasonal collections. No more need to spend big bucks on high quality fabrics. No more time wasted on detailed artisanal workmanship. We wanted clothes now. We wanted clothes cheap. We still do. I will always argue that fast fashion really has been the most revolutionary force in terms of making the fashion world tangible and accessible to a much wider spectrum of people. You really don't have to buy Prada to look cool. All I'm saying, and what the one documentary I watched (The True Cost)  is saying, is that, none of this goes without consequence. Be it social injustice, environmental harm, stealing intellectual property or perpetuating this hyper capitalistic culture of 'want now need now buy now', we're just running waaaay too fast for our own good.

So there's that.

But there's also the other side. 

The creations I saw at SA Menswear Fashion Week last month are still haunting me (in the best way possible). The other documentary I recently watched (Dior and I), which follows the lead up to Raf Simons' first haute couture collection at the atelier, is also still haunting me. There is SO much beauty in this business, such amazing craftsmanship, tons of innovation and not so much support from the youth market. I'm definitely not saying we should just drop everything and briskly walk to the nearest Chanel. I am saying though, maybe a real shift needs to happen in terms of the way we 'consume' clothing. What if we only bought from local designers, from local stores, from boutiques, from vintage and thrift stores, from fashion houses? Sure, we would hardly be able to buy nearly as much as we currently do, but perhaps that's a good thing. Perhaps trend culture would slowly die and people would dress more 'honestly' as they purchased only items they truly loved. Perhaps our local industry would begin to flourish at a faster pace, opening doors for more young designers to push more boundaries and create more mind-blowing, well made clothing. Perhaps workers would be treated better, rivers would be polluted less,clothing would not have an 'expiry date'. 

Maybe my suitcase would weigh under 20kg

So, I'm taking a vow to take it easy, to buy for forever and not for now, to support local creatives.

I think if we all did, we could start a small revolution (maybe even a big one).

It's worth a shot. 

Photo 1 and 3 by Dafifz
Photo 2 by Jemma Richmond

P.S if you go to UCT and wanna learn more, we're screening 'The True Cost' on Friday the 18th

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