Read This Book!

I had a class earlier this year where we had to read a chapter from Tansy E. Hoskins book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Unlike many of the other readings we had to do for the course, I read the chapter really fast and immediately decided that I had to read the entire book.

I was already aware of many of the things Hoskins examines in this book but I had never had them all compiled on one plate and served to me with such razor sharp straightforwardness. This book has forced me to look long and hard at my own consumer habits and all the industry myths I buy into. After reading this book I can’t justify buying fast fashion anymore, even if I’m only buying those very basic staple garments that I know I will wear until they falls apart.

What’s so great about this book you ask? Chapter by chapter Hoskins examines the very many ways the fashion industry exploits and destroys people and nature. She debunks myths about high end fashion and exposes how most of the industry is ruled by a few conglomerates. At the same time she describes how all of it affects society, from status to body image.

Another great thing about the book is that Hoskins doesn’t just serve up depressing facts about the fashion industry but offers suggestions where to start changing the systems that enable all the exploitation. She encourages the reader to envision a future where we’ve torn down the current system and replaced it with something better.

I really encourage you all to read this book, whether you’re into fashion or not. I would go as far and say it should be recommended reading for all 8th graders.

Have you read Stitched Up? What was your take on it?

Would you wear a borrowed garment?

Renting evening and bridal wear is quite common but what about clothes for everyday life? You’ve maybe borrowed a garment from a friend or a sibling but would you do the same from a company? With the tons of garments ending up in landfills do we perhaps need to reconsider ownership of clothing?

When I first heard of clothing libraries and other renting services a few years ago, I thought it was a great idea but couldn’t really see myself using them. Now that I understand how these services could help decrease the amount of rarely used garments at the back of our closets I’m willing to reconsider. There is still a part of me that s a bit hesitant. Maybe it’s because I’m very clumsy at times and I’m worried about ruining the garment while I’m renting it. It probably sound very crazy but you haven’t seen the oily red sauces I eat and stains they cause. If I think about it rationally though, these companies have thought about tomato sauce and turmeric stains and have policies for them.

Lately I’ve been really trying to pay attention to the garments I own and how often I use them. My goal is to have a closet that has an eclectic mix of clothes that are constantly in use. My logic is if I can mix and match and get a variety of combinations, I don’t need to own so many pieces. There are a few situations where I could see myself using these renting services; business meetings (not something currently happening in my life but you know, planning for my future self) and funerals. If I felt I needed to dress in a more corporate way, I could rent the suite, instead of buying one that would most likely get  shunned to the back of my closet. That’s what’s happened to the few black garments I have, the ones I  usually refer to as my funeral attire because funerals are the only place you’ll see me in head to toe black. These clothes don’t fit me that great and are taking up space in my already tiny closet. So maybe I should pass them on to someone who really likes wearing black and the next time there’s a funeral, I’ll rent my outfit?

So I wanna hear your thoughts on this, do you often borrow clothes from loved ones? Have you used any clothing libraries or similar services? And if so, how did you find that experience? Tips for clothing libraries in Helsinki are also welcome!


Approaching Sustainability

Talking about sustainability (especially in fashion) feels at times as an impossible task. It’s such a big and complicated issue and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless as an individual. However, giving up and saying there nothing we can do is simply not an option so I think the best way of tackling a giant of an issue like this is to find a place to start.

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, recycle. I want you to memorise that. I want you to remember these words the next time you feel like you have nothing to wear, the next time you’re going shopping or emptying out your closet. The goal is to think about the clothes you own and how you buy and wear them. It’s about taking the time to figure out what you actually need and use and giving some thought to where those garments came from. Reducing for example doesn’t only mean reducing the number of garments, it can also mean reducing the amount of ill fitting garments or reducing the number of bad quality garments in your closet.

I’ve been reducing the amount of things I own for some years now but even I occasionally struggle with  impulse purchases and garments that I dub the best second hand find ever in the fitting room but somehow don’t fit two weeks later. I’m still trying to figure out what is the correct way to dispose of garments that are beyond repair and if boycotting fast fashion is the best way to help people working in the factories. What I’m saying is, it’s a learning process and changing habits takes time but like with most transitions in life you have to start somewhere!

The True Cost

Date : 27/04/2018
The True Cost

As fashion revolution week draws to an end I would like to remind you of this great documentary from a few years ago that I think everyone should watch, The True Cost. It shows the devastating truth behind fast fashion. I recently watched it in a Sustainable Fashion class and now I’m trying to figure out what I can do to change this industry. The documentary is quite heavy so  I suggest that you watch it with someone so you can discuss it afterwards.

I want to write more about sustainable fashion and what we can do as consumers (and designers) to change the industry. Sustainability is an incredibly complex subject and I’m definitely no expert but I’m trying to live by the motto “When you know better, do better” and I’m hoping that by sharing what I’ve learned so far can help you make more sustainable purchases. I’ll be putting whatever I write on the subject under a new category, Understanding Sustainable Fashion. You can still take part in Fashion Revolution week, see the links below.

More about the documentary
Fashion Revolution