Re-Work, Re-Use, Re-Imagine
The world is changing. Lead by the hyper-conscious behaviour of gen z, we are at the beginning of a wholesale change in the way that the fashion industry behaves and operates.
Seeing fashion move away from it's pollutive and wasteful past. Is a trend that we've seen recently in the automotive sector and one that is arguably just as over due.
Sustainability and circular fashion have become buzzword within fashion in recent years but with good reason. As the world slowed down in 2020 we all saw the signs of pollution and global warming slow down and in some cases reverse very briefly. The fashion industry has been identified as a big part of the problems we face with regards to not only climate change but also environmental pollution. As conscious consumers have begun to make more efforts to spend money with brands that align with their values, we've seen the rise of things such as the Good On You App, that rates and ranks fashion brands based on their ethical and sustainable practices, empowering people to navigate the sometimes murky world of sustainability Greenwashing.
Often when it comes to highlighting brands that are making a difference with their fashion practices there is a lack of diversity in terms of who isgiven air time, so here are some great Black-owned brands right at the forefront of this change including some from the Ourhood Community including Tens Studio, Bad Habits London and Little Sister.
Re-working a garment by adding something to it, dyeing it,or any kind of customisation has always been a great way of making sure that you're not turning up looking the exact same as someone else but beyond that, it also means you might be breathing new life into an otherwise forgotten / retired piece of fashion.
A UK based brand that is doing a lot of amazing things with this in mind is Tens Studio. Tens Studio is a brand centered around creativity and experimentation that takes into account natural resources and traditional craft techniques to create unique one of a kind pieces. Samantha Russel the founder of Tens Studio, used the time created by enforced lockdowns to learn new skills such as natural dying, embroidery and knitting stitches which she has since incorporated into her designs. Elevating vintage Levi's jackets and Swiss Army uniforms with hand embroided Tens Studio logo motifs.
Over in the US, Brooklyn-based Friends of Ourhood Community, Savant Studios are the masters of Re-working garments into their own distinct style. Working with an array of materials from leather to knitwear to manta cotton, incorporating their slogans such as "Slow Magic" and "Beautiful Boogieman" from their recent collections.
The fashion re-sale market is due to double in the next 5 years, reaching $77Billion. What's driving this dramatic rise in fortunes for vintage threads?
1.There is the fact that we seem to be recycling trends as much as we are clothes. With Gen Z getting their teenage kicks from paying homage to icons and styles that they've long since missed.
2. There is the thrill of the find. As the internet has made the world a smaller place, it has become harder and harder to have a unique style or fit, without it being a carbon copy of something you can find on fast fashion influencer. The ability to find unique one of pieces that elevate an outfit and that can't be easily replicated is something that has the peacock among us rushing to the vintage rack over all else.
3. Depop. I mean there are plenty of other resale apps such as ebay and newer Gen Z targeted resale platforms. and they are all doing their bit. But Depop (for all it's comic message exchanges with teenagers trying to get cheaper deals) is probably the leader in 2022. These platforms all allow fashion lovers to recoup money from their previous purchases and also contribute to much needed sustainability efforts.
Tech and Fashion are two awkward bed-fellows that have been getting closer and closer. In 2022 I think it's safe to finally say that they might finaly be in sync. With apps Like Save Your Wardrobe and Whering helping people to make the most of the clothes that they already have at their disposal.
However, past new ways to discover and use clothing that is already owned. The other way that fashion is being re-imagined is in the techniques used to manafacture clothing. Jeans as an example are thought to be one of the most poluting items of clothing, with their use of chemicals and copius amounts of water in their process. So if you love all the colours of the rainbow, but want to avoid toxic dyes, then the first step is to look to brands that utilise natural dyes such as Bad Habits London. A brand that does what it says on the tin by trying to move away from the bad habits of fashion by using sustainable practices.
All in all there is a lot that we can do in terms of our fashion choices to lessen the impact that the industry has on our world. and if you ever find yourself unsure on what to do, just remember that older brands are pivoting to sustainability, while others are built with it at the very core of their being.
Bad Habits London