I am a fashion activist and I am committed to using the power of fashion to tackle social, environmental, economic and ethical issues. Many people see fashion as ephemeral and frivolous but I see it as a creative, enterprising and a multi-faceted industry that is vital to our economic and personal well-being.
In 2016, the industry was projected to reach a staggering $2.4 trillion in total value. If it were ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP, the global fashion industry would represent the world’s seventh largest economy. It is the second biggest worldwide economic activity for intensity of trade , employing over 57 million workers in developing countries with 80% of whom are women.
Although, it is not just the fashion industries economic power which is important, it is also the impact it has on each and every one of us. Fashion has the ability to change and shape lives through its personal connection to us all. We all have to wear clothes and every piece of clothing we buy represents a personal choice – it is this intrinsically human relationship between us and our fashion, that makes it political. Whether you are wearing a knitted pink pussy hat on a march, wearing an item, colour or brand of dress to express your beliefs or using your business to improve working conditions, fashion can and does encompass the political.
There are a number of ideas about fashion that I hold dear:
Fashion affects everyone.
It’s as much about the experience economy as it is about the physical economy.
We should all consider who made our clothes and value the resources that were used to make them.
Fashion is a major employer of women and should enhance and transform their lives.
Fashion can be used to build communities and develop skills.
From design to pattern cutting to marketing fashion is a great education.
Fashion can be art but it is always business.
Fashion is about evolution not revolution yet it is always trying and developing new technologies.
Fashion should be for all, whatever you age, colour, height, weight, ability or disability.
That, simply, it makes you feel good
In this blog I will explore these ideas, showing how people are tackling the negative impact of fashion on the environment and how people are being inspired by fashion to make changes to their lives or the lives of others. As I travel internationally to a variety of fashion cities I will explore the impact fashion has on different parts of the world and document how it is inseparable from craft, heritage, and tradition.
Too, as I call London my home, I will share my love for London’s eccentricity, diversity, people, history and intellectual drive, so occasionally I will share some of my favourite places to shop and the events I attend.