In the run up to International Women’s Day I though it would be an idea to share the opinions of my female colleagues here. Dilys Williams is the Director of Centre For Sustainable Fashion at the College.
We asked Dilys about her views on women in realtion to her work at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.
If we had a day, what would we do?
“The delight that I feel in waking every day is the delight in time spent in the company of family, friends and colleagues, engaging in endeavours to which I feel a passionate sense of belonging. This is not in itself distinctive, millions of women throughout the world wake each day with a passionate sense of what they could do and what it might mean to others. But we still live in a time where so much ingenuity is stifled, smothered and blocked in so many ways, limiting the possibilities in our individual and collective prosperity. Engaged, as I am, in dreaming (with my eyes wide open) of what fashion can offer to sustainability, I witness around me incredible examples of women’s great work, from the communities that I am a part of, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, London itself and wider connected communities across the world. This is no co-incidence, as what sustainability needs has such synchronicity with what millions of women engage in every day; holism, compassion, reflection, imagination, collaboration, humility and quiet boldness.
Imbalanced relationships within humanity and between us and nature have, over time, received an increase in media attention, legislation, audits, discussions and agreements over the treatment of women and our roles as the earth’s guardians, but how much has really changed in our actions, perceptions or habits? Inequalities are starkly visualized across the gamut of education, fashion and sustainability, from seamstresses burning to death behind locked doors in factories to mental health issues related to societal pressures.
If we had a day, just us, what might we do? Taking evidence from the women I see, know, meet, hear of and from what I know of the woman I am, we’d foster relationships that create communities, beautiful artifacts, infrastructures and shared spaces. We’d link experience with what is yet to exist, we’d dress up, make food, write poetry, make useful and beautiful objects and we’d decorate our public places. We would laugh, a lot. We’d see our interdependencies as a reason to collaborate rather than compete and we would see leadership as visualizing what needs to be done for the good of the whole and doing whatever is in our power to get it done. We’d protect the youngsters, the elders and the vulnerable; we would find practical ways for us to thrive. We’d do it in style and we’d do it with integrity. We have great work to do and we are best placed to do it. We live each day in gratitude of the great women who have enabled us to be who we are and where we are, who continue to contribute to what the world needs and we each need to mark ways to make way for women throughout the world on 8th March so that we can see more of what might be.”