The craft of making clothes has been individually linked to each of us for thousands of years. Unless you were literally the Prince of England, you probably sewed on your own buttons. The globalization has scattered the production of clothes to all possible corners of the world.
Fast fashion, copied luxury fashion at cheap prices, is overtaking all previous fashion business models in record time. Fashion has become a disposable product, with so many new clothes being produced in the shortest amount of time.
Zara, the fast fashion giant, needs two weeks from the start of production until the dress is ready to be sold in the shop. 700 designers working for Zara chase the most interesting and latest designs in fashion boutiques and department stores, only to turn them into cheap knock-offs. Zara launches 65,000 new models a year, that's 200 pieces a day.* A massive flood of consumer goods, are available to us to be bought 24/7. The numerous unworn clothes that are banned to the world's landfills are a reaction to this incredible surplus of choice that drives some of us into complete overwhelm.
The massive monster that goes by the name of fast fashion swallows up anyone who gets in its way. Human rights are crushed merciless and nature is left with a trail of toxic poisons.The complex construct of fast fashion ideology, serves profit alone.
The feeling of powerlessness is all too common in our society. But it is the action of the individual that breaks the collective inability to respond to injustice. We can be courageous in our thinking, with the fearlessness to appeal for change in our current world, for a fair, social and more environmentally friendly utopia of the future. The desire for sustainable, fair-produced quality fashion has already awakened in some of our minds, and is beginning to flourish into a social revolution.
The feeling of the individual fighting for change can be rephrased into a powerful community voice. More and more people have realized the importance of environmental and climate protection. The role of fashion is incredibly diverse, it reflects people's needs and issues, it can liberate, it revolutionizes and most importantly it can change us as a society for the better. With the industrialized and mechanical processing of clothing, we are experiencing an incredible fast paced world, where the personal and individual touch is being left aside. More transparency for the work behind a garment can lead us as consumers to better decisions when buying. With the rediscovery of the imperfect and the handmade, we can once again find a personal relationship with our clothes, as it was historically common for centuries.
With The Second Story, I would like to propose an alternative to the fast fashion model, to show that fashion can be fully transparent and exclusively handmade. I work with second-hand fabrics, all carefully selected, to tell a new story with materials that already exist in the world. Many of us own a favourite piece of clothing that we have worn for years, even though it may not look as nice as it once did. The story of that particular garment, or the feeling associated with it, is very personal and tremendously important. The garments from The Second Story are often one-of-a-kind pieces, as the amount of fabric selected is just enough to make a single garment. This is exactly the idea I find particularly beautiful, clothes that are individual and not worn by everyone.
It doesn't matter what the individual's attitude to fashion is, but it's clear that we all have some kind of connection to fashion in our daily lives. Through this personal connection, a rethinking of how we practice fashion in the present day can take place on a personal as well as a global level, in order to move together towards a sustainable future.
*Fast Fashion, documentary by Edouard Perrin and Gilles Bovon, Arte 2020
-The True Cost dives deep into the fashion industry, showing the impact of fashion on people and the environment.
-Fashioned from Nature, with essays spanning from the 17th century to the present day, the book examines our dependence on the natural world.