Experimenting With The Notion Where Less Is More.
(Complimentary Tune for This Weeks Article During Fashion Revolution Week : Click Here, come back to this page, & then as they say, "Happy Reading..."... or "Happy Watching!")
4 years ago yesterday, I was working for a retail company off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills when I heard some news that left me dead in my tracks. The Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh had collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring 2,400+ more. The numbers don’t do justice, and the underlying issues contributing to this event are complicated.
Before that, well – we all remember the 90’s. As a 90’s kid, I’m nostalgic over milk bags, my Easy Bake Oven and parachute gym days. As we know, this was also a time companies discovered factories in places such as India and China. As consumers, we could buy more stuff, just because we could.
The evolving cheap production and mass consumption came with hidden costs. Between large amounts of water usage, pollution to the air, water, and clothes we wear, it became far too unsustainable, far too fast. Workers made garments that we could buy for less than the cost of a few yards of fabric or a gourmet sandwich, and in too many cases, they were being overworked and underpaid in harsh conditions.
Unfortunately, in a trillion dollar industry, these compromising issues to people and the planet continue to persist today. The moment I stopped in my tracks, I began to wonder what clothes in my five closets could have potentially been made unethically. This began the process of becoming a millennial minimalist of sorts, questioning what I needed, where these items came from, along with who made them. (Full story here)
I recently created a new category on the blog that is for Field Experiences, and I'm thinking it will primarily contain rituals, recipes, remedies and crafts. However, documentaries and other movies for that matter, feel like an experience to me too. Here a few that really resonated with me, as I continue to experiment with the notion where less is more:
The True Cost - exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet
Minimalism - "A Documentary About The Important Things"
Less Is Now - a newer documentary by the same people as above, 'The Minimalists'
As conscious consumers, I really believe we're coming to find the more we know, the less we need. This doesn’t mean we need to be on the fast track to minimalism by any means. However, what this does mean is that we want business to be a force for good that can value people, the environment, profit and a spice of creativity on equal playing fields. We are searching for transparency, sustainable practices and ethical models that we can understand, support and believe in.
At the end of the day, I believe each of our choices make a small footprint that can either go one step forward or two steps back. This can be applied to every industry, ranging from construction all the way to fashion. It starts with the materials we use, the models we have, and the mindsets we carry through.
In clothing, our homes, and communities, the question is what choices can lead to a more sustainable future for ourselves, our families and friends, and future generations? It’s not the clothes or our homes that can make as much of a change as the people that can and ever will…
As designers, pattermakers, wood carvers, teachers, innovators, entrepreneurs, environmentalists and lovers of nature and the natural beauty of spaces created and those yet to create, we are the industry.
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