Its time for fashion to die and be reborn. Not the art of fashion, but the industry that currently holds the art captive beneath a mountain of rising bottom lines and shareholder expectations.
Once we had a profound relationship with the land and animals we existed with. Once people understood life and death and their role in that cycle. To exist here on this planet is to consume life. The Huntress knows this. She honors her kill, but still she takes the pelts to keep her warm in the winter and the flesh to feed her people. Like the Huntress, we believe it is better to honor the death and impact you must take than to live in the ignorance that you can somehow avoid it. Death is all around us. We cannot avoid it. We are born. We kill. We give birth. We die.
Food, clothing, shelter. The basic needs of humans are intrinsically connected to death. A tree must die to make a house. Plants and Animals must die to make food and clothing. This is life. For whatever reason we live in a world where life must consume life. All we can do is honor the death and impact we have on the world around us.
A jacket is not a disposable commodity, easily thrown away. It is the accumulation of sweat and tears and death. From the materials that were either dredged from the earth’s core, harvested from the ground or cut from the bones of a dead animal to the person who spent hours and hours making that garment to feed their family, there is a very real impact.
Today, we are so detached from this reality that we can complain about the wearing of fur as we chow down on a poison-laced cheeseburger made of 50 cows and a million ingredients no one should ever be eating. Its not our fault though, we have been conditioned. The food industry does not want us to know where our food comes from. The fashion industry does not want us to know where our clothing comes from. Because, if we knew, we would not stand for the practices that exist which place profits over all else, including our health and the health of our eco-systems.
Its easy to make fur the scapegoat. But who are we kidding? why is a fuzzy rabbit more important than a cow? or a goat? or a pig? the notion that not wearing fur is somehow making a difference when you still wear leather or eat meat is missing the point entirely. Additionally, pleather and fake fur are made from petroleum which is pretty much the worst material to use in garments today. Better to honor the death and impact you have than to pretend it does not exist. What was the process of your garments creation? where did the material come from? Who made it? Were they paid a living wage? These are the important questions that are not being asked when people blindly proclaim fur as the enemy. The Industry and its practices as a whole are the enemy, not one isolated material or process.
The Fashion Industry creates things cheaply using sweatshops full of marginalized workers laboring for pennies and the cheapest materials made from toxic chemicals that will never decompose yet will fall apart just in time for the next season. The fashion industry survives by telling you that your wardrobe is out of style and you must have the latest trends. But the truth is they don't care about your style. They don’t care about your self-expression. They care about profit. You are just a cog in their wheel of ever increasing profit-margins and bottom lines.
Everything has a cost. If it's “cheap” there is still a high price to pay, you just don't see it. But that doesn't mean you don't experience the impact. Cheap means someone dumped chemicals into the ocean of some other country to avoid environmental protections. Cheap means someone worked extremely long hours for a wage that will never raise their standard of living. Cheap means the garment doesn't last and ends up in a landfill for a thousand years.
Our great great great grandchildren will think we worshipped a god called Forever 21 when they excavate a mountain of buried knock off jackets and leggings with the ancient sacred symbol inscribed on each piece. Those clothes really are forever, but they still want you to throw them away and buy the new version in 6 months.
Cheap fashion is like cheap food. It is tempting to buy cheap, un-organic, bad quality food now, but then you get cancer and die later. One should have just spent the extra dollar or two for real, organic food. The impact from fashion is less direct, but is perhaps even more far reaching. Buy cheap, poorly made sweatshop fashion now, but then you get planetary environmental and social collapse later. One should have just spent the extra hundred bucks for a garment that was made to last and made out of natural materials by workers getting a fair wage.
So, for the world to survive, fashion must die. The industry must die. Fashion must be reborn in a way that fits into this new paradigm called "humanity survives its imminent demise". You have the power to do this.
You see, fashion only lives because of you. Every garment you purchase breaths life into the company you buy from. You have the power to feed or kill companies. So use it. Join us in killing fashion as we know it and birthing a world of companies that believe in transparency and have an ethical purpose. Snuff out the companies that don't care. Refuse to buy fast fashion, as tempting as it is to save the extra dollar. Make long term investments to your wardrobe by purchasing from companies that believe in slow fashion.
Like the Huntress, honor the impact you have on this planet and be conscious of what you choose to kill and what you choose to feed. Fashion is dead. Long live fashion.