fashionindustry

Waste, and why we waste

“Waste isn’t waste until we waste it” – Will I Am.

This quote perfectly resonates with us, not only because of the deeper level of consciousness recent events have brought. We have always paid attention to reducing waste as much as possible.
Writing on the backside of printed sheets, not using plastic coffee cups, refilling our water bottles, limiting the quantity of paper used for packaging. These are only some of our actions to reduce the waste we produce. Perhaps now we take this matter even more seriously since the damage we have caused to the environment is visible.

But, digging deeper, where does our wastefulness come from? When did we start wasting so much?

Waste is the ignorant byproduct of an over-consumerist society.

From the 1950s, little by little, overconsumption has been promoted as a great lifestyle pattern and taken over our lives. Completely ignoring the consequences.
Consume like there’s no tomorrow, is the motto. And, if we go on like this, there will be no tomorrow!

The fact that masses can be easily manipulated is quite scary. The fact that given a sense of comfort, we avoid thinking, is not a good sign.

By the way, walking through our journey, we acknowledge our mistakes. Our eyes are open, so we want to change for the better.

Whether fashion waste or any other waste, consciousness reflects itself on many levels and layers.
First of all, please stop wasting food! Then, whenever you are tired of something, consider other options before tossing it.

Even in the case of fashion, please don’t throw away clothes you don’t want anymore.

There are ways to reduce fashion waste:

. choose quality, it lasts longer.
. wash in lower temperatures, so clothes will not get damaged.
. repair when possible.
. donate to charity.
. some shops collect items to recycle.
. resell if you want, there are many resell platforms.

We have options available, so how much waste is up to us.

Evolution vs revolution

The Italian economist Guido Maria Brera released an interview to a daily newspaper which provided another piece, a fundamental block, that perfectly completes the picture of a broken system.

“With globalization, the weaker classes gave in to the masochistic exchange of their rights for cheap goods. Fashion, household appliances, mobile phones became affordable and gave the illusion of well-being. In the meantime, homes, education and healthcare are becoming less accessible. The result is dramatic: rights, hardly won, bartered for goods.” – Brera said.


Cheap goods have distorted the economy. Issues aren’t confined to one industry only, the whole system is corrupted.
Reflecting on Brera’s words, the need for a change stands out. We thought it was just a matter of evolving, that natural process which is part of human beings’ growth. In other words, we simply needed to move to the next level of making improvements.


But a system that is collapsing, completely broken, perhaps doesn’t need to be revised. If we just put a patch on it, we will not find a good solution. Because of common sense, we are feeding dinosaurs that have lost their purpose. It’s impossible to find new ways if we follow old patterns. Once we understand this, the next step to take gets more clear. We must challenge what we take for granted.

We do not need evolution. We need a revolution.
Reset and reinvent everything from scratch:
education – economy – work – fashion – lifestyle.
Everything!

Who has a voice

One of the many problems with sustainable fashion is that those who have a voice in discussing the topic are exactly the same ones who created the toxic environment.

They set up a system based on massive overproduction to be disposed of through crazy budgets to retailers, outlets packed with discounted items, and a parallel market to reach those retailers who wanted to buy certain brands but officially could not. Therefore, all the Maisons increased the budget to retailers, knowing that they were then reselling through a parallel net, feeding that hideous system.
All the operators knew how it worked, but since they were making a lot of money, it was good. Like it was acceptable to do the worst things in the name of god-money, but now that the industry collapsed, they’ve started questioning it.

How many goods those enlightened CEOs and managers did believe people could buy?
Is the fact that they are not making money as they did enough to let us believe in their redemption?
We could invite Hannibal Lecter to the table but perhaps serving only vegetables will not be enough to change his tastes in food.

If we believe we can search for the value of sustainability among the same old faces, we are wrong.

Social media & value

In our modern and hyper-connected society, life revolves around social media. While it is nice to be in touch with your audience, it is impossible not to notice the vain by-product of this virtual life: images artificially created and obsessively shared. Yes, too much even for those of us that work in fashion!

Perhaps, you might think, social media worked well to boost self-confidence, instilling the idea that everyone can be super beautiful. We all have an amazing life. People need approval.
But if we dig deeper, we see the void generated, all the meaning has been swiped away. You mainly find empty boxes. Nice, but empty. And a certain horror rises in knowing that the percentage of suicides among teenagers has gone up due to social media.

Whatever they say, all this exaggerated overexposure didn’t bring anything positive. Not even in fashion. The expectation of fake models looking like plastic dolls together with poor language created a devastating environment.
The strategy to run a successful account consists of buying followers to attract the attention of a large audience and letting the algorithm fly. In other words, you end up talking to yourself in the mirror.
That is the game you have to play if you want to be successful unless — you need something more than a facade.
For people like us, who believe that buying books is way better than buying followers, the discomfort gets real. You don’t really want to interact with fake accounts, do you?
People who have no idea what they’re talking about, who are not able to distinguish a fast fashion brand from a high quality one, are not our point of reference. We do not consider such a person a leader, no matter how many followers they have.

It is possible to be on social media having a different approach, setting up a healthier environment based on quality and real connections, and being clear in your mind that you are playing a different game.
If you are looking for meaning, for something that matters, this is the challenge. Bring back valuable content. Bring back value. Share ideas, not plastic faces.

Researching the new

Researching new concepts in fashion has always been our passion, a kind of innate attitude or a real fixation.
In terms of fashion design, what is considered new by a niche audience is not what is new for the masses.
New means something original, singular. Something unusual. Probably or at least possibly, never seen before.
For a niche audience, new refers to what designers, or at least the really creative ones, pioneered first, expressing their vision and sense of style in a way no one has done before.
For the masses, new means what brands have taken from the few creatives, repurposing it under their name. We can’t count the times some agents proposed to us collections we already had the season before in our boutique, just with a different label.
If you are part of that niche, that re-proposed soup is not for you. You respect the original ideas, you need creativity.
Unless they are filtering the concept in a new, creative way – but that doesn’t happen frequently. Copy & paste is the easy way out.

The concept of new in the fashion industry doesn’t exist anymore. It was pretty clear before the pandemic, it’s both frustrating and discouraging now that we are in the middle of it.

Some brands that were modern 30 years ago are still the ones we would wear now. Perhaps they already did anything and everything. So many others seem just part of an old era, outdated, they lost meaning.

While we see collections without identity, lacking idiosyncrasy, still copying & pasting from others. Grasping the occasion to reset and restart with new ideas would be a smart move.