Jun 17, 2013

It matters

We don't often tackle Serious Issues, but rather write about nice things, funny happenstances and stories about people and their clothes. However, this time I would like to make an exception.

When an interviewer at the Women's Wear Daily CEO Summit asked Marc Jacobs why does fashion matter, he replied:

"Let’s see. It’s part of the art of living. Why does makeup matter? Why does fragrance matter? Why does fashion matter? Why does it matter to have beautiful furniture and nice interiors and books to read and good wine to drink and good food to eat? These are all luxuries and it’s human nature to want them, to desire them, to enjoy them, enjoy looking at them, wearing them. I think it’s just human nature. We want things to please us and make us feel good and maybe attract other people to us or just make us feel good about ourselves."
I agree with Marc Jacobs; fashion is a matter that matters in many ways. However, what was not mentioned in his answer was the amount of people working in faraway countries, to whom fashion matters in a much more tangible way than to most of us. The people who go to work to sew our clothes in unfair factories, putting their health and lives under risk to make garments to us and to support their families. With documentaries about ruthless production cycles, global warming and the recent news from the factories of Bangladesh, it is no wonder that when people talk about sustainable fashion, the discussion tends to have a negative, nagging undertone that shocks and makes you feel guilty. But negativity helps no one. This is why we at Dear Fashion Journal want to talk about sustainably sensible consumption instead of preaching about the poor state of fashion's production cycle. We want to share tips and tricks and explore how to be more sustainable on grassroot-level by caring about your clothes and making good purchases instead of impulsive ones. We want to talk about putting your money where your heart is.

The fashion industry in itself is so complex that having a 100% clean, fair and sustainable production cycle will probably happen the same day that beauty contestants stop wishing for world peace. This is why I think it is important for us to acknowledge that our daily thoughts, deeds and shopping behaviour matter more than whether the dress that we bought was from H&M's Conscious Collection or not, bacause changing into green this and fair that is not the only way of being more sustainable. (Of course, supporting sustainable and fair brands is always good, at least as long as you don't let your brain get greenwashed).

"You Matter" by Stepanka Peterka
Stepanka Peterka is a member of Slow Fashion Forward and the artist behind "You Matter", a piece of digital art telling that how we act as consumers on an individual level really matters on a community level. "It's related to how we can choose to use our garments, creating meaningful engagement that matters both physically and symbolically," Stepanka says."I chose to use my finger prints, pixels, and hand embroidery as design elements to represent the wealth of creativity, capabilities, interconnectivity, experiences and skills that we as individuals can contribute to each other and to our thought processes, as we use garments and make decisions around consumption."

With these thoughts, I would like to remind myself and all of you that everything great begins from something small: from drinking only fairly produced coffee, yes, but also from swapping instead of shopping, avoiding mispurchases and most of all, from being creative.

Because even the smallest changes that feel good in our hearts matter to the world.

Emmi "Idealist 4eva"

Jun 6, 2013

Question of the week: How to summer-ify your wardrobe?

"Spring without new dresses" collage by Vera van het Ho
Seasons are good. They bring the much needed changes into our lives, allowing us to housemouse in the winter and run outside with ice cream melting down our hands six months later. Seasons make the colours change from brown to white and green, and give a functional purpose to cashmere as well as miniskirts and sandals.

What we and the mannequins on display windows wear changes hand in hand with the seasons. It is always a good feeling to tuck your winter coat away and take out your skirts and shorts, but seeing everybody sporting their summer gear and reading lists of "Top 10 Festival Looks" can also cause an impulse to have something new in your wardrobe. Something with spice, something wow, something pretty, something NOW! However, these urges don't have to mean that you must go for an emergency shopping spree - instead, you can try to freshen the contents of your closet up in other ways! We believe in cutting old jeans into shorts, swapping clothes with friends and digging through attics on the hunt for long lost summer tunics from teenage years, but we would also love to know:


How do you freshen up your wardrobe for summer?

Do you rely on handy DIY tricks, accessories or multifunctional items that go throughout the year...? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook!

Click here to check out our collection of DIY tutorials that will help you trend-ify your old clothes in a planet and wallet friendly way, or read how Vera and Jeanine from Fashion Reset are dealing with their non-shopping challenge (in Dutch)!