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"


  1. wonderfully put. I had heard that quote too and was a little put off by it...I couldn't quite come up w/ the right words for how I was feeling so thanks for doing that :D

    1. Nice to hear you could relate! :) Of course, fashion is mostly about what M. Jacobs said: enjoying the beauty and fun of it. But at the same time, I find it very frustrating how the luxurious side and charm of fashion can make people lust for it obsessively, making them forget about all that happens before clothes become the beautiful objects that make us feel happy and excited about dressing up. It's such a paradox...and I could think and talk about it for ages!