I fell down the Sustainable rabbit hole.
I've had to write my 'about' page several times, I was never happy with it. I felt like I was just skimming the surface and writing what I thought an 'about me' page should say, so decided to delve in a little deeper and answer questions that I may want to know about the person behind 'nuvonova... and that's when I officially fell down the rabbit hole of sustainability, eco, ethical, fairtrade, slow and zero waste-living ... and still discovering new terms for it every day!
This opened up so many thoughts I had about having been in the fashion industry, and how I've actually been in my own little design bubble for the past 12 years, ignoring things, only occasionally poking through, distorting the shape, reaching out for something else but then the bubble springs back again and I continue going round and round on my fashion wheel.
It all happened a few months ago when changes were happening at the company I was working in as Head of Design. I decided, that instead of doing something that I was no longer passionate about (fast-fashion) and could no longer relate to as a consumer, I would instead, finally pursue being self-employed, exploring, designing and making whatever I pleased... I'd already been doing 'my own thing' since I graduated in 2007 as a hobby, but being in the industry and gaining all the experience I now have was paramount. This Vivienne Westwood quote I came across (via a BBC.co.uk article) in regards to shopping more sustainably (buying less, but better quality) couldn't have been more perfect;
"It would mean designers could then design the clothes that they love. They wouldn't have businessmen telling them about prices, or anything."
"What a designer wants is to make beautiful clothes and sell them at the right price."
- Vivienne Westwood
I finally started to process all the things that troubled me about the fashion industry but could never put my finger on it at the time. Things like, styles 'expiring' after a week of being online, for it being 'off-trend' ... provoking consumers to throw away clothes and constantly buying new to be 'on-trend'. Not realising how many things it impacts. How labelling collections after the season/year is an awful thing i.e AW19 ... so as soon as it is SS20, all those items in AW19 become obsolete, gets put into sale and no longer seen as desirable. SO much work, time, and money goes into creating collections and I'm not just saying this from a designers point of view. Planning, designing, making, tweaking, fitting, production, pricing, marketing, shipping, storage... the list goes on... all for it to launch and then marked down after 3 weeks to make way for new product. These styles could easily be recycled, I mean, every single Spring/Summer season, there is a 1970s themed trend, and every single year it is touted as being 'new' ... in my whole 12 years working in the industry, not a Spring/Summer season has ever gone by without a 1970s trend!
During my marathon article reading about sustainablility, I came across some AMAZING writers. Ethical Unicorn, Eco Warrior Princess and Mochni were some of the ones I spent most time on, challenging myself to read every single article as they were straight to the point, their research was damn good and it was incredibly easy to read and understand... after a week of sitting on these websites, I felt like I had gone on an intense short-course about it all!!
In addition, I had finally found the group of 'influencers' that I could really relate to, cared about what they had to say, and excited to see their next instagram post ...I didn't even realize that I'd been looking for them.
Upon reading these articles, I came across the term 'breaking-up with fast fashion' and it really hit home. This is how I felt in several ways - I no longer wanted to work for companies that were not practising being sustainable, it influenced me in the direction I wanted to take my own brand and also how I wanted to live!
This post about going zero-waste by Eco Warrior Princess is fantastic and although I'm taking baby steps, it is so satisfying!!
My next plan is to minimize my wardrobe - I really do not need an IKEA PAX wardrobe with clothes spilling out the drawers plus two 2x4 compartment KALLAX units filled with folded jeans, t-shirts, underwear, socks ... things I have hardly worn and things mainly hoarded from 'free' or £1 sample sales over the course of my 12 year career. My aim is to have one wardrobe of clothes and that is all.
I guess I need to wrap this up for now, but my mind had literally been blown.