Today the buzz is fast fashion. Like everything else we expect things to be done yesterday. Our short attention spans require us to buy something new constantly. I have always particularly loved shopping for new clothes.
My Great Grandfather was a tailor. There was I imagine, nothing fast about what he did. My father would describe him sitting constantly toiling at his treadle sewing machine. He had had his own business. In one generation this profession had transformed the family. His father(my GG Grandfather) had been a virtually illiterate agricultural worker, but he had managed to sign one important piece of paper which had given his son(and therefore all of us) a chance of a better life. This was the document which had enabled my Great Grandfather to train as a tailor(funded by the Clingan’s Trust). I still have that aging piece of paper which likely improved all our lives.
My You Tube has been very interesting. Suddenly out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, I started to be recommended videos by a French woman called Justine Leconte(on fast fashion) Fortunately hand signals are pretty universally understood.
This has literally been life-changing for me. She has taught me so much about fashion. She is herself a fashion designer. She explains how to buy quality clothing. how to wear scarves. She describes designer fashion shows etc too. However she has also taught me about the dark side of fashion and how the tailors of our clothing often work in difficult and dangerous conditions, particularly harrowing is her description of the Disaster at Rana Plaza
I do not want people to die so that I can have cheap clothing. I want people to be given the same opportunities afforded to my Great Grandfather and consequently the rest of my family. I want people’s families to have the same rewards from which we all benefited-the chance for an education, the chance for a better life for their families. etc.
I am buying far fewer new clothes these days. (I admit I am still a work in progress). but I would rather have something second-hand and good quality, than wear a garment which it has cost people their lives to produce.