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Like many trends, we often see their demise and lack of longevity. But is sustainable design here to stay?


In the time we now live, fast fashion and its livelihood heavily depend on production lines and consumer demand. The loss of craftsmanship is a fatal one and much like our livelihood here at Willow Speaks, we depend on the sustainable creators; the do-gooders of the industry.

With the recent pass of Fashion Revolution Week, the brutality of sweatshops are a buzz we can’t dim. Consistently ringing throughout the spotlight, artisans in factories are facing harsh, unhygienic conditions far longer than necessary, something of which shouldn’t exist, at all. Physically and mentally stripping the workers of not only fundamental rights but also their craft, feeds the monstrous corporations we know all too well.

We’ve recently seen an increased exposure of mainstream cult declarations; #WhoMadeMyClothes and documentaries such as The True Cost that are a reminder of the fatally sad anniversary of the Rana Plaza Collapse in Bangladesh, 2013. This heightened awareness has cultivated a rich presence among the industry as consumers are demanding they know more about; what, where and how their products are being made.

“Alas, mass production paves the way for mundane and scripted styles to make there way to consumers wardrobes. ”

In frequency, designers are releasing an honest attitude with serious consideration for their brand amongst all levels from; production, design, distribution and speciality-sourced materials. Hijacked marketing terms such as ethical and transparent are to officiate some instance of a sustainable awareness campaign being executed. Though they do not just run as selling cues, rather they enunciate a palpable industry concern, which is moving to the forefront of consumers boxes-to-be-ticked when choosing styled-pieces.

The recurrence of a certain theme comes to mind when we speak of this cause, and that is – Time. What we see is that in time; quality craftsmanship, meticulous detail and intent lay as a foundation for good measure. Though pieces might yield at a higher price point, it enables the possibility of an intrinsic feeling from a garment, one that can only be succeeded through a handcrafted approach. Such pieces hold individuality, a sense of completion.

For both consumers and brands, it’s about structuring values, so too, asking ourselves to linger around the daunting questions. As Mercedes Benz fashion week swiftly approaches, vigilance and curiosity are imminent to further the revolution. If we remain seduced by the story-telling of quality brands and invest a little more in those one-off pieces, we might be more satisfied with not only ourselves, but the effect we have on the industry. Now who doesn’t want that? 


Words | Hannah Prasad

Images | John Clayton Lee for J.Hannah

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