In the guerrilla market of retail it seems of late the small voices of Ethical Fashion Groups have finally begun to break through and industry professionals are slowly becoming a little more aware. The big guns seem to be taking time out to think about waste and the negative effects that throw away fashion seems to be bringing to our environment. Honestly, up until recent times I too was entirely ignorant to this greater environmental problem. I'll admit I have an all consuming over indulgent love affair with fabrics and layering and up until this point had never bothered to take any steps towards improving the big picture.
This brings me to the introduction of Miss Mia Nisbet (a friend of a friend) who has taken all of the above into her own creative hands and developed a collection purely based on old clothing that has been recycled, twisted, remade and recreated into her ‘Reclaim To Wear’ collection. Due to her recent success in the ‘Make Your Mark In Fashion’ comp she will show the collection under the label ‘MIAWI’ at Fashion Week here in London. How exciting.
On a recent trip to Malawi, Nisbet was overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of surplus second hand clothing that had been imported from the states and sold in street markets hence giving her the idea of fusing these ‘left overs’ with traditional Malawi dress in the theme of recycling and designing. She proposes to fuse together these hand me downs with “African Clothes, fabrics and prints of Malawi” and show them here in September. Brilliant.
I love the messiness mixed with structure and the hints of the original garment that are still visible in the final product. Due to the recreative (made up word) process that each piece has gone through it seems that each article of clothing has a story, a past, where did the fabric for that bustle come from? Who slept in on a cold Sunday morning in that hoodie before it became a statement piece on the catwalk at LFW?
I am by no means an environmental angel and most certainly a victim of 21st century consumerism. Yes, I have been privy to the odd Battersea car boot sale (3 in total), I have lots of pretty stars next to my name on ebay and have be known to send garbage bags home to be passed off on my younger cousins. I must admit though, of late, I have been taking a little more notice of ethical fashion groups and the awareness they are trying to raise. What I don’t understand is why we don’t think twice about ensuring we turn off the tap when we brush our teeth, turn off our PC at the wall before we go to bed, take care and recycle only the correct materials, yet these ethical groups/labels still have to work so extraordinarily hard just to be noticed?…... Superficiality I fear.