The unbearable lightness of not giving a damn.

Oh what a cute sweater.

I have heard about Rhana Plaza. I did see the videos of suffering animals and the news about unsafe working conditions in clothing factories. But ohhh how cute is this sweater ..and what a discount.

It’s oh so easy to forget everything I know about the dark side of the fashion industry. Cause it’s so damn easy to get the fleeting moment of happiness from buying yet another sweater.

It's so easy

Black Friday is the perfect example of the insanity of today’s consumption culture. It’s pitch black – and not in a good way. We cannot say that we wouldn’t know what’s the problem in the fashion system. Yes, we know it’s unethical, we know it’s unecological and we know we consume too much. But do we do anything about it?

For years we have been living in abundance. More and more and more. Cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Now the party is over and we need to clean up the mess we made.

The cleaning up doesn’t mean that we can continue to consume as we consume now and just settle for choosing a piece of clothing made from a bit better material in a factory which doesn’t have the absolute worst working conditions. That’s not enough.
We need a systemic change.

This means that we have to design the whole system again and think about the way we design, produce, use and recycle clothing in a totally new way. We need to consider the life cycle of clothing as circular where each an every part of the cycle is connected. This means that we cannot focus only on recycling and forget about use. Or focus on design and forget about production.

The systemic change in fashion starts from use. First we have to re-think our relationship to clothing all in all: We cannot no longer see clothing as disposable, but in stead we need to understand their real value. That the value is not only about newness and appearance. It’s about seeing clothes as valuable as any other design object, cherishing the stories and patina of clothes and understanding the amount of resources and labour that goes into manufacturing each and every one of the clothes that we have in our wardrobes.

But the future doesn’t have to be as black as Black Friday. The change in our relationship to clothing doesn’t mean that we couldn’t still enjoy dressing up, wearing beautiful garments and loving fashion. We just have to find new ways to make this happen. For some it might be a minimalist wardrobe with just a few quality pieces, for others having a huge variety of rental clothing without ownership.

There are many ways how to make the change but it will never happen if look the other way. Black Friday is the perfect day to start taking action and re-thinking our relationship to clothing.