Maybe, but I don’t have to be…
By Kat Holleran
What happens when your passions and the things that excite you conflict with the way you want the world to work? I wish I had a Louis Vuitton mini backpack, but not as much as I wish racism didn’t exist anymore or that people weren’t raped as often as they are. Unfortunately, buying something expensive is significantly more attainable than changing the world.
Obviously, this ‘mutual benefit’ thing is already being done: Toms, Unicef x Louis Vuitton, and Reformation are all examples of companies who are using their power and brand to try to do something good for the Earth or its people. Other examples are all chic t-shirts with proceeds going towards Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, etc. In a day of rampant consumerism, our wallets are our weapons! Our bodies are our protest signs. We wear what we believe, so that even those who don’t know us are impacted by what we think. This can be direct, like with Baja East’s “Be” T-Shirt in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. It can also be indirect, because even outfits without ‘statement tees’ make statements.
More than just stuff and status, in this day and age fashion is about who we are. It’s the way we feel comfortable dressing and appearing, and sheds lights to others about who we are or what we like, and I don’t think it has to be a zero-sum game. Someone who cares about fashion can also care about the state of the world, and there is certainly nothing stopping me from combining the worlds of fashion and activism, since those are some of the things that matter most to me.
I’m sure there are people who think that fashion is shallow, because sometimes I think so, too. Thankfully I’m reminded of things, like the bus Man Repeller took to the Women’s March, that so many people in the industry care about our world and its people and will use their platform and their closet to do good.