Fashion news has always been my thing. If you’re subscribed, every other week you’ll get a huge helping of it. Oh, if you aren’t, the button is right there!
Most problems have solutions, and sometimes those solutions are put into action. And yes, shockingly, I am referring to fashion. After feeling completely disillusioned by the whole industry in the last few weeks with the Met Gala’s conceptual miss and fashion month’s insistence on going back to a normal that doesn’t exist, finally, there is a glimmer of hope. In the last few days, several significant things happened in fashion, all of which are huge game changers for the future. So let’s celebrate some wins, shall we?
If anything can prove the power of worker-led organization, it’s the passage of California’s #SB62 legislation. On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will make it illegal for workers to be paid by the piece (less than minimum wage) and will hold fashion brands responsible when their factories withhold wages. Garment workers and advocates spent years educating people about what was happening in California and how workers were treated (more on that here), and finally this new law should protect them from it. Sweatshops have no place here, and the workers are the ones who made sure they won’t be. This bill has larger implications across the industry, and it demonstrates that we can find ways to enforce rules about a better fashion industry beyond bad press and consumer responsibility.
Kering, the parent company of Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, and Saint Laurent joins the long list of brands who have decided to ban fur. This is not all that surprising, given that most luxury brands have taken this stance in the last few years, but there were holdouts among them. CEO François-Henri Pinault told Business of Fashion, “[Fur] is symbolic; it’s a material that was very much linked to tLaurent,he luxury industry historically. Going fur-free gives a good signal that things are moving seriously in this industry in different ways to sustainability. Through this lens, some materials have no place in luxury.” Obviously, this is important and necessary, but let’s hope that if sustainability is a concern, real fur won’t be replaced with lots of faux fur made from plastics.
Versace by Fendi put a group of supermodels including Kate Moss, Naomi Campell, Gigi Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, Kristen Mcmenamy and Amber Valetta together on the runway and I’m starting to think this may become the norm. How many reunions will there be until we agree that models don’t need to age out? Let this be a bid for the future. I want to see all my favorite models on that runway until they don’t want to do it anymore. Clothing doesn’t have age limits.
Mending the clothing you already have! Buying what you need secondhand! What. A. Concept. Really though, in the push toward sustainability, these two ideas are something that most people recognize as easy steps that consumers can take. Even those who choose to ignore it and continue to buy new (it happens), at the very least seem to understand it. The thing is, putting the blame entirely on us is how fashion has gotten away with contributing to cycles of newness without ever having to take responsibility and change their ways. Recently, though, it seems like some brands have caught on to consumer trends with resale and consignment shopping (resale has grown 11 times faster than traditional retail in the last year) and are making adjustments so that the choices for how we buy and resell are a little bit more in our faces, and hopefully, a little bit easier to make. Madewell has launched their first-ever resale concept shop above the men’s shop in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The store was created in partnership with thredUP and the intention is, of course, to give each item they sell a second life. There is also a mending station in the corner of the newly renovated shop, where customers can get their Madewell items fixed and tailored for free. It’s similar to what brands like Patagonia have been doing for years.
“Through Madewell Forever, Madewell and thredUP aim to collect one million pairs of denim by 2023 — double what Madewell has collected in the past six years through its existing denim trade-in program — and extend the life of each pair of denim by 2X,” a spokesperson for the brand explained in a press release.
Before you say, “wait a minute, I thought we were over fashion week,” don’t worry. We are. Paris Fashion Week will have some of the best shows, no doubt – I may even talk about them — but the PFW arrival means the end of a month of fashion shows! Perhaps we can all process how many new pieces of clothing it all represented, and think about doing a little less. Am I a broken record? I’m sorry, I can’t help it.
Kids will continue to be better dressed than all of us as The Row launches children's wear. The brand announced the collection in an exclusive with W. From the looks of it, there is a surprising amount of color, along with an expected amount of expensive-looking cashmere.
Header image courtesy of Instagram / @garmentworkercenter