Fashion Breaking Boundaries

By Lauren Tighe

How is fashion breaking boundaries? When we think of the term Material, we tend to imagine the feel or fabric of a finished garment, but what about the raw resources and the people who make it? In Fashion Breaking Boundaries we explore how leading participants of the fashion industry are re-writing the rules, concepts, and frameworks to encourage diverse involvement and to tell the stories behind the product.

Curatorial Team by State of Fashion

State of Fashion is one of these industry leaders, they are an international platform connecting and sharing innovations from pioneers in fashion design, research, and business. For their biennial taking place in Spring next year, they have collaborated with Fashion Revolution’s ‘Fashion Open Studio’ and ‘NOT—-ENOUGH collective’ to establish the curatorial framework. The two teams will also organize coinciding programs that include exhibitions and public events.

Fashion Open Studio website information by Fashion Open Studio

Team one; Fashion Open Studio is an initiative, launched in 2017, by Fashion Revolution to create transparency and openness within the fashion industry. They provide a week of presentations, workshops, and talks from emerging and established designers. This enables the public to take part in celebrating the people and process behind their clothes. You can find out more about Fashion Open Studio Here.

Creative workshops in session by NOT—ENOUGH collective

Team two; NOT—ENOUGH collective is a trio of South American female fashion practitioners, who explore the roles of the oppressor and the oppressed in fashion. They examine how design, fashion, and art have contributed to perpetuating colonialism through the spread of patterns of thinking and learning. This is unpicked through a series of workshops that involve bringing cultural identity together through individuals’ belongings, encouraging people to rethink, revalue, and reimagine design and education at its roots. You can find out more about NOT—ENOUGH collective Here.

‘This was an Intervention’ by State of Fashion

Though the theme for State of Fashion’s biennial is yet to be announced later this month, their pre-event/online exhibition, ‘This was an Intervention’, and the eight months leading up to it, has shed some light on topics that could be covered such as class, gender, race, sustainability and how they sit within the world of fashion. Further keywords discussed were coexistence, exercising, reparation, healing, journey, and change. You can view ‘This was an Intervention’ the different talks, workshops and ‘whataboutories’ Here.

Camille Rose D. Albarracin Founder and CEO of Everything Green by Everything Green

Another organisation that is working on green solutions and enabling the growth of artisans, is Everything Green. They are a purpose driven enterprise providing “greenovative” solutions towards a more sustainable Earth.

Large Himalaya woven waterlily bag for DisPOSE by Everything Green

In their latest event DisPOSE, supported by the British Council, UK designers have collaborated with Filipino artisans to create fashion for the catwalk made from agricultural waste. The catwalk displayed a range of footwear and accessories which have all been handcrafted. You can find out more and watch the recorded catwalk Here.

‘Re-Love Zero-Waste’ initiative collections by Teatum Jones

Further ‘rules’ or boundaries to fashion are being changed by brands such as Teatum Jones. The founding duo; Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, have recently launched Re-Love, which is a zero-waste initiative that they have been working towards since 2018. The aim of the initiative is to find a solution to the fashion industry’s excessive waste by reimagining left over fabrics and clothing, renewing their purpose through new designs. Re-Love part one; which launched last year, features bold, beautiful, vibrant prints and striking silhouettes from the brand’s own archives. You can find out more about Re-Love Here.

‘Re-Love Zero-Waste’ initiative collections by Teatum Jones

Re-Love part two, dubbed ‘Re-Centre the norm part two’, sees the brand team up with iconic Liberty London, and Mary’s Living & Giving Shop as part of Save the Children. Both collections are about redefining the ‘normal’ fashion business model and revaluating how Teatum Jones use and create textiles and collections to move towards zero waste. The initiative has meant that Teatum Jones have delved deep into their archives, resurrecting some of their old printing screens and finding forgotten treasures. This exploration has enabled them to lease new life on forgotten materials and inspire young artisans through their use of patchwork and embroidery. You can shop Re-Love part two Here.

‘Re-Love Zero-Waste’ initiative collections by Teatum Jones

In a World that moves so fast, it can be easy to dismiss the backstory of our belongings or the environmental damage caused. We often, ironically, detach material objects from the person or people who made them, which leads to what Marx coined ‘commodity fetishism’ (not knowing the true value of a product or the craftsmanship that goes into it). This theme is eloquently discussed between Nishanth Chopra, Renee Van Der Hoek, and Aditi Mayer, whilst reflecting on Chopra’s short film showing the process of making clothing from cotton seed to finished garment. You can watch this discussion Here.

If you have enjoyed reading Fashion Breaking Boundaries you might also enjoy reading Freshness in the Air Here. For further information about State of Fashion click Here. To explore the process behind designers through Fashion Open Studio click Here. To discover NOT—ENOUGH collective’s innovative workshops click Here. To find out more about Everything Green and their event DisPOSE click Here. To explore Teatum Jones’ collections click Here.