Artisan - a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Many people are adopting a new approach to what they consume; we've seen this in the emergence of artisanal food, because we've lost confidence in big food producers. Reports of sweatshops, child labour and factories collapsing means that we are questioning the provenance of our clothing, too. The concept of Sustainable Fashion is complex and there isn't a single definition; it means different things to different people in different circumstances, but for certain, as well as being about fair trade, fair working conditions and fair wages, it's about behaviour, relationships and a way of thinking.
Let's Be Honest
We didn't start out with an ecological ethos. At the beginning the plan was to design and produce in Ireland, well made garments in fabrics of predominantly natural fibres (cotton, silk and wool) for a discerning clientele. That still remains, but in the space between getting started and now, 'life happened' enforcing a review of priorities and an opportunity to take stock. Slowing down and doing more with less became a way of approaching living and an unexpectedly welcome return to simple values: and the awareness that being born in the Western World was a lucky accident that comes with responsibilities.
Reuse, recycle, reclaim, repurpose, reduce
The majority of clothing thrown away can be recycled or reused, but the annual worldwide consumption of textiles is over 70 million tonnes annually and barely 20% is reused, meaning 80% ends up in landfills.
Making clothing donations to charity is the better option, however the mass consumption of fast fashion means that there is too much to go round. Cheap donated clothing has a limited resale value, so charity shops may not be able to charge much for those items. Cheap western clothing ending up in developing countries, reduces demand for locally made clothing, thus depleting the skills of existing garment workers and altering the cultural aesthetic.