Fashion reframed — prepare to launch!
Sustainable fashion is a catch-cry that means many things. A halt to mass consumerism, the dignified ability to treat sweat shop workers in third world countries with equanimity and value? The demise of sweat shops and fast fashion?
As we awake from the great global pause, what will the fashion world establish itself as, post COVID-19? CEA spoke to Fashion360 Ambassador Clare Press to find out how the world will reset and renovate to contribute to a more tender long-term treatment of the planet.
Clare Press is engaging. She has the delightful ability to connect, inform and educate. Her cause? To ensure the values of sustainability in fashion are firmly established as ‘non-negotiable.’
A Sydney-based author and fashion activist, Clare was Vogue Australia’s Sustainability Editor for two years up until early 2020. Today, her roles include global ambassador for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative and sustainability expert for Fashion Roundtable. She sits on the advisory boards of Fashion Revolution (Australia), and Copenhagen Fashion Week and her latest book, ‘Rise & Resist, How to Change the World’ is a call to action on linking future survival to an unwavering awareness of how we approach consumerism with responsibility.
And the world, as we begin the first tentative steps to a rebirth post COVID-19, is ripe for a revolution which includes a reassessment of our power as consumers and the responsibility that the fashion industry has to commit to resilient systems that do not return to gross overproduction and the tolerance of unethical treatment in the supply chain.
‘We are undoubtedly in a time of great change. I strongly believe that fast fashion is on its way out and we have an opportunity to pause and look for the positive opportunities in how we emerge as an industry and as consumers on the other side of COVID-19,’ says Clare.
‘No-one could have predicted the impact that a pandemic could have on our global communities. I don’t underestimate that this is a very difficult time for many people. But for those who are willing to innovate there is opportunity.’
In the slowing down of our global lifestyle, Clare predicts we will echo a newfound appreciation of ‘value’ in seeing the production of higher quality products, with fewer offerings.
‘If you look back at history and see the eras where there has been significant cultural constraint then you also note that there is great creativity that comes from that. The 1970’s is a perfect example of that. Here you saw the reflection of joy, communication and people feeling better about themselves as the culture of constraint was opened up, and that was certainly reflected in fashion.’
In an ‘onion’ peel-like conversation where the topic and the passion are peeled back to ascertain how this fashionista-turned sustainability warrior chose her purpose, we turn the clocks back to how Clare Press pivoted to delightful provocateur, commentator and champion for consumer awareness.
It is the melding of all passions, she says. A ‘tree-hugger,’ politics student and environmentalist in her youth who became a voice for fashion to combine all her chapters to find purpose. ‘Life, a career, it’s much better with purpose, and this is mine,’ she says. ‘I consciously chose a life with meaning.’
And now she is calling on the fashion industry to do the same.
Join Fashion360 as we explore sustainability as a tool to build resilience in your fashion business, consumer trends, and how to connect with your customer with Vogue Australia’s inaugural Sustainability Editor and presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast, Clare Press. Register here