THE NEW CHIEF FASHION CRITIC OF THE NY TIMES GIVES A KEYNOTE AT THE COPENHAGEN FASHION SUMMIT AND IT'S AWESOME.
OUR FAVORITE QUOTES:
"Everything fashion – and admittedly, I am talking about the established fashion industry, the big brands — does is predicated toward teaching consumers that they need the new and last season is the old, and this goes for high fashion and the high street, where I have even heard some friends advise others that if they have worn a garment to death, they should just get rid of it, and not even bother trying to clean it. The cleaning costs more than the piece of clothing.
Today fashion is disposable – and it is supposed to be. And it seems to me that should be unsustainable. Because what the situation we are in now — more and more and faster and faster — sounds like, more than anything, is a runaway train. And you know what happens to runaway trains: they crash."
AND THEN THIS GEM:
"And here is what I have learned: we need a new phrase. Once upon a time my grandmother saved and saved to buy a nice leather handbag, and once she had it, she had it for decades. Her fur coat? Same story. Her cashmere sweaters – you know the little cardigans with beading on the edges that were so popular in the 50s – same. She knew how to wash her garments—by hand usually — and how to hang them, and how store them, be it for the next season, or the next generation. What she had – what she built – was a Sustainable Wardrobe.
And that, it seems to me, is a concept that makes an enormous amount of sense. That is a term I can get behind. And that is, I say to all of you, what each and every one of us, as consumers, should be doing. It is about emphasising the value proposition inherent in each item you buy and consciously selecting it – maybe because it has an ethically conscious aspect you appreciate, and you bothered to research the supply chain like my friend Julie Gilhart does, or maybe because you know the amount of handwork that has gone into it and you are amazed by the artistry or even know the artisans, like Peter Copping does, or maybe because you the know that that cashmere came from happy prancing goats running free on the steppes of Mongolia – whatever. The point is that the decision about what constitutes value is yours, and you need make it. And that implies, I don’t think you can really get around this, some level of investment over, and in, time.
And that changes how you think of your clothes. It changes what you demand from them, and from the people who make them, and from yourself."