I have been contemplating the future of fashion recently when the guys at Enchanted festival asked me to co-create with them and invited myself and collaborators to join in the project which is coming to fruition in the summer.
For the past years I have been working inside the nuts and bolts of application on sustainability and circularity, mainly in small to medium businesses. Knowing the complications that happen with this sector especially in them being small brought me to think in new and interesting ways. At first out of a pragmatic need to come together to create better substance inside the current economy that we have here that’s based on large and infinite growth. Later aligning to a living systems and new economic thought process that allows us to start to bridge towards thrive-ability as a collaborative.
With the guys asking me to head up The Future of Fashion arena – I am sitting down to write what that really looks like for us all. Throughout my studies and by being with others who have a new systems approach as I do – we have mused and ‘Tried on’ many things. This version – possibly on Fashion Future version 8.0 right now seems fully workable yet will take what we call a cathedral thinking approach, where we build now knowing that we may not see the fruits of our toil.
I think that’s how we have to see any evolution to the future of, planting the seeds of a forest that will mature for our children and those that walk after them.
The future to myself and my peers is a decentralised, re-distributed, aligned with locality. We need to be able to grow with what we can grow in each place in a regenerative aspect, of course not using pesticides or mono cropping but inter planting with food crops and animals for a regenerative soil. Replacing soil diversity and growing crops and rearing animals that work in place with a rapidly changing climate.
We need to be the agile fashion industry that we once were when we aligned with monetary growth but now in a new alignment to the future thrive-abilty of our world and ourselves.
Leaning into Circularity in the locality and creating waste as a new value, where we need to re-wire the economy to support that new system and process of mending and maintaining as well as re-processing. For circularity to work anything new to be constructed with integrity in the fabrication, ideally as a mono fibre and garments designed for deconstruction. Not shipping things around the world for this purpose but to create in each local place a micro ecosystem of economic and viable decentralised circular functions.
Indeed, for us the Economic regeneration not only for the west but in all localities is just as integral as the product evolution itself. The economic system as it is has driven the fast and linear fashion process where we do not value the workmanship and the resources extracted from our fine people and planet. Most people do not know what It is they are wearing in terms of fabrication and quality, let alone if the person that made it is thriving.
In our fashion future if we need to extract from other countries we do so with great care and understanding of if that’s at all useful and needed and indeed I feel that new values will be placed rather than pure monetary growth. Maybe we will value people on what they can create with what they have in a local economy, value their creativity. Maybe we value how people grow collaborations and work with each other to thrive rather than valuing the business owners that extract the substance from the earth and others in the old hierarchy?
Maybe we are being childish in our thoughts, if they haven’t built over the last 40 /50 years knowing that this was coming? What hope do we have? Indeed, I feel that it has been because we are trying to do it on economics that serve a very different time than the one that we need to start to build bridges to. However, we need to do that in transition so that others can live and work in a run up to the future.
This is what we start to do inside The Ecosystem Incubator, a grand vision of the cathedral mentioned but knowing that it is co-created one brick at a time. We are a living system of players that come together in this economy as a bridge to the next one.
We will be co-creating an interactive part of the event, and we are working on coming together in the new year to co-create come ideas for the Enchanted festival with our ecosystem collaborators and anyone else who wants to play into the future of fashion part of the program .. It will be fun to realise and ‘try on’ new systems in a small way.
For the Festival we look for those who are makers, locality growers, weavers, up-cyclers to co-create this micro economy for a week. What does the future of fashion look like ? we sew and make it together. We look for those that want to come and visualise the bridge with us and experience this new economy in action.
Link for festival interest
Link for ecosystem
Link for Circular Earth