The root of our new Dreamer collaboration is about daring to dream – to envision and create a more sustainable future.
At the heart of that vision for a sustainable future and a more sustainable fashion industry is the need to work together – to collaborate. In fact, we need to forget the word ‘industry’ and start to use the word ‘community’ – so we feel our goal is to foster a conscious fashion community. This is a radical dream.
So we have really explored the idea of collaboration – how working together can affect so much change and increase our capacity to be heard. It is a creative collaboration, but we feel at its heart collaboration strengthens the individual and that greater sense of community – from a sense of community we can feel empowered.
Rachel Entwistle’s initial Dreamer Collection is inspired by Joan Miró’s constellation series, she used these symbols and dream characters to create a capsule of stunning earrings and rings. FARA then took those designs and shapes and fused it with traditional Japanese calligraphy and a bit a digital editing to come up with the design that is printed onto the hemp garments. London based ceramics designer Maison Pastiche then created a set of jewellery dishes and bowls by mirroring these designs and calligraphies. Four designers working together, utilising sustainable practices and materials to create something exponentially bigger than each could individually.
In the traditional fashion industry we see a lot of competition and a drive for novelty - to be ahead of the game – to be an industry leader. It is fear-based – fearful that our designs will be copied; fearful that we will now be the top of the pack, so it can be a very closed industry. We need to reframe that need for novelty into innovative ways to produce fashion ethically and if we find an ethical producer or a more sustainable fabric to shout it from the rooftops – so others can be inspired and that we can welcome this creativity shared between us.
How do we affect change?
We see the fashion revolution as working together – promoting each other – sharing conscious production methods. We want to create change from within the industry. We can’t stop LFW or fashion production – but we can instigate conscious dialogue within the fashion community on how we can create change.
This is empowering – it means people can be informed and then make conscious decisions about improving their business.
When we met Rachel Entwistle, we immediately dreamed of working together. We are inspired by sustainability, craftsmanship and right now we are blown-away and inspired by the grassroots activism that is taking place all over the world -by Greta Thunburg, by Fashion Revolution, by Extinction Rebellion, and by the millions of people all over Mother Earth taking a stand and spreading knowledge of what lies ahead if we do not change our practices. We want to affect change in a generally unsustainable industry. We feel it is through collaboration rather than competition that we can affect change. Working together is powerful.
As designers and producers, we create small collections - we test the market and then do limited runs of each piece and then do a re-run with popular pieces. High street fashion tends to flood the market creating a huge amount of waste - an estimated 300,000 tonnes of clothes are dumped in UK landfills each year alone.
And in a recent study by the United Nations, it was highlighted that the fashion industry is responsible for around 10 % of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of all waste water - with a larger consumption of energy and and even larger creator of waste than the airline and shipping industries combined.
After Rani plaza, we were encouraged to question the impact of a £5 high street item on workers rights, now we have to question the journey of everything that we buy day-to-day for its environmental impact.
During London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council created a Positive Fashion Designer Exhibitions with a host of talks - and while this is a very small step in the right direction, it is a sign that the conversation has started.
Creating change within the fashion community is also about conversation.
Creating a sustainable future creates a lot of questions and we might not have the answer yet (and that’s ok) but we must talk – discuss – to share. We believe that within this sharing, lies the answer. What would a sustainable fashion industry or a sustainable planet look like? How would our day-to-day lives be if we were to collaborate with those around us? Again, it is about daring to dream. We have to look at the bigger picture – and start to see things from different angles.
Traditionalists and those in a position of ‘power’ dismiss change-makers or radical thinkers if they don’t have the solution right away – but we understand that things need to change and that the current system does not support or foster conscious growth - so we need to start envisioning what a more conscious future might look like.
For all of us, whether we are running a clothing or jewellery business or not – we need to question how we define success. For us, success is not about being the richest at the expense of the planet. So for us, we have to look at the traditional routes for growing our businesses and then prioritize sustainability.
On an individual level, we have to question our values. So much of what we consume is tied into our self image – how we want to be seen and whether we fit in with those around us. Actually we need to question everything! What do I need? Where does it come from? How many times will I wear this dress? How many times will I need to wash this dress, and if I wash it, will it produce microplastics? Most importantly - how was it produced and does the cost reflect how the item was produced?
What do we actually need beyond the quick endorphin rush of fast fashion?
You’ll see from the vibe of some of the photographs of our collaborative collection – that it is about being more self-reflective. Questioning what we need in order to feel beautiful, or empowered, or connected.
For us, the heart of our sustainable vision is collaboration, conversation and information. Inspiring those who buy our collection to cultivate an “essentials wardrobe” and lifestyle. The first step is consciously selecting the essentials, and then seeking out sustainable and fair-trade, local versions of that.
It’s all about the bigger picture – as humans we will always appreciate and have a degree of consumption of design and fashion in our lives, but we can connect closer to the journey of how those pieces are created. As customers, designers and producers we need to be more closely aligned with the journey of each piece and then the impact will be more holistic.
So among our design industry peers, we want to inspire a larger network of people. So we ask ourselves and others how can we use our business as a vision making platform?
We are inspired by conscious collectives like Women with Superpowers based in LA and our aim is to create those empowering networks across Europe and forge dialogues. Throughout history, women have tended to work away quietly trying to affect change, now we are inspired by Greta Thunberg to shout it from the rooftops. We can’t read an article and then go back to business as usual – real change has to be implemented at a root level. And that change starts with us questioning everything. It’s a real invitation for us to think outside of the box. For us, that fuels our sense of integrity – not just as a business but as an individual. To fuel the conversation, we need to ask what is our legacy?
In our everyday business practices and at home, we can reduce our use of plastic – we can search out new methods of packaging and production. We can hold ourselves accountable, we can plant trees to offset carbon – there is so much we can do. We can choose - and that’s empowering.
What can you commit to today?
We can just use our wardrobe as a case study!
How much of what is in our wardrobe is worn regularly? Instead of buying new, could you find what you need preloved/second hand?
- Get together with friends and have clothes swaps.
- Avoid impulse buying and sales shopping. Black Friday encourages unadulterated consumerism – our lust for a bargain is not sustainable. We support Handmade Friday!
- Invest in brands where you understand the journey and the provenance of the item.
- Rather than a quick cheap fix - invest in a quality piece that will be loved for years and keep those pieces in circulation and sell them on through circular economy resellers like Vestiaire Collective, Poshmark and the RealReal online.
We are inspired by the conversation and action that Extinction Rebellion has started – we have total respect for what XR are doing and they have certainly encouraged us to look at what we are doing within our own businesses and lifestyles. But for us, we think we can make the most effective change from within the industry – fostering conversations about sustainability.
Everyone has to get on board – everyone has to make a commitment to change.
It’s a commitment to our global community.
SEE THE FULL COLLECTION RIGHT HERE Dreamer Collection here.