Style is ultimately an artistic expression, and differs from fashion. Fashion chooses what you wear, while style is organic. Many people don’t realize that they aren’t able to authentically explore their style because the fashion industry doesn’t allow for that. It sets rules – what is in season, what is sold in stores, what you see in pop culture, etc. Returning to my passion for this form of self expression has been liberating.
After spending the year living in Cabo Verde, I’ve changed nearly my entire outlook on how I live. It has been a challenge trying to maintain all of the changes and live a natural lifestyle surrounded by all of these artificial constructs. I’ve gone through many stages, and for a while was quite stressed because I wasn’t disciplined enough to manage and reprogram so many aspects of my life.
When it comes to clothing and style, many people don’t find any purpose or meaning. When I first came back to the states my mindset was frankly f*** everything! I didn’t want any parts of anything that was suppressing us, destroying our environment, etc. I wanted to be 1000% sustainable – be the example and embody it all. I quickly realized that wasn’t very realistic or sustainable for me.
Before my life changing experience I was in the world of fashion. An ugly place to say the least but something about it filled me. When I became aware of the deeply rooted under belly of the industry – from sweat shops to European supremacy – it was hard to see the silver lining. All of the research in combination with depression as a result of the unexpected psychological pain I faced “going natural”, I lost the desire to express myself through fashion. Somehow that only made things worse.
What we wear and how we wear it is has significance; just look at the impression left without even saying a word. I still appreciate fashion, but I have to be conscious of the bigger picture, the psychological damage as well as the devastating ecological impact of the industry. Ultimately I hope to embody an entirely revolutionary footprint in textiles/production — but this is where I am now. I don’t shop much any more other than the occasional trips for intimates and socks. I’m choosing not to purchase any clothing because I have so much that I can wear that it makes no sense to buy anything that isn’t a necessity.
However, the reality is the things that I own don’t speak to my current state of mind. Fortunately the great quality pieces I purchased in the past have lasted over the years, but I really don’t want to wear designer labels anymore. I have resold many items at thrift shops, and got rid of a lot. Right now I just want to express my evolution and begin to incorporate cultural elements into my everyday style. So if I do shop I will strive to support Black/Afrakan designers and business owners.
Somethings to ask…
Who makes your clothes?
What is it made of?
Will it last?
Do you need it?
Somethings to do…
Don’t buy anything
Buy second hand
Re-wear your clothes
Learn to sew