I am sitting here, full on with the flu, thinking that it’s a good idea for me to bring back my long forgotten blog. What am I thinking? Maybe the Mucinex is the one talking. But whatever it is, I’ve been feeling an itch to bring this baby back to life and today’s no better than the next.
Creativity is something that motivates me. It’s something that teaches me more about myself. And over the last couple of years, my creativity has taken a turn towards a purpose.
The other day, someone asked me when I became interested in fashion. And to be completely honest, I hadn’t actually thought about it before. Do I consider myself to be super fashionable? Not really. Do I know about all the brands and am I current on all the latest trends? Definitely not.
So what in the world would spur me to get all excited about fashion? Like seriously. What do I think I’m doing? I’m just an ordinary girl living in an ordinary world… you catch my drift.
In general, I’m pretty empathetic towards others. I’m the girl who cries when watching touching proposals on Youtube or who sheds a tear during the news. And believe it or not, that’s the part of me that drew me to fashion.
When the Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, it shook media. Everyone was talking about it. Over 1,000 garment workers died and over 2,000 were brutally injured. How could this happen? Who was at fault? Why aren’t brands doing more to keep workers safe? Tons of pictures of the collapsed building and people were released. There was one in particular I can never forget. Within the rubble, they found a man holding a woman so tightly as if trying to save her. Frozen in time. It was haunting, to say the least.
In the coming weeks, I read about how certain brands were taking accountability and what they were doing to change. Other brands tried to keep on the down low. But all in all, nothing really changed. Enough time passed and the news stopped talking about it and people went back to their lives as they did before.
But it irked me. The people who made my clothes worked in places like that? I started to watch some documentaries. I thought about a lofty goal that I’d like to empower women some day with sewing skills to create a future for them and their communities. Of course, my sewing skills were basic to say the least, so I had a lot of learning to do. And over the next couple of years, what started out as some light investigating really started to get my wheels turning. Humanity brought me to fashion.
Eventually, this became my typical visit to the mall: before going into a store, I would stand outside, google the ethics of the brand and decide whether or not to enter the store. And if I did enter the store, after looking at the tags of where the items were made, I would most likely get discouraged and leave anyways. More often than not, I just left the mall empty handed. It took a lot of inner persuading to go in there and find a pair of shorts for my vacation. I just felt so guilty. And seeing everyone in the mall with so many bags… was I going mad?
During this time I also started to change my health products (toothpaste, shampoo, makeup, etc) to more environmentally responsible products. At the same time, my clothes buying went on a bit of a standstill. Yes, I still bought clothes once in awhile, but very rarely. What’s a girl gotta do?
When I moved to California last September, I was opened to a whole new world of fashion that got me so excited. There were grassroots brands that were SUSTAINABLE and ETHICAL and all those lovely words. I learned about ORGANIC COTTON and DEADSTOCK. In October, I joined Instagram (okay, I know I’m SO behind the times, laugh all you want) and lo and behold… there were SO many others like me, all looking for an alternative to the deadly “fast fashion”. My eyes were opened and I was shouting YES on the mountain tops!!!
That’s when I became even more invested in my clothes. I started looking at my closet and thought, I could make that. I started looking at the cloth and marveling how these shapes were sewn together to create this garment. It was a romantic view of the process that allured me. And at the same time, running my hand over the material and the tags inside, I imagined the people who made them. And if the tag said “Made in Bangladesh” or “Made in China” or something along those lines, I would quietly send those workers my gratitude and wear my clothes, giving them a purpose.
It’s then that I decided to set my creativity in motion. I created my very first skirt in December 2016 and I got SO excited about it. I couldn’t WAIT to wear it to a party. I loved that feeling of wearing something that I made. The ball started rolling from there. Fast forward to April 24, 2017. I made a pact with myself to make this a year long goal: a self-made wardrobe.
So there you have it… my fashion evolution, so to speak. Let’s see where my creativity takes me! (but maybe after my flu goes away…)