Anthropocene

Nothing here is new.

 Thesis

I believe it can be made unacceptable to produce “new” textile by changing how and why we dress, drastically reducing global pollution. In the process we can create communities of shared values in a practical attempt to combat alienation in the modern world.

 Proem

I am not sure that beyond the work of radical poets, I’ve ever seen much mention in literature that a car requires gas, that the gas requires the oil industry, the oil industry requires imperialist war, etc.”

Fashion produces 10% of humanity's carbon emissions.

Forty-two people hold over half the world’s “wealth”.

Fashion is the same shit over and over.

Our organizing must aim for a balance between two strategic goals. First, we need initiatives to radically transform the social structures of the world to eliminate the systems of oppression like capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, patriarchy and heterosexism that confine us to states of oppression and exploitation. Second, we need initiatives to transform ourselves and our communities through autonomous, self-reliant institution building, resource maximization, resource development, and community care.


Climate Change

We’re all aware something must be done to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, but feel powerless to affect anything on a meaningful scale. Fashion offers a quickly influenced portion of global culture we all take part in.

Fashion

We generally buy new clothes to show belonging, avoid ridicule and to feel empowered. We don’t need new clothing production to do this. Instead, we need better fashion and a better culture surrounding it.

I believe there already exists enough clothing and material to create new fashion to meet our needs. And through elevating “old” clothing we can empower people whether they are in garments that have been recontextualized or not.

Because wealthy people lack innate superiority over the general population, many struggle with justified feelings of inadequacy in context of their position atop the power structure of society. In order to easily separate themselves from the poor and each-other, they require constantly changing fashion styles. This creates a hastening cycle as the public gains increasing access to clothing that copies the fashions of the wealthy. The luxury industry takes advantage of this insecurity by creating culture that defines “ideal” clothing items, ages and body types to manipulate their customers.

The broader culture then conflates these manufactured ideals with “what makes people desirable”, instead of “what makes someone who has it all insecure enough to keep giving luxury companies money”.

Culture

Most people’s confidence is destroyed by their parents before they are able to develop a sense of self and style. This causes them to seek invisibility, or provocation. Dressing and behaving in a manner to avoid inspiring an insult from their guardian, or designed to purposely piss that guardian off, aware abuse is unavoidable.

This continues into adulthood where standing out in the office or on the street stirs the same feelings from ones youth. I think that by learning to understand our personal and social context, we can begin to express ourselves without fear of embarrassment. By creating a culture of local clothing redistribution, maintenance and information sharing we can move fashion away from screaming “Look how good I can buy things advertised to me!” or “Look how unlike I am to all the people doing that!”.

I believe creating and sharing affordable clothes that help us avoid ridicule and feel empowered can create a sense of community that is inclusive, not exclusive.

Next Steps

There are roughly fifty “men” in charge of various nations, oil companies, shipping companies and manufacturers who could prevent the brutality of the coming climate disasters. They choose not to each day.

I prepose to start our conversation with an analysis of this structure, who actually has “power” and what those people want on a neurological and superficial level.