Fashion clothes are supposed to become part of our lifetime, and not only capturing a moment in time and be quickly forgotten. They shoud walk our path, creating stories and memories. Resilient materials and products have the potential to lengthen product lifetimes. Designing for durability, and the associated ideas of resilience and consistency, leads to act almost as an ideological counterweight to the unsustainability of disposable material culture.
Durability enjoys an easy relationship with sustainability. The fashion and textiles supply chain is today characterized by being global, not local. For us, localism is an antidote to unsustainability. Localism promotes a field of vision that is ‘human’ in scale. When scales of operation are small and relationship with suppliers and collaborators direct, it is simply more practicable for everybody to become part of the production process. The slow culture vocabulary of small-scale production, traditional craft techniques, local materials and market, offers starting points for the cultivation of powerful relationships between fashion creators and collaborators. It professes a heightened state of awareness of the design process and its impact on resource flows, workers, communities, and ecosystems. Slow culture also promotes the democratization of fashion by offering people more control over the origin of the purchased item, its provenance, its composition, its story, and it can make an impact on today’s world.
Being a small reality helps us to feel that our world is more intelligible and allows us to be more responsible for it. Localism represents an opportunity to foster change within fashion and textiles, and an opportunity to design for distinctiveness and limited editions. It presents us with an occasion to produce and consume based on models that recognize natural limits, the importance of reliable work to strong and resilient communities while affirming the central role fashion and textiles play in our culture.
At its heart, the essence of localism is distinctiveness.
The result is a less homogenous and cloned society, one that reflects the ideas, skills and resource flows of a local place and an aesthetic agenda, of garments or textiles, that grows from the ground up and is not set by and for the convenience of big businesses.