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FASHION, SUSTAINABILITY AND THE VALUE OF HANDMADE

Jamilla Ives is the sole creativity behind the Fashion Praxis label. Here she talks about her journey and approach to fashion as a maker. 

 

Having been a maker since I was a teenager, I have spent endless hours sewing, cutting and making. Sewing is a skill that can be learnt, but to master requires hundreds of hours of input. Working within fashion and textiles education, having supported several small businesses, and in turn created my own clothes, I understand all too well that my own wardrobe took hundreds of skilled hours to make.

My own experience has enabled me to become familiar with the complex and intricate process of garment production, and truly appreciate how undervalued the skilled labour involved in fast fashion is. Though it is cheaper and quicker for brands to use off-shore production methods, from an ethical and sustainable point of view, there are a number of reasons why these can be problematic:

An ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality means that manufacturers and consumers feel less concerned about the exploitation of workers in third world countries, simply because they cannot see it happening, and therefore feel it does not affect them. However, more and more within the mainstream media, the issues of consumption, climate change and industrialisation are being directly connected to one another, in a singular, intrinsic narrative. This is causing the average consumer to wake up to the reality that: A. human beings are not dispensable. B. There is no planet B.

In the consumption of fast fashion, we miss out on the appreciation of intelligent design and craftmanship. Whilst it is easy to spend one hundred pounds or more online, on ten different garments, without really considering the garment’s origins, material or production method (since we are probably buying with the intention of wearing once and forgetting it), purchasing from small business puts us back in touch with the humanity of the designing-making process, and with that, the joy and consideration that accompanies it.

My aim as a designer-maker, and through Fashion Praxis, is ultimately to create a culture of significance and value. This involves:

- Bringing attention back to the joy and creativity of designing and making!

- Realising there is no perfect solution to the fast fashion problem, only more considered and informed consumers.

- Drawing on design trends that reflect the millennial search for authenticity; creating collections that reflect a nostalgia for the authentic, inspired by traditional workwear and centralising practicality.

My signature comes not from wanting to be a single-minded visionary, or heartless business mind, but approaching fashion as a maker, a conscientious consumer and an educator. In this approach, community and people are at the core. When business is centred around being active within one’s community, interacting with people and creating human connections, emphasis is continually being placed on human impact- the opposite of the self-centredness and insatiability of the fast fashion industry. Again, whilst perfect solutions do not exist, effort and innovation does. Fashion Praxis simply attempts to align itself with ethical and sustainable creative practice and offer solutions.

CLICK HERE to view the Fashion Praxis capsule range, featured exclusively with GIVE WEAR LOVE. Garments can be made to order for the perfect fit.