April 23rd, 2018
An Haulternative story.
It’s the beginning of Fashion Revolution week!
Like every year since it first launched, I wanted to join in and talk about this topic. Usually I make a video on Youtube covering multiple aspects, but because I’m travelling I don’t really have the opportunity to do a proper video, so instead I decided to share the story behind this yellow dress.
When I first started my Youtube channel, back in 2012, I remember coming across an Italian brand called Vivetta. At the time it was a new designer brand, started by Vivetta Ponti, with pretty limited pieces and only available online.
It took me just one browsing through the website to fall in love with the sweet designs it had to offer, and I quickly started dreaming of the day I could own one of Vivetta’s pieces.
Fast forward to spring 2013, after saving up some money, I became the owner of the adorable pale yellow dress shown above. It seems like such a simple thing, but being able to afford it and have it all to myself made me so happy!
It was my very first designer dress, and in these 5 years the brand grew a lot and still remains one of my favourites.
I loved it to the point that in my own book, Dream House, I made the protagonist wear it.
Through the years, I took good care of it, only wearing it for special occasions, but this year, during the renovation of the flat, it was ruined, unfortunately.
The fabric is very thin and delicate, and when I packed it I wasn’t careful enough, resulting in some tears and staining here and there.
So I grabbed some embroidery thread, in different colours, and created a random pattern with shapes and flowers on the back of the skirt (where all the ruined bits were).
This was such an easy fix, and made the dress even more unique: from the front, you can’t even tell anything is different, but then when you turn around or do a spin, it reveals some unexpected touches between the fabric folds.
I’m sharing this brief story because far too often we tend to easily get rid of pieces we once loved because of trends or tear, when in actuality we can give a new look to things we have owned for multiple years.
Embroideries, patches, colour dyes and such are all great solutions to spice up your clothes, so consider DIY-ing something before passing it along to someone else.
But if you think the clothes you own really don’t suit you anymore, you could always do a clothes swap with a friend. You can watch the one Maddie and I did last year, for Fashion Revolution week, if you are interested!
When it comes to fashion, my approach to it has changed massively in the past 5 years.
When I first started learning about fast fashion and the damage it causes, I felt so embarrassed and disappointed in myself for being so shopping-obsessed, pushing out many hauls a month, and simply overbuying because everything seemed so affordable; not really understanding yet that the someone else was paying the price for what I was doing.
Once I realised, I cut all ties with fast fashion, and I went even months at a time without buying anything at all. I would check all labels, and ask myself – do I need this?
99% of the time the answer was no.
I stopped buying most things because either I didn’t need them, or because they weren’t made ethically. But I did look at all the pretty things available and knew I couldn’t have them, which – on the long run – was a bit exhausting… especially when your job does include fashion.
Overtime I learnt to be more flexible, but still mindful – and I think that’s key.
It’s all about learning about topics we care about, and making choices based on them. For example, when creating clothes for my own labels – Marzia Clothing and Tsuki – it’s a must for me to be able to provide ethically made pieces, where the people working on each garment get properly paid for their work, and are fairly limited lines in order to limit fabric waste and remove mass production from the equation.
But at the same time, I don’t bash other people for their choices, and I allow myself, every once in a while, to pick up something just because I really want it, even if it’s not ethically made. When that happens, I’m extremely selective and consider when I’m going to wear it, how much use I will get from it, how it’s the quality and how long it will last. So I still ask myself questions, and don’t just purchase something because I can have it.
Hopefully this all makes sense; the bottom line is that, with everything in life, there needs to be a balance that makes you happy.
If you are interested in having an ethical approach to fashion, there are many different ways to go about it:
- let’s say you love cheap and trendy clothes, from brands like Zara and H&M, but you are tired to support big corporations. You could then consider second hand! That way, you could find the piece that caught your attention from a thrift shop, or exchange something for it with a friend, so that you don’t directly give money to these fast fashion giants;
- you may be having events coming up, and ethically produced garments are known to cost much more than your go-to brands, so how about hiring an outfit? That way you can have a killer look for the night, without splurging on a purchase.
- But on the other hand, for example, I have a thing for designer handbags. Most of the time I go for vintage finds, but if one steals my heart, I definitely see that as an investment purchase, as I will keep them for years and years, maybe even passing them along to future generations, giving a story to those items of clothing. Plus, these are the types of purchases that you don’t make on a regular basis, but rather save up for.
These are just some ideas, but there are so many more options!
Also, because more and more people talk about the issues that fast fashion is causing, and the growing demand for ethically produced clothing, more and more designers and brands are going down that path. Even massive companies are making adjustments, which is great to see.
Personally, my favourite way to shop is by supporting smaller labels, but the more you look around what’s available on the market, the easier it will become to shop ethically and find brands you want to support, or ways to buy the garments you like.
If you have some brands to suggest me, please do so! I’m always happy to check out some cool shops!