Short interview in November 17’s Marie Claire Spain. English translation below.
“Don’t associate fashion with shopping”
Q. Do you think we will see a significant change in the fashion industry in the next 20 years?
Will there see significant changes in the fashion industry in the next 20 years? Yes. Categorically yes. There is no culture, including fashion culture, without nature. And yet ‘nature’ – the ecological systems that support, underpin and enthuse our lives – is changing fast. Turn on the news and this change is everywhere: the shocking frequency of severe weather events; mass extinctions of biological species; the presence of tiny plastic particles in every aquatic environment, including the water we drink. Human activity is now the most powerful force shaping global natural systems and these ecological systems in turn govern human activity. Change to the fashion sector is underway because we are beginning to understand that the quality of our future lives is influenced by our current behaviours. Having more now will damage the security of our lives tomorrow. Industry will support such change because, after all, there is no business to be done on a dead planet. Change will be dramatic, wholesale and exciting. It will affect the size and scale of the industry and the very idea of fashion itself.
Q. How would your “true materialism” concept help that change?
True materialism is a wake-up call. We all have so many material things. New phones, cars, clothes… But even in the midst of so many material possessions, it seems that we are not materialistic enough! For we know very little about the stuff we have, where it came from, who made it, how to care for it, maintain it, live with it over time. True materialism is a movement that encourages a new and deeper reverence for material goods like clothing. It’s a shift towards a different relationship with fashion that is a delicate balance between the pleasure we get out of things and the pleasure we get out of freedom from things.
Q. How do you see us, the fashion consumers, in 20 or 25 years time?
In 20 years time I see all of us who wear clothes as being emancipated from the idea that fashion is shopping. Fashion is many things, not just buying new pieces. In two decades, we will have thrown off the idea that we are ‘consumers’, negotiating the world through money and the market place. Instead it will be as citizens in a changing world that we act and from there figure out where clothes fit into the mix and how money can be made from their creation and use.