The relationship we have with our clothes has changed greatly over the last century, but arguably the most dramatic shift has taken place just within the last two decades. We have entered into an era of extreme production and consumption, many of us falling into a mindless cycle of acquiring and discarding garments instead of taking the time to truly value and use them.
Our physical and mental space has not been able to keep up with the increasing speed of our consumption habits and so it shouldn’t be surprising that what we are left with is a serious waste problem – one that affects communities, economies and environments all around the world. This problem doesn’t end with the physical waste that fails to biodegrade in our landfills but extends to the precious resources we use to make the garments we so easily discard – water, energy, labour, time, not to mention the money we spend on things we don’t really seem to value.
Clothes Well Lived is a project that sets out to challenge our perceptions of value. Together with London College of Fashion design and communication courses and H&M we ask – how can we kick-start a move from being a fashion throw-away culture to a fashion preservation culture?