Fashion has always been a way to express your personality. A bright, bold pair of yellow suede knee boots shows you’re not afraid to stand out, just like wearing a classic set of pearls with a black turtleneck and pedal pushers speaks to fundamental fondness for refined understatement. Still, while style has always given voice to certain aspects of who we are and what we believe, it’s only in recent years that it’s really started to provide an identifiable platform for truly meaningful communication: life altering communication.
Everyday fashion trends are now being used for more than to express personal style: they are used to express the way we feel about the world as well. Fashion is even being used to make the world a better place, and while many of us fashionistas would argue that it has always done this, it is now being done in such a way that even the more casually fashion conscious can notice.
And not only do they notice the dialogue, but they are more motivated to take part in it. Here’s what we’re talking about.
Life Changing Style
Whether it be t-shirts or false eyelashes, many fashion trends are being used to give voice to a cause. Consider the Parative Project — an Ohio based clothing designer that uses t-shirts to start conversations. One of their most famous shirts, the “Every 8 Minutes’ tee, speaks to the fact that every 8 minutes, a child in South East Asia is kidnapped for human trafficking. As you would hope, part of the proceeds of the sales of these shirts go to organisations aiming to put an end to human trafficking.
It’s not always a designer, however, who is starting the conversation. There are also charities, like Petal Charitable Trust, who use false eyelashes to bolster the moral and spirits of women who have lost hair due to cancer treatment. The commonality is in the use of fashion to try to bring attention to (and alleviate at least some of) the suffering of others.
Female Empowering Fashion
More and more fashion designers aren’t designing for their own artistic compulsion alone, but to create real fashion for real women. Take Australian women’s clothing designer SNDYS, for instance. They have created entire collections to suit the true feminine spirit. Intrepid, powerful, stunning, and comfortable designs are meant to be as easy to wear as women want them to be. While the pieces are undeniably sexy, they are sexy because of the women who wear them: not because they force women into tight, restrictive, preconceived notions of feminine beauty.
SNDYS is certainly not alone in their move to create unapologetic fashion for women. More and more companies are learning to start talking to women, rather than talking at them. As a result, more and more women are starting to shop more adventurously, finding styles that suit who they really are.
Perhaps one of the most notable way fashion has started talking to more people is through the industry’s increasing use of environmentally-friendly practices and sustainable materials. More and more, you’ll find designers touting their ‘green’ initiatives. By default, anyone wearing these designs is making a statement about their commitment to helping protect the environment through conscious, smart style.
For many people, fashion has never been frivolous. However, now more of the world is beginning to see that when you style yourself, you’re making much more than a fashion statement.