I took a break from my fashion social media over Christmas. I’ve come back and what have I missed? Nothing. The same articles about pay-for-play are doing the rounds, the same sale coupons are still there, the same selfies of ‘fashionistas’ and their Primark hauls – that’s how I lost my love for Youtube.
And over the festivities I consolidated the way I feel about the industry, what I want from it, and more importantly what I need from it. In a nutshell, I am done with fast fashion.
Setting up a business is a journey of discovery that never stops being a learning process. No matter how clear cut you think you know what you do, it doesn’t stay the same. And it would be wrong if it did. I have never worried about how my business would change. At the core of what I do are my ethics and my creativity which are already a part of my life and have become intrinsic to what I am as a design label.
Over the last two years since I moved to Manchester (yes it’s been two whole years this month), the focus of my work has slowly graviated more confidentally towards the slow fashion end. I am one person, one studio. How could I possibly be fast fashion in any sense of the word? But over time I have realised there is no point whatsoever in trying to compete with the high street, or to integrate it into my business. For that matter there is no point trying to convince fast fashion customers to buy ethical, UK made, slow fashion. You either get it or you don’t.
My decision has been compounded by the number of inquiries I get from those who only see the pricetag, not the work. They haggle and won’t pay over £20 for anything. But you see, I don’t do sales. You either want it or you don’t. I don’t make copies. Everything is a one off so you won’t find it on Amazon, or Ebay or on the high street. And that’s a deliberate ploy on my part. As I have said before, I would rather sell one dress a month to someone who gets it, than 30 £5 tees to people who don’t. I am not desperate for sales. I have no pressure to sell hundreds of garments (a priviledged situation I am sure you will agree). This takes the pressure off and allows me to create as an artist, because really I am more about art than high street fashion. I have never tried to be about trends. I do individual, unique, standing out in the crowd.
My private life has had a lot to do with my change of attitude. Due to big changes in my personal life since last summer I have rediscovered the core of who I am and been able to implement it into my business model. It’s about being true to yourself. That’s the knock on effect. It feels good.
Being honest to your true nature is actually quite hard. I work in an industry which largely only remembers you based on the last tweet you put out or the last photoshoot and is obsessed by follower numbers and celebrity status. And I just don’t care about those two things.
I am tired of writing about how fast fashion is bad for the world. We all know this. And none of it is going to change. ‘The Fashion Law‘ will tell you everything you need to know about how corrupt the industry can be. I can get my daily dose of depressing over there. I don’t need to write about it as well.
I would rather write about the things I can change, the amazing businesses and individuals I get to collaborate with who DO make a difference in their own way and the experiences I have which make me a better business. I can write about ethical movements like Made in Britain and Fashion Revolution and know I am a part of that.
And so these days I am only following social media that matters – the independant businesses, the brands I’ve been watching since day one, the teams I work with who understand that side of the industry. The companies who champion home grown talent, the photographers who shoot for art.
This has been hard to get across in print. In amongst the very official, critical posts I have published on ethics, sustainability and the problems with fast fashion I have given you glimpses of what is really bubbling away under the surface. Bear with me. I will improve on 2016. We will journey together and I am immensely thankful that you are reading this and ‘getting it’ because why else would you be here?
For all things Falcieri Designs check out my website at www.falcieridesigns.co.uk