AN OPEN LETTER FROM PRICKLY THISTLE SCOTLAND
An address to our toxic fashion addiction
Why is buying sparkly plastic waste considered a status symbol?
Why will we pay high prices for designer goods made by exploited people, but not for a locally produced garment?
Why do we praise something that is killing us? And worship the celebrities that endorse it?
The above questions swirl around in our minds daily at the Prickly Thistle mill. As a small brand urgently trying to make positive change, we can’t help but feel the weight of the attitude-behaviour gap in fashion customers - many people understand the necessity for sustainable fashion consumption, but their purchases don’t reflect this.
Fashion itself is not the problem. Dressing the body has been intrinsic to humanity for thousands of years. It is our contemporary habits of ‘over-dressing’ ourselves which have caused severe issues – a materialistic collective mentality perpetuated by an empty promise that buying something new all the time will bring a sense of fulfilment. For that temporary sense of comfort that harms you more in the long run. A dopamine hit before you inevitably need another, and another…
We have a fashion addiction.
One that we are suffering on a mass scale. We are sick, in need of a cure to feel content with less. To feel joy at having less by loving what we have more.
Fast fashion brands don’t want you to love your clothes though. If you did, that would bring the kind of long-term satisfaction that is bad for business. Widespread marketing techniques reveal that healthy mental well-being is also bad for business, so they pray on the vulnerability of people’s insecurities – the need for social acceptance that comes with not being left behind. Instilling unjustified paranoia. Making you believe that other people actually care whether you wore that top already…in a world where we have so many other important things to focus on…it is truly madness. An exploitation of the ancient relationship we have between our clothing and our emotions.
It is the oldest trick in the marketing book – create a problem, expose people to it, then provide something they can buy to solve it. This is the story of red riding hood. Something harmful, dressed up as something harmless.
But this is no fairy tale. It is the reality we live in, clouded by an illusion. And the last thing they want us to do is see through it.
These brands will plaster ‘self-love’ across a synthetic t-shirt that is depleting the Earth. They will promote feminism through cheap clothing made by a generation of women overseas who are trapped in poverty. To us that will never make sense.
Individualism and collectivism are not mutually exclusive. There are ways to care for yourself and others and the environment intertwiningly. Free yourself of the chains of toxic, hedonistic fashion culture by learning to be happy with less and seeing how less is actually more in so many ways. Simplify your life in a complicated world. Reject trends. Promote second-hand. Normalise outfit repeating. If you have to buy, buy ethical items that will last a lifetime, that won’t fall apart, that were made locally, and don’t hurt the collective.
We talk of being rebels, well… this is the ultimate rebellion. To cure ourselves of fast-fashion addiction.
Welcome to our ‘Repeal It’ Campaign.
Birthed from the above letter, crafted from the thoughts and discussions that take place in our mill, and the foundations of our company. Inspired by the official repeal of The Act of Proscription that saw Highland dress banned for our people.
As a ‘walk the walk’ company, throughout the month of July we will be revealing the 6 permanent physical changes we are making to address the culture of toxic consumption head on. We hope you can walk with us....
To repeal is to undo harm.
Together, we can repeal fast fashion
#repealit #buylesslovemore #wearyourvalues #noplanetb
Love Clare and the team x