The Next Black - A Film About the Future of Clothing

The Next Black - A Film About the Future of Clothing

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is quoted in saying "Fashion passes style remains." We've become so situated on the here and now (which in yoga terms is fantastic - strive to live in the present), but our here and now is about bigger, better, and faster. In the fashion game the mega brand success stories arise from two arenas: fast fashion at low prices (think H&M), or luxury brand with prestige value. We've become a world of fast: fast food, fast service, fast fashion. It's time to slow down and recognize the impact of our actions and our demands. And it's not just the responsibility of the manufacturers, it needs to start with the consumers. What is your demand?

The need for fast fashion, an ever churning of the latest and greatest for the cheapest bid, has encouraged unsafe and outright destructive manufacturing processes. I was once a blind consumer too, preaching that I was surely not to blame that manufacturers maintain inhumane and toxic processes. But I am, and you are too. It is not until the masses stand and demand change that it will occur. As a consumer you have a choice, we all have a choice. What do you support?

Turn off the cable, pause your Netflix, chill out for 45 minutes and watch this video.

The future of fashion for some is in technology, with wearable tech already becoming important in our society (think GoPro and Fitbit). Learn about Studio XO, masterminds behind the fashions of Lady Gaga, and their vision of the future. From smart phones to smart clothes the world is evolving and wearable technology will only become more prevalent in our day-to-day use.

Whether we are talking fiber optics or fashion fibers, sustainability in production is of the utmost importance for the protection of the earth and the balance of nature. Between 2000 and 2010 fashion consumption increased 47%. In the meantime, the world has been looking for faster and cheaper ways to manufacture these goods to stay in competition and meet consumer demand. This has led to mass pollution and inhumane working and living conditions. "Every year the process of water dying our textiles disposes the equivalent of half the Mediterranean Sea into our rivers and streams. Add to that the 200,000 tons of toxic chemicals that escape wastewater treatment and end up in those very same waterways. That environmental impact, while huge, comes solely from adding color to textiles." So what can you do? Support brands that strive to reduce their impact.

Rick Ridgeway, on the Board of Directors for Patagonia, gives great and simple advice: "Buy less, care more for the clothing we already own." How do you use and care for your garments? There was a time when patching a pair of jeans was commonplace. How quick are you to discard apparel? Would you like to be more handy with fixing your own possessions to extend their life? iFixit specializes in manuals to help you do just that. Patagonia has partnered with iFixit to create manuals for repairing their garments, but they specialize in everything from cars to electronics to clothes, and growing every day. I remember my first sewing machine. As a growing teenager I transformed outgrown jeans to new fashion capris. And so began my career in fashion!

Okay, I saved the best for last. And if I didn't already convince you to watch the video, here it is. There was a time when asked if I could be anyone else who would it be, the answer would have been Gwen Stefani, but now it just may be Suzanne Lee. She is doing some absolutely incredible things with BioCouture, seriously watch the video and then visit the site. I could talk all day about the importance of organic fibers and how Monsanto is the devil, but she has taken the idea of sustainable fashion to a whole new level. I'm tempted to not even give you an idea just so you actually watch the video, but I'm going to anyway. She is growing her own fabric. That's right, I said GROWING! Now watch the video and visit Thank me later. And please let me know if you give it a try!

XO -Julie

Thank you AEG for producing this brilliant film!

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