Yesterday I participated at the ‘Community Event’ of the ArtEZ Fashion Professorship and MA Fashion Held in Common, via Skype because I have chosen to no longer fly to give presentations and workshops. This decision was a direct result of the IPCC Special Report released in October. For years I have known the hypocrisy in my work – I have been flying a lot to talk – and I am taking it on now. This is not a judgment on anyone else; the choice works for me as my income does not depend on flying. Those of you who can, please do take this on: no more flying for holidays, and no more flying for work if your career doesn’t substantially rely on it.
My participation was a conversation with Judith ter Haar, founder of Jones in Arnhem. As a back up in case of Skype nightmares, I prerecorded responses to three questions from Judith. In the hope of taking these ideas to audiences who weren’t there, I am posting them here, with some links to further resources and readings that I mention in the recordings. I finish each response with a question to Judith; I will say that her responses were eloquent and deep, and she is a joy to speak with about fashion.
Question 1: You have written and talked about reimagining fashion as a system of fulfillment of fundamental human needs. What do you mean by that?
Kate Fletcher’s ‘Sustainable Fashion & Textiles. Design Journeys’.
Chapter by Manfred Max-Neef introducing fundamental human needs.
Question 2: Can you talk about the importance of imagination – being able to imagine new visions of fashion systems and fashion futures unburdened by our views of the past, while learning from the past.
The manifesto I wrote for Utopian Studies.
Question 3: You chose not to fly here. How do we balance refusal with quality of life?
I am still reflecting on the event. Skyping in is not the same as being there; I missed the physicality of being able to hug Kate, Pascale (Gatzen), Judith, Danielle (Bruggeman) and others. Nevertheless, we need to figure out how to make remote participation a vital part of our shared engagement, and in that yesterday was very helpful.