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Article: Be the change

Be the change

Be the change

It’s been a busy month of yet more research, more Small but Perfect meetings, more discussions. Do I feel like we’ve made progress? The answer varies depending on what time of day you ask me 😊. 

Do we have the path figured out to new, plastic free plant leather?.… No, not really. 

Have we made progress with research and taken steps towards identifying who can help us with this project? Yes, we have. But it’s going to cost a lot of money. Did you know that 5 min of consultation with Imperial College costs ‘000s of £. I’m exaggerating of course, but that’s not far from it!!!

As anticipated, the next step is, MORE INVESTMENT. No shit Sherlock! Leonardo DiCaprio if you are reading this, can you give us some dosh? I heard you like investing in fashion things like this 🤪

Anyway, moving on from Leo, in our last Small but Perfect catch up, we focused on manufacturing and production and we had some industry experts attending the session to discuss their story, answer our questions and keep us motivated to keep pushing. Some of them where good, some not. I have to quote the bad one, as it’s been giving me grief (…and some anger) for days. 

One very successful business owner’s closing motivational statement for new startups/ small businesses, trying to change the fashion industry, was that "9 out of 10 businesses fail" and we just need to keep going. WTF!!! It’s true and we all know it, but that’s not the way to motivate people, quite the opposite. Another one said, it’s just business, it’s just money. Well, yes if you have any. But it’s not just business, it’s the fashion business and it’s about people, the planet and not just profit! 

So, let’s hear another perspective. This time from a woman, an amazing woman. 

 “For every door that closes, a small passageway opens. That might not be related to that door and it might even be inside you. You have to find that passageway, that tiny little way to continue your journey. You have a vision and your strategy can just be intuition, your vulnerability is a strength, it will keep pushing you. Work together, start friendships, collaborations, learn from each other, support other small businesses and continue this long journey together. Don’t be afraid of being small. Don’t be afraid of the struggles, challenges. Together we can be that change."

And that is what I call motivational!!!. This is the answer I got from Orsola de Castro, when I asked "how do I keep going when all I hear is NO?" On top of that, this is what is fires me up and inspires me to want to be the change.

Orsola is one of the women bringing small fashion businesses together to create the Small But Perfectly Formed initiative supported by Fashion Revolution and Common Objective. 

👊Women supporting women 👊 Women inspiring women 👊

Back to our mission. Transforming the fashion industry. Not a small task. 

It needs a complete systems change and consumer education. As Common Objective puts it, to change an entire industrial system, deeply rooted in the exploitation of people and the planet, is a daunting task. Decades of mass consumerism and cheap goods have had a detrimental effect on our high street, shopping centres and especially our landfills. It all need redefining. How we shop, when, where, how we repay, sew, swap, collaborate, communicate. How do we create and customise? How do we learn to express ourselves though fashion and accessories again and not look like clones, all wearing the same flipping Zara dress. 

I don’t know the answer. But I’m trying like hell to find it, and enjoy the journey in the process. 

If you have any ideas, leave a comment 😘

Catch you later,

Silva 💋

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