Not sure if you’ve noticed, but fashion has been changing. And I don’t mean changing like fads and trends changing – that’s the old fashion. New fashion has a brain. New fashion has staying power. Not sure what that means? Well Australian designer Helene Ang and her new line Edit’d are the perfect illustration of my point. Helene deconstructs luxe vintage garments and breathes new life into them by slicing and stitching them into contemporary silhouettes. Each piece comes complete with a history of its humble beginnings so that you can daydream about its old life each time you put it on. Pretty powerful considering that we are essentially purchasing a story, an idea and a lifestyle each time we buy a tulip skirt, patterned sundress or aviator sunglasses. And you really get that with Helene’s pieces. So much so that if I had to make a PowerPoint presentation showing what new fashion is, it would be very similar to Edit’d website. In fact, I think I will take a stab at explaining what new fashion is using Edit’d’s summer collection, European Vagabond. Here goes…
New Fashion has staying power.
No matter how green of a gal or guy you are, you may sometimes cheat and run into your cheap, local mass-retailer to pick up basics like a tee or leggings. The more guilty ones of us visit Forever 21 every Friday for a new outfit and get rid of it by the next weekend (hey, that was my old life!). Well, new fashion is all about clothes that you love so much, and identify with so much that you can’t bear to throw them out! I think Edit’d does a great job with this because they’ve made their looks trendy, but classic and flattering enough that you will want to wear them again even in a few years (aka no harem pants, cringe!). It doesn’t matter how eco the material that they’re made of is – harem pants are not good for you or the earth!
New Fashion uses what we already have.
I didn’t know this about the fashion industry before, but tons of textiles are produced to fit the look of one season and whatever is not used is often thrown away! Gigantic rolls of beautiful brocades and sumptuous silks just being tossed into the dump? Somewhere a second-semester fashion student is weeping softly. Luckily, many progressive companies like Edit’d, Preloved and 2fer buy these fabrics and work them into their collections in a way that makes them anything but dumpworthy. Seems like a lot more designers should do this, doesn’t it?
New Fashion is special.
Have you ever been to a party and seen someone wearing the same exact H&M leopard-print minidress as you? The horror! That won’t happen if you wear any of the pieces from European Vagabond. Why? They’re one of a kind, baby! If you’ve ever been shopping in a vintage shop you know that it’s just so different and exhilarating compared to sorting through racks and racks of the same shirt, in different colors and sizes. When you find that one spectacular piece, it’s as if someone made it just for you. Edit’d gives you that same satisfaction, except that they will actually make a garment just for you – literally! You can even send them some clothes that you don’t like the style of anymore and they will make you something new based on your specifications.
New Fashion is practical.
European Vagabond is inspired by a woman traveling from stylish city to city very much like our own eco-fashion guru Abigail has been this summer! With names like Algiers, Bucharest, Milan and Provence, the fluttery blouses and easy one-pieces conjure up thought bubbles of romping in the country or riding around somewhere in an (electric) convertible, scarf flowing in the wind. Notice I didn’t say “sitting in a parlor somewhere drinking tea all day.” As glamorous as that sounds, most human beings today are on the go and need garments that can keep up. We’ve all purchased skirts that were too tight, shirts that were impossible to wear a bra with and heels that hurt before we even put them on our feet. In order for a piece of clothing to be considered sustainable, you should be able to actually wear it all the time.
New Fashion has a conscience.
Edit’d supports socially responsible programs like Surf for Happiness and the Library Project and commits to compensating workers fairly. Considering that its home base is currently Hong Kong, which isn’t the most progressive place when it comes to good working conditions and wages, that’s a pretty great way to set an example.
Edit’d hits all of these marks with flying color and we encourage them and other brands doing the same thing to keep up the great work. One characteristic that we’ve seen in a lot of new fashion that we don’t like? Steep prices! We know that vintage fabrics, fair labor, and small quantities are what push the pricetags on our favorite sustainable clothes, but keeping the everyday consumer engaged with affordable lines like Loomstate‘s line for Target and Melissa’s economical and cute shoes is a practice that we would love to see more of in the future.