"The paradigm of consumption is changing, and so is the paradigm of success."
Very happy and thankful for being part of this greatly written article by Barbara Midley for El Planeta Urbano magazine, part of the argentinian newspaper Página 12.
It is an honour for us to be presented together with 3 other Argentinian brands who have diversity, inclusion, sustainability, a sense of community and authentic messages at the core of each of their works:
DIVERSIDAD.CON VOZ PROPIA - IN SPANISH LANGUAGE: elplanetaurbano.com/2021/03/diversidad-con-voz-propia/
Here our free translation from spanish:
DIVERSITY - WITH A VOICE OF ITS OWN
BARBARA MIDLEY MARCH, 2021
Driven especially by the younger generations, the textile industry is renewing ways of thinking about clothing, emphasizing the concepts of individual freedoms and celebrating the plurality of profiles, bodies, tastes and interests.
Those who share this philosophy turn each garment into an instrument of communication. This new web of behaviors and visions is driven especially by the younger generations, who understand their consumption as the translation of their values. Diversity, inclusion, authenticity, horizontality, community, environmental care and self-management are, along with representativeness, the most current values in the brands they choose.
What are the brands that meet these conditions? From what point of view do they approach the production of garments? They are mainly characterized by creating original and distinctive aesthetic-communication universes. Their collections (small-scale short series) usually combine artisanal and semi-industrial techniques. There is even room for unique items.
In addition, they share an up-to-date conception of success. For these brands, the real significance lies in generating a positive impact on their communities and the environment, and not only in producing profits.
Transparency is another differentiating aspect. Those behind each project value the interaction with their digital communities, making known the step by step of the creative process, along with their desires, critical opinions, loves and disappointments.
Here, four local brands in tune with this paradigm.
Therapy Recycle & Exorcise
An upcycling fashion brand, without genders, without seasons and without trends, based in Berlin (Germany) and Córdoba (Argentina), directed since 2012 by the Cordovan sisters Mariángeles (41) and Paula Aguirre (36).
Based on suprarecycling - a technique that reuses pre-existing garments to create new ones - this proposal seeks to question the pace of contemporary consumption, breaking, at the same time, the one-sidedness in the function of a product. "From the beginning we realized that it is therapeutic to create things, instead of buying and consuming them. When we recycle a garment we exorcise it, we take out all the negative aspects and bring it back to life," the girls say.
The interesting thing about this project lies in questioning the linear fashion system, working from a zero waste and DIY approach. But also, in disarticulating the elitist conception that it promotes. Aware of the power of clothing as a tool to explore and express individual and collective identities, the Therapies develop an aesthetic universe abundant in references to urban subcultures such as punk, glam rock and gothic, among others, sifted under "the spirit of freedom that is breathed in Berlin".
The result translates into authentic designs, worked from the material and based on two axes: multifunctionality and adaptability. "We work with draping and adjustable elastic to try to fit all possible sizes in the same garment and thus fit different bodies. We also create ecosystems of hooks and ties to design detachable pieces. The idea is to generate sets that can be used separately. "Play, try and take care of the planet's resources, a change of mindset for the future to come.
Diversity, inclusion, authenticity, horizontality, community, environmental care and self-management are, along with representativeness, the most current values in the brands chosen by the younger generations.
The designs created by Antonella Bruni (30) are a true visual celebration: they combine Japanese culture and handmade embroidery with vibrant colors. Overalls, jackets, tights and t-shirts are transformed into canvases where the prints that she herself draws freehand on a sheet or a screen are printed. From the game with palettes, shapes and brushes, gardens full of little flowers sprout. At other times, the re-signification of a manga (Japanese comic book) gives life to images with anime accents that are then sublimated on garments with ecological inks. But, undoubtedly, what makes Kijjji's pieces irresistible is the handmade embroidery, made with beads, beads, silk and cotton threads.
Antonella became enthusiastic about this ancient technique when she was doing her thesis for her degree in Textile Design. "I was interested in what was generated from embroidering light, almost transparent fabrics, such as silk, tulle and organza," she says from her vacations in El Bolsón (Río Negro). When she finished, she had a sample of unique pieces, which she uploaded to Instagram, and immediately generated admiration. Thus, organically and from a personal search, in 2015 Kijjji was born.
Today, with premises in Palermo, new collaborators in the team and more supports where to project their artistic manifestations (ceramics, paintings, stickers, etc.), the Kijjji universe continues to grow towards a sustainable model.
With an eye on the future, their intention is to transform Kijjji into a creative space, where the community meets to have a coffee, enjoy art and exchange knowledge. The embroidery workshops are already a fact (and a success).
Pr0testa is a project that fuses textile design and social communication. Directed by Antonio Lazalde (28), clothing designer, and Santiago Goicoechea (34), journalist and photographer, this proposal transcends fashion in its aesthetic sense, using its massiveness as a political tool. They understand transgression as an act of evolution. Their universe represents an impulse to question obsolete paradigms, in which historically the oppressed lose. "A project like ours is a small space among so many, numerous, that seek to somehow erode a giant structure that sustains exclusive privileges, that produces inequality, denies diversity and destroys the planet", Toni and Santi state.
"Industria Nacional: La ropa es el discurso" (2019) was their first collection. In a fashion show held at the cooperative textile factory CITA they presented a series of garments sublimated with the photographs that Santiago had taken in the street since 2015 and that told, from their eye, the political-economic crisis of the country.
"Since our last collection we started to need to simplify this family of ideas (the collective, the self-managed, the collaborative, the cooperative) and we arrived at the image of a circle, one that comes to supplant another figure, that of the triangle or the pyramid",they explain about "Ascenso Social" (2020), a valorization translated into fifteen outfits made together with the workers of CITA and Red Textil Cooperativa. "We want a fashion that pursues political sustainability, dialoguing from aesthetics, but also inserted in the productive system of the communities." And they are willing to continue creating to achieve it.
It was born in 2017, in Buenos Aires, with a mission: to dress diverse bodies with basics of lasting quality, created from fairer and more horizontal productive processes. "I wanted to work with cooperatives and industries to show that you can generate a quality product made in an honest way," explains Mercedes Korm (34), clothing designer, a native of Cutral Co, Neuquén.
Taking into account the limitations existing in traditional jeans brands, Mercedes set out to create her own and meet a need that consumers still clamor for: a variety of sizes. Thus, every season, Limay Denim reissues jeans, shorts and gardeners in a curve of fifteen sizes, as well as bodysuits, overalls and jackets.
Focused on making collaborative work visible, promoting national industry and stimulating responsible consumption, Mercedes partnered with different textile cooperatives to ensure that "the development of the garments strengthens decent work, local economies and the horizontal division of profits among those who produce".
Likewise, 90 percent of Limay garments are made with local raw materials and from a sustainable perspective: "We try to use fabrics that are easy to degrade, we use cotton or cotton plus elastane. On the other hand, we incorporate compostable packaging and a triple-impact courier for shipments," she says enthusiastically.
In addition, Limay understood like no other brand the positive impact of creating networks within and outside its community. Last year, fifteen percent of Mother's Day sales were donated to Casa Fusa, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive sexual health care to youth and adolescents. And recently, it partnered with Handy, the first clothing brand in Argentina designed for people with reduced mobility, the elderly and those undergoing rehabilitation, to create an inclusive line.
There is no doubt: the paradigm of consumption is changing, and so is the paradigm of success.