The Slow Grind
When I was asked to contribute to a book about sustainability, slow fashion and mental health I jumped at the chance. I’ve always thought that our confidence and sense of self is bound in with our treatment of the planet we live on. The Slow Grind by Georgina Johnson is a visionary message playing out exchange between the world we inhabit presently and the world we must build tomorrow. With insight from biotechnologists, activists, photographers and psychologists amongst others, it is a clever and timely clarion call.
Put simply ecological sustainability benefits from systems where emotional sustainability is valued. The planet and other humans need our help but if we are not whole ourselves, it becomes harder to be vigilant about what needs to be done and effective in doing it.
If we are not whole ourselves, it becomes harder to be vigilant about what needs to be done and effective in doing it
I guess that is why I’m always instinctively drawn to prioritise the humans in the system. It’s the reason I chose to write about the importance of selfhood and slow fashion. Adopting this consciousness and commitment to promote ‘authentic active doing and being,’ as an antidote to objectification of bodies has been one strategy. Committing to a healthier flow by resisting the protocol of accelerating trends, urgent deadlines and obedience to hierarchies built on ‘Fast Fashion’ principles, is another and allows me the privilege of simultaneously slowing down and ramping up my thinking.
Self-awareness and unlearning are foundational to this new consciousness
Until we fully understand the impact of objectification culture on our systems of employment, representation and modes of empowerment, how can we seek to eradicate it? The purge of objectification culture has been discussed by psychologists, feminists and MPs including former minister Jo Swinson, as an equalities issue, but why not leaders in fashion? Self-awareness and unlearning are foundational to this new consciousness. So too, is recognition that for a long time, the fashion system has only worked for a select few.
how much further could we progress if we slowed down to think about what we do and why we do it?
This is now being discussed as never before. In with academia, leaders are finally proclaiming willingness to decolonise curriculums and dismantle white privilege and indifference to ‘other,’ identities and perspectives. And how much further could we progress if we slowed down to think about what we do and why we do it? By giving ourselves space to ponder the obvious benefits of inclusivity, we nurture a fertile psychosocial ecology for higher levels of problem solving and creativity. With time to think, Slow Fashion in all its guises stands for progress for all.
Read my full feature in The Slow Grind - Finding Our Way Back To Creative Balance, by Georgina Johnson. Follow Georgina on Instagram @thelaundryarts and @saint_lovie
The Slow Grind spells out why we need a move towards Intersectional Environmentalism and wider sustained engagement with social justice in the creative industries and can be purchased here.