Slow fashion manifesto

I believe that as individuals we can be powerful agents of change for the better. By choosing to adopt the 'buy less, choose well' attitude and thinking carefully about the full impact of what we purchase, we can and will make a difference.

We now live in a time where we have crossed and are still crossing critical planetary boundaries. The earth is made up of finite resources and these are plundered at an ever increasing rate. This era many are calling the Anthropocene, after 12,000 years of stable climate conditions we are now creating man made change to nature and the environment. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting and is responsible for perpetuating modern day slavery at previously unseen rates. Mass extinction, resource depletion and crises such as climate refugees loom near and yet the response from our world leaders has been weak. So what can we do?

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Be an agent of change

Asking ‘Who made this? What is it made of? How were the materials produced?’ is empowering.  We have the power to vote with our spending and be the change we wish to see in the world and as we keep ‘voting’ for a fairer and better, everyone from manufacturers to policy makers will be forced to listen and make the changes we demand.  Wherever possible we must choose items that will be loved and last longer, choose products that have been made in fair conditions with materials that are truly sustainable.

My Commitment

Since beginning in 2015 I have been committed to both preserving craft techniques such as hand printing and plant dyeing fabric as well as using carefully sourced high quality, low impact materials like Belgian linen, organic cotton and innovative plant based leather alternatives. Not only are they some of the most environmentally friendly materials but I also make sure they come from producers that are in no way associated with forced labour, hazardous chemical processes or careless waste emissions. These are almost always small suppliers and family run businesses.

Who am I? Skip below to Meet The Maker –

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Materials

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Print + Pattern

All patterned fabric is screen printed by hand using my hand drawn designs and materials are sourced locally as much as possible. The water based printing inks are made in Europe and are non-toxic, solvent, PVC and phthalate free and all production waste is carefully kept to a minimum.

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Organic Cotton

Most of the fabric currently used is handwoven organic cotton produced in Kerala, India by farmers who grow, dye and weave in small batches. The cotton crops are grown without use of pesticides so the farmers can grow food alongside, receive more money for the cotton as it’s organic and input costs will be lower without the need to purchase extra chemicals which would eventually damage the farmers precious land.

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Plant Based Leather Alternatives

Innovative new plant based leather alternatives are going to be in high demand in the future. As more and more people come to realise the harmful affects agriculture on a mass scale and veganism is on the rise the search is on for the best eco friendly and cruelty free leather alternatives. Unfortunately most vegan leathers are made up of synthetic compounds that are essentially plastic. The good news is that as technology and the demand for more eco-friendly products grow more sustainable options are slowly coming on the scene. I am first in line to embrace these new materials!

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Plant Dye

When time permits I dye as much organic cotton as I can using some favourite plants such as avocado and onion skins.

Meet the Maker

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Tempy Osborne is an Irish artist, designer and maker living in Brussels, Belgium.  She studied painting and graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin in 2006.  Here she developed a fascination with the idea of wearable art as something not just to be looked at and admired but to be interacted with and used as a message or statement.

Raised in a family of artists surrounded by nature on the Atlantic coast of Ireland she also spent a year living in the remote Canadian Arctic Inuit community of Grise Fiord as a young child.   With a deep respect for mother Earth and a belief that together we can and will make the world a better place she creates bags and accessories exploring the space where art and craft meet.

Action photography and above portrait taken by Karen Hilmersson – www.karenhilmersson.com