So what happened? One day the store was up, and then suddenly this message! What happened Vanessa? Six months on and I’m ready to share the journey. From trigger point to where I stand now and my vision for the future.
I remember it so vividly: I had just flown into Rome for a job with Fendi – it was the brand’s 100th anniversary. Rumours were swirling that Karl would shut down a major city landmark to host a special runway show. Glitz. Glamor. The whole thing. My room was decked out: bags, shoes, outfits. Ie typical blogger fare. Amidst all this, I was oddly drawn to watch A True Cost – a documentary by Livia Firth exposing the realities of industrialised fashion. The human toll. The environmental toll. It was catastrophic. I had no idea.
‘Did you know that Fashion is the #2 Polluter on Earth?’ the voice asked me through the screen. No Way! It can’t be! This fun thing that I call work? It can’t be? How is it second to only BIG OIL? I was reeling. Then as the story unfolded, it made total sense.
We have an insatiable appetite for ’stuff’ and newness in the West, which has come at a great cost. Not only to other humans, but our beautiful planet, & even more insidiously, ourselves.
So what do we do? Eschew all forms of retail forever and live in rags?
No. Don’t live in rags. Because fashion is not the enemy here. In fact I think it can save us (seriously). What if fashion can be used as a vehicle for social change, expansion and uplifting?
In that moment THPSHOP was reborn. Suddenly the pieces fell into place and I saw how powerful this platform can be to propagate change. For too long I was scared to speak out – in fear of being ostracised, deemed ungrateful, or even worse – uninteresting. But none of that matters anymore, because my/our mission is clear: Our Planet needs us Now. Not tomorrow. Not next Year. But NOW.
Vision for Future
In our first foray back, we have partnered with a family of artisans from Morocco that hand-weaves baskets in a small village outside of Marrakech. Each basket made of either dried palm leaves or raffia requires 1-1.5 hours to construct (and often by the elder women of the community). They are extremely durable, unprocessed & biodegradable. And yes, beautiful. This is what sustainable, slow fashion looks like.