Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
Those who keep half an eye on the fashion world will know that today marks the start of London Fashion Week (LFW). So, cue the catwalk and some of the most ‘out-there’ garments you’ve ever seen…
It’s fair to say that the fashion industry has a questionable reputation. Vanity, consumerism, and exploitation – pretty bleak stuff.
I won’t tackle all these issues right now, but let’s consider the industry’s hefty environmental impact. Can you believe that the average item of clothing is only worn 10 times before it’s discarded? That’ll explain the 360,000 tonnes of clothes thrown away in the UK every year.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. If we look back at February’s LFW, there were steady strides towards sustainability with designers like Stella McCartney using recycled materials for her collection. It seems that we, too, are placing increasing value on sustainable clothing – thrift stores are now seen as trendy and the pre-loved fashion marketplace Vinted has recorded over 75 million users.
I’m reminded of the khaki trousers I inherited from a friend several years ago – an item she no longer wanted has since become a staple in my wardrobe.
Put simply, fashion fulfils the need for us to clothe ourselves – though thankfully we’ve come a long way since those fig leaves in Genesis 3:7! Not only that, but every garment exhibited by designers at LFW reflects God’s creative nature, just as fashion is inspired by the world he designed – full of colour, texture, and beauty.
Sadly, fashion was scuppered by the fall and became twisted with pride, waste, and the abuse of workers.
However, Jesus came to redeem all things – fashion included. Where can we see these redemptive strands in action? There’s the emergence of Sustainable Fashion Week, inspiring a greener, cleaner, and fairer fashion industry. Then there are brands like Yes Friends, inviting us to swap our high-street tees for alternatives that prioritise people and the planet.
Whilst few of us will be sporting a Stella McCartney blazer made from sustainably sourced wool any time soon, as whole-life disciples our fashion choices can be redemptive, too. For me, that means giving those khaki trousers a new lease of life and taking a minimalist approach to purchasing clothes. In a fast-fashion age, wouldn’t it be a countercultural witness to those on our frontlines if we bought less and opted for clothes that care for God’s creation and the person making them?
I hope you can find your khaki trousers, too.
Supporter Communications Manager, LICC