Graziela Sousa

do fast and sustainable match?

Jul
18

Woke up to this piece on The Hill about Zara committing to using sustainable products by 2025.

I’m sorry. I really do not think Fast Fashion will ever be sustainable, it’s an oxymoron. It’s not about promising sustainable materials (as a consumer/wearer I hate viscose tbh) it should be about promoting other ways of doing fashion, of keeping up the newness or originality that give us this rush while offering new ways of doing, renewing, styling our closets or items.

The way we regard fashion is a very personal thing, as style goes even deeper. I think we all crave for individuality but on the other hand tend to mimic other people’s style or use them as role-models or good examples.

I’ve been on a personal journey regarding my clothes, haven’t been registering much, but will be in a few months. Most of them are vintage, upcycled, second hand or family hand-outs. A lot of people ask me about the items I wear, a lot of them are one-of-a-kind or just too hard to find similar, because they were made in the 80’s/90’s.

This thing about Zara/Inditex promising sustainability and circularity is something that bothers me and makes me so skeptical: isn’t this group one of the ones to blame for over-consumption of garments in the first place? Isn’t it logical that this sort of promise is just a way of making ‘us’ (consumers) feel a bit less guilty and free to choose cheap, trendy and non-lasting clothes?

Shouldn’t this large companies be the ones helping us (consumers) with trustworthy information and helping all workers across the whole chain to have better conditions?

I could live with an Inditex group which supported schools for garment industry worker’s children, which supported local craftsmanship, which helped consumers making their garments last with altering and repairing.

Not with one that makes a press realease saying ‘our materials will be 100% sustainable’ (subliminal text: You may be at ease and keep on buying.)

love threads

Mar
16

On and off as usual, last weekend (7th to 10th March) was my last ModaLisboa – Lisbon Fashion Week before I finally hopefully wrap up and finish my thesis. Feelings are a bit mixed or shaken I’d say at the least.

I am one from the Doers, not one to just think and write quiet and peacefully so this might be the biggest challenge I’ve had in my entire life: to finish what I started, write it up and be proud of it in the end. Never imagined it would take this long nor that it would be so difficult to finish. But now I am actually on the finish line, so there is nothing that can stop me besides my insecurity.

I think my latest experience in ModaLisboa really kicked out a lot of good feelings and made me feel like I actually have something to be proud of, proud to keep growing and proud to belong to such a team of change makers for whom ‘nothing is impossible’ as one reads in a neon sign right on the ModaLisboa’s office entrance.

I am one of those who take care of the pop Ups, the places for networking and learning as well as the talks, which is a great honor because I actually get to share my beliefs, try new things and see how they go – I am so lucky to have been welcomed in a place where I can plant creative seeds while I am mentored to grow and evolve thoroughly and strategically by Eduarda and Joana, two mentors and forces of nature to whom I am forever grateful.

As a metaphor for all I am saying above, this time we also had a live atelier with Avó Veio Trabalhar, where several artists costumised pieces and in the end of our 4 day fashion week, after so many knowledge shared, after a performance by Eduardo Moreira with the resulting pieces and fabrics provided by Calvelex and Fabrics4Fashion – I just had a very strong feeling of fulfillment and thankfulness for being part of all this.

pic by João Fernandes Rocha

I felt that it all pays off if we put love into the things we do, if we gather the ones that work the way we do, that believe in their missions from within and like that we all are able to do more, do better and contaminate the next ones, the emerging professionals we hope to provoke and make the next change makers in our industry.


Alumni Talks @FAUL

Nov
02

We started to implement the Alumni Talks at FAULisboa, in the fields of Design: Fashion, Communication and Product Design.

The scheme is as follows: each month we have a talk at lunch time with an alumni which comes and speaks about its career, discusses the challenges of the workplace and also explains the way he/she chose to pursue studies, courses, post-grads etc.

We already had the opportunity to host 3 talks in the field of Fashion:

  • December 2017 – with Filipa Homem, who graduated more than 15 years ago, worked with Alexander MacQueen, H&M, TopShop, Knot among many other international brands;

  • May 2018 – Daniela Pais – a sustainable designer and trend researcher, who pursued studies in the Nederlands after graduating from FAUL and has since built her own sustainable brand Elementum, while collaborating with Li Edelkoort’s trend office ‘Trend Union’;

  • October 2019 – this time, we decided to try something a bit different and tried a different orientation, having topics or themes for each talk, having the chance to gather more than 1 alumni for each one – so we tried for the first time at October 26th. The theme was Fashion Communication and we invited a fashion journalist, Margarida Brito Paes (editor of Delas.pt – the Diário de Noticias online fashion magazine) and Maria Rita (a fashion photographer who has been working for the last 8 years with several brands, stores and magazines).

The format is still evolving, but this was an approximation to a better format – specially because we aim to show our students what a graduate can do after leaving the university as well as the different courses that a career in fashion can take.
It is very important to show them that they can do several things other then designing clothes, because the fashion industry demands much more than that, and can offer several other jobs and opportunities.
It is also important to underline that these alumni can help to uncover the ‘unknown’ gap from leaving the uni to finding a job one loves and one can excel and make a proper living at.
The room was full and the attendees made several questions, so we’ll do one more in the next semester and then reflect about the growth and evolution of the initiative.

the future is curated

Oct
24

No, i don’t mean tailored. It’s not about asking consumers what they want or need. It’s actually about curating selections of products ‘in the new’ or the ‘unexpected’.

It’s about building up installations, exhibitions or Pop-ups, physical ones, full of new products no one has seen or heard about yet OR maybe combined in such a way that you will be surprised.
It’s about freshness and excitement, about the things you cannot find online, the ones you’ve never seen before.
Also, as a professional I must say, it’s about keeping up the search, the scouting, the digging, about going to those cities, shops or thrift-shops yet unknown.

In this sense i’d say that this insight isn’t just about fashion, either apparel or accessories, it can be about everything from cosmetics to craftsmanship to food or even homeware.
People need the creative crowd to come and get really creative. We need to keep up the excitement. To get off of our screens and provide real experiences: visual, tactile and olfactive.

We need to deliver good yet unexpected combos, in every sort of delivery point: hotels, displays, museums, concept stores and temporary installations.

One proof of that is precisely our social media: as in instagram, spotify, pinterest et. al. we are all mixing and showing off our personal moodboards, liking our favorite things, which results (as per algorithms exist) in a selection of things suggested/shown based on that.

So let’s provide for PHYSICAL boards and tasteful selections, promoting local and sustainable alternatives and showing new things for the audience to like – i mean to REALLY like, not just  double-tap 😉

A Vida Portuguesa: selected Portuguese traditional products, celebrating our excellent manufacturers while letting melancholy do its part.