Graziela Sousa

happy earth day!

Apr
21

Making some sense about my growing interest in sustainability issues, I keep being pushed towards speaking about it but can’t make my decision about what to say because I never felt like an expert about these matters. I just keep repeating WE (the fashion industry) need to address it, take it into account and act towards making the less prejudicial impact out of our activities, buys, words, etc.

Either as an educator, researcher, promoter or plain consumer, I can be proud to be doing (a tiny) bit, but of course it’s never enough. And so today I decided to relate a few reads from lately on this topic, because they DO raise pertinent questions and maybe even indicate new issues that need to be addressed.

A dear friend told me about the Scraps exhibition he just saw at Cooper Hewitt NY, which finishes tomorrow 🙁 and the Pandora’s box on the topic just spread wide open: check out the talk with Eileen Fisher and Patagonia.

I’ve been also quite impressed with an article on Trendtablet about Really Cph which uses textile waste exclusively – closing our loop and integrating it into new products. Also for some reason Unreasonable.is mentioned me while tweeting this post about the work that the people from Thread are doing recycling waste while using a recollection/production model that empowers impoverished communities from Haiti.

And then Fashion Redef mentioned this article which critiques sustainable initiatives and raises so many questions about how trendy it became to be sustainable as a brand but also quite hypocritical because it’s still promoting consumption, which origins more waste (even if on the right? side of the problem). Adding to that one can also read this one and think about the way the industry is working and making efforts to address consumers needs as fast as they can – with See Now Buy Now and recent Farfetch fast delivery approach/innovation.

There seems to emerge a sort of controversial status quo where the industry is supposed to make good fashion and yet a lot of what we see and hear about is more about giving consumers more and more products to satisfy their supposed ‘needs’, ever faster, so they don’t even have the proper time to think if they actually need those products in their wardrobes/lives.

Fashion (or clothes) are NOT a primary need like food, and we really need to (have time to think) before we buy. So go ahead and properly analyze the stuff you own, think about what to do with the ones that don’t fit or suit you any longer, then upcycle, sell, swap, donate or share. Make plans about your next purchases, regard them as long and lasting investments, stuff you’ll treasure, stuff that will last, make the money you will put on them also something meaningful.

I think one day this threads will get us somewhere nice. So let’s all try and THINK a little more about our small share, and bit by bit I hope we can all make changes for the better. Because like the people at Ecoalf say so well: There is no Planet B.

a woman and (her) clothes

Dec
06

I just started reading Women in Clothes, a book my friend Joana (one of the most interesting women I have ever met) was kind enough to lent me.
I went to bed early just to start reading, and as I did I started having goosebumps and laughing loudly, it is all about all of us women – about getting dressed! And it was so inspiring I didn’t feel like finishing this day without writing.

I was wondering about I was dressed, of course, realizing I sleep almost every night with wool jumpers that belonged to my late father, I had a polka dot tank top underneath, some sexy (no, not at all, I’m joking) pajama trousers in the color red and a very warm pair of socks. My hair was tied in a bun because it’s way more comfortable than to have it falling over my eyes. My favorite earrings were also on, they always sleep with me, as well as my ear lobe piercing.
There is a bit of shame while I write my infamous ‘how I dressed to sleep yesterday’ but there’s also so much truth in it: it’s ME. The real ME, in my most comfortable and selfless self.
And although I would guess there was no thought put into that particular way and moment of dressing, actually there was – accidentally or not, I’ve been taking memories to sleep, surrounding myself with them for years, maybe because I have voids to fill and need to get reminded of the ones that I love, the ones that love me and look after me.

There is meaning in everything we wear. Just think about it, right now.
And let me know.

clothes matter #1

Aug
17

Today I decided to try a different tone on the blog. I named this category ‘Clothes Matter’ and it’s supposed to be about special pieces and their meaning.

Every single piece we wear, buy or build tell a bit of ourselves and about the way we see the world and position ourselves in it. On Frances Corner’s note on why Fashion Matters, clothes do matter as well! Our clothes tell our stories: one single garment might outlive family members, marriages, homes, life stages, different experiences, mindsets and even generations.

I’m starting with an homage to 2 long time companions that have been with me for more than 10 years: my Converse All Star sneakers.

Bought them with one of my first ever paychecks. They’ve outlived a few relationships, traveled around the world (Vietnam, UK, Germany, Brazil… just to name a few), saw our favorite bands, came to our favorite beaches, went to conferences, taught workshops and classes at the Uni. They also danced ’till morning light and walked me around in difficult times. If only they could tell you about the stuff we did together. They were In, Out and In (fashions) once again, yet I never stopped wearing them. I always felt them like a neutral, comfortable and ok-to-take-everywhere shoe.

One thing I know: can’t put them away. They’re an extension of myself and remind me of a lot of life stories. I do own many shoes, but these are certainly special… special friends!

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