It was interesting to read the other day about "De-developing rich countries" It was an article about less is more, quality over quantity and how we, as people need to change our mind set about wanting to have the next big thing and growing profit. The more we produce the more pressure it has on our planet and the more we grow the more damage is being done. How is this going to change? I have no idea but I do like the idea of this:
"How Much is Enough? where they lay out the possibility of interventions such as banning advertising, a shorter working week and a basic income, all of which would improve our lives while reducing consumption. Either we slow down voluntarily or climate change will do it for us. We can’t go on ignoring the laws of nature." The guardian by Jason Hickel
As an independent bridal designer I am all for slowing down, producing less, quality over quantity, and producing sustainably to support our world. Who is following suit though? Certainly not many bigger brands, think how many clothes are being produced each year for every season or collection. They won't be able to stop because that would mean closing stores, job losses, etc However, slowing down could work with fewer items in the collections. If consumers stop buying in the bigger stores, shop independently, they may start to realise that quality over rules quantity, then slowing down would be their only option.
How does de-develop work for an independent designer like myself? I am not about over growth, I believe in working local, designing for UK boutiques that would stock a British designer. I only produce a small collection, with the rest of the collection sketched and supported with fabric swatches.
The Royal wedding dress. Sketch by Jessica Turner
Real bride wearing the Royal dress. Jessica Turner Designs
I am currently working on a sketch for my bride, a keepsake, with her in her Royal dress. Something I like to do for my brides or they can chose from a bride bunny which uses the left over fabric from the dress, again recycling and it works out as lovely gift for them.
Water Colour sketches of brides Jessica Turner Designs. Maxeen Kim Photography
Bride Bunny by Jessica Turner Designs using left over fabrics from the brides dress.
Also when I design my new collections, I am thinking about the possibility that the dress could be worn again to a party or a ball. Shorten the train, maybe add a bit of dip dye and then you have a whole new look and are re-using! Or do something like this using the eco printing technique.
Even Dior is onto this idea!! Botanical Being does this very well and uses natural dyes. Kate Cullen is also great with the natural dyes and makes beautiful ribbons, table ribbons or belts for my dresses. The ribbons are all hand dyed using natural ingredients.
Georgina Harrison Photography
So back to the way I work and how I support sustainability and thinking about the idea of de-developing.
Here is a sketch of my new dress "Cosmos" from my new collection, made from a beautiful silk, knitted silk straps and a bespoke embroidery at the back. The dress was made with a plain silk however, with the support of my fabric swatches, the dress can be changed by adding a lace fabric over the top.
The Cosmos dress bought to life. Benjamin Stuart and Studio Rouge Photography
The concept is to use my sketches for inspiration, to get one dress made for that special bride or to choose from my small bridal collection that is currently stocked in Willoughby and Wolf. How it works, you choose a couple of sketches that you like the look of, you book a meet the designer consultation at the boutique costing £75 which is taken off the purchase of one of my dresses. We will discuss your dislikes and likes, and I will offer bridal styling advice. I will roughly sketch your final dress and help you select your dress fabric. The second appointment the toile is made for you to try on and anything can be altered at this stage which takes the worrying pressure off brides in case they don't like the look! The toile offers a first glimpse of how your dress will turn out.
Jessica Turner Designs New Collection, supported with fabric swatches.
I would appreciate any comments or ideas of how you think we should work for the future of our planet rather than thinking of money and growth, and whether you like my concept of how I work.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Turner Designs @ Willoughby and Wolf
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