Slowing Down the Fashion Industry with Bozena Jankowska
Fashion is a fast-paced industry, and designers are pressured to maintain a high turnover of designs to keep up with the demands of changing trends. However, the impact of this throwaway culture has both ethical and environmental ramifications that designer Bozena Jankowska recognised when developing her latest collection. Inspired by her passion for bee conservation, she has partnered with charity Buglife in an effort to further the sustainability of her fashion pieces.
We caught up with Bozena to find out more about her collection, her beliefs, and her vision for the future of fashion.
CC: Hi Bozena, it’s great to talk with you. We’d love to learn a little bit about your process and your commitment to slow fashion.
BJ: No problem, thanks for the opportunity!
CC: So, what’s the most interesting material you’ve come across in your search for sustainable materials? Why did you find it interesting?
BJ: The GOTS certified Indian Peace Silk which the Setae Too dress is made from. It brings together the principles of social enterprise, environmental sustainability and empowerment. The full story of the material can be read here.
CC: Are there any sustainable techniques that you incorporate in your own work?
BJ: Minimal waste design and what I am already doing – made to order pieces to avoid unnecessary use of resources.
CC: Have you had any ideas of your own for materials or techniques?
BJ: Redesigning and repurposing old clothes into new ones and of course working with more environmentally friendly fabrics that are made from recycled materials e.g. orange, pineapple, plastic bottles, spider silk, mushrooms...
CC: Have you thought about a theme for your next collection? Is it sustainability focused?
BJ: Yes and yes! Each year I focus on a specific sustainability theme that I draw upon as inspiration for my collections. For the current 2018 collections, the theme is honey bees which in today’s world are currently under pressure due to pesticide use, climate change and habitat destruction. I wanted to highlight the importance, charm and beauty of the bee by expressing it in my fabric choices, colour choices and silhouettes. As for the upcoming theme, I am going to keep that under wraps for now so watch this space!
CC: What do you hope will become more commonplace in designing and producing fashion?
BJ: That the relentless race to the bottom to produce fashion with no thought for environmental and social implications is reversed.
CC: What do you hope people will consider when they buy clothes in the future?
BJ: Quality over quantity: Who made them? Are the people behind the label truly empowered? How long will they last and does their price properly reflect the environmental and social standards we have come to take for granted in our own lives?