Note from Bronwyn: Coronavirus & Fashion Revolution
In the weirdest month of any of most of our lives, it feels right to take the time to reflect on what’s changed. I had the first week or so of lockdown send me into a panic. What about my poor laid-off employees? What if I got the virus? Could my business survive this? What about 3 people 24/7 in my (lovely) 2 bed flat? Are we going to kill each other? Whilst I love my job, I understand that buying new clothes for working (and Zoom parties) from home is not exactly a priority at the moment and nor should it be. Having said that, I really want to thank each and every one of you for supporting my small business and my core workers at this time. Every sale really does mean the world to us and we really do appreciate the effort you’re making.
A month after closing the shops I feel like I’m settling into our new life. I’m not even sure if I want to go back to my old life. We’ve successfully set up (so far 7) free online crafting workshops which have each had an average of 40 attendees. It’s heartening to see our customers face's each week. I’m using my business contacts to get PPE to those who need it and for now, the earth is breathing again….for now.
As most of you know, Lowie is proud to be a long-standing advocate of sustainability in fashion. This week is Fashion Revolution week where we ask you to think about ‘who made my clothes’. But other questions should be ‘what is the environmental impact of this piece’ and ‘as a consumer of clothing, how can I minimise this impact’. Of course buying good quality pieces, preferably made through a circular system out of biodegradable materials and repaired (see our workshops) and recirculated again will help. So what will happen post-Covid? Some of you will have seen the photos of clear skies in India and China where much of our clothing is made. Many of you are re-using and repairing what you already have. Most of the big high street chains have cancelled much of their upcoming production and here at Lowie, we too have had to do the same.
On Thursday night we’ve organised a panel together with 4 other sustainable fashion campaigners where we will chat about the impact of Covid-19 on fashion retail, fashion production, garments workers and government policy towards sustainability and fashion. We don’t know the answers but I’m sure it’ll be an interesting conversation. We’re asking for donations towards Indian garment workers who face job insecurity due to the corona crisis. Please do join us here.