by Kestrel Jenkins
Fashion and style are one of many tools that help us express ourselves artistically. From a young age, what I wear has been my favorite way to get creative, to think outside the box, and to share distinct “masterpieces” (or outfits) with the world around me.
While fashion often gets pushed aside as “less worthy” or capricious, the reality is - we all wear clothes, and we all have the opportunity to share messages about ourselves and about what we believe through what we wear.
Making a statement can go beyond your eye-catching look. Read on for a few ways you can use style as a catalyst for change.
What we buy is at the core of what we “support”. When we seek out organic produce or flowers from a local grower, we are voting with our dollars. When it comes to clothing, it’s a little more complicated as the supply chain involves multiple steps -- the best way to start for is to go back to the basics of asking questions. Maybe the next time you wander through a clothing store, you ask:
Simple steps like these pave the way so we can help others think more about what they wear, and it also allows us to learn more along the process.
It may seem cliche, but what we wear can make a literal statement about what is important to us. Everyone is different and our values can ebb and flow throughout life. Think about some of the social issues closest to your heart. I’m certain there are ways you can positively affect those platforms through your wardrobe.
For instance, do any of these issues strike a chord with you: environmental conservation, global support of women, American jobs, waste reduction?
These could convert into wearing a pair of thrifted jeans, purchasing fair trade bag made by a women’s cooperative, rocking a dress made in the USA, or sporting a top made of recycled plastic bottles.
Wear what you believe in.
One of the most powerful and personally rewarding parts of getting dressed for me is thinking about the stories behind what I’m wearing. Having the opportunity to learn about where our clothes come from and potentially who made them and what they are made of allows us to connect more intimately to what we wear on our bodies.
Also, when I know more about what I’m wearing, the question of “I love that dress, where did it come from!?” can turn into a super fun and accessible way to share the rad stories behind my threads. Understanding that connection to the process can help us share insight with others on how they can join the movement to be more conscious and mindful through their style.
From a young age, Kestrel was piecing together outfits & changing them multiple times a day. She contributes a great deal of her fashion eye to her Mom, Linda, and her beloved Grandma Lee.
Her degrees in global studies & international journalism led her to merge two of her passions: social responsibility + fashion. The origins, composition, and story behind her clothing & accessories quickly became integral to her lifestyle & aesthetic. In 2009, she completed a yearlong project called Make Fashion Fair, in which she pledged to only purchase clothing that was made consciously with regard to people & the planet.
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