Activism Chic

The body of work you are about to view is the result of a cry for activism and social change. Inspired by the various sociopolitical movements defining and shaping our current era, Activism Chic is a wake up call to the fashion industry. It is difficult to believe that in the 21st century, the closed-minded industry continues to turn a blind eye to the serious issues it contributes to. I have decided to highlight three of those issues throughout this project: climate change, animal rights, and diversity. The handmade, hand-printed shirts you will see throughout were carefully crafted to make a statement. The wearer of these garments is an individual who strongly believes in and embraces social change.

Mama Nature vs. Trash Queen
Ten percent of the world’s total carbon footprint comes from the apparel industry. Apparel is the second largest polluter of fresh water globally. Only 0.1 percent of all clothing collected by charities and donation programs is recycled back into textile fiber, leaving the rest to end up in a landfill or incinerator. The fashion industry and fast fashion corporations are accounting for our present-day environmental crisis. Human contact is transforming our beloved Mother Nature into an unrecognizable version of herself, a force not to be reckoned with: Trash Queen.

Ruff Fluff
Every year, over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in US labs. About 92% of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are too dangerous or don’t work. Up to 90% of animals used in U.S. labs are not counted in the official statistics of animals tested. Europe, the world’s largest cosmetic market, Israel and India have already banned animal testing for cosmetics, and the sale or import of newly animal-tested beauty products. Several other alternatives to animal testing already exist, including: in vitro testing, in silica testing, and studies performed with human volunteers. It is 2017, and it is time to stop treating the fluff so ruff.

“Fashion is always at its best when it looks outside of itself for inspiration and holds up a mirror to society. Sometimes we do that on the runway and sometimes when we come together as an industry and take up important causes.” - Maxwell Osborne

Not “Urban”, Not “Exotic”, but Deliciously Diverse
“We’ve already got a black girl,” “It’s not our creative vision,” “Our customer isn’t ready yet.” These are just some of the excuses we continuously hear time and time again to explain the lack of diversity within models in the fashion industry. The industry claims to be forward, innovative, and revolutionary, yet it has failed to live up to its word when discussing the model line up for next season’s collection. Our tendency to pigeonhole black models into certain niches – such as “urban” or “exotic” – has left them underrepresented and underpaid in comparison to their white counterparts. Every ad campaign displayed on billboards, magazines, and online media outlets continues to be either white-washed, or culturally misrepresented. Since when was a pop of color only acceptable on an outfit?

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of those to helped make this happen. Thank you for believing in the beauty and power of this movement.

Models: Stephan Brown, Giovanni DeSanto, Asha Dixon, Corrine Freeland, Sulamit Quezada, Perrin Ryal, Rachel Stroup, Trent Thorne, Samantha Weiser, Flopsy, and Tubby.

Makeup & Styling Artist: Samantha Weiser

Custom t-shirts created by: Alexandra Seda (PhotosBySeda)