Fashion + Community

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that as humans, we not only value, but need community. How we find, access and participate in communities has been challenged by the events of 2020 – including the pandemic, and global-reach of the Black Lives Matter movement. The fashion industry has historically offered a form of escapism, through innovation of aesthetic and storytelling depicted in the tangible outcome of clothing. However, the fashion industry too has been put under a spotlight this year. Its systems and practices have been called into question. An industry nearly all of us engage with in some form or another, is both a form of expression amidst the restriction’s lockdown has imposed on so many of us. But it simultaneously is riddled with issues of systemic racism and imbalances that are depleting our world’s ecosystems. Fashion in and as a community has had changing narratives, from subculture belonging in the late 1900s, through to the thriving communities around the world that have been built on fashion and textile production, to the digital communication we access for style, shopping tips and inspiration in the form of the social media influencers. As we reflect on 2020, a new narrative is taking shape for Fashion + Community. The question is, what will it entail?