June 5, 2014 web:
From a recent interview for Oceana’s Canvas Ethical Fashion & Eco Lifestyle. To read the entire interview and see video from the Ethical Europe Tour, click here.
Oceana’s Canvass: What is your style pet peeve?
LL: Ego over Eco. When style becomes all about labels and there are benefits and consequences for wearing something. It’s the same principles I was teaching in women’s studies, and it’s the same in so many aspects of our culture, but I see it a lot in the fashion world. There is a value placed on the status that a brand will give you. If I pay a lot of money to get this bag that has a label all over it, then when other people see it they assume I have a higher status or I somehow feel that I am better than them – that is a very bizarre way to be stylish because it’s based on branding and money. I would rather see the value come from knowing that this bag was ethically made, specifically that the value comes from the people who made it and the material from which it is made. To me, that is the best kind of style.
Oceana’s Canvass: What is the most important thing you’ve accomplished in your ethical fashion career?
LL: The one thing that really keeps me going is knowing that the next generation of designers can have a new model to work from. I love speaking from a designer’s stand-point because I’m able to show students interested in fashion design that they can use different materials. They don’t have to think about sourcing yards and yards of new fabric, they can have the option of working with materials that already exist and how much MORE creative that can be for them. This hasn’t been an easy journey because this is a pioneering path. We need to set-up a better system to divert fabrics and have them available for designers. We need to be teaching this method of design in schools, or even just know what the term upcycling is! I am very happy that I’ve been able to inspire others to know about and hopefully follow this path.