FNO: Slow Fashion @ the Textile Arts Center

I'm finally posting about the FNO Sustainability Hack Workshop and Panel at the Textile Arts Center. Apparently I like to post about things when I can barely remember them.

I knew I was in the right place because I saw someone taking outfit photo shots with a DSLR on the sidewalk. I had forgotten to take an outfit photo, period.

FNO sustainability
Adorable and sweet model in the Uniform Project dress
During the panel; awesome photo by me

The first session was a workshop called Hacking Couture. You can read about it at that link - my brain summed it up as looking at certain identities or concepts in fashion and co-opting them based on your values. We were asked to come up with our own Hacking Couture Manifestos - a short summary of our core-belief commandments, if you will. I did what I do best - I turned around and talked to the girl behind me. (Who ended up being awesome and so I hung out with her for the rest of the night. Girl buds.)

That night I couldn't rally a manifesto. But when I looked at online manifestos, it seems like all the crap on this blog is like my manifesto: Reduce harm as much as possible, buy vegan, buy used, buy from small designers, swap, hone uniform-ish wardrobe. Repeat. {This picture manifesto comes pretty close to mine.}

Then - the panel! Well, pasta salad and crudite and then the panel! The panel was mostly designers or eco-fashion-bloggers and the focus was spread between the designer-audience and the consumer-audience.

It was mostly what you'd assume from a buying green shopping guide. What is sustainable? Are we thinking about the whole process (source materials, dyes, workers, end-life)? Discussion of keeping the source materials within the cultures that produce them instead of co-opt them. Lots o' mentions of having your own moral compass as a consumer. But needing to be educated. Talk of quality of clothing - the designers can spot poorly made rags from miles away but not every consumer have. That sparked the idea of a Yelp-for-clothing-brands. Give feedback if you get a subpar item.

You know, the general wow-a-lot-to-think-about conversational gray-area that always accompanies sustainable fashion discussions. I was glad to hear the designers' perspectives and was surprised at how much consumer responsibility was stressed. It just seems so systemic and bigger than buyers' choice in the face of compulsory new retail.

THEN. Then an (audience) designer piped up at the end and said, "All this eco stuff is already happening. We just need to like, be true to ourselves as designers. Because all this stuff is already being done."** To which the panel gave the smackdown. That smackdown was satisfying. Who shows up to a sustainable fashion panel, listens to the whole complex cluster-f discussions and indicates that they should just be able to do what they want because others will do the work? {**Not verbatim, but close. I don't carry a recorder, dudes.}

And then...we dyed!

Here I am, with other ladies, dyeing
@ natural dye stations;
via TAC blog/FB page

Oh, did you guys know you can DYE STUFF WITH URINE?
It said so in the natural dyeing books. And that, back in the day, ladies would host Piddle Parties where they served plentiful cider and collected the urine for their dyeing pleasure.

Other posts on this event here:
Textile Arts Center Blog Recap
Blisstree- Slow Style Explained


  1. Wait wait wait. Piddle Parties? ahhhhhhhh!

  2. Ew, i'd only heard of pee as a LAUNDRY DETERGENT that they saved up to soften and wash wool. apparently it was pretty noxious.


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