End of an Era.
I started Allegory Apparel in 2012. I was 18 and has just changed my mind about pursuing a design degree but wanted to continue design in my own time, hence starting Allegory Apparel.
A lot has changed since then. I began to learn a lot more about where clothes are sourced and about 'fast fashion' and it's impact on the environment and on it's victims. (I highly recommend watching The True Cost if you haven't already.) I realized out of sheer ignorance I had contributed to something I had no idea about and this immediately changed all future plans I had about further releases. I refused to contribute to slave labour, child labour and supporting factories that force their workers to work in horrendously unsafe conditions, for ridiculous hours, for cents a day.
In early 2016 me and a friend of mine who was a fashion-tech graduate who shared the same ethics on these issues began collaborating. We made a few prototypes but never ended up releasing anything. Unfortunately, after a lot of research we realized the project required a lot more time then we both could invest in it, especially as both of our circumstances changed with what we had to prioritize at the time. We wanted to do everything as ethically as possible and this became very difficult when we realized how hard it was to even do things like source basic raw materials. It lead me to realize that although I was full of ideas and passion for it, I would never have been able to do it properly and even if I had I was becoming less and less inclined to want to create more clothes in a world that has more than enough.
I have decided I want to continue being creative and making art but through a different medium. This will become a focus even more so once I have finished my degree. Watch this space.
But for now I want to finish what I have started. I still have some of the product left and there's no point of it sitting around doing nothing to eventually go to waste. What's done is done, so I will be selling the rest of it and donating 25% of what's left to Tearfund. Every year they put together an Ethical Fashion Guide which I have found very helpful. I want to support that and the other great work they do.
I think the best you can do to not support these practices and not contribute to adding more waste to the environment is to buy second hand as much as you can! Failing this I encourage you to support independent designers who hand make their stuff and are mindful of where they source their materials. Don't buy products like mine that are deceivingly cheap, they are cheap for a reason - someone else is paying the cost. I can't undo my contribution so the best I can do is finish what I started in a way that will help spread awareness and hopefully make a difference.