You might think it’s strange to discuss about waste when, as us being a ‘fashion brand’, we rather should be talking about beauty and esthetics.
Yet, prior to seeking good looking design, we had to check out hugely increased waste in our world.
In 2010, a young designer eager to design ‘cool’ clothes and a marketer who dreams of a fair society met together, founded a young, ‘trendy’ fashion brand. Long and rather odd for a clothing brand name, our first start was by Outstanding Ordinary. Although it wasn’t like the top fashion label in the world, it did gain fairly big popularity across Asia.
Are we truly making clothes that are beautiful inside and out? Are the clothes we’ve been regarding as cool, really ‘cool’? What should we be calling ‘cool’ and ‘beautiful’? We suddenly got lost in the most simple question we have been answering without any pause. We couldn’t deny the fact that we have been creating ‘pretty wastes’ and all of sudden, our cheeks became red.
Until recently, we happened to watch <Plastic China> (2016) by a Chinese director Jiu-Liang Wang and were both very shocked. The film was about people living in Shandong province in China where many plastic disposal factories are located. It was heartbreaking for us to watch children eat and play on top of the garbage mountains and parents being hopeless. It was for sure, a devastating reality that plastic wastes, even nicely separated to be recycled, don’t really get recycled but just dumped in China. Recent crisis of not disposing recycled plastics properly in Korea was definitely a relevant issue. However there was another thing that made us feel even more painful. It was the fact that both of us too, had been creating wastes and living without much of awareness about it.
Starting from Scratch
Among the every living thing in this planet, only us humans create garbage. It may sound a bit too much to say ‘among the whole universe’ but who knows, there is no evidence that aliens produce garbage so we can’t say that it is all nonsense after all. Let’s narrow it down to earth then. In the earth, there’s no doubt that only humans make wastes, right? In the long 5,00,000,000-year history of the our earth, it is known that humans appeared 5,000,000 years ago and Homo Sapiens, the ancestor of us humans today, appeared 10,000 years ago. Plastic, which we call ‘garbage’ here has roots in Celluloid, and it was created in 1869 as a substance for billiard balls. So we can say that plastic was found 150 years ago. Plastic is definitely a great invention since it took only a short amount of time to bring such a revolution in our lives and now we can’t think of even a day without it. Have a look around you, can you imagine a life without plastic? It’s impossible!
It was regarded as impossible for a material first intended to make up a billiard ball to become such a massive monster. But human did turn it into reality anyway. Now, isn’t it simple enough to change ‘Let’s not dump garbage mindlessly’ to ‘Let’s not make garbage mindlessly’? This was easy. Now we suddenly got the courage deep in our ambitious minds. Changing something simple. Humans not making waste, life without plastic, wholesome life and life like 150 years past. These are the things we like to practice from the start. We wish the plastic remained small like a billiard ball from the beginning as the first intention would tell it to be but now it has grown massive which makes it a little complicated for us to solve the problem.
To be honest, we still aren’t thoroughly knowledgeable about the matter yet so we are not 100% confident that we would do flawlessly. However, we started from what we knew step by step. We have realized something’s wrong. We won’t take it back and say it’s too late now. We will do our best to tell our story by putting it in our designs, by acting for every life, and by bonding for the earth.