My husband and I have been part of the slow food movement since 1997 when we lived in Berkeley, CA for our first 5 years of marriage. Our fast food, processed backgrounds got flushed down the toilet when we discovered the world of farm-to-table. My husband's first film studio was next door to Alice Waters' acclaimed restaurant Chez Panisse in the gourmet ghetto of Berkeley. Though we couldn't afford to eat there much, what we learned about Alice Water's approach to food changed us forever.
Fast forward 17 years and the idea of slow food and farm-to-table restaurants has become main stream in most major cities. We live in Austin, one of the foodie capitals of America, so there is no shortage of farmer's markets or restaurants that source fresh, sustainable foods from local farms. Its amazing to see even my sister and college roommates on board with slow food. They used to make so much fun of us for wanting to eat organic and non processed, and now I see how differently they eat and think today.
Just as slow food has become more mainstream, I see a similar movement happening with fashion....and I'm thrilled. Back in 2007 when my family and I fasted from buying anything new for a whole year, the idea of Raven + Lily was born. I knew too much...that there was child labor, slavery, and degrading sweat shops behind most items our family could afford to buy. I didn't really have other options, so we fasted for a year from "stuff" and prayed, discussed, and thought a lot about the issue. While the creation of Raven + Lily couldn't solve all the problems in the fashion industry, we could be a solution to providing designs that told a positive story instead of negative.
At the risk of offending a few folks, I want to share this excerpt from John Oliver on Fast Fashion. Watch the whole thing. I hope it makes you laugh and makes you want to cry. Then do something different. Make a decision to say NO to fast fashion. You have options. Maybe you can only buy one shirt instead of 3, but you can know that shirt was made thoughtfully and with respect to the people who made it and our beautiful planet.
If this got you thinking, here's an interesting discussion on NPR about "Slow Fashion".
I will do my best at the helm of Raven + Lily to continue to develop products to empower women out of poverty and empower consumers to make a positive impact with their purchasing power. Yes, power. You have the power to make slow fashion mainstream. You have the power to bring dignity and sustainable income to at risk women. And you have the power to help preserve our gorgeous planet.