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Useful And Fantastic: Fashion Innovations

Val Yule offers some thoughts on sensible planet-saving clothing.

Any country’s Fashions could lead the world, if they only thought, What sort of clothes would everyone like to wear? Beautiful? Comfy? Warm? Cool? Durable? Different? Design your own!

Some starter ideas:

Space Clothing’ to replace wasteful Space Heating. Everyone can control the temperature of their immediate personal space (Personal Weather), regardless of the climate around.

• Conservation Clothes so that only parts needing washing need be washed.
• Gaia Fashions would be frendly to the whole earth, and emulate the loveliness of Nature. They last, wash, renovate.

• Beautiful, comfortable tracksuit styles - with gorgeous Persian-style tunics or Chinese jackets that give the larger or dumpier person a beautiful line and dignity.

• Kit-Clothes take the mix-and-match trend even further. You could also buy or make additional accessories and pieces for particular styles, with 'kit-patterns' in magazines or the shop catalogues. This would also help people with limited clothes-sense, who tend to accumulate incongruous garments.

• Stackable Fashions. Coordinated garments suitable for changeable weather - for example, for girls and women -
i. Blazing hot weather - bikini top and pants.
ii Not quite so blazing - add a cool-cotton slip-dress.
iii. As the day cools, add on a zip-up sleeved dress with wider skirt
iv. Cool change - add a sleeved Velcro-edged cardigan
v. Colder still - add cotton-elastic dressy long pants underneath.
vi. Freezing - add long wide-sleeved oriental-style jacket, warm over-pants, padded jacket and bonnet, warm socks and boots.
vii. Cold as outer space - - add space-suit pants and gloves.
• Fashion-kits that include easy-attach replacements for parts of clothes that wear soonest, or that could be washed separately to save washing a whole garment because of localised sweating. Velcro and studs or Korean paste could stick them on again. Replacements could come in great variety, so that the same basic garment can look very different even from day to day, with different collars, sleeves, scarves, knees, cuffs, and pockets. This was how Koreans managed to have changing fashions despite poverty preventing having new clothes.

• Pockets-Plus. Most female clothes are pocket-minus - supposedly pockets would 'spoil the line'. But pockets can increase the curves, or they can hide in full skirts, or decorate almost anywhere, with Velcro and similar adhesives. We could buy decorative pockets to stick on, with Velcro or some such, or the old-fashioned Lucy Locket pockets tied on, like the waist-pockets for backpackers and swimmers. Or big square Chinese pockets on hip-covering tunics. I would like a wrist accessory that notes could be written on as you think of them, perhaps write-on, rub-off, a minute note-pad, possibly an electronic memory.

• Cup-Clip unisex accessory - a strap-on container or clip, to carry a cup at work or outings, so there need be no waster of throwaway cups or cluttered sinks. Cups could be designed as accessories to go with garments. One possible style is the light folding aluminium or stainless steel. Or you could have Sholder Bags like superior handbags, that held everything, including folding hats, and a toilet bag with small cloth to save using hot-air dryers or waste paper in public loos. (Air Force men had straps on their shoulders to tuck their caps under.)

• Women with child look beautiful in maternity clothes of many other countries to make wearers feel and look like the most wonderful people in the world, instead of like clumsy, wide-bodied containers or as if they had balloons in their middles A Korean woman in high-waisted flowing 'empire' style, looked like a graceful ship in full sail..
• Pasted Clothing from the old Korean idea of cut-out clothes, that were taken apart to be washed and ironed, and then pasted together again for wearing. All sorts of clothing variations could be made by the wearer of Pasted Clothing.

• Elderclothes - Beautiful, comfortable warm clothes that are easy to put on and off.

• Multicultural clothing. We are a multicultural society. Our people have come from countries with many beautiful, useful and comfortable styles of clothing that we could adapt and learn from. What fun. And how much more fun to be in a crowd that was not just dark blobs, but multicolor like hundreds-and-thousands, each one a living pictures.
Personal-Weather Clothes. They used to burn down a whole house in order to roast a pig inside it (according to Charles Lamb) and only by accident was it found that the pig could be cooked separately, without wasting a house.
They used to jump into the river and sometimes drown, in order to wash their clothes (according to another story) - then they discovered that they could take off the clothes and wash them by the banks. They used to wash whole garments daily or weekly - and still do - until they developed stick-ons for the parts that needed the most frequent washing, and so saved all that water and energy.

They used to heat whole rooms and cars in order to keep themselves warm - and still do - until they developed Personal-Weather clothes that had adjustable temperatures inside them. Yes, indeed it is possible.
The great advantages of Personal-Weather clothes are that in the same room everyone can have their own weather at the temperature they prefer, adjusting it as they like.
The savings in fuel and in cost will be enormous.

Commerce & fashion
Fasshion has always been driven by commerce since commerce came into the game.When conspiciuous consumption was the name of the game, then fashions were elaborate and took lots of material and seewing time and costs went up thereby.

Today however, comerce makes its profits competitively from fashion by being as cheap as possible, which also means saving on materials and making as much as possible.
Hence not only the poor durability of clothes - knickers that only last months, not years for example, but also the push for the 'minimum', and sparseness also found in other areas of consumer products and even in art
• the skimpy bikini briefs,
• the tops that show people's middles
• the 'simple lines' that need minimum sewing
• the plaincolors without patterns.
• It’s one reason why women's clothes lack pockets - men tend to insist on having them. Women give in.


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