Fashion is always and will forever be about making a statement
Now, many companies and individuals are focusing on making a statement with their clothing, not about themselves but the world around them. Political t-shirts and political fashion is moving its way from the red carpet of the Oscar "Time's Up" movement and the halls of Congressional Democrats arriving at the State of the Union in all white, to the street.
Women are politically leading the way with one of the most striking examples being the Congressional Democrats wearing all-white to the State of the Union to protest the issues happening in the country at the time. Fashion continues to provide a blank canvas for citizens, especially women to relay their message to the world.
In many ways, political fashion is less about an overt message and more about a movement. Clothing, from political t-shirts to armbands, can send and sell a message to the world. Political fashion like the "Pussy" hats that many wore to protest Trump's election may not stand out on their own but when taken together with hundreds of other protestors during the march, they send a powerful message.
Fashion is moved and shaped by popular culture and political fashion is no different. Everything from bullying to campaign promises can be protested or supported by fashion. Even choosing not to wear something can be its political statement as it was in the case of the case of Pussy Riot's ad against Putin.
Political t-shirts are some of the easiest and cheapest ways to fit political fashion into the everyday wardrobe of many people. These keep the cost of production low and in turn, the retail price is much more affordable. These run down both the more liberal and conservative sides of any issue and can cover anything that the world is experiencing today from climate change to political strife in Venezuela.
One company that is moving with the wave of protest fashion is Societal. Not only do they strive to sell fashionable politically-minded clothing, but they also want to do it so that it is affordable for everyone and ethically made to boot.
Ethical fashion on the rise
The fashion industry isn’t known for being kind to the environment and with the advent of fast fashion, the industry as a whole as seen an uptick in underage workers in factories across the globe. Ethical fashion companies seek to undo the harm of fast fashion and focus on providing the consumer with well-made clothing that makes a statement without hurting the world around them.
Ethical fashion focuses on all aspects of the fashion trade from manufacturing to retail and a range of issues within their industry from working conditions to animal welfare. Societal has taken this mission of ethical and political fashion to heart.
Societal’s founder, Dean Jones, saw ethical clothing companies striving to do the right thing by providing answers to the issues plaguing the fashion industry but the result left clothing too pricey for everyday consumers.
To reach everyday consumers with products that addressed their needs and political statements, Dean Jones set out to create a company that would help not just the designers and consumers, but the world in general.
Dean said, “I don’t believe there is a set definition, but we at Societal define ethical fashion as beneficial – with minimum harm - to the planet. Societal is clearly at the start of its ethical journey. However, we have a unique and fascinating range of clothing, the sale of which, in addition to providing income for Societal, some products protect the environment by being made from organic material, whilst others are purchased from small Fair-Trade producers.”
Even as the company gets started, they're hoping that others will quickly follow along behind them. By engaging with social movements like Black Lives Matter, Societal continues working for the community by providing political fashion to its consumers. Societal is a strong advocate for the Black Lives Matters protest and has recently launched a Black Lives Matter collection and political collection.
Amid a pandemic where everyone is now required in many places to use a mask, Societal has consumers covered there as well. Their newest collections engage politics, Black Lives Matter, and address pandemic concerns by offering face masks as well.
One feature of the upstart company is it’s made fresh for your outlook. Each order is made specifically for the consumer. By making each order on-demand, Societal avoids overproduction and waste while also catering to its customers in a one-on-one, small-town business, way.
Make a statement
Everyone with internet access has a port into the global market and a finger on the pulse of the world. Issues that happen thousands of miles from home can impact people in bigger and bigger ways. Having an outlet to care for those issues like political t-shirts and political fashion is now at the tips of your fingers.
Being able to afford those political statements is now within consumers’ grasp as well.
Companies like Societal are bringing political fashion into people's everyday lives. Making a statement with a new fashion choice is no longer just for the rich and famous. People walking to work, riding public transportation, or participating in marches around the world can make a statement with just the type of clothing they’ve got on their backs.
Ethical clothing companies like Societal are working hard to provide customers with affordable political fashion so they can continue to make an impact in the world in their communities.
Societal is continuing to grow and change with the political climate, seeking new artists and designers to expand their political collections.