As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about fatshion and revolution, here are ten ways I’ve thought of to work toward a more ethical, sustainable, and inclusive politics of fatshion. These are things I intend to work on; if you’re doing anything similar, I’d love to hear about it!
1. ) Buy less. Spend less time looking at plus size retailers’ websites, and find other pretty things to look at instead (and somehow reconcile this with my hopes of eventually starting a fat-positive style consulting service…).
2.) Thrift more. Organize more fat thrifting excursions, and check out thrift stores I’ve never been to–such as Savers, which I’ve heard great things about.
3.) Hold more clothing swaps, and support other people who want to host swaps of their own. Continue to signal-boost clothing swaps happening in other areas.
4.) Cut down on the number fatshion blogs I read–there are currently over 200 in my feed reader–and engage more with a smaller number of bloggers. Skimming a large number of blogs makes it easy to get caught up in marketing cycles of hype and desire, and I’d like to step back from that a bit.
4.) Keep an eye out for fatshion bloggers who focus on thrifting, swapping, and upcycling.
5.) Think and write more about alternative business models, from indie subscription boxes like Crown & Glory’s Glitterati to worker-owned cooperatives. I haven’t heard of any worker-owned coops within the fashion industry, and while I am not in a position to start my own, I think it’s still worth imagining what that might look like.
6.) Look for creative ways to use the powers of fatshion for good, such as donating to the Leelah Project.
7.) Learn to sew, at least to the extent that I can alter and upcycle my own clothes. I don’t think I have the spatial skills to make clothing completely from scratch, but I’d love to learn to at least add details and make small changes. I have a few friends who sew, and we’ve been talking about having an altering/upcycling party forever–it’s just a matter of actually doing it.
8.) Highlight indie designers, of both clothing and accessories, on my blog. I’d like to focus especially on lesser-known designers.
9.) Continue to signal boost other fat activists’ writing about issues other than fatshion, and write about them myself when I have something to say.
10.) Seek out writing that explores social constructions of style, beauty, and looking good from intersectional fat perspectives, and signal-boost it when I find it.
To be honest, on the rare occasions that a fast fashion brand makes something truly exciting in plus sizes, I’ll probably still celebrate it. How could I not celebrate fat babes in a wide range of sizes rocking a pale pink tutu? But I intend to pay less attention to whatever big corporation is treating its fat customers shittily at the moment (pro tip: it’s almost always Old Navy or Target), and spend more brain-space on creating alternatives.