Being fresh out of University can feel a little bit like being kicked out into the sunlight from a long party – suddenly you’re dressed all wrong, on your own and wondering where in the hell to go next. Especially if you’re an arts student. Those are some crazy parties.
Like most blinking gradutes i wandered into admin, until i realised the morally bankrupt nature of the organisation i worked for and quit abruptly, leaving myself in financial trouble and my poor father in despair as to what i was up to now.
I did what i do best, i thought for a while, and decided to take a job that would allow me to do a lot more of the same. So i picked up a bit of work at Abraham Moon’s Factory in Guiseley, starting at 5am most days packing and preening accessories for high end stores. In the stunning surroundings of this Yorkshire mill, combing the fringes of Ralph Lauren scarves, embroidering labels, watching rolls of tweed and highly patterend cloth tumble out of the huge cogs, eating dinner on the late shift with the guys working through Ramadan, and resting on great big bags of Fudd, i found the origins of my new thing. I went back to my creative side, i worked in fashion retail again, and i saw the waste along the way. The hideous amounts of resources cast aside for, often blinkered, industry standards.
With the odd blip along the way (usually due to money) i have stayed in the industry, my love of music and art flowing happily alongside my style seeking, meeting plenty of wonderful people along the way and discovering the notions of re-using and re-cycling which has all developed into the modern notion of up-cycling.
Just as Abraham Moons has survived modern industrilisation by sticking to traditional notions of quality, human resources and creativity, I think we can make this universal by re-sourcing old ideas, new technologies and pure human effort to neutralise the effect of our creativity on the world – be it clothing, entertainment or every day living.
Buy old and make it new.
Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Be stubborn with your ideas.
Use it until it dies.