Oh to have the gift of foresight! March 2020 was going to be the big launch of my new slow fashion brand Romz J. However other more pressing events have taken over. Instead, every sensible person in the world, myself included are finding ourselves juggling fast-changing situations as a result of the coronavirus or Covid-19.
New spring outfits anyone?
If you’re not a hand sanitiser or bizarrely toilet roll, then the chances of earning anyone’s attention is close to zero, especially for a new brand. Is it even right to attempt to distract others from more important matters?
I’m based in Ireland and in the second week of March, the Irish government shut down schools and introduced social distancing to flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. However, my production is in the UK where these measures are being implemented over a longer period of time.
It’s a literal race against time to get my first collection launched.
Like many small businesses and start-ups, Covid 19 has implications beyond the immediate health concerns. The next few weeks and months will certainly be an interesting time, perhaps not in the way I envisioned it.
Pragmatism wins the day and my launch is still going ahead albeit in a low key manner. I’ll drip feed new outfits onto the website over the next few weeks as and when production is completed.
Conviction of Beliefs
With unpredictable days, weeks and months ahead, do I regret making the decision to start my own business? No, not at all. If anything the growing concerns about coronavirus has reinforced my conviction there is a place for more community-minded thinking in every aspect of life.
I wanted to launch my brand to offer a sustainable and ethical range of clothes that are elegant, original and timeless. The Slow Fashion ethos is about creating environmentally low impact clothes that don’t exploit people and the planet.
Unexpected heartwarming events have come from the current global pandemic. In Italy as a result of restricted movement, neighbours are holding singalongs and the waters in Venice are becoming clearer as each day passes. It has also been reported birds can be heard singing in Wuhan now that traffic has been reduced.
A Fine Line
In unsettling times fun and frivolous things still serve a purpose, providing light relief amongst the sobering facts and scaremongering. This is where fashion excels. Fantasy clothes, escapism, the optimism and confidence that comes when wearing a fabulous outfit.
You might be thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful if the fashion industry could have a long-lasting positive impact beyond light and frothy? Yes, it can! The ramifications of fast fashion are huge and yet the perception of slow, sustainable, or ethical fashion is righteous and boring which is far from the truth.
That’s one of the reasons I decided to launch a slow fashion brand with unique, colourful pieces.
The Paradigm Shift
Changing our behaviour is key to flattening the curve. It’ll inconvenience the majority, but be life-saving to others. The effects of this pandemic are predicted to last for several months, some are saying it will be for over a year. Will our individualistic behaviour permanently change and move closer to collectivism? Or will we ‘rebel’ once the social distancing measures have relaxed and become more extreme in our self-indulgent behaviour?
It’d be a shame for the entire global population to go through this and not seize the opportunity to create a better world for all.
I hope these unsettled times do bring about permanent change where we put aside selfish individualistic traits and treat each other and the planet with greater kindness and respect.
To explore our easy to wear, original head-turning pieces, made in the UK with bio-degradable materials in click here