Those times when you realize you haven't got round to doing that blog post you meant to do months ago........... and it's been a year since the last one..... and now its been 6 months since I started writing this one and I'm desperate to get it finished before the end of the year..... And now it's my Bearthday!! So there's a little 20% discount code gift for my web store included in this blog, Read to find it!!
Well sometimes you can't rush things eh, Mā to wā, and I certainly have stopped trying to rush anything or push myself past my physical boundaries anymore. It just doesn't work for my mental, physical, energetic and emotional wellness to do so. And these are the most important aspects to my own growth now and I will not compromise these any longer.
Why is this blog post titled AWAY?
Because my world has shifted, you may have noticed if you follow my Facebook and Instagram pages that things have changed quite dramatically over the past year as to my content and what I am sharing and doing.
I made the decision this year to shift away from making clothing into helping others be less wasteful, as participating in the fashion system has been an incredibly hard process to stay within, when my value is undermined by fast fashion alternatives and after 8 years of trying to maintain a semblance of normality and financial strain, I had to make a decision on what my future held, to continue struggling or to create a shift that could potentially help a lot more people.
I've ended up in debt to maintain what I had hoped would be a future of change within the local industry, but the support just isn't there for locally made sustainable fashion alternatives, and being in the business of radical change on my own was becoming tough. I wish that we didn't have such a low value mentalitiy here in Dunedin, that we can value creative work just like we do any trade. I am grateful for all those people who worked with me, volunteered, bought items from me and attended workshops.
This doesn't mean I am dissapearing completely, and I have some super exciting news coming end of Jan 2020 to share with you, which totally contradicts what I've just written but sometimes we are ready to give things one more go, but until then I have been relishing some time to mend and make some of my own clothes and am still very open to doing commission work if it aligns with my ethics and is valued correctly, Ie: you pay me! I am also still doing some of these things through Stitch Kitchen, you can find out more on our website or social media pages here.
It was amazing earlier this year to complete a cycle of work in a great collaboration with artist Bruce Mahalski from The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery at Human Apparel Expo 2019 produced by Guild & NewNewNew corporation for iD Fashion Week 2019. I couldn't have asked for a better transmutation into the AWAY space I now inhabit.
By the way you have to go and visit Bruce at his home turned museum at 61 Royal Terrace, Dunedin. It is a wonder to behold all things transmuted into gorgeous art and artifacts of interesting persuasions, treasures from trunks and childhood spent exploring and collecting, He is open Friday 12pm - 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10am - 5pm and some public holidays, you can find more info on his website royaldunedinmuseum.com
I am so grateful for this collaboration of work, I found his museum to be of great intrigue and felt compelled to bring some of the ideas around death, life and mortality into the rest of the collection titled AWAY using botanical dyeing.
Fashion is a space that excites yet terrifies me, I got to a point where I just felt absolutely done with it. For me I was bored, bored with the whole process and ego of the fashion world. That ego is a big driver for me to leave this behind, I believe in collaboration and love helping others but this does not fit into this space, For me it was time to contemplate what AWAY looks like!
Where is AWAY?
I'll talk about that more later but first I want to thank all those who worked with me on this show, Those humans that put their hand up and said "yes" to representing my work in that space. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Your time, energy and absolute poise is so gratefully appreciated.
Also thanks to those who organised the event and did all the hard work behind the scenes too. Clip Joint Hairdressers, the Make Up Team and Photographers. Thank you for your skills and patience in a chaotic environment. The team at GUILD which you may have noticed I have moved on from and has reopened on Lower Stuart St, Dunedin. Go check it out, It has been a privilege to participate with such a great community and I wish them well in this next iteration of GUILD and Dunedin Designed Inc.
Thank you to those woman who agreed to wear my clothes and get out of their comfort zones, especially to Zahra who was coping with the tragic shooting of her community from the day before on March 15th, it was incomprehensible that you still showed up and I am so grateful that you were able to represent your community in this space too, <3 my heart goes out to all those affected by this tragic event.
And to all the other humans Phillipa, Lara, Dell, Ana, Tori and of course the amazing Rhys from Ake Ake Theatre Company who wore the parachute cape and skull mask, you are all amazing humans and I cannot show my gratitude enough for your participation and grace on that stage.
The amazing music from Stef Animal and imagery from Lady Lazer Light which just flowed perfectly with the finale piece. Thank you so much.
So AWAY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Where is that?
Where do things go when you put them in your bin? when it no longer works and you throw it away, what happens to it?
It tends to end up in landfill, and this is one normal that I want to assist humans in shifting, through my journey of zerowaste textiles and then attempting to bring that into my own life too, I have learnt many things, using creativity to enhance products into something more useful or innovating a reuse solution. This is where my heart and brain collide to create joyful solutions.
But what does this mean for me?
Senorita AweSUMO goes through constant transformation and changes with what's currently on purpose and most needed for inspiration of my peers, and health and well being maintenance for myself, as that is why it exists in the first place, to assist me to be well and creative too.
As I said before I'm still open to making clothing and still have many items on my rack for you to indulge in, Check out my store afterwards for some unique zero waste clothing. My store on this website will potentially be disappearing at the beginning of this year, Jan 15th most likely, as it does not provide enough income to hold onto it any more..... It is what it is.. But I still haven't entirely made that decision yet either, I am going to try a Patreon account where people can support my work through donations easier. Please if you feel like you can assist on a more regular basis, I would be most grateful. <3
But until my shop closes there will be a SALE happening on everything I have left, the discount code is AWESUMO20.
Patreon link here https://www.patreon.com/SenoritaAweSUMO
But it also means I'm taking this zerowaste idea further and have started a new company Res.Awesome Ltd. Which is very exciting!!
Res.Awesome Ltd - Awesome resources for a connected community.
I am still figuring out the articulation of exactly what this looks like but so far I want to recover resources, normalize repair and reuse of items, breakdown and separate out the parts so that more bits can be recycled or reused, use creative innovation to collaborate on solutions to waste minimization issues. Do waste audits for community, schools and business to enable a real world experience of what this really means to us in Dunedin City. My new website and resources are currently under construction but you can find me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Res.AwesomeDunedin/
So in all reality i'm not going anywhere but my business is shifting form and growing into a larger entity which can assist more people and communities city wide.
Creating circular economy initiatives, enabling connection among the community and creatively impacting Dunedin City. Assisting us as a city to achieve that Zero Carbon commitment we have of 2030, we wont hit that target without a big shift in our cities operation and we need some transformational change to get us there, luckily this is one thing I love engaging in. <3
I am super grateful to the DCC Waste Minimisation Grant for giving me $27k to get started and I am working with a mentor to figure this out in more details come the new year.
So please spread the word, if you own a business, your child goes to a school or your community is looking to do a spring clean please get in touch and check out my plan below for what I am working towards. If you want to get involved or connect/collaborate on this project please don't hesitate to get in touch. It will need some input from community and volunteer Awesome's to make this work. We have to participate in the new world we want to live in, Let's build a resilient Dunedin City together!
So Happy Bearthday to me and I hope you all have a great new year, remember to be kind to yourself and those around you as we shift into 2020 energies.
Below is an idea of what that could look like for us as a city........
Fiona Clements. Pakeha, Kai Tahu, Craftivist, Sustainable Fashion and Zerowaste Textile Practitioner. Conscious Consumer advocate.