An important part of slow fashion is cultivating deeper connections with our clothing. The fast fashion system has convinced us that fashion is purely transactional and clothing is inherently disposable. To heal this system, and create a fair fashion future, we need a new narrative – one that decentralises our primary identity as consumers and re-prioritises our ability to be inherently creative and caring beings. This begins with connecting with the stories behind the clothes that adorn us.
So, as part of Fashion Revolution Month, we asked a few people from the Twyg community – whose style we adore – to share a love letter to their most cherished garment. Once you have read through these love letters, challenge yourself to reflect on the question: If you could write a love letter to a cherished garment, what would you write? Remember, loved clothes last.
To my One of One Collection blazer,
You were thrifted and customised with artwork by Lesedi Woodz. You enthrall me. Your sculpted lines, your deep-set eyes, your playfulness: my darling, you’re One of One. Your deep presence empowers me and I know no other joy than when I’m with you.
I know you’ve been loved and let go, and I know that may have been hard for you. But your magnetism drew greater love to you. The Great Crafter’s hands found you, pulled the artistic glory out of you, and placed your beauty front and centre. Defiant. Undeniable. Your versatility was amplified; you were elegantly embellished, and you were sustained.
Can I tell you a secret? The same thing happened to me. We moved through time in a parallel and perfect rhythm; and against all odds, we found each other.
My darling, we are magically meant for each other. I find absolute joy in your strong embrace. You captivate me, and you always will. My onyx love, you liberate me; and for that, I love you.
To my Blues suit, Nike sports bra, and Sporty Rafia hat to match,
Thank you for popping up in my size on a secondhand platform and wooing me with your blue colour. You arrived in brand new condition; how could someone not want you?
My bright orange sports bra arrived in the nick of time. You give me the support I need…if you know what I mean. Cool to think that you were once this close to someone else’s heart too.
My hat made with love in our factory. How can I not appreciate you when you are so light, cute, and easy to travel with?
My shoes bought from a chain store on sale – I’m sorry I had to save you and will wear you for as long as I can or where you will take me! Thank you for dancing with me amongst enigmatic art pieces at this year’s art fair.
To my corset top,
I never realised how much the majority of the stuff I owned didn’t actually fit me until I got into making my own clothes. And not just that it didn’t fit me in that I felt gross, unpolished, or physically uncomfortable but that it didn’t fit me, as in my essence and my life.
This corset top was one of the first things I successfully made after I picked up sewing again during the pandemic. The construction process was frustrating and painful – I literally sliced through my thumb while throwing a tantrum over uneven seams. But wearing it has been worth every drop of blood.
I’ve worn this through the making of better garments, through important events and vacations, and the best times with my friends. I’ve worn it over turtlenecks, shirts, and nothing at all. I’ve worn it so often that the boning is moulded to my shape. I’ve worn it so often that I’ve repaired the shoulder straps at least twice. I’ve worn it so often that everyone’s surprised to see me without it.
I guess what I love most about this is that it made me see how much my clothing was a part of my life. And that when making or purchasing or upcycling or mending, I should start considering the life ahead of myself and my clothes.
To my beloved Daisie Jo dress,
When I am asked what my favourite clothing item is, the answer is always you. You were gifted and delivered to me by the kindest Daisie Jo, along with some kitten toys as I had just gotten a new kitten.
You were initially intended for a performance. We spent our first moments together on stage – a last performance with my band pre-covid at Battery Park. It started to rain that afternoon but the crowd was insisting on staying to watch until we reluctantly had to pack up. Since then, you have filtered into my life, adding magic and joy to sometimes mundane days but every day together is undoubtedly special.
To my darling Vesta dress,
Although you’ve been in my life for a short while, you’ve made an enormous impact.
You might not know this, but for a modest girl like me, it’s hard to come across a piece like you. You keep me covered while being airy, breezy, and all-around easy to wear.
During the warmer seasons, I’ll probably wear you as you are, so you can shine in all your glory.
In winter, I will style you, layer you, adorn you… and you will take on a new life.
You will undoubtedly live in my closet for years to come <3
To my dearest Gucci loafers,
Twenty-eight years ago, whilst traveling abroad, I wanted to buy my first pair of loafers from the eponymous Gucci brand. Little did I know you would see me cross oceans, walk many kilometres in amazing cities over the years, experience family reunions, witness tears upon saying goodbye to family overseas, be there when exploring interesting sights, provide comfort when walking too far, and pull an outfit together.
Then, a whole generation later, as if wanting a new existence, you’d leave me for my daughter.
She’s traipsed the streets of London for a year and a half and you – my loved loafers – have been loyal to her and the adventures she’s embarked upon. Is the saying not something like this, “if you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” Well, the traveling loafers have returned to me, comfortable, steady, and on the feet where they belong. I’m wearing my loafers with love. It’s a true testament to choosing well.
To my cherished Kapulana,
You are called a Kapulana in Mozambique where I purchased you, and in KwaZulu-Natal you are referred to as a Khanga, perhaps with a different print.
You’re a mixture of two things – comfort and practicality. I live in the water and I cannot imagine a better item to own. But, most importantly, you lend a sense of safety in and for my existence, as a Black woman existing in a majority of spaces where I am often the only Black person. It is to hold the importance of where I come from and the pride I hold in my identity – phenotypically and otherwise. It is to place into space the undeniably African, intentionally.
I take you everywhere. Worn in multiple ways as women across the continent have and do. A silent love language.