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How do the clothes you wear and the space you inhabit inform your work or your mood for the day? Do you adopt a less is more attitude or do you enjoy collecting things that have character?

I draw artistic inspiration from nature. A piece of bark on dewy earth, a ruddy mushroom on a dirty log, a colourful bug on a fresh leaf, a purple sunbird snacking on nectar from a cluster of flowers, they're all little treasures that bring me joy. I enjoy looking around and away, imagining stories, songs and scribbles of all kinds. I take pleasure in collecting things of deep character that adopt deep meaning and inspire creation. Yet every little thing, like in the natural world, has its place, its role, its independent and still symbiotic performance in a space or on a person. 

I look at the earth, the sky and the sea and think of its creator and in the same way, love to be able to point to artists, backstories, and memories associated with each piece I own. 

When I'm in an ecosystem that is beautifully woven together, I am moved to create. Tall grasslands with buzzing insects hovering over meadows of heather, giant trees with old gnarly roots, twisted branches and a vast canopy, flocks of water birds flying across a bright blue sky. They tell me a part of a story- One that probably began at a lake full of fish or as a seed carried by the wind. They inspire curiosity. I love creating spaces and outfits that inspire curiosity with the simplicity of a storybook and the complexity of poetry.

What drew you to Fabric & Article?

Fabric & Article was birthed from a childish dream inside of a yellow and pink journal.
As a 7 year old, I vividly remember writing with a bright purple marker pen, "Jesus, please make me a fashion designer."

For the longest time, I was embarrassed by this ask. I thought I was too much of a reader, writer, artist and an adventurer to also be interested in the clothes I wore. I often dressed in khaki trousers and a loose t-shirt to prove to myself that fashion was not my finest ability. I loved hiking and nature trails, picking up bugs and lizards, kayaking and climbing trees.

 

To add to it, shopping was not my strong-point. As a pre-teen, I would wear my mother out by spending six hours choosing one shirt. And as a teen, I hated window shopping with girlfriends, was disinterested in trying on outfits in the changing room and to take selfies in the mirror, was bored at the mall and had a sad distaste for window displays.

But, the one shirt I bought would be well-worn, like my mother on our 6 hour shopping trips, even ten years later.

Now, I've begun to see this as a valuable quality and not a negative one. I never liked to buy ten different outfits for christmas, diwali, new years, birthdays, weddings, summer holidays and everything else in between. I preferred to find quality pieces that provided beautiful statements for different events and dates. 

 

I shop once a year, wear that one item as long as I can. Own one pair of shoes that work with every outfit, and everything else in my closet is a hand-me-down, from my two sisters, a cousin, and any friends that find me fitting (into their clothes).

 

It was only in my late teens and early twenties that I fully stepped out of my shell (or should I say into?) and expressed myself through fashion.

"I love the clothes you wear", "Your closet must be huge", "How did you pair this with that so well?"  are questions I would get asked frequently, despite my small wardrobe and lack of shopping experience. But that is where I fully realised the potential of secondhand and creatively styling outfits. 

 

Watching a documentary on the Rana Plaza incident of 2013 set off a longing to help the woman who earned rupees six hundred per month working at a clothing factory. Using thirty percent of that amount for herself and the rest to pay off her sister's dowry and look after her mother and household. 

 

As I walk through large stores and see the beige silk trousers, denim overalls, white crepe dresses, bright yellow crop tops, bedazzled suede shoes and distressed blue jeans neatly hung up or laid out, I find it terribly easy to forget the tailors that sat for hours and worked by the sweat of their brow, barely earning the amount we pay for one of those items over their entire month. 

 

A deep jungle with trees wrapped in vines, brilliant flowers hidden under busy thickets, large billed birds chomping on juicy fruits. Fabric & Article allowed me to merge the concept of fashion from the urban jungle into the bustling forests.
 

We work against an industry riddled in injustice, while working with them to help people make good fashion choices, both stylistically and sustainably.

It is a store for me that is the epitome of good fashion choices. Whenever I look for something sustainable, I rate it on a scale that measures how ethical, generous, accessible, connecting, creative, natural, thoughtful and wholesome it is. So I was keen to start something that rated high on all of these scales. At Fabric & Article, we like to be completely aware of  and dedicated to serving a strong purpose and passion, for people and the environment. We depend on sustainable values and build our foundation on our love for those in need.

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Jerusha

The people involved in the making of Fabric And Article:
people who gave us, the people who buy from us, the people who made this for us

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