Taania Wesselius fashion conversation with James Butters from ai at Fortune Favours Wellington City.jpg

Cool First, Ethical Second?

Does a foremost ethical approach to fashion result in a compromise in design sophistication and beauty? Could it be said that a reliance on the fact that sustainability sells has seen a decrease in fashionable fashion? Should either have more precedence? 

"People come in to work and they go through all the tags and ask 'where is this made?' and 'where is that made?'. Some people buy things because they love the style of the designers, and others tend to only buy things if they're ethical, and then adapt their style to that of the brand.

As a designer, I want someone to pick up my things and think 'that's so cool', and then find out that it's ethical, sustainable, made locally, and using natural fabrics, and then be like 'oh my goodness, that's even better'. It's an ongoing conflict because I do want the ethical aspect to help persuade people but I also want them to want it, primarily, because it's cool.

Which comes first? Is one more important than the other? It's so silly because I know the answer to these questions but I still find myself asking them."

Conversation with fashion designer Taania Wesselius.