WRONG is a contemporary fashion brand by Fashion4Freedom, a renowned social enterprise and a name you need to get familiar with! The name WRONG – taken from ‘Rong’ which means dragon in Vietnamese – seeks to question the current state of the fashion industry today. The same industry where a truckload of clothing is wasted every second across the world, and the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used has decreased by 36% in 15 years.
Fashion 4 Freedom, the hub from which WRONG extends, is a socially minded design house who approach design as a process in problem solving and a solution to shape a better society and future. The brands’ goal is to provide supply-chain transparency and end exploitation in the garment industry and it’s making great headway so far, as currently the Fashion4Freedom collective includes 71 communities of villages, artisans, tailors and 10 large manufacturing partners. In the fashion industry, inclusion is crucial and so when a brand seeks to champion this, I am all for it. With Fashion 4 Freedom this means redefining luxury to include Vietnamese artisans excluded from world markets.
These heritage artisans’ hands in turn offer high-end jewellery and shoes that are meticulously handcrafted through collections like the ‘Saigon Socialite shoe collection’ which these gorgeous shoes come from, paying homage to the ancient craft of Pagoda wood art. An example of the promotion of cultural identity and heritage at its finest!
In the truly honourable sense of slow fashion, it takes 18-22 days to re-imagine wood and leather into shoes – I own a pair and they are the most cherished pair of shoes in my entire shoe cupboard. I look after them by occasionally rubbing Vaseline in to restore flexibility to the leather (I know friends who use a little unscented lotion) – both help keep your leather soft and supple. Their slogan, ‘Made by Humans for Mankind’, is one of the most succinct and relevant for the sustainable fashion conversation today.
You can shop the brand here on Etsy.
I am not sure if you have watched the 2015 documentary film ‘True Cost’ on Netflix yet (?), but I really recommend that you do. Filmmaker Andrew Morgan travelled around the globe to see the people who make clothes for the world. The film discusses several aspects of the garment industry from production—mainly exploring the life of low-wage workers in developing countries—to its after-effects such as river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death. The New York Times reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis praised it for avoiding the dichotomy of “corporate greed versus environmental well-being”, adding that instead of being an exposé, “Under the gentle, humane investigations of its director, what emerges most strongly is a portrait of exploitation that ought to make us more nauseated than elated over those $20 jeans”. As the true human cost of the fashion industry becomes more and more discussion-worthy, I really can’t see a more meaningful message than shopping with conscience. If you need to be convinced any more, take a look at this video below.