This month we’re delighted to introduce our guest writers Kim Pearce and Kath Davis. Committed to slow fashion, they’re the force behind the social enterprise The Possibility Project and slow clothing label slumwear108. Read on to learn why they believe so ardently in restorative justice for the fashion industry.

Possibility Project products and worker - slow fashion

The fashion industry is in crisis. This is a great opportunity for change. People are waking up and asking ‘who made my clothes? We’re realising what goes on our body is just as important as what goes in our body, and it’s this connective thinking that is the basis of restorative justice. Restorative justice wisely extends the idea of body to include our water systems, our oceans and our lands, this is why the fashion industry is a fertile space to address the needs of both people and planet.

Solutions without punishment

As Kim explains, “Restorative justice focuses on solutions without separation, without punishment, without guilt and without a sense of hopelessness. Restorative justice draws on insights that indigenous communities used to solve problems, inherent in their decision making was a deep knowing that people and planet belong to one another, so any choice will affect the well-being of both.”

The current state of the fashion industry is an opportunity to apply the principles of restorative justice, we can showcase positive examples rather than punish those doing harm.

Fast fashion needs positive change

Fast Fashion is one of the greatest sources of pollution on our planet; we can now predict next years fashionable colour by the colour flowing through river systems. It is also a major source of enslaved labour (how else can we account for that $5 T-shirt). But the focus of restorative justice is not to make consumers feel guilty about their choices, rather, it is aimed at educating consumers that their choices are powerful when it comes to shaping the future of fashion.

As Kath says, “true change is never achieved through punitive actions, it’s achieved by encouraging people to believe in their power to create positive change and it should unite communities not divide them”.

Empowering people on the poverty line

A significant part of The Possibility Project’s work is public speaking and sharing insights on how the makers of slumwear108 (many who live near the poverty line) have been able to solve their problems using common sense, “on so many levels our Western systems of problem solving have forgotten the power of common sense, so our talks bring this valuable resource back into everyday consciousness, in doing so our audience leaves with a sense of empowerment, because they realise how much they already have to solve problems.” says Kim.

Nurturing creative connection is at the heart of restorative justice. The Possibility Project truly believes that it’s time to move beyond our differences when it comes to transforming problems into solutions. Kath and Kim believe that beyond our gender, age, income, ethnicity and religion is our creative connection, we all have a creative ability to re-imagine a world that is kinder and healthier for all, it’s this commonality that has power – so why not use it fashionably!

Kath and Kim from The Possibility Project: slow fashion

Slow fashion with purpose

The Possibility Project is a Sydney based social enterprise founded by Kim Pearce and Kath Davis. The pair collaborate with communities in Jaipur to create a slow fashion label called slumwear108 and sell their products in the hope of promoting restorative justice within the fashion industry. slumwear108 is possibility materialised, all products are made through circular collaborations that are kind for people and planet. Through their work, Kath and Kim are keen to scale a mindset of problem solving that creates win-wins for both people and planet.

Goodsmiths readers can enter the code ‘restorative’ for free domestic shipping on all purchases before August 20th.

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.