The idea came to me recently. I imagine a poem embroidered delicately on the side of a crisp white cotton dress, the kind you can wear in summer to the beach, in town or for an evening date.
The poem is from the perspective of the dress. This is it’s cry for help, it is devastated with what our behaviour towards our clothing has become. It urges us to think twice About whether or not we need that garment we find ourselves lusting over suddenly in our favourite clothes shop.
I see you looking and lusting,
Musing over whether to buy me,
what purpose could I serve?
To you lovely, what could I be?
I could be the dress you treasure,
The dress to make them turn their head,
The dress to make you feel empowered,
Or the dress to wear with lips of rosy red.
But I am filled with anguish and worry,
For my little known life ahead,
Will you love and care for me today,
Or discard me,
Leaving me hopeless and grey.
I see others like me taken,
with impulse and indulgence,
Only to be worn once and abandoned,
Where their fibres will taint and damage,
And leave our beautiful world burdened.
I fear for our planet and the people we exploit,
We cannot continue this way,
Because somewhere in this system,
Someone has to pay.
So if you are still indecisive,
Whether or not to take me home,
To embrace me all lovely and new,
Just think about what I could mean to you.
I could be the dress you yearn and cherish,
For many years ahead,
The dress you mend,
The dress you lend,
Or when I no longer fit,
pass down to a friend.
But more than this,
I could be the dress to
inspire others to aspire,
To make the fast fashion world retire.
- Rosie Bragg.