Publications that promote slow fashion and environmentalalism are enjoying a moment of inspiration, as protest is in full swing. Here are eight of our favourites.
Pamphlet-like, non-professional publications known as ines have been associated with grassroots activism. They are a way to raise awareness and challenge accepted narratives. Some exist to celebrate a particular cultural niche. Others are for people who feel that their voices aren’t being heard elsewhere. They are also thriving because of the spirit of protest.
Mia Maxwell, founder of media-diversity title Fem Zine said, “To me, radical zines is ones that change the discourse.” She spoke at Fashion Revolution Week’s panel about the rise of radical zine.
There is a long history of zines with small circulation, particularly those that are opposed to the mainstream. Russ Chauvenet (chess champion) first coined the term “fanzine” in October 1940. He first used it in Detours sci-fi magazine. In the late 70s, punk zines were popular. They continued into the 1990s when Bikini Kill published the riot grrl manifesto in their zine.
Hamja Ahsan is the founder of the Zine Festival. DIY Cultures also refers to the zine-making at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp where women protested against the stationing cruise missiles on the base in the 80s/90s.
Although zines were originally created to distribute information outside the mainstream media, Ahsan claims that they can also be used as a way to combat “digital fatigue”. Many spaces once thought to be radical are now commercialized, he says. Zines are a better platform than celebrity politics, he said.
With zines still being able to provide space for marginalised voices, and a platform for topics that are not covered by politics or the media outlets, here are eight zines with a focus in climate change and fashion sustainability that you should explore.
Fashion Revolution’s fanzine aims to “uncover” the stories behind clothing and to make a strong, beautiful visual impact to help enhance the journey. Fashion Craft Revolution is its fourth issue. It focuses on “craft and culture”, and touches on cultural appropriation as well as the challenges faced by artisans in the 21st Century.
It is an irregularly published zine that was its seventh issue. It describes itself as “the last surviving ecology magazine”. Ecocore aims to protect and understand nature from a unique perspective of aesthetics, culture and theory. Imagine stunning eco-themed imagery alongside high-profile contributors.
The New York-based “slow fashion” magazine is on an “indefinite hiatus”. However, if you are able to get a copy of the back issues, it’s well worth looking through them. This Kickstarter-funded publication, inspired by Vivienne Westwood’s motto “Buy less but buy better and make it last!” aims to promote sustainability and encourage discussion about ethical practices in the fashion industry.
It’s freezing in LA
This climate change zine was launched last year. It aims to find the middle ground among “the distant, technical language of science” and “the outrageous outrage of activism”. Original artwork and data are used to inform articles. Issue three on protest is soon to be released.
Sew Irregular’s newest issue features “clothing cultures beyond fast fashion” and includes articles on “digital embroidery masters 1831”, “clothing cultures beyond fast fashion”, and the LGBT clothing initiative G(end?)er Swap. You can also listen to audio descriptions online and attend “introvert-friendly launch parties” via Spotify.
The Earth Issue
One for creative souls. This zine aims to “enable artists passionate about nature to unleash creativity…and stand up for preservation of our planet.” You can expect stunning art and photography spreads that will inspire activism as well as practical eco-tips. Issue 3 is now available.
Hot Hot Hot
Paris-based zine that explores global warming and environmental issues. It aims to do this with a mixture of “expertise”, playfulness, and poetry. There are many contributors, from scientists and performers to photographers with “overlapping thoughts about climate change.” Issue 2 is now available.
Issue four, the environment issue, is described as an “accessible independent platform focused on social problems online and in print”. It’s worth reading if you’re looking for poetry, art, and short stories about climate change. Martin Parr and Pam Hogg were past contributors.