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Letter From the Editor

Dear Readers,

 

My name is Laura Jones, and I'm the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Frontlash. I'm so excited to be sharing this site with you at last. The ideas and politics conveyed here about a topic incredibly near to my heart — fashion—is literally a frontlash to big Fashion. A big endeavor, I know. “Why?” you might ask? I'd like begin by telling you a little about myself; I hope we will get to know each other over time.

 

I've worked in the fashion industry as a fashion and celebrity stylist for the past 13 years, but my career journey has been anything but linear.

 

I grew up near Sydney, Australia and straight out of high school took off with my best friend to Europe, where we settled in Ibiza, Spain. Surrounded by restless creatives, my fashion education began here, I witnessed fearless self-expression that I'd never known in my sleepy, rural hometown. It was thrilling and inspirational, and I began making clothing for friends and myself. Since my early teens, I was sure that I wanted to work in fashion, but, now, I knew I wanted to work in fashion — on a global scale. I headed home and straight into fashion school.

 

A few years later, I worked as a freelance assistant for Australian Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, doing side gigs assisting on TV commercials to pay the bills. These skills combined landed me the role of Head Stylist of MTV Australia where I first experienced working with international artists like Eve and Wyclef Jean. Before long, I grew restless and, knowing no one — headed to New York.

 

I've lived in New York for nine years now, and worked with and for icons of the fashion industry from Edward Enninful to Kate Moss, from Azzedine Alaïa to Riccardo Tisci. I've worked with some of the most accomplished artists of our time like Alicia Keys, Rebecca Hall, Kathryn Bigelow, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz, Naomie Harris, and Drake. I've had the opportunity to travel the world and cherish fond memories of surprise and magic from these travels. At some points in my life, it has been difficult to fathom that a dorky, poor girl from country New South Wales was able to infiltrate the glamorous world of fashion. I worked insanely hard to get there, but it still felt like a dream.

 

Except, when it didn't. Beyond the fantasy and opulence of fashion, behind the smoke and mirrors there is another side, and it's nearly as ugly as the fantasy is beautiful. I've experienced and witnessed abusive, demeaning behavior. Like “Devil Wears Prada,” but not as redemptive: I've sat in boardrooms with marketing teams while they pick apart women's appearances delineating their version of beauty. I’ve watched sick and malnourished young girls be lauded for their “fantastic figure.” I’ve flown tens of thousands of unworn garments around the globe, polluting on demand. I've felt defeated, beat-up, insecure until finally I was fed-up.

 

A few years ago I was introduced to the founders of an organic basics brand called Amour Vert and was forever changed. I had been wrestling with what to do knowing that I couldn't continue much longer in such a pernicious industry but unable to walk away. I still loved the creativity and imagination that had drawn me to fashion in the first place and meeting the Amour Vert team lit a fire in me that there might be a part of the industry that would make sense for me.

 

I consulted for Amour Vert for two years and learned just how far the noxious tentacles of the fashion industry’s reach. I didn't know before then that fashion was one of the most polluting industries on the planet. Or, that modern-day slavery entraps millions of garment workers (most of them women) across the globe; that toxic chemicals have been found in women’s and children’s clothing; that poverty-stricken garment workers were gunned down in Phnom Penh in 2014 for going on strike and demanding a livable wage; that our addiction to plastic-based fabrics like polyester has become so rampant that rivers and oceans are awash with micro-plastic that we now consume; that as soon as 2030 with a projected population of 8.5 billion people we may be faced with the choice between land-use for textile crops or food. The list goes on....

 

Whether it is destroying rivers or psyches, fashion leaves devastation at every spoke of the fashion life cycle. What I learned from my work with Amour Vert is that it doesn't have to be that way. Rather than quit fashion for good, I committed to making a change, beginning with myself. I started to dress according to my values, wearing only brands that are ethically made. I'd love to say that seemingly small first step was easy — but it was hard! I started out buying nothing at all for a year. I was so racked with guilt over my excessive consumerism that a detox was the logical first step.

 

Eventually, I'd reorganized my closet and my priorities enough to allow myself to wade gingerly back into the shopping pool. In the beginning, "dressing my values" wasn't as simple as I thought it would be. It took a lot of research and patience to find brands that I could support that also suited my budget and aesthetic. Not necessarily because there were so few, it's just that they weren't always easy to locate. Plenty of beautiful brands choose not to highlight their ethical practices and others claim to be more wholesome than they really are. I quickly realized that if I, a professional shopper, was having a hard time shopping ethically, many other women must be experiencing the same problem.

 

It was with this in mind that the idea The Frontlash was born. What began as a resource for women to locate brands that matched their style and their values, soon evolved into something more. It isn't enough to merely shift our attention from one pair of jeans to another. We need to look at the fashion system as a whole, and support change agents in all areas, in any way that we can. We need to understand better how the fashion system came to be so flawed, and why fixing it will take time, patience, creativity, and commitment, but why it is a worthy cause. And, above all, we need to believe that a newer, healthier, and more sustainable fashion future awaits us.

 

The Frontlash is more than a brand guide, we are a curator of ideas, an advocate of transparency and wellness, and a rallying call for women who know their fashion choices matter. Fashion needs a new narrative — and the women who appear on this site, along with you, are the ones who'll shape it. None of us is perfect, and perfection is not the point. I'm not here to shame brands or people. I’m not here to depress you. I’m here to share the stories and wisdom of the women who have inspired me and give you more choice in your fashion life. There isn't one solution, there are many.

When I was growing up, my mum loved to say "many hands make light work”, and it annoyed the hell out of me because it was always a precursor to doing chores. But, as mums often are, she was right. Many people, making small changes have enormous impact and The Frontlash is the cheering squad for anyone who is making those changes.

 

Fashion is an industry full of talented, innovative, driven, intelligent people, and with your support, if we demand a change on a mass scale, they can and will provide it.

 

So, thank you for being here, it really means the world to me.Thank you to our contributors and to my wonderful friends and family who helped to bring this to life. We have a lot planned for you for the next year so please continue to check in. Follow us on IG, Youtube, Facebook and Pinterest and tell your friends about us! Most importantly. I would love to hear from you! Please reach out and share your story with me, or your thoughts on the site. This site is for you and your input is invaluable.

 

Together we can make better choices. We can find better ways. We can push for change where it's needed most.

 

We can make fashion conscious.

 

Welcome to the frontline.

 

Laura x

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