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Fashion Act Now has received more funds!

The Culture of Solidarity Fund was launched in 2020 by the European Cultural Foundation “to support cultural initiatives that, in the midst of turmoil and crisis, reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.” At the end of 2023, Fashion Act Now was awarded €28,000 to launch OurCommon.Market.




OurCommon.Market is a brainchild of Fashion Act Now, a grassroots people-powered activist group operating from a shared, deeply-felt need to stand up against the Fashion industry in effective, transformative ways. OurCommon.Market is the spearhead strategy that FAN has chosen. While many activist groups are trying to reform the industry, FAN is investing its energy in encouraging and championing the grassroots alternatives to the top-down, globally dominant Fashion system that industry has built. The Fashion industry is in deep crisis: hugely oversized while burdened with the imperative to keep growing, ever faster, and at any cost. And that cost to the well-being of the planet and all of its inhabitants is staggering. Thus the out-of-control Fashion industry renders itself ridiculous, anachronistic and irrelevant. The alternatives that the OCM will showcase represent the fashion future that FAN believes must replace the oversized and dangerous industrial system of exploitative supply chains and sacrifice zones of extraction and pollution. 

 

OurCommon.Market is unique. It is being designed and built to profile and honour flax-growers and sheep-shearers, weavers and knitters, darners, dyers, menders and so on, from the Ukraine to Uzbekistan, Italy to Iceland, and Netherlands to Nigeria. They represent the small-scale, local alternatives to the monolithic industrial Fashion system. The communities OCM is hoping to connect are fair, non-exploitative, and earth-friendly. OurCommon.Market is designed to enable ties of mutualism and solidarity  among them, so that their usually muffled, alternative fashion voices can rise up and blend in a proud chorus for change. OurCommon.Market is about making the nascent regenerative fashion future visible now. It is global in scope, but in light of the funding, it is currently mostly focusing on the European Union, including the United Kingdom.

 

Fashion is not about dis-located material objects. They are narrowly portrayed in this way by the industrial Fashion mono-system, but in fact, systems of dress are holistic and multidimensional expressions of ways of being in the world. OurCommon.Market recognises and presents dress diversity as cultural diversity: the fashion pluriverse. It emphasises the relationships that are embodied in strong, local clothing cultures because ‘coming back into relation’ is the central feature of regeneration and healing. It means the end of exploitation and extraction. 





How does OCM work? 


OurCommon.Market is an online destination where diverse, community-focused fashion projects around the globe can present themselves. At the same time, it is a destination where visitors can  discover alternative clothing systems through community participation, not purchase. Through the website, visitors will be able to get involved in workshops and meet-ups, and learn textile and clothing skills.  


The Culture of Solidarity Fund - Just Transition funding will be dedicated to on-boarding and connecting fashion communities, all the while constructing the spaces, on-line and real, where they can share their special skills, unique stories and heritage.  


Will you join the OCM Community?


All are welcome and we need you. Do your values resonate with those of OurCommon.Market? Would you like to upload information about your fashion community? Would you like to participate in community events, OCM assemblies and meet-ups? Would you care to help us develop this brave, innovative and transformative community of communities? Together we can swell into a critical mass and expand the alternative. All are welcome.


We are looking forward to launching the OCM website soon, where you will be able to create a profile for your community and connect with others. In the meantime, we invite you to attend the first edition of our fashion commons assembly: “Fashion Commoners, what do you need to flourish?” 


Find out more about OurCommon.Market here and please feel free to reach out via email -  hello@ourcommon.market


Thank you to the European Cultural Foundation! 




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