In May Rhetorical Factory had the pleasure of participating in Green Festival in Chicago. I had never been in a full on indoor show before, nor one that specifically focused on environmentally friendly businesses. It was great to be around a crowd of people outside of Asheville who were all interested in learning how to take responsibility for our impact.
Chicago is a big city. I rode the train in from the suburbs every morning, watching the buildings get bigger and closer together from my upper level window seat. When I first stepped outside of the station I could feel the pulse of the city quicken my own. It reminded me of this fascinating radio lab episode.
I set off in a direction immediately, not thinking about what was right, just that I should move. Needless to say I made about a 2 square block detour. Looking up at the buildings never ceased to wow me. Infrastructure is amazing.
At the show that weekend I had the opportunity to have several enlightened conversations with thoughtful attendees. Many had been to the festival since it’s first year! One of my favorite things to have a conversation about was of course the current status of the garment industry and where it could go. Someone recommended to me a book called Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion which explains the issues at hand. It’s reaffirmed our desire to help people value their clothes as art instead of throwing it away. Really all clothes are hand made. We shouldn’t buy so many articles of cheap new clothes, we should trade and invest in high quality.
Since everything in the world is recycled, no matter created or destroyed, I think people can adapt to the idea that the clothes we already have are a commodity in themselves. Even organic cotton companies produce waste and have a huge impact. How about we edge away from clothing production and towards re-production. I recommend the aforementioned book. Seriously consider saving your money and our resources by avoiding new clothes made overseas.
On my last day I decided to go to Wicker Park.
I thought it was beautiful in details and very urban. It came highly recommended as one of the most hipster neighborhoods in the country. Indeed it was! Even the street walkers had some intense style. I was really inspired by this coffee shop called Filter on Milwalkee Ave. The patterns and colors on vintage sofas made a very accessible layout. I wanted to stay and hang!There were plenty of recycled fashion stores, one in particular that I loved was called KoKoRoKoKo. I talked to Ross in there for awhile, he turned out to be a wealth of knowledge about picking and selling vintage clothes. The store had a lot a flare- obviously great taste for 80’s and 90’s gear. I enjoyed finding out about everything he has learned in his time on the scene.
After a weekend of walking, riding trains and taxis, and eating delicious food I caught my flight back and promptly got to bed.
Thanks for everything, Chicago!
I hope to see you again soon.