You may have noticed The OM Collection tab on my website. I feel the need to reflect on my experiences as an “Ombassador” and a customer. The OM Collection is an ethical yoga/lifestyle clothing brand created by Katie Armstrong – a former lawyer who decided to take a chance by following her dream of creating ethical, sustainable fashion.
This goes way back for me – as a teen, OMBooty was at a local market. OMBooty had a Gypsy vibe, the coolest patterns, colours… plus, all of the pieces were well-made. Now, I may have met Katie’s mom, but I cannot remember for sure… I know she mentioned her daughter was a lawyer. I know she said they loved Bali. I remember buying a shirt and her calling it Alvira/Elvira(sp?). She might be happy to know that Alvira is still in perfect condition after 7 years. Sadly, it was so long ago that I cannot recall the details!
Fast forward, finding The OM Collection this year seemed like a dream. Oh and did I mention that Katie mentored me over the course of 3 months? Seriously, if you’re ever giving up on the planet and it’s people I assure you there are unsung heroes like her giving it their all to make things better.
Earlier this year, I was on a quest to find good quality, highly feminine, flowing clothes. It’s near impossible to find anything I like in a mall because feminine clothing seems to have faded with the rise of 3rd wave feminism/fast fashion. The irony of it all ought not to be lost on us. In a society that virtue signals all over the moral/ethical road, we forget that the metal for the car parts and the clothes we wear were made by people who are enslaved!
Anyway, why can’t I look like a 1950’s housewife? Where are the sleeves? The flowing gowns? High-waisted skirts? Bows? Ruffles? Lace? Tasteful knots? Collars? Long tailcoats? High waisted pants with flare? And what about quality?! Alas, most of those things seemed to be hiding in very expensive designer shops that are nowhere near me. Fast fashion websites advertise them but rarely deliver quality while simultaneously profiting from slavery/stealing the original photos from seamstresses and dressmakers to advertise. Work in sewing/clothing creation ought to be seen as valuable. Yet… we outsource such a beautiful and candid process! We demean the process by allowing seamstresses/tailors to work in terrible conditions with hardly a penny to show for their hard work. If they were compensated properly and worked in safe environments I’ve no doubt we’d see a rise in quality. There’s no reason that sweatshops should exist – but cognitive dissonance is at an all-time high.
(((Yeah I’m upset about fast fashion and I am sorry if it’s a bit preachy but it’s a problem I can no longer ignore.)))
I don’t want to wear the currently accepted styles in this small town nor do I want to wear fast fashion unless I’m buying it used (to prevent more clothing waste building up in landfills). It seems to be improving but still – everything looks so poorly fitted and women’s clothes are too masculine. I hope one day fashion begins to rise from the depths of our subconscious, begging to be done properly and with careful thought for the future.
The OM Collection is more of a fitness/lifestyle brand, but many of the pieces can be layered and/or used for a lovely night out. The clothing literally flows with you as you move, invoking a mindful experience as you wear it. This mindfulness, coupled with the knowledge that it was made with conscience, makes The OM Collection clothing an entire experience with heart. Fast fashion is the equivalent a pump and dump. Ethical fashion is a timeless romance.
And I’m a romantic at heart.
I’m forever grateful for Katie’s vision of a better world and for her passion that is The OM Collection.