Fashionably Passionate: A girl’s journey to more sustainability

In the prime years of confusion, the transition of a middle school kid to a high school freshman, a tomboy girl began to find what she truly loved.

A closet door filled from top to bottom with ripped out magazine pages, dirt stained softball uniform pants in a hamper, and a laptop filled with runway shows that began to be put in virtual folders all in her room. Then it clicked.

“I got a computer, and all I looked at was runway shows,” says Taylor Timmons. “I don’t know where it came from because I was such a tomboy, but it was just a switch and I knew that I loved this.”

Taylor Timmons, a 21-year-old fashion merchandising major, is a young girl who is passionate about sustainability in the world, especially in fashion and dipping into politics.

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(Photo by Mary Grace Heath) Taylor Timmons, 21, Fashion Merchandising

Though things clicked for Timmons during her more adolescent years, when arriving as a college freshman she decided to go into landscape architect as her major.

Students sitting row by row, shoulder to shoulder, laptops out and easily visible while class is in session. A boy looks over to see the screen beside him and notices that it was filled with runway shows and various apparel pieces. Timmons was cataloging and organizing it all passionately.

The boy leaned over and asked, “Why are you doing this? Why aren’t you doing that?”

“That was my ‘aha moment’ “, says Timmons.

As the seasons changed from spring to summer, so did Timmons’ major, and one passion led to another with a core value that stayed the same: sustainability.

Sustainability in fashion has become a world-wide issue that various amounts of people have become passionate about. After being educated on the harm that manufacturing of so many fashion pieces can do to our economy people began to speak up.

Walking into a store and shopping online can be overwhelming these days. There are so many options, pieces and types of clothing to choose from that all fit into a person’s style they are looking for. The reason for the abundant amount of clothes comes from a term that is now used more frequently called “fast fashion.”

Fast fashion is the quickest and cheapest way to manufacture and ship off clothing to retailers to delight consumers who crave more and new clothes, trends, and styles immediately and more often.

“Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon. One that’s caught us all, as consumers, in an absurd circle of micro trends,” says Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco Age Ltd., in December of last year in an article in the Huffington Post.

Eco Age YouTube Video

Jan. 20, 2017 – The set up began early to prepare for the change in our country that was about to take place around noon. People around the world channeled their TV’s and other electronic devices to make sure they could catch a glimpse or all of what Inauguration Day would be like.

In her college home in Athens, Ga, Timmons watched as the set up was happening. Not really caring much for President Trump himself, she was curious to see who chose to dress the new first lady.

As she sat in her last advertising class, the updates on her phone kept her in tune with the events happening. Then she saw her. Melania Trump dressed in a light blue dress with gloves and pumps to match.

“My first impression of her was ‘wow, that is a very flattering color, very beautiful,’ ” says Timmons, “then I looked at it more and I was like ‘that is a very unflattering color.’ ”

Months before Inauguration Day, many big name designers and creative directors said they would not be associated with the new first lady, and would not write about or dress her. So, the big question was “who was going to dress the new first lady, Melania Trump?”

Scrolling through, reading, and looking at pictures Timmons replied, “my biggest question was, ‘who caved? who did this?’ ”

A man who is known for the polo-player-on-horseback logo, Ralph Lauren, dressed Melania Trump for the Inauguration Day events.

Before taking a seat in the political spotlight, the Trump family, especially the Trump women, has been known for their fashion. Because of the money the Trumps have, buying high-end clothing in a more political fashion is easily accessible and reasonable. But because of the fashion they bring to the forefront, will they help lead people to buying more high-end or good quality clothes than representing more fast fashion?

“I think that’s why fast fashion is the leading force of fashion right now, because we can copy what you have at a lower price to what you can afford, and you can have it…,” says Timmons.

“The only way I see it slowing down is if we can change consumer ideals of shopping…but people our age have been trained to bargain buy, and that’s pretty ingrained in our heads.”

Timmons caught herself dreaming of multiple dream jobs, one being a trend forecaster. Soon after everything seemed to be all very corrupt. Making opinions on colors people should wear and styles was not the dream she thought it would be. Telling consumers what they should wear felt more like a mind game to her than being helpful.

Narrowing down that one job for Timmons is difficult, but if she could achieve her overarching goal in whatever that may be, then she is willing to do what it takes.

“Even if I was with a brand I didn’t respect, or a company that is viewed in a certain way, if I could change the ethics behind it and go in and be like ‘there has to be a more efficient way, there has to be a more sustainable way,’ and change the consumers mind in that way. It’s my goal,” says Timmons.

Aware and educated on the topic of sustainability, Timmons ask questions that people should consider when they are shopping and consuming more clothes. “Do you really see yourself wearing this over a certain period of time, or is this an impulse buy?” or “Do you see value or memory in this piece?”

Friends and family began to seek Timmons out for fashion advice of what to buy this season due to her own style and knowledge of the fashion world.

“I stop them there and ask ‘what do you want to buy? What has inspired you lately?’ and encourage them to find that one piece that really represents them.”

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Taylor Timmons with recycled journal

Large retail stores filled to the each corner with large production of apparel and Timmons continues to think about the quality of a shirt that might be more in cost, but will last longer and you would know the face behind the piece.

“You can do so much with a piece that last long. You find ways to use it when you thought that combination would not work,” says Timmons.

“Wear it until everything falls off. It is what it is meant to do.”

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