Here are the stories I’ve been thinking about (and a few I’ve been writing!) in the last week or so.
Muslim women are scared to wear the hijab after Trump’s win
Whatever American political party you align with, the fact that you’re here probably means you care about—or are at least interested in—Christianity or religion. If so, we probably have a common value for religious liberty. You can understand, then, why I was so heartbroken the morning after Trump was elected to read about Muslim women who fear for their physical safety if they continue to wear hijab in public.
I would hate to live in a country where I feared that going to Bible study on Wednesday nights might cause me to be the victim of a hate crime, and I don’t want to see my Muslim neighbors forced to wrestle with similar questions that pit their religious convictions against their safety. More to come on this later in the form of the recording of my talk at Princeton, but for now, let’s listen to Muslim voices and remember that true religious freedom can’t just mean freedom for the little tribe we most identify with.
People are wearing safety pins as a sign of solidarity with immigrants
In the days after Brexit, some people in Britain began wearing safety pins on their clothing as a way of identifying themselves as safe for immigrants and people of color, who felt under attack (and sometimes, quite literally were). In the week since Trump’s win, a similar practice has sprung up in the U.S.
Finding ways to express solidarity with marginalized groups is important and doing so through clothing and adornment is always going to be appealing to me. But the safety pin practice has already come under fire here in the U.S. from some. “A safety pin was an easy and lazy way to say… ‘I’m one of the good white people,’” Viceland commentators Desus and Mero said on their talkshow. “Don’t get your activism tips from Buzzfeed.”
The best ethical winter shopping…
Let’s be clear: capitalism will not save the world. It is not a system that excels at keeping bad people out of power or protecting the vulnerable. We can’t fix a broken fashion industry by simply shopping for different kinds of products; we need to fundamentally rewire the way we think about consumption and business in general.
Because I believe these things, I’ve been hesitant to push products too much in this space in the past. I’m more interested in educating than in inciting new desires to buy, in myself or in others.
But I get asked by my in-the-flesh friends about what they should be buying and where they should buy it from, a lot. And I’m happy to help, because when you need to buy a sweater, I’d rather you buy an ethically-made sweater. So I rounded up some of my favorite ethical winter garb, in hopes that it gives you a good jumping-off point for your conscious shopping this season.
…and the ethically-made heels I’ve been drooling over
As an editor at Fashionista, I’ll be presenting an “editor’s pick” once a week of something I’d like to add to my closet. While I won’t always share them here on Unwrinkling, I’m telling you about them because I’m committed to making sure my picks come from ethical brands I believe in every time. You can see my first pick here.
Adidas lost the latest round in its legal battle with a Wisconsin church
The German sneaker brand initiated a trademark battle with Christian Faith Fellowship Church over its “Add a Zero” trademark in 2009, which is making it difficult for the brand to register “Adizero,” a name used for one of its lightweight shoe lines. Though the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled in Adidas’ favor last year, the church’s appeal to the Federal Circuit resulted in a win this past Monday. The case will now return to the TTAB for further consideration of Adidas’ claims.
Online luxury retailer Farfetch launches a modest edit
Farfetch follows in the footsteps of online retailers like Pret-a-porter and modest-clothing-only retailer Mode-sty in offering curated and covered-up offerings. The modest edit, which Farfetch is referring to as Pret-a-Cover, will be jointly curated by Farfetch and the Islamic and Fashion Design Council (IFDC). Farfetch will also participate in a launch of a “virtual fashion week” for Pret-a-Cover to debut in COVER magazine, IFDC’s publication, according to a press release.
And a few other faves
Some other things I’ve been particularly stoked about: I started a new column called “International It Girls,” which is basically my way of sticking it to the tired old trope in fashion that everyone wants to look like a French girl. I have nothing against the French, but I’ve personally been way more inspired by the style of some Ghanaian women I follow (including my homegirl Aseye, who I’ve written about before). This is my way of highlighting them.
I wrote about legendary fashion critic Cathy Horyn’s thoughts on fashion journalism. In short: fashion writers should be more “contentious.”
And other news (not by me) about fashion and politics: people are burning their New Balance sneakers after a rep for the brand praised Trump and neo-Nazis declared their support for the “official shoes of white people”; the security around Trump tower has already cost retailers on New York’s Fifth Ave shopping district millions due to the decrease in shopper traffic; no one’s sure what kind of relationship the Trump family is going to have with the fashion industry, but it might be pretty different than what the Obamas have enjoyed.