Style Takes Time

by max rogers

For 6 years I have supported the great work of EJF who campaign for justice in the cotton industry (among other great causes), along with other charities such as Eco Age and Novel Beings .

These charities raise awareness of the causes of such tragedies as the 1137 avoidable deaths at Rana Plaza in 2013 as a direct result of the disposable nature of fashion and the demand for cheap clothing to keep up with trends.

They also campaign to stop children as young as 7 being pulled out of schools in Uzbekistan to farm the cotton fields for little or no money and at extreme risk to their health, resulting in many deaths per year.

They also attempt to ban pesticides being sprayed on these same fields, which when exposed to adult skin in the amount of one teaspoon, could kill the adult.

These are just three bite-size chunks of information that could be added to many, many more to illustrate the size of the issue I hope to tackle.

In my years working with EJF one of the things I noticed is, the disconnect between these tragedies and the bargain prices on our high street is so big that the consumer can largely ignore their responsibility in the matter.

However it is our preference for low prices, so that we can maintain an ever-changing look, which creates the pressure on the manufacturers and cotton farmers to cater to these demands.

After all, if manufacturers don’t risk the lives of their workers by ignoring health and safety standards so as to produce cheaper products, the customer will take their business to someone who will, resulting in a loss of business to all those who produce our clothing in order that they can feed their families.

My issue is not with people who simply cannot afford expensive clothes and therefore don’t have a choice but to buy cheaply.

My issue is with the disposable nature of fashion, which has led to a culture where it is preferable for consumers to buy 20 T-Shirts for £2 each and wear those T-Shirts once or twice, in order to look ‘box-fresh’ every day, rather than spend £40 on a single T-Shirt of good quality that can be worn many times and be developed as part of a style.

It is my belief that creating a style takes work and development over time. A great pair of jeans only becomes great once it has been worn in, as a result becoming unique to the wearer.

Finding the right shoes or outfit to go with those jeans might take time as well and creating a look might involve a collection of accessories that can be mixed and matched to dress the look up or down and for any occasion.

Once a person journeys through that process, they will have created a style that is unique to them by getting to know and working with their clothes and any other element they may be inspired by.

The antithesis of this is dressing as a mannequin in a shop, which merely reflects the style of the person who dressed the mannequin.

My style icons are such not because I appreciate their clothing choices but more because they own their own unique take on fashion and style.

The best example that springs to mind is Jonny Depp. He never looks like he has bought a brand new outfit. His looks always appear like they have been added to, adjusted and developed over time, to create his own unique style.

I do realise the pressure to be seen in a fresh, new and exciting look every day.

This is evident in the workplace and social life with both adults and kids and there is no better example than when a celebrity walks on a red carpet or goes to a fashion event.

People looking on expect to be inspired by something new, so it is a sin to wear the same outfit twice - My wife was once heavily criticised for wearing her absolute all time favourite dress twice.

In order to challenge this disposable nature of fashion I am going to attempt to challenge this standard and set an example that is meant to inspire and provoke thought, if not be completely followed!

This week at LFW, I will be attending the usual array of events and shows as well as a few premieres with my wife.

I will also be going about my daily business of being a film writer and director as well as a model and of course a father to my 9 month old little girl, Willow.

I will attempt to do all of this wearing the same basic outfit in order to show that it CAN be done without any sacrifice to style, comfort, hygiene and most importantly the health and safety of those who manufacture our clothes.

If the clothes need washing, I will wash them overnight or perhaps strip down to my undies in the launderette in the style of Nick Cayman in the Levis advert.

If the weather turns cold I will put on a warm jacket, if the event calls for a certain style, I will accessorise accordingly.

I should also point out that nothing annoys me more than someone blatantly disregarding a dress code.

It is my opinion that if you aren’t comfortable making your best effort to dress the way the host of the event would like you to, then you won’t be comfortable at the event, so to show up would be pointless and you will look like a rude tit.

So, one of the challenges I will face will be to make my best effort to dress accordingly using the same outfit - This may require some creativity!

Follow my progress including all the problems I face on instagram @maxrogersuk and twitter @max_rogers with the hashtags:



I will also write a few progress reports on here.

Hopefully I won’t get cold, hopefully I won’t get thrown out of an event and hopefully my daughter won’t throw up on me on the first day!

Max x