English actress Emma Watson once said, “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by being careful in what we buy.”
Senior Josh James founded Josh James Clothing last year, although he has been sewing since seventh grade. In addition to his passion for fashion, James is also a photographer. The photos of the models (who are Las Lomas Students) featured on his website have, in fact, been shot by James in local areas such as Downtown and Civic Park. As a designer, James has two missions: to enforce the combating of fast fashion while promoting sustainable fashion, and to provide sizes for people of all body types.
Sustainable fashion is the inexpensive and rapid production of clothing in response to current trends. As part of his first mission, he encourages people to do research before purchasing clothing, and to be especially cautious when buying cheap clothing. James added, “Sometimes brands fake being sustainable. This is called ‘greenwashing.’” Often, people buy cheap clothing only to toss them out a few months later. It’s a ruthless cycle–one that seems harmless in the process, but ultimately damages the environment. In addition, fast fashion companies rely on underpaid workers in non ideal working conditions. “If [a clothing item] looks like it could be thrifted, thrift it instead of creating more waste,” he concluded.
To fulfill his second mission, James is proud to carry sizes from XS to XXL. He makes it his mission to “…make a person feel and look beautiful,” he said, smiling. For James, this means providing sizes for all body types. While 67 percent of American women wear size 14 and above clothing, many retailers do not carry their sizes (Times). On the Josh James Clothing website (www.joshjamesclothing.com), James features models with a variety of body types.
Even though designing is his passion, James talks about the difficulties of running a business. “I’m just one person,” he said, “and when people ask me if their package will arrive in the next day, it stresses me out.” Because James creates his pieces from scratch, building his clothing line consumes much of his day-to-day life. However, “So many people have inspired me–family, friends…” even stationary objects, he said.
Currently, to further his mission and to build awareness about sustainable fashion, James is the president of the Fashion Club of Las Lomas. After his senior year, he plans on attending Diablo Valley College, but his primary goal for his fashion line is to eventually open a boutique.
Emma Watson finished, “There’s a bigger story to be told about the conditions in which our clothes are made, the resources that have been used and the impact they’ve had on communities.”