As by now you would all know, we have invited Jane Ziemons to run a Pocket Making Workshop at The Fremantle Fibonacci Centre where our Store @ Fib is located.
Before you come along, we thought the best way to introduce you to Jane would be to ask her a few questions a part of our creative blog.
I met Jane in 2014 when she entered our first Fairly Fashionable design challenge, a project I co-organised with the WA Fairtrade Collective in an effort to raise awareness in our community on the pressures put on garment workers in the fashion industry.
Events like these are often the base of great friendships as we create an environment where we all feel challenged , where we can have thought provoking conversations and where we meet incredible individuals with rich life experience and knowledge that sometimes can truly change one’s life.
Welcome to Jane Ziemons world.
Who is Jane Ziemons? What inspires you?
Who is Jane Ziemons? I guess that depends on which day you ask me! My bio says I am a Scottish-born Australian interdisciplinary artist, designer, and educator with an arts practice that encompasses the development of narrative textile collections, traditional printmaking techniques, and installation works. The reality of course is far more nuanced, filled with a roller coaster ride of searching, questioning, living, and learning.
How did you start your journey in sustainable fashion?
My first degree was in business and I worked in fashion retail at the time. My thesis asked the question of how we can make people feel valued in the workplace but shortly after graduation, it became painfully apparent that the purpose of business was to sell at all costs. This was at the height of fast fashion and I knew this was never going to be the right path for me. I retrained as a Primary Teacher and enjoyed a beautiful purpose-driven career in education.
After emigrating to Australia in 2011, I had the delightful opportunity of both being at home with my two young children alongside pursuing my degree in Visual Arts. Unbeknown to me life had an exciting twist ahead for me in the form of the extraordinary Head of the Fashion Department at Edith Cowan University, Justine McKnight, and the inspirational Gaelle Beech who in 2014 was planning the Fairly Fashionable event. These two women opened the door for me to bring fashion and art into the same space and for that, I am truly grateful.
You teach workshops at the Fashion Department at Edith Cowan University. Do you think fashion students are, in the current climate, rethinking their fashion practice and its impact on our environment?
I think for a long time there’s been this idea that to be successful is always to get bigger, to scale a project to have an impact but I think if COVID has taught us anything it is that we can completely alter a system when we need to and so I really believe that this is having an impact upon the emerging designer-makers and indeed the future of fashion. Where rather than trying to scale the work of an individual, and in so doing diluting the strength and uniqueness along the way, emerging designers are looking for ways to collectively support each other where individual creatives are each offering something that has their unique signature.
Sustainable fashion seems to be heading in two directions: a slow back to basics approach and one that is technology and innovation-focused. Which one do you prefer or do you think both can work in the same practice?
The narrative textile, the story of the cloth is at the core of my practice and so every collection begins with the story that I want to tell. It is in its essence a very slow process. I work with natural fabrics and found garments and by the very nature of cloth, the development of a piece is about the tactility of its inherent materiality. For me, this can never be done in a digital space. But I do feel that the technology that allows for human connection across the globe is thrilling and building a community of people who care has really never been easier.
What would you like your legacy to be?
To have listened, loved, and laughed.