You can sit with us.
A phrase that has a soft spot in my heart, placing the work on all of us to invite others into the niche world of Slow Fashion. To humble the way we brag about ethical fashion, like it’s an exclusive club that you need a dissertation in sustainability and a pile of money to be considered ‘worthy’ of holding a membership. Because isn’t it all about belonging? Isn’t it about about strength in numbers, room for all?
Mary Alice Duff embodies warmth and power in the same damn breath. We met in real life at the Sustainable Fashion Forum after months of social media shorthand. Finally. Someone that gets it.
Not because I’ve spent time trying to explain my lived experience, another plea to a brand. But because it’s her lived experience too.
Because Mary Alice felt so exhausted by the lack of plus size quality clothing she started her own damn clothing line.
And so at long last united in real life (a 21st century miracle) we devoured both each others company and meals. We wandered the streets of Portland together, talking a mile a minute covering everything from US Charter School regulations to our long term career goals. We delighted in listing ethical fashion brands to our Uber driver, a moment of affirmation that yes, there are plus size folks EVERYWHERE searching for slow fashion. I embarrassed her by bragging about her clothing line, Alice Alexander, at every possible chance I could. She was a force to be certain, even better in person, unwavering in the way she carried herself, the words she chose. It was utterly refreshing. We took turns cheerleading for one another, unadulterated encouragement, the language of fast friends. And we made this look book.
Her clothes are beautiful.
She will make them in ANY size.
She has payment plans for people that can’t afford ethical pieces all at once.
She wants the same thing I do, so badly with all our hearts, for everyone to feel welcome here. For everyone to feel more empowered by slow fashion. To be warmly embraced by this community.
To laugh in the backseat, drawing you in without prompting or circumstance - you can always sit with us.
Marielle Elizabeth was compensated for the time and photography library in this post, however the styling, words, and overall creative direction of this blog post was created independently.
Thank you to Alice Alexander for helping fund the time and labour that goes into creating content that matters.