Note: This letter was originally published in our weekly newsletter and is being republished here.
I returned from the Philippines last week and since I’ve been back, I’ve been plagued with stomach cramps, vomiting, the works. Went to see the doctor (who I haven’t seen in a couple of years, because, you know, I’m usually healthy AF LOL) and she suspects I might have picked up some sort of bacteria while I was over there. As careful as you are when travelling in the developing world (passing on ice, avoiding suspicious water served at restaurants, being extra choosy with meals and where you decide to eat generally) you can still get horribly sick.
Since coming home, I’ve been spending much of my energy on trying to get better (and getting tests done so my doctor can figure out what’s wrong with me). So when I learned of an issue within the ethical fashion space on Insta between a journalist/sustainable fashion blogger and a group of BIPOC/WOC, I was in shock, but also unsurprised too (I and the EWP team have been concerned about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the community for some time, and particularly who controls the narrative, so this issue blowing up as it did was unsurprising).
Now being sick and unable to write a piece on the issue until I felt better and able enough, I passed the matter to one of our trusted writers who has keen interests in environmental and social justice, and is well-versed on matters of diversity and inclusion.
We published an opinion piece. You may have read it. You may have enjoyed learning from it. You may have even shared it.
However, after being approached by a couple of the BIPOC women involved in the issues and being made aware that the opinion piece did not contain the entire story, we have subsequently taken it down to be republished at a later time with inclusions and amendments. I apologise if you’ve been trying to locate it on the website, but the mistake is ours, and particularly mine. I acknowledge that much of the story was reported by people affected and we want to honour their stories without omitting them in the opinion piece.
I will also be writing a piece when I’m feeling much better as I know many of you who are aware of the events are curious to know how I feel about it given I belong in the camp of BIPOC/WOC. Now, when the pieces are published/republished, I’ll be sure to let you know. I think we can all learn something from what took place on Instagram about 10 days ago.
Now I’m heading to Melbourne (travelling away from the farm is the last thing I want to do since I’m still feeling unwell) but VAMFF doesn’t wait for anyone, and I’m also moderating a discussion panel at the Style Swap event on March 10. It’s a FREE event packed with fun activities, style workshops, fashion runway show, market stalls. food trucks, and much more. Some amazing people will be on the discussion panel, including the wonderful Kelley Sheenan, founder and Editor in Chief of Peppermint Magazine and someone whom I call a friend.
Anyway, I hope to see some of you there and please send good vibes (pray for me if you’re that way inclined) so that I recover and get back to good health quickly!!!
Peace, love and all that jazz,
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Feature image via Unsplash.