Vicky Pasion is a Mixed-British recording artist who has captivated audiences on West End and international stages around the world, including West End’s ‘The Lion King’, Michael Jackson’s Thriller Live and the 02 Academy.
After the independent release of her mixtape, ‘Life is but a Vapour’ (2017) and her headlining performance at the Notting Hill Arts Club, Vicky released her much anticipated debut EP, ‘Valley of the Ashes’ (2020). She was featured in Notion Magazine as one of the UK’s rising artists. Her single, ‘Been Like’, premiered on BBC Radio London, followed by a sold out EP launch at the O2 Academy. Vicky is known for her versatile Pop/R&B/Soul sound, with popular singles such as ‘Tangled Game of Love’, ‘HEAVY’ and ‘Been Like’. Vicky is currently working on her second EP, with single releases scheduled in the months leading up to its release.
Last month Fer Production invited Vicky to take part in The Garment Streak week, a slow fashion project challenge to showcase the versatility of their own wardrobe by picking one garment to wear for a week, styled in different ways. This performance piece aims to break down the social stigma of being seen wearing the same garment multiple times on social media, and encourage others to consider starting their own slow fashion journey.
We asked Vicky some questions about her thoughts on slow fashion and her experience performing in The Garment Streak 2021, read more below.
Do you remember when or how you first became conscious of the connection between fast fashion, climate change and unethical practices?
My slow fashion journey began with becoming conscious about my lifestyle as a whole – four years ago, I left my full time job as a teacher to follow my dreams as an artist… Six months later, I was back on stage, as the lead in a West End show, I released music and experienced so many life changing moments that I needed to ground myself asap!
It started with being aware of what I was feeding my body, shifting towards a plant based diet… This led to an intentional meditation practise and slowing down my fashun game. I began Marie Kondo-ing the material things in my life to truly appreciate everything that was right in front of me.
I watched ‘The True Cost’, a documentary that unravelled the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 – a Bangladesh-based garment factory, with a death-toll of 1,100+ people of mostly women and children. As I connected to my mixed South/East Asian heritage, I began to be more and more aware of the unethical practises in fast fashion, from exploiting the human rights of labour workers in developing countries and their inhumane working conditions. The more I read and watched, the more I learnt about how the transporting of these materials is one of the major contributors to climate change, increasing pollution and textile waste.
This was the beginning of understanding my role as an artist and activist – the more I learnt and surrounded myself with a community of people that were also engaged with sustainability, environmentalism and mindfulness, the more I could gently and naturally use my gifts, perspective and privileges to actively continue conversations around our choices and impact on our planet.
What positive role do you think public figures and people with larger platforms could have in the fight against fast fashion generally?
I think we all have a part to play in moving away from fast fashion, towards a more purposeful and slow relationship with ourselves – and, by extension, our clothes. Change starts with self.
Of course, the more influence we have, the more we can harness our power to create change on a larger scale. For me, it’s about staying authentic and aligned with my values, and choosing to collaborate with people that resonate with them.
It’s also about representation and normalising a slow fashion culture. The more perspectives we have from a range of experiences, including race, sexuality, gender, class and more, who are actively moving away from fast fashion – the more we can use our art, platforms and lifestyle to influence those who, perhaps, are not aware of the heavy impacts of fast fashion or who may feel that sustainable fashion is for the ‘elite’.
For me, it’s important to keep listening to the needs of those from the ground up, and highlighting the brands and organisations that are playing their part in making the fashion chain fairer.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for people looking to adapt to a slow fashion lifestyle?
Well, for me, it begins with noticing what we already have in our own wardrobes! It’s about carving out some time to go through what we already have, perhaps giving away or upcycling items that we no longer feel great in, and treasuring the items that we love again, and again, and again.
It’s about letting go of the impulsive need to ‘buy more, wear more, and be more’, that is so engraved in a culture that demands productivity at the expense of our mental health – and slowing down – recognising that who we are and what we have is already more than enough. This takes time though!
So, when we do have that urge to play with different looks, I’d say why not try rental platforms? Why not source some pre-loved items from second hand stores, or rummage through our friends’ wardrobes to wear something for the weekend? The item I chose to rotate for this challenge was a vintage black blazer from my mum’s wardrobe – it reminds me of her everytime I wear it, and has become a staple in my wardrobe.
What has it felt like for you to be seen on Instagram wearing one item of clothing multiple times?
It’s been great! I feel less pressure to keep up with ‘trends’ and have enjoyed challenging us all to slow down.
Besides performing in the Garment Streak, we’d love to know what else you’re working on, or any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I’ve recently released visuals for ‘HEAVY’, a Pop/RnB record that lyrically holds space for young black boys and the weight of injustice that they’ve faced over time. It wasn’t planned, but I was so passionate about using my voice to raise awareness about how black boys have been hit the hardest during a global pandemic; and, in light of the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, I wanted to acknowledge that we all have a part to play in recognising our own microaggressions – even as a woman of colour, I wanted to hold space to apologise, ending on a tone of hope towards opening up more spaces of male vulnerability, strength and creativity.
At the moment, I’m working on my next EP – I can’t wait for people to hear my renewed sound. I’ve been exploring a more sensual side of effortless effort and can’t wait to be on tour soon now that things are opening up.
Thanks Noctis and Fer Production for inviting me to be a part of the Garment Streak!