SAVANNAH —Vintage clothing store owner Erica Jarman is someone who views fashion as more than just pieces of fabric stitched together. Inspired by thrifting adventures with her mother and grandmother, she believes in the importance of salvaging and reclaiming fashion from past decades.
House of Strut, located in the Starland District of Savannah, Georgia, is where Jarman is able to combine her love of fashion and preserving retro clothing into a thriving business. However, it’s not just a business in her eyes.
“What I wear matters to me,” Jarman said.
Quality over quantity is a statement that few people in the twenty-first century still live by. It’s something Jarman refers to as “fast fashion.”
Fast fashion is the unnecessary manufacturing of clothes made in third-world countries, such as Indonesia and Bangladesh. Fast fashion can be a burden on the environment and to the garment makers who are asked to pump out disposable articles of clothing in copious amounts.
In 2016, Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, told Newsweek, “Natural fibers go through a lot of unnatural processes on their way to becoming clothing. They’ve been bleached, dyed, printed on, scoured in chemical baths." These processes take products that might decay naturally and make them far less degradable.
Wearing the latest and trendiest styles is not a priority for Jarman. She is cautious about what she is wearing and the conditions under which it was made.
“I try my best to educate and help people understand what they wear matters and why,” Jarman said.