A crossroad of artistic expression and social action, Aditi Mayer began her online platform, Adimay, as a place of exploration between the two dynamics. As a photographer and a journalist, she finds inspiration in the intersections of her passions: sustainable fashion and social politics.
Tell us a little more about your thoughts on ethical fashion. Where do you see this industry growing in the years to come?
As a self-proclaimed ‘fashion activist,’ I see the industry as one that is using the power of fashion and expression to tackle social, environmental, economic, and ethical issues. Many people see fashion as ephemeral and frivolous but I see it as a creative, enterprising, multi-faceted industry that is tied to our economic and personal well-being.
What I hope for the future of ethical fashion is that it goes beyond a niche or alternative market— ethics should be the norm in the industry, and I hope the industry shifts in a way that prioritizes people over profit.
As a photographer and blogger, did you always intend to work in a creative field? How do the dots connect to now?
At the young age of 12, I developed a love for photography. Photography was my gateway for falling in love with storytelling, and was the main catalyst in deciding the pursue Journalism in college. Once I delved deeper into journalism, I found myself drawn to issues of inequality and injustice. From here, I wanted to understand issues from a structural perspective, which led me to pursue a degree International Studies as well. Now, as a content creator, I’ve found that using visuals and texts have come naturally to share stories around topics that explore both artistic expression and social action.
As someone who identifies strongly with the values of ethical fashion and intersectional feminism, what kind of conversation do you want to create with ADIMAY?
I think a major parallel between ethical fashion and intersectional feminism is centering marginalized voices– those that are seldom heard. Conscious consumerism is linked to broader issues of social justice, whether that’s the fight for workers rights all across the globe, to the exploitation of resources internationally.
As much value I find in ethical fashion as a way to share my perspectives on intersections of culture and aesthetics, representation and identity, to politics of labor, I don’t want the conversation to end at what we wear. I believe that fashion and expression is a vehicle to explore greater issues of where we stand structurally in systems of inequality— from gender, cultural identity, class and race— and how we can work towards a more just future. Put simply, I want to use ADIMAY as a platform to show just how intersectional conversations about fashion can be.
You spent a year traveling around the world from Rome to Joshua Tree, do you have a favourite story to share?
A lot my work as a creator revolves around themes of expression, culture, and identity through what we wear. So, one my favorite moments of traveling was meeting a Mohanjeet (whom I profiled and shot an editorial with).
Now in her 80s, she lived a life that included a trajectory of being a political journalist, working for the UN, to eventually starting her own self-named label in Paris (Mohanjeet Paris, which still stands today). We had so many similarities– from our love for media and politics, our shared cultured identity (we’re both Punjabi), to how our political coming of age was tied to our journeys in personal expression. When she started her label, her aesthetic was very much shaped by her cultural identity, yet also held a feminist angle as she created items such as the ‘mini-sari,’ pushing the limits of embracing and challenging tradition simultaneously. Given that the 60s and 70s were a polarizing time for minorities (a reality that continues even today), I think the fact that she literally wore her culture on her sleeve was a beautiful act of identity reclamation. This Summer, I’ll be returning to Paris to develop a documentary around her life story… stay tuned!
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Lead with love. Low ego, high impact. Move at the speed of trust. — The 3 organizing guidelines for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone whose love for expression was not removed for her fight for justice.
We are inspired by Aditi’s passionate journey where her heart for social justice meets her exploration of ethical fashion, and are proud to have her as Fieldtesters, a group of inspiring individuals that test MATTER products in their everyday journeys of passion, to help us improve durability and design. Aditi is wearing the Classic Wideleg in Leharia Champagne, Size 1.