What started as a meeting of like-minded design students led to the creation of one of today’s most talked-about brands and Instagram accounts. Motivated by their shared frustration over the fashion industry’s waste and textile problem, Montreal-based couple Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran started the label Fecal Matter to air out their grievances and expose discrimination within the industry.
The duo’s continuous creative output and authenticity have inspired an ever-growing network in which uncensored ideas and alternative perspectives are encouraged and shared. Here, the dynamic designers (and accidental influencers) shed light on individuality, dismantling censorship, and life before social media.
“Although we looked completely different when we met, what sparked the formation of Fecal Matter began at design school in Montreal, where we were studying pattern-making, draping, and sewing techniques. We shared our feelings towards the fashion industry and discussed the harsh working conditions for mass-produced garments, the environmental costs, and the discrimination within the industry. Once we graduated, we felt it was our mission to create a platform to express uncensored ideas where we could present an alternative perspective within the industry.”
DEVELOPING A BRAND
“Fecal Matter was the perfect name for our brand as it reflects how we feel about the fashion business and its constant contribution to the cycle of waste. Our brand has grown in so many ways and has garnered a reach even further than the fashion industry, which is what is making it really exciting for us to create.”
“Creativity is our religion. It is the ability to think critically and have fun with that. It is the gift that all humans possess but not all humans are willing to explore. Being creative takes bravery, and standing out and being different is not easy. Creativity is truly the main aspect of life that keeps us waking up in the morning. Finally, creativity is the ability to have perspective, which is ultimately the essence of Fecal Matter.”
“If you don’t express your authenticity then nobody else will. Humans adapt to their environment. If everyone was afraid, the individual would be afraid. It is vital for survival for humans to be able, to be honest, and to express that honesty either visually or through their work.”
LIFE BEFORE SOCIAL MEDIA
“Before being on social media, we were still dressing up, bald and eyebrow-less, glueing hairpieces on our head, wearing extreme footwear, and distorting classic garment archetypes. We were still either being spit on or pushed from behind on the metro, in public spaces, or being asked by people if they could take a photo because they loved our look. On the inside, we have not changed one bit. But because of social media, we have been able to share those experiences and help others express their true selves.”
FUTURE OF FASHION
“Avant-garde fashion is not meant to be understood. It is not meant to be embraced by the masses. What avant-garde fashion represents today is the ability to be non-conformist. We hope that ability still exists in the future and is not crushed by censorship. We are not dwelling on where it is going, but what we are obsessed with is maintaining the authenticity and integrity of what we stand for and what we hope to change in the world.”