The Research Collective for Decoloniality & Fashion (RCDF) is an experimental platform beyond institutional, disciplinary and geographical boundaries established in 2012. It aims to critique the denial and erasure of a diversity of fashioning systems due to unequal global power relations based on the modern-colonial order, the Euro-American canon of normativity and the exploitation and abuse of cultural heritages, human beings and natural resources.
Through a global network of sovereign, yet connected fashioning coalitions, we want to decentralise contemporary fashion discourse and practice, engender solidarity across multiple lines of difference and activate self-representation, self-determination and self-governance in regard to fashion. Transcending academe, we strive to experiment with other ways of knowledge-creation and sharing concerning fashion—through conversation, through listening, through the communal and coalitional and through a broad diversity of voices across age, race, gender, education, discipline and geography. We are all concerned, for we are all connected due to our relational insertion into hierarchies of power and privilege; hierarchies that we can resist and transform.
From a decolonial perspective, we aim to rethink fashion as a multitude of possibilities rather than a normative framework falsely claiming universality. In the words of leading decolonial thinker Rolando Vázquez (in Vistas of Modernity, 2020), to witness the destruction of cultural diversity, is to face a radical reduction of roads into the future. We acknowledge that we do not own this thinking, but that there is a community producing what we are thinking; from the languages that we are using to the concepts and insights that we are suggesting. We are not thinking of this, but instead we are thinking with, from a shared legacy, from a consciousness of owing. We acknowledge our infinitive indebtedness to others.