Repeal Jumpers: When Fashion Becomes Political

A not so fashion-conscious intellectual once said: “style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn”.

Throughout the last century, fashion has been used not only as a medium of self-expression but to convey political ideologies. Statement t-shirts have been a trend for seasons, some with more substantial meaning than others.

The one in particular I am focusing on is the “Repeal” jumper seen scattered throughout the streets of Dublin, worn by both men and women.

The “Repeal” jumpers were made available through the partnership of activist Anna Cosgrave and the Abortion Rights Campaign. What the “Repeal” jumpers do is force the topic into the conversation and allow a platform for discussion to be opened. The imagery of the Abortions Rights Campaign has moved from fringe political statements seen only on small badges, to the centre piece of activist’s outfits with the Repeal jumper.  

We saw it again during the summer with the Maser ‘Repealthe8th’ mural on the wall of the Project Arts Centre. The striking red mural on blue wall went viral and became an instant symbol for the movement. Similarly the striking black and white Repeal jumpers stand out, confronting all you walk past on the street with a political message.

Fashion has helped open discussion on many social injustices, ranging from feminism to racism and although this may seem like a fashion trend, it truly is a fashion statement. Politics and culture have influenced fashion trends season after season and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. The jumpers have become wildly popular since its launch and support only seems to be growing.

The Abortion Rights Campign ‘Repeal the 8th’ march is on September the 24th of this month, and campaign jumpers, badges, bombers and prints will no doubt be on full display.

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Niamh Cavanagh   |   Fashion Editor

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