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I have recently read an article about fast fashion which including information on Zara’s sustainability model. Although Zara are known to be a leader of fast fashion, they’re business model isn’t all bad, as they source all they’re sewing to local contractors in Spain and Portugal, where the wages are much higher and much fairer than those in Eastern countries. Also everything that they produce is pre-sold (even if it is to store managers) and the size of the orders never go over 500 units.

This leads on to another side of the discussion, the reason that Zara are known for fast fashion, the speed in which they turnover they’re stock. They have recently said that they can get a garment from a drawing to the shelves at the alarming speed of 2 weeks, which means that they can regularly change the products in their shops, which keeps the customers coming back for more.

Although this idea of disposable fashion (that I have wrote about before) is one of the problems involved in fast fashion, Zara themselves are not over-producing and getting rid of huge amounts of waste. They also claim to use 100% organic cotton in some of their garments and no non-biodegradable materials are used in the production of their footwear.

Does this make it okay? I certainly think it makes it better! If fashion has to be fast and mass produced, it should at least have better social responsibility and do as Zara are doing, by sourcing they’re production locally, not producing lots of waste and starting to use more environmentally friendly fabrics. By doing this it may force slower fashion as companies may have to increase prices to achieve this but in the mean time any improvements on the social responsibility of some companies would be a bonus.

This is a mood board of images I put together on fast fashion, the right side of the board is images of some factories that make clothes for companies like the ones shown on the left, this side was to show the effects of fast fashion, and the left side to show examples of it.

This mood board shows images of an opposite nature to the ones in my previous post showing a mood board on slow fashion, showing the contrast in the way the garments are made and the different outcomes produced.

This is a quick mood board of images I put together on slow fashion, with the slow fashion logo and the intricate hand made crocheted garment by Sandra Backlund and the hand-sewn wedding dress are examples of slow fashion, that have had time put in to them. The image of the cotton plant and the woman working on the mannequin show the use of natural resources and process of putting the garments together.

Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion or ‘McFashion’ refers to the speeding up of the fashion industry that we have been experiencing for many years with the phenomenon getting gradually worse. In order to speed up the production of clothing, and therefore cater for the growing greed of both buyers and sellers, companies are resorting to finding cheaper and quicker methods of producing clothes. The desperation to produce a huge quantity of clothes and at as little cost as possible is having a massively detrimental effect on not only the rest of the World but the fashion industry as a whole.

Garments take the same amount of time for the fabric to be grown, made, and sewn together whichever company is producing it, therefore the only way to speed this up is to resort to the exploitation of the natural resources we have, the workers who produce the garments, and making the clothes of poorer quality and with poorer quality materials. This creates terrible working conditions, child labour in sweat shops, and the use of un-recyclable materials which are, in the nature of fast fashion, disregarded shortly after the purchase of these items to landfills. The new statistics for this emphasise the problem: 2 million tons of clothes are purchased annually from which almost three quarters ends up in landfill.

The fast production becomes so effective that it can transform a design to a ready to wear piece of clothing within just 12 days, this allows retailers to rotate their stock much more quickly and at cheap prices, promoting clothing to be disposable. People are able to go out and buy a garment that is on trend at the time for next to nothing, making it seem less of a problem when they either fall apart, or are no longer considered as being in fashion. Also from the huge production of these pieces of clothing, the companies are able to send them out in huge numbers all across the world, diminishing individuality in fashion.

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion

This came from a protest for a planned opening of a new McDonald’s restaurant led by ‘Carlo Petrini’ which introduced the ‘International Slow Food Movement’ which fights the cultural repression in the food industry and promotes the use of organic food.

Slow fashion came from this original concept. It refers to slowing down the whole production, and concentrate on the more important things such as designing, sustainability, more environmentally friendly production and materials, higher quality, and the good treatment of workers, rather than focusing purely on profit and not recognising the reality of what is happening the World and the cultures and people around us. It all comes down to being more socially responsible, and to think about what our actions do to others and our environment.

Slow fashion also promotes more individuality in fashion, as the pieces of clothing aren’t as mass produced and therefore not spread as widely across the globe. Surely this is what we should be working towards, a fashion industry which does not harm the environment or it’s workers and is not driven by profit and greed, but goes to back to what it should be, purely about the clothes.

Fashion Practice & New Technology.

Fashion Photography

Lecture Notes on Fashion As A Photograph

I recently had a really interesting lecture on fashion photography, I enjoy photography and so it is a subject I have a real personal interested in. The notes for it are above but there were a couple of pictures which particularly caught my eye on the slideshow:

Firstly this photograph of Eileen Agar by Lee Miller, I think it is amazing the way that she has taken the photo of the shadow against the white pillar to make the texture of the stone look like the material and the shape of the skirt. Also I think the contrast between the dark shadow and the white pillar makes it more effective!

The other photographer that caught my eye on the presentation was Richard Avedon, I think the first photo with the elephants is visually amazing, the dress looks particularly striking against the elephants skin. With the second photo of Tina Turner, I like his way of capturing the person in a movement or emotion, rather than just stood still in the way that fashion  photographs were at this time. I think it provides a much more interesting photograph!