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Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

A tutor of mine recently said to me (on the topic of fast fashion): Is it a problem or is it just going to be the way fashion goes in the future? If it carries on is it something we’ll look back on and regret or will it just be a new phase that fashion goes through?

I personally don’t think that it is going to be the way fashion goes, there has been a huge rise in awareness in slow fashion and people seem to be determined to do something about it. Furthermore I think the un-sustainability of fashion at the moment is a problem that the World as a whole will HAVE to address, before the natural resources are exhausted or the waste produced does too much damage on the atmosphere.

As for whether it will be something we regret if it continues, I think it could well be. From a fashion point of view, the mass produced nature of the current industry is destroying all creativity and individuality that fashion gave people as a way of expressing themselves. The industry has turned from being all about the clothes to all about money, if this could turn back around I think this would be of great benefit to both the industry and the consumers.

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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.

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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.

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http://www.fashioningtech.com/

I was advised to research this blog after a seminar and I’m glad I did, some of the posts on here show amazing garments that are created by using technology for both artistic value and practical uses, for example, clothes that could be used medically to dramatically change people’s lives. I think the raincoats from SquidLondon that change colour when it rains are very clever!

Using technology to develop fashion is important in my opinion. It not only creates fantastic artistic garments but, along with other practical uses, it could vastly improve the sustainability of the fashion industry, for example I have recently heard that Marks and Spencers are creating wearable jackets out of recycled plastic bottles!

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