Fashion and The Environment
The world that I envision is one in which people make conscious decisions—weighing the effects and consequences that their actions will have in the real world. In this more perfect world there would be less waste. While people would still buy and consume, it would be done more responsibly with an emphasis on sustainable, locally manufactured and distributed goods. Fashion design in this world would not suffer from these reforms, but would evolve and thrive using environmentally judicious practices. The restructuring of companies under this new paradigm would allow for more vertical integration. Designers would be in more control of the final product. Although the result would be smaller quantities of clothing produced, what was manufactured would be well made, and made to last. Labor practices would be more ethical, simply because clothing would not be manufactured in out-sourcing factories where unjust treatment is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. The idea of fast, disposable fashion would be replaced by slow fashion, and this ‘slowing’ of Fashion would greatly decrease the exploitation and waste of natural and human resources. Operating under this archetype, the consumer would rediscover the value of tailored garments—customization would return as a common practice. Moreover, clothing would be purchased, not to simply quell a whim, but in a thoughtful manner that considers its lasting value for the years to come. Fashion would become more exceptional—making one look and feel remarkable by satisfying both the desire to be well dressed and the need to be a responsible consumer who has the will to address the planet’s large scale environmental problems.
The key to this world is ‘slowing down’ Fashion. Slow Fashion, as described by Sandy Black, is design that is focused on “long term use and wear, intelligent and innovative choice of materials for minimal impact and waste, aesthetic, functional and emotional value, and...
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