Strategies of Sustainable Fashion & Exploration of Materials

November 4, 2010

Sustainable Fashion: Why now?
By: Janet Hethorn and Connie Ulasewicz
  • Sustainable fashion design is known to be an oxymoron because it attempts to solve all sustainable problems, but yet it is hard to control the fashion world when fast fashion is what consumers want. Sustainable fashion is referring to the care and impact of the fashion system on the environment. Currently fashion is moving towards a more handmade and individual feel of garments that display personal construction of fashion that may be mass-produced in the fast fashion industry. Personal construction is contradictory to sustainable fashion because this still creates lots of waste in the fashion industry. With fast fashion, consumers are more likely to purchase clothing items more frequently due to different styles and colors being offered in fast fashion retail stores.
  • Slow design is the idea of using a design and incorporating the post design in it as well to create one solid look, much like the A-POC design where designers use the entire piece of fabric. Slow design is definitely an innovated idea because especially for those designers who want to reduce waste and want ways in which to keep fashion sustainable. One example of slow fashion I found was garments made by Miranda Caroligne who is a designer in San Francisco who uses salvaged textiles to create wearable art. Her “work is infused with concepts of individual self-expression, DIY practices, realistic body image, diminishing waste, supporting local economies and sustainable living”.
  • Wearable art movement started in the 1970s in San Francisco when the art world and fashion industry came together to form new and innovative ways of expressing individuality through clothing. Wearable art was an important factor to artists that defined the identity and lifestyle of the people in that generation. Not only was this an outlet and inlet for artists, it was a way for people to express the political injustices happening in the world. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was a time in which people were becoming radical and needed an way to express the built up emotion.
  • For as long as we’ve been shopping, the idea of buying cheap apparel and replacing cheap apparel has been embedded in our consumer attitudes for quite some time. Low prices and cheap deals are caught by the attention of consumers whom are more likely to get the most out of their money. This concept of planned obsolescence relates to sustainable fashion because the more low prices and cheap deals there are, the more the consumer is likely to keep buying these products. So what is so sustainable about this method? It’s not sustainable. Consumers may not be cautious of the affects of low price purchasing and consumers will continue to not know unless stores stop selling quality products at low prices. This puts a dilemma on the fast fashion industry because this process is how fast fashion industries get their business; from the consumers that feed off of cheap deals.
  • The concept of slow design is somewhat new to me because I wasn’t aware that a term like “slow design” existed. What was even more interesting to me was that I had already been practicing this slow design method for about 5 years. My mother likes to sew her own garments she never puts the materials to waste and saves them in a box. Recently I’ve started my own accessories line in which I would use those extra pieces to create accessories (i.e. rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings). Basically, nothing goes to waste because every piece can be used and reused for something else. This method makes my accessories line unique because I am creating less waste by using left over materials and I am creating a sustainable fashion line that gets others thinking about the idea of sustainable fashion as well.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: