Secondary Research Round Up – Articles and Blogs

ARTICLES  1. https://www.notjustalabel.com/editorial/slow-fashion-movement Dickson, M. Cataldi C. and Grover C. (2011), The Slow Fashion Movement, Not Just a Label, accessed on [2/2/15] Creating a more valuable relationship between the consumer and the product through CUSTOMISATION challenges the fast fashion model currently dominating the mainstream. This would politically locate my brand idea within the SLOW FASHION MOVEMENT.  As a human geography student, engagement with ideas such as the Slow Food Movement during my degree means that the overall idea of slowing down and transforming mass production movements is not new to me.  However since I am pretty new to fashion it is important to build my knowledge of this specific area. Key learnings from the article to take forward…

  • FAST FASHION = ‘globalised mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in a matter of weeks…presenting the latest fashion trends at very low prices sways consumers not only to purchase more than they need but devalue what they buy’ to understand it as ‘throwaway’.
  • SLOW FASHION = ‘represents all things ‘eco’, ‘ethical’ and ‘green’ in one unified movement…the slow approach intervenes as a revolutionary in the contemporary because it encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and to contemplate it’s relationship with the environment’.
  • Dickson et. al (2011) understand SLOW FASHION, not as a trend but as a revolution slowly gaining momentum which will overthrow FAST FASHION.
  • The article provides an indepth description of how this side of the fashion industry contributes to humanity’s sustainability challenge (i.e.. depletion of water resources through cotton crop irrigation ect.), using the FUNNEL METAPHOR.

‘To visualise in a simple way the sustainability challenge of today’s fashion industry, the funnel metaphor (illustrated adjacent) is used to demonstrate that if the consumption behaviour of the larger fashion industry, including consumers, keeps increasing at the current rate, the impact on the social and ecological environment will also increase. This leads to a very limited space for the industry to handle these impacts in the future and resolve the issues society is facing today. This is symbolised by the sloping walls of the funnel. Using this metaphor we can draw the conclusion that if we do not want to ‘hit the narrowing walls of the funnel,’ we must re-design the current unsustainable practices in society, including the fashion industry. This change, if achieved, is likely to result in a gradual return to equilibrium, where societal behaviour is not in conflict with natural resources, and the fashion industry can carry on without compromising the health of the people and our planet…’

  • It also provides an extensive and clear description of SLOW FASHION VALUES which I have printed off for my research files.

BLOGS www. mbf-trendtalk.blogspot.uk This blog has proven to be a great research resource, documenting cutting-edge innovations in the industry.

  1. ‘In a Democratic Fashion’ 09/06/10
  • Suzy Menkes ‘The world changed when instead of being a monologue, fashion became a conversation’.
  • Blog culture has changed the fashion industry; everyone now has the potential power to have an opinion – ‘because blogs are less about dictating and rather more about sharing and encouraging people to voice their opinion, [a whole generation] has grown up much more used to this outspoken culture’. 
  • Ten years ago the industry was dictated by professionals – magazine editors, designers ect.
  • This culture has produced a much more EMPOWERED active consumer who carefully cultivates their own style rooted in their individuality, rather than drinking in what is dictated to them as ‘fashion’ ( This demographic has been made clear through my street-style research –  would embrace a customisation retail model).

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  • These emergent cultural values are also changing the role of designers – Threadless.com
    • crowdfund model
    • artists/designers encouraged to submit their artwork
    • People vote on their favourite which is produced and sold as a limited edition product.
    • Ethical – provides emerging designers with a platform to access the market.
  • Ustrendy.com
    • designed to empower new designers and break down boundaries of the industry’s elite.
    • Allows designers to upload their portfolio, gain exposure and win money for production.
    • A global market-place containing thousands of unique items from all over the world.
  • Infectious.com
    • Similar model but more artist focused.
  • Fashionstake.com
    • Crowdfunding model for designers
    • Consumers purchase a $50 fashion ‘stake’ to aid their favourite designer and are rewarded with free clothes when that designers line is picked up.
    • Restructures consumers as supporters and removes the need for buyers and retailers.

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  • Consumers are attracted to these models due to the power it grants them in terms of production, and the chance to purchase unique items not replicated by the masses.
  • role reversal of consumers rather than designers dictating trends (Already occurs to an extent as the majority of high-end designers are inspired by street-style). 
  • However need for a balance between CONSUMERS and DESIGNERS to retain creative integrity (As many would admit consumers are not necessarily the most creative people). 
  • Fashion industry experts should not become obsolete.
  • Time of NOSTALGIA and ADVANCEMENT – successful engagement with the consumer means balancing the comfort of times before the internet (digital detox), with the very technology which continues to shape our culture.

BOOKS

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