Fashion is the second dirtiest industry after oil and there comes a price with a price tag currently in the fashion industry. With the increase of fast fashion stores, the industry has become one of the major forces in world pollution and sweat-shop maltreatment. In order for one to work in fashion or simply purchase a piece of clothing, it is to be considered where that item came from. It is discreet, brightly lit and glamorously lined with marble stone and clean white tile, but mall stores contain a surplus of products produced in a sweatshop where workers are paid as little as a cent per day. People are ignorant to the fact that what they are wearing and the company they are supporting, centers around an impoverished factory where groups of primarily women of all ages are worked to the point of exhaustion. Along with this, the mass production of clothing, dyes, and harsh chemicals is stripping away our earth's natural foundation along with polluting its air. The fashion industry is forever evolving, but it is time for innovators to act and acknowledge the cry for help as changes demand to be made.
“IT IS AN AMAZING TIME TO CREATE NEW.” - LYN SLATER
Fortunately, some brands have already made moves in making the fashion industry more ethical and environmentally friendly. Eileen Fisher has developed off brands like “Green Eileen” and “Eileen Fischer Renew” that have already made waves in the advancement in recycled clothing and used materials. Other solutions to these major problems would derive from the intersection between technology and fashion. New developments in technology are taking place right now and are revolutionary. Some “techtiles” or textiles infused with technological attributes, contain new abilities to do things like detect diabetes, regulate temperature, and allows women to request help in the face of a threat or dangerous situation. Although still in trial ages, these types of products are made safely and are harmless to the environment. As participants in the cycle of clothing, humans everywhere have a right to the knowledge and history behind the clothing they own. In a recent panel held at Fordham University with Amy DuFault and Lyn Slater, Amy said...
“THINK SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH”
...because it is not something to take lightly. She recalled the women’s march that took place this past January in Boston where she saw many women wearing powerful t shirts with phrases like “FEMINIST” and “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.” After looking into these shirts, Amy realized the companies that produced the shirts were ones that had sweatshops in different countries around the world. It is one thing to say something but another to act on it. Amy and Lyn both encourage everyone to practice what they preach and to stand by their word. If you are a feminist, be weary of where the clothes that you wear come from, because unknowingly you might be supporting an industry that corrupts females into working day and night to produce your favorite baggy tee. The women that participate in the making and production of the t shirts deserve just as much representation and attention as the words the t shirts hold.
“CLOTHES HAVE A LOT OF UNTAPPED POWER” - LYN SLATER
The old rules making up fashion are slowly “breaking apart” (Lyn Slater) and there is no longer an age limit, gender restriction, or seasonal print that hold people back from trying new things. . Trends, by themselves, are never new but just the recurrence of an idea that happened long before its return. People can find trendy items in old items; an idea that many would find impossible. This makes concepts like thrift shopping and consignment even more encouraged along with the sustainability factors and healthy contributions to the cycle of material goods that they make. The idea didn’t begin from a Macklemore lyric or a recent generational trend. The idea of thrift shopping has been on going for centuries, but is still overlooked as an ideal or usual place to shop for clothing. There's predisposed ideas that society places on thrift shops: they are dirty, for the poor, and are only good for costumes or things you are willing to ruin. Thrift shopping is without doubt, beyond those conceptions. It is about participating in the cycle of fashion that helps create a more sustainable industry, when clothes are being donated and bought again. There is a demographic of people who have been raised on second hand shopping that find their maturation and independence too rewarding to go back to shopping for used clothing. This stigma, although respected and understandable, is to be torn down, because second hand shopping is nothing to be ashamed of, but more frequently embraced.
It is on the next generation to innovate and progress in the fashion industry, as Amy DuFault and Lyn Slater both agree...
“TODAY IS A SCARY TIME BUT AN EXCITING TIME”
BY: Chloë Felopulos, Writer at SOUL