Fast Fashion Tips | Tog Wears

In
this article, we have explored the perceptions that consumers in both
HongKong and Canada have of sustainability, fast fashion, and luxury
fashion,
and have shown that sustainable fashion is not a priority for
them.
The bulk of the data suggest that young people separate fashion
from
sustainability. They definitely support the idea of sustainability,
but
do not apply such ethics when it comes to sustainable fashion. Their
moral
imagination (Werhane 1998) seems quite impoverished in this
category.
This state of moral stasis may gradually change. As Carrigan
and
Attala (2001: 577) note, “Perhaps in time new generations of consumers
will
not only think more ethically, but also act more ethically.”
Bonini
and Oppenheim (2008: 56) argue that, around the world,
there
is a great deal of concern about environmental issues, but, “when
it
comes to actually buying green goods, words and deeds often part
ways.”
The apathy toward eco-fashion can be partly explained by the
fact
that, while clothing is central to the body and the definition of
identity,
it has not been related to health concerns (Petit 2007). Moreover,
the
term “eco-fashion” conjures up the hippie and environmental
movements
of the 1960s and 1970s, during which ecologically sensitive
fashion
often meant shapeless recycled clothing (Welters 2008). Winge
(2008:
520) goes one step further, distinguishing between eco-dress and
eco-fashion.Eco-dress is what she associates with the hippie movement,
whereas
eco-fashion currently represents luxury and cultivated taste.
In
Europe, eco-fashion has become prominent; some of the producers
are
smaller companies making clothing and accessories from organic
cotton
sourced through fair trade practices. Our participants felt that
these
clothes were drab and boring. While organic cotton T-shirts
may
be cool to wear to class or when hanging out on weekends, only
clothes
with panache would do for other social occasions. Eco-fashion
did
not meet these needs. Perhaps it may do so in the future, as
Fast Fashion, Sustainability, and the Ethical Appeal of
Luxury Brands
289
consumer
attitudes
evolve,
much as, to a degree, they have done with
food.
Witness the ever-broadening acceptance accorded the artisanal
slow
food movement.
Tellingly,
Fletcher (2008) prefers to use the term “slow fashion
rather
than eco-fashion, arguing that “slow” in this context refers not
to
time (as opposed to the “fast” in fast fashion, which most assuredly
does
refer to time), but rather to a philosophy of attentiveness. As in the
slow
food movement, that philosophy is mindful of its various stakeholders’
respective
needs (with “stakeholders” referring to designers,
buyers,
retailers, and consumers), and of the impact producing fashion
has
on workers, consumers, and eco-systems.
According
to Bonini and Oppenheim (2008: 56) there are five barriers
to
being green: “Lack of awareness, negative perceptions, distrust,
high
prices, and low availability.” Trust was not an issue for our participants,
butstyle was. Prices and availability did not emerge as major
barriers
in our discussions.
Although
a shift in power from corporations to stakeholders has occurred,
accelerated
by e-commerce and online activism (Scaturro 2008),
our
participants in both Hong Kong and Canada seemed oblivious to
this
shift. While they do take their brands seriously (as in fast fashion
and
luxury), sustainable fashion brands are simply not on their radar—
or,
at least, not yet. Even though Nike made the news for running sweatshop
operations,
our participants in Hong Kong and Canada did not
boycott
the company’s products. In any event, Nike has since made
dramatic
changes to its operations, pushing its way to the forefront of
sustainable
fashion (Ramaswamy 2008).
The Power of Dissuasion: Promoting Sustainability via
Artisanship Appreciation
Luxury
brands are often tarred with the same brush as fast fashion
and
other types of disposable fashion (Kapferer and Bastien 2009).
However,
because of their long-standing concern for quality and
craft,
luxury brands could effectively counteract some of the problems
endemic
to
fast fashion and provide leadership on issues relating to
sustainability.
Some consumer researchers may refer to this as “ethical
mainstreaming”—a
process whereby consumers are willing to pay
a
premium for such products (Thompson and Coskuner-Balli 2007:
137).
According to these authors, this is another guise for bourgeois
consumerism—
rather
than question the system, such practices may well
be
supporting the very system
it
purports to critique. We, on the other
hand,
suggest that a luxury brand company can be both “green” and
“gold.”
Blendell and Kleanthous (2007) provide provocative insight
into
the meaning of “deeper luxury” to the consumer and producer.

Increasingly,
they argue, the pursuit of luxury is linked to the brand’s

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