Fashion sale! I have had this bookmarked for weeks. Time to grab cheap designer swag from the fashion students at uni. They are thoroughly sick of their creations and happy to make a buck off their efforts. The construction is questionable, but the fashion is Avant-Garde. My favourite. I really want to throw the lycra away and wear my new dress. At least I can put on a fashion show!
We use clothing as treasured markers in our lives, tying stories, memories and versions of ourselves into fibres hanging in a wardrobe. Fashion is integral to self-expression; the decision to adorn our bodies is deeply personal and evolves imaginatively over a lifetime. There is, however, a strong case to be made that all this self-actualizing through buying new stuff is helping to kill the only home we have.
Aspirational advertising, algorithmic ‘sorcery’ and social media encourage us to unconsciously align our sense of self with brands and their vision of the world. With influencers selling lifestyles, the lines of what is real and what is staged are becoming less clear. And it’s all so easy! When we click and buy online or flick through racks of ever-changing stuff, or when neatly package things magically appear on our doorstep, most of us avoid thinking about where our garments come from. Those inconvenient truths, however, are becoming too immediate to ignore.
Did one of the millions of children employed anonymously in the garment trade create that new date-night outfit, or pick the cotton that made it? Was it stitched by a woman who faces unsafe conditions and sexual harassment in the factory she works in for a wage that equates to less than our morning coffee? Perhaps it was touched by the hands of a Cambodian garment worker who was later shot by police for protesting about the country’s minimum wage. Or by a worker who lost their lives in the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where 1,138 died and 2,500 were seriously injured after a factory collapsed. in
The pinnacle of madness, the environmental impact!