Consumer Products Centre Pompidou 2016
Some may say that today’s consumerism reflects with the era of faster fashion, more pressure on retailers, and pickier customers with the habit of shopping on the discounted seasonal sales racks etc. However, in the current era of fast fashion, we’ve seemed to have developed an amnesia about the sweatshop labor practices we rallied against in the ’90s, or maybe a misconception that garment “factories” are just people sewing the fabric, breathing the chemicals, and even dying when an infrastructure is built on fast cheap fails.
However, today more and more consumers are becoming more conscious of these factors and are re-evaluating and re-questioning their previous values, consumption habits, priorities and doing a re-check on the – what they believed once used to be their “opportunity costs”.
Although some may deem me to be too naïve, I personally, believe that fashions future holds a positive and promising change that will revamp the way we consume today through the initiation of the “slow movement” originating from the “Slow Food” movement in 1986 as a reaction to the mass consumption of fast food and chemicals consumed where organic, local and ethical consumption was then promoted. For fashion we are slowly entering this stage as well, but maybe more focused on a technological point of view as a strong blend of logistical organization with stock, keeping up with fast paced trends and designs, while having strong communication and e-retail channels (or POS) is is needed in order to create an effective business model.
“Conscious consumption [is] replacing the conspicuous consumption of yesteryear.” says Reformation founder Yael Aflalo (to BOF).
Today we are seeing many labels from all over the world such as Italian brand Eleventy and Brunello Cucinelli, LA based brand Reformation and Swiss up-cycling brand, Freitag, creating sustainable and ethical production each through their own means. Eleventy creating localized and all authentic Made in Italy products through a sustainable supply chain, while Reformation focuses on ethical products and price transparency, whereas Frietag uses up-cycling techniques from old tarp trucks.
ELEVENTY SS17 MFW
Freitag Julien Bag
Brunello Cucinelli’s philosophy was to create a corporate culture that intertwined positively with its community in Solomeo. Today, the community and industry work mutually hand in hand increasing the quality of the final product and their life quality. The brand is known to value first and foremost the human impact of his business.
BRUNELLO CUCINELLI SS17
Fashion already being the second largest polluting industry in the world, I sincerely hope that in the near future we will be able to also see much more scalable types of ethical production through the commercial production of 3D textiles, mass customization, and high-tech innovative fiber breakthroughs allowing us to consume less and create more while slashing out traditional mass production of clothing, often selling only less than 5% of their total batches creating high wastage and pollution.
“Deniability seems to have been stitched into the supply chain by making many brands accountable” –John Oliver HBO
This article is also linked with the smart products article mentioned last month where sustainability, transparency and authenticity for brands is no longer something that we deem to be “just a detail” at the expense of unequivocally low prices. This change in consumer attitude is really today’s modern consumerism where ethics and integrity in the industry becomes an expectancy forcing retail giants to revamp their business models.