Friday, September 6, 2013

The Business of Fast Fashion

This is a short video about "Fast Fashion" . This was sent to me by Zoe Gray, a researcher for Online MBA , a site that provides education and industry insights to current and prospective MBA students. I just love that today's MBAs are getting hooked into this reality. You all know how I feel about fast fashion. You know how It has dumbed down the clothing design industry from the very top on down. And let's not forget how it ruins the environment. Remember all those workers who died in the fire? This subject is close to my heart. But the biggest reason I am so on top of this subject is that we sewists can make a huge difference here. We know quality in clothing. We know what it is like to have something well made, that fits and flatters and that will be wearable for years. We sew those things. I would love to know you comments regarding the very short video. I think it is well done and gets Elizabeth Cline's gotta read "Overdressed" concepts down to a very short screening. Zoe, our researcher here, would love to know your thoughts as well, so chime in, whatever they may be. Again, I am thrilled that this is part of an MBA program.Thanks for your thoughts. ...Bunny

17 comments:

  1. Very interesting information Bunny. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This MBA minute left me wanting more.The sewist appeals to a different audience--those who want well fitting, quality made apparel and are willing to pay the price to have it. Today's clothing consumer wants something stylish, figure forgiving, inexpensive, and right off the rack. The average consumer doesn't want to invest their time in or money on something that will be out of style in six months. Aren't we as sewists somewhat like that? Going after the latest in patterns, turning out at least one to two outfits a month, hoarding fabric. Classics are considered old school in the fashion industry. If we bought (and could afford) classics, we would buy less clothing. I'm still in the beginner stages of sewing. I admit I do buy inferior fabrics because of the low prices. I want to increase my skills so I can feel comfortable investing in quality natural fabrics making classics that will last. This theory is interesting and it is worth the effort. I wonder how far this movement will go.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. Equally thought provoking and sadly true. We are most all guilty of "access and excess".

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  3. Hi there Bunny and Zoe

    Thank you so much for this informative video. I think it should be circulated amongst our teenagers; they are so eco friendly, or so they think, as they purchase low quality clothing and don't think of the implications of their actions on that score. This video would make them stop and think.

    I love making good quality items for my teenage daughter and myself, however, she is still keen to go out and pick up a bargain, which is usually of poor quality, but "fashionable" and high street like her friends. She can both see and feel the difference and knows the huge amount of time that goes into my handmade pieces. They are of good quality fabric, keep their shape and fit her perfectly; not so the high street purchases.

    Would love to hear more from Zoe and it would be great if we could get the video circulated dont you think?

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    1. Yes, I do. I am sure she would love for any of our readers to pass it along.

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    2. My love affair with beautiful fabrics and clothing began in my infancy with the hand-smocked, hem-stitched dresses made for me by my mother and grandmother. They augmented my meagre "bought" wardrobe. Did your sewing odyssey begin that way? I know you mentioned learning hand-sewing from nuns.

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  4. Interesting and thought provoking, Bunny. Thanks, I've had many of those thoughts myself, never articulated. I'm seventy three. When I was young my mother took me shopping each season, bought me high quality clothing (not many!) which I wore happily and often 'til the next shopping expedition. Two pairs of real leather shoes, one for everyday and one for Sunday. Oh, I miss those days of not many clothes but quality materials and pains-taking construction. Two much "stuff" in my life. ( 50 years of fabric collection included)


    Appreciate your comment, Robin. Equally thought provoking and so true. Thanks.

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    1. Sounds like we had the same upbringing! I sure had the same two pair of shoes!

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    2. I had those same 2 pair of shoes with a pair of sneakers as well - PE requirement. :) A much less wasteful era, though I was born in the 50's. By the time I was in high school, cheaper fashion targeted at young people had already started. It's time to turn that trend around and get back to less consumerism (aka: "stuff") and better quality. Great post Bunny!

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  5. Have you found the documentary 'The Century of the Self' yet? We caught the third episode the other day and learned to our chagrin how intentional and planned our post-WWII turn to consumerism was, as corporations leveraged the principles used in psychological warfare to "shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. [...] Man's desires must overshadow his needs". To watch, it's on Vimeo, and on topdocumentaryfilms.com.

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  6. This is a well done and interesting video. The drawings are very appealing. I will send a link to my daughter, a college student who enjoys fast fashion, but has also come around to having me sew her some clothes. As Robin brings up, many sewists are guilty of hoarding fabric and patterns, so we haven't escaped consumerism. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Some very interesting points. I am a fabric hoarder, I'm afraid that I contribute to the problem. thanks for sharing.

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  8. We have created this society where we want so much and not just in clothing. With big business controlling so much I am not sure we will be able to change without all of us suffering. Think of all the jobs that will be lost - in developing countries, our countries - retail. I suppose if our young don't have jobs they won't be able to spend. Perhaps that is the answer. And also if the large companies aren't making profits we won't get the dividends to fund our retirements. There is no easy answer.

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  9. We have certainly entered an era of disposable clothing, haven't we? However, now that I'm making most of my clothes, I have almost forgotten the days of cheap fabrics and even cheaper construction.

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  10. There's a lot that's lost in all of this like 1) it takes less time to make a simple but well-made garment than it does to beat around the mall(s) because with fast fashion you have to replenish the closet every four to six weeks when you gave to replenish well-made garments every three to five years; 2) because it is well-made it feels better while you are wearing it; 3) because it is individually made you feel special in it cause it fits your shape size and style; 4) you only make what you like instead of having to settle for whatever is in the store. So you're wearing your fav garments that look fab on you; you're saving time AND money; every time you go to your closet you only see the clothes that are your very fav because its not all clogged up with the fast fashion; and you're not supporting fast fashion Mongols like Ortega ( http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG9461957/Zara-owner-is-worlds-third-richest-person.html ).

    Now that hardly covers the green problems with this process.

    There is so much wrong with fast fashion. What I can tell you is that I've been stocking my closet with well-made garments for decades and my clothes last a long time, I find what I need/want because I can see it (my closet is filled with only my favs), and I'm saving gobs of time and money.

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    1. You are so right, Claire. I try to stock my closet the same way. It is cheaper in the long run, better for the environment, and the clothes look a lot better on me because they fit better than retail. Very well said and thanks Claire.

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