LCF Workshop: Industry Ethics and Sustainability

In this workshop, in groups of four we focused on discussing key questions that touched upon ethical, social, and environmental issues within the Fashion industry:

1.Lidl jeans ( based on this article) is there a value, a customer and a market to produce this type of clothing?Can we call it garments?

-SMRITI:

Yes, there is a market and customer base, this is value, but we can’t call it Fashion.

-ROSALIE:

I agree with Smriti, but in a way it is fashion, because fashion is not only what we see on the catwalk, it is also what we see in real life, it’s their way to give themselves their identity, it’s a part of fashion but not synonymously. 

-IRENE:

Not fashion, it shouldn’t be legal. There is no value.

-ALLEN: 

Not Fashion, should be illegal. Still garments, but no value, it devalues humanity. We need to properly define fashion, value, and market 

2. What does a sustainable brand/fashion industry mean to you? Do you think it is possible to change the typical fashion industry economic model to produce viable and sustainable businesses?

-SMRITI

There should be a push then a pull with regards to sustainability marketing.

At LCF we have the power to react to things, but in India sustainability is just fluff and not real talk.

You need to inspire people emotionally, and understand what sticks to them.

You need to strategically approach people according to the right channels that get to their emotions.

Brands get audits, but what do these audits actually do? How are these audits credible?

-ROSALIE

It’s not only the responsibility of the customer to be sustainable, it is a joint responsibility with the company.

-IRENE

I came into fashion to change the fashion industry and to inspire people to think more honestly and sustainably.

-ALLEN

The need to have an audit is a sign that there is already a lack of transparency and that something is wrong. 

3. “Buy Now”

What do you think about the big changes writing the fashion show schedules driven by recent Burberry announcement to scale some and show bore womenswear and menswear  together? What might be the consequences of the fashion cycle and price tag for luxury market?

ALLEN

-The whole luxury market is going to change, we are redefining the luxury market.

-What about Burberry trying to get rid of copy-cats? At the end of the day people will still prefer to real thing to the fake if the value of the brand is strong.

SMRITI

-The implications on the Fashion industry of merging collections. One can demand a higher price for buy now model, but this model requires higher capital investment, does this balance?

-What about southern hemisphere? 

IRENE:

Higher b to c to communication, greater opportunity for smaller designers to start

The fashion cycle doesn’t really exist in California.

What will fast fashion come to be? It’s going to slow down. All these brands will still be there but will have to reposition themselves? (You can’t recycle any material lower than 80%)… Throw a bunch of mushrooms into landfills and see what happens…

ROSALIE:

What will be the negative impacts of this change in the cycle?

Decreasing value for luxury products, because buy now does not allow for time for consumers to build desire for particular products.

4. What do your think of the boom of celebrities dabbing in fashion design: from Beyoncé launching activewear with Topshop, Rihanna collaborations with Armani , Puma…to so called reality TV stars creating collections for the high street every other month is this trend devaluing what it takes to design, develop and produce fashion?

ALLEN:

-It’s all bologna, but at the end of the day people can be easily blinded by Society of the Spectacle. It all boils down to money.

IRENE:

-All these companies do it, because it works, and people don’t want it to change, because it brings in money…

SMRITI:

-Why does this happen? Because people lack confidence. 

ROSALIE:

-How does Kim Kardashian fit in to her clothes?

7. “Digital age”

As social media strategies have become a crucial tool for every fashion label or event, there is overwhelming content posted on Instagram and Facebook everyday. Can we still engage with fashion as cultural inspiration, and find value in fashion products/ designers/ brands via social media, or are technology savvy consumers in danger of becoming image brainwashed…?

GROUP CONSENSUS

-As with celebrities, there is also the opportunity of being brainwashed. 

-Communication through Social Media can be positive, or negative. Positive i.e. Emma Watson, or sharing valuable stories and opening people’s channels of empathy, otherwise, people can be brainwashed by people who don’t think.

 

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