WEEK10 Reflection on module

Considering after three months of my first ethical studies in fashion area, I still have not got any clear answer in my mind. The first critical question in my thinking was a possibility of coexistence between ethical fashion and sales competition. There were some debates made in our class yet I have not been sure. During in the class, I start feeling that ethical fashion is based on moral and standard but they are different in each custom and religion so it is difficult to find a correct answer.

For instance, ecological issues are concerned from many consumers in Japan so ecological campaign. For example, collecting recycle clothes for charity is popular. On the other hand, labour problem and transparency of production process are not focused on as same as ecological problems. Firstly, labour problem seems daily common problem for people in Japan. It is regularly happened that long overtime work without payment even it is illegal labour. Of course, the problem is more serious in the case of Bangladesh or the other developing countries. Even though, it can be less serious for people who are doing several over work by them selves than people who do not have any illegal overtime. Secondly, if there are some similar quality garments in different price, consumers chose cheapest clothes in the economic downturn. Nowadays, price leads consumer behaviour and consumer behaviour leads decision of retailer. As a result, the sequential flow occurs deflation spiral in severe sales competition among retailers. Retailers need to produce garments in lower cost then people in developing countries need to work behind bad working condition. Also, retailers cannot make enough profit by selling cheap clothes so it is necessary to put up for sale a lot of clothes. This will be related with ecological problem as well.

Jose Mujica, the president of Uruguay made impressive speech at Rio plus twenty in 2012.  He referred to “hyper-consumption” in his speech. He used “light bulb” as an example of over production in his speech but it can be also same in fashion industry. Also he asked “what would happen to this planet if the people of India had the same number of cars per family as the Germans? How much oxygen would there be left for us to breathe? “. This is obvious but difficult question. It is difficult to change convenient life, which people already have in developed countries. On the other hand, they should have right to get same level of modern life and many people.

Nevertheless, after I took the ethical fashion module, my life style has been changed a little. I stop over consumption in cheap price retailers and check charity shops before I go to major retailers. This is a few minor changing in the world of gigantic consumption. However, if I use president Mujica’s question in paradoxically, “what would happen to this planet?” Small changes by each people will give a huge effect to this planet. To sum up, it is important to try focusing on ethical issues and to keep broad casting and thinking them. Knowledge is first small step of changing the world.

Reference

PAMOUKAGHLIAN.V (2012) Human happiness and the environment – Address by Uruguayan president Jose Mujica at Rio +20 Summit. The Wander Life. Weblog [Online] n.d. Available from: http://thewanderlife.com/human-happiness-and-the-environment-address-by-uruguayan-president-jose-mujica-at-rio-20-summit/ [Accessed 11/12/13]

YOU TUBE. (2012) PRESIDENT MUJICA SPEECH IN RIO +20 WITH TEXT OF PROPER ENGLISH TRANSLATION TEXT [online video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ezofj2ydzz4 [Accessed 11/12/13]

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WEEK9 Case study: retail campaigns

100 Months campaign has started from 1 August 2008 by New Economic Foundation.  This campaign is for considering about environmental issues related with economical issues and finding methods of solving greenhouse gas concentration. Climate is affected by greenhouse gas and it affected by rise of carbon dioxide. (NEW ECONOMIC FOUNDATION. 2008) According to this campaign, Vivienne Westwood started “CLIMATE REVOLUTION” campaign. She showed big banner on the stage of the Paralympics in London in 2012. Also, she announced the statement on her blog. (WESTWOOD, V. 2012)

“We are now halfway through, with 50 more months to go – therefore we have to do it by the next Olympics. We have a choice: Hell or a Future better than the human race has ever known.” (WESTWOOD, V. 2012)

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Vivienne Westwood is an influential designer so, this campaign was become a big topic on fashion news. In addition, Lady Gaga wore the campaign T-shirt. Without any doubt, she is an influential artist as well so, the news was not only read by fashion people but also gossip magazine readers. (REVEAL.CO.UK. 2012) As a result, the campaign circulated among people rapidly. Subsequently, a cosmetic retailer Lush joined her “CLIMATE REVOLUTION” campaign in 1 January 2013. Lush is as known as natural cosmetic retailer meanwhile it is suitable company to join this campaign.waterloowindow

However, it is still doubtful that some statements and actions are appeared contradiction. Firstly, Vivienne made statement as “Buy less, choose well, make it last (we don’t want the “latest thing” just for the sake it.)” but how many products were sold so far about this campaign. Since they start campaign, they sold some designs of T -shirts. These garments are also on catwalk at her collection for spring and summer 2013. She answered to vogue at her collection.

“My motto is ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’. You should wait until you really need something before you buy it. In fact, don’t buy this collection.”(VOGUE. 2012) 00140h_426x63900220h_304x456

  In fact, T-shirts made sales and some of them are already discounted on Internet. Moreover, Lush sold new scarves as limited production for this campaign on November 2013. Wrapping cloth, which can use as scarves designed by Vivienne matched with no- wrapping concept of Lush. (YOUNG, K. 2013) This scarves were obviously for Christmas shoppers and very commercial. Of course, their main work are business so they should make money and some of their sales are donated to ecological active organisation and it is not to be green wash yet there are some discord between acts and statements. Secondly, Lush operates “The Fun D” campaign in same time. (LUSH, 2012) This campaign donates 10pence for each particular product sale to children in Fukushima who lost their safe playground by nuclear power plant disaster. On the other hand, Vivienne made statement in her “CLIMATE REVOLUTION” campaign operation plan that “Tackle the need for clean energy. The quickest option is nuclear “(WESTWOOD, V. 2012). These action and speech are impossible to stand in same states. It is a paradox.

To sum up, campaigns are good to let people realise ethical issues also good for promotion and commercial even though, once they lost balance or chose wrong partner, there are possibility to show them just like green wash or hypocritical action thus retailers should be careful when they start campaigns.

Reference

COSMETICS BUSINESS (2013) Lush joins Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution [Online] COSMETICS BUSINESS. Available from: http://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/news/article_page/Lush_joins_Vivienne_Westwoods_Climate_Revolution/82682 [Accessed 4/12/13]

LUSH (2012) The Fun D [Online] Lush. Available from: http://www.lush.co.uk/content/view/6009 [Accessed 4/12/13]

NEW ECONOMIC FOUNDATION (2008) One Hundred Months: A technical note |new economic foundation [Online] NEF. Available from: http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/one-hundred-months-a-technical-note [Accessed 4/12/13]

REVEAL.CO.UK (2012) Lady Gaga wears Vivienne Westwood’s ‘Climate Revolution’ T-shirt [Online] REVEAL.CO.UK. Available from: http://www.reveal.co.uk/showbiz-celeb-gossip/news/a406463/lady-gaga-wears-vivienne-westwoods-climate-revolution-t-shirt.html [Accessed 4/12/13]

VOGUE (2012) SPRING/SUMMER 2013 |READY-TO-WEAR Vivienne Westwood [Online image]. Available from: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/spring-summer-2013/ready-to-wear/vivienne-westwood [Accessed 4/12/13]

VOGUE (2012) SPRING/SUMMER 2013 |READY-TO-WEAR Vivienne Westwood Red Label [Online image]. Available from: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/spring-summer-2013/ready-to-wear/vivienne-westwood-red-label/full-length-photos/gallery/847484 [Accessed 4/12/13]

WESTWOOD, V. (2012) VIVIENNE’S DIARY: 29 AUGUST – 9SEPTEMBER [Online] CLIMATE REVOLUTION. Available from: http://climaterevolution.co.uk/wp/2012/09/11/viviennes-diary-29-august/ [Accessed 4/12/13]

YAHOO (2013) Lush and Vivienne Westwood unite for Climate Revolution campaign [Online image] Yahoo. Available from: http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/lush-vivienne-westwood-unite-climate-revolution-campaign-194010699.html [Accessed 4/12/13]

YOUNG, K. (2013) Vivienne Westwood designs scarves for Lush [Online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available from: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/news-features/TMG10425041/Vivienne-Westwood-designs-scarves-for-Lush.html [Accessed 4/12/13]

Week8 Case study: Slow fashion and local fashion

Fast fashion brands can be found in almost all big cities in the world. Certainly, fast fashion is convenient and cheap so they help me to stop using all of my money while I am enjoying the latest fashion. On the other hand, we already learned there are many ethical issues behind cheap prices. ‘Slow fashion’ is another choice, which is the opposite word of fast fashion. Fletcher, K (2007) said slow fashion and fast fashion are not only meaning about time. All aspects of garments about making, designing and buying are included in these words.

Lee Japan focused on traditional local crafts and they started a new project called ‘MADE IN SHIKOKU’ (LEE JAPAN, 2013). Lee Japan was founded in 1983 as an importing and retailing company of Lee, known as American jeans brand, for the Japanese market. Lee Japan started their domestic production in 1986 to expand their business in Japan. Considering local industries, it was easy to produce their own garments in Japan because Japan has a big denim industrial area in Bingo, Bicchu and Bizen. Nowadays, all these areas, where traditionally called Sanbi area, are located in Okayama and Hiroshima prefecture. Shikoku Island is located in just across the Seto Inland Sea from Sanbi area. Shikoku and Sanbi are connected by four large bridges and it takes less than 30 minutes to travel by car.

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(Seto Inland Sea map)

Shikoku also has some local industries. Ai-zome, which is Japanese natural indigo dye, is traditional industry in Tokushima. Ai-zome has a long history. It appeared in 10th century evidence and Tokushima was a centre of Ai-zome production about 200 years ago (Ushida, 2001). It was popularly believed that Japanese natural indigo is good for health and repelling insects. Recently, this industry is not popular and there are only few craftsmen left in Japan because it is hard work and the process takes a long time so it is not suitable for mass production and speedy production (LEE JAPAN, 2013). As a result, denim which people call indigo in modern days is dyed by artificial indigo.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fk5BuCyeec

(MADE IN SHIKOKU 006 / fermentation process of Japanese indigo)

Imabari city is famous for towel production. Shikoku Towel Industrial Association produces ‘Imabari brand’ to introduce their towel quality to overseas (IMABARI TOWEL JAPAN, 2010). Towels are mainly made by cotton but all cotton are relied on import material despite towel production is important business in Imabari.  Aware of this fact, local agricultural workers started cotton crop in Imabari area with Lee Japan ‘MADE IN SHIKOKU’ project. This effort involves local agricultural students and it shows expansion in local revitalization (LEE JAPAN, 2013).

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xQBF1A9pwg

(MADE IN SHIKOKU 008 / cotton crop)

Lee Japan is trying to make their denim products in Shikoku but this is a new project so their garments have not been released but it is an exceedingly interesting project. This project does not only give good phenomenon for local people but also it is predicted to have good effects for environmental issues.  Actually, I need to apologise that I cannot find good English references for this project because it is new and Japanese local business but I hope it will be a good practice for any other local slow fashion movements.

Obviously, there are some difficult issues they need to solve. For example, it should cost a gigantic amount and a whole production process takes long time. Finding methodology of practical pricing, practical production and keeping their profits will help all these workers and Lee Japan itself. Indeed, this will be long term project but we can wait for the day of releasing their garments, because this is the ‘SLOW FASHION’.

Reference

Fletcher, K. (2007) Slow fashion [Online] ECOLOGIST. Available from: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/clothing/269245/slow_fashion.html [Accessed 26/11/13].

IMABARI TOWEL JAPAN (2010) About Imabari [Online] Imabari Textile Resource Center Co.,Ltd. Available from: http://imabaritoweljapan.com/about/index.html [Accessed 26/11/13].

JAPAN-GUIDE.COM (2013) Seto Inland Sea map [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5445.html [Accessed 26/11/13].

LEE JAPAN (2013) COMPANY INFO [Online] LEE JAPAN. Available from: http://www.lee-japan.jp/company/ [Accessed 26/11/13].

LEE JAPAN (2013) Imabari no men [Online] LEE JAPAN. Available from: http://www.lee-japan.jp/madein_shikoku/imabari [Accessed 26/11/13].

LEE JAPAN (2013) MADE IN SHIKOKU [Online] LEE JAPAN. Available from: http://www.lee-japan.jp/madein_shikoku/ [Accessed 26/11/13].

LEE JAPAN (2013) Tokushima no ai [Online] LEE JAPAN. Available from: http://www.lee-japan.jp/madein_shikoku/tokushima  [Accessed 26/11/13].

Ushida, S. (2001) Japanese Natural Indigo [Online]USHIDA Lab. of Mukogawa women’s Univ. Available from: http://www.mukogawa-u.ac.jp/~ushida/e_ai_exp.htm [Accessed 26/11/13]

YOU TUBE. (2013)MADE IN SHIKOKU 006[online video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fk5BuCyeec [Accessed 26/11/13].

YOU TUBE. (2013)MADE IN SHIKOKU 008[online video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xQBF1A9pwg [Accessed 26/11/13].

Week 5: The story of a garment – inside your wardrobe

Recently, I’m living student accommodation. This room is quite small and my wardrobe also small. I couldn’t bring many clothes and I will move out in a year so I shouldn’t need large wardrobe. In fact, I have big wardrobe in Japan but I never satisfy a size of wardrobe. Although I had big wardrobe, my wardrobe was always full and some clothes those I couldn’t find their space are piled up on a sofa. Sometime I feel sorry for these miserable clothes however, I can’t stop buying new clothes and I can’t throw them to a rubbish bin until they have got hole. As I keep too many clothes, some of clothes are much more difficult to be disposable because they are memorable clothes.

Garment 1: from recent wardrobe

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The grey brushed jersey hoodie with flower print was given by my colleagues in the former workplace. Actually, this is a plot sample of this season’s collection from our brand. I remember that it was tough to manage buying textile because the sales was bigger than we expected and the process of making this textile took long time. This was a part of my last job with bulk production in the brand. Last week, I have got the news that the brand will finish next summer collection. It was a good team but it dissolved last week. When I wear this hoodie, I always remember my good team members.

Garment 2: from recent wardrobe

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This big silhouette T-shirts with skull applique is also given as a farewell gift from my friend. She is a designer and she remembered that I talked about this clothes as cute. Using Hawaiian print cloth for the first garment but she changed it to Japanese traditional print for me because I left Japan for a while. Handmade gifts are always special for me.

Garment 3: from Japanese wardrobe

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This is the most expensive garment in my wardrobe. This is Kimono but particularly called Furisode. Nowadays, Kimono are not daily wear although, Furisode is especially for formal situation. In Japan, When people become 20 years old, they are accepted legally adult so we celebrate coming of age day in January. Many girls wearing Furisode and it looks gorgeous. I also wore this in coming of age day when I was 20 years old. This is formal wear so I also wore this and attended my cousin’s wedding reception and my friend wedding reception. This garment has rule that married ladies shouldn’t wear Furisode. So, Furisode is symbolic garment for young girls.

Garment 4: from Japanese wardrobe

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This is also one of kimono called Yukata. This is summer casual clothes so we can’t wear this at wedding reception or such kind of formal situation. This made by my grandmother and this is the last garment she made before she passed away. In my grandmother’s generation they learn the way of sawing Kimono and many women can saw Kimono by their own. Nowadays, we don’t learn Kimono sawing in a school also many people can’t wear Kimono by themselves. Kimono is our traditional wear, so this is sorrow and it should be inherited as Japanese fashion culture.

Garment 5: from Japanese wardrobe

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Showing Kimono again! This garment is called Komon and this has lining so this Kimono is suitable for autumn and winter. I used to learn Kimono sawing and this garment was made by me. This garment was for practicing so I used polyester but Kimono usually made by cotton cloth, wool cloth and silk cloth. Silk is elegant and beautiful but not easy to wash so polyester Kimono was promoted as washable kimono.

As you saw, Kimono are all same shape even its pattern or season are different. In fact, Kimono is eco-friendly garment because we don’t use pattern for making kimono and never cutting curve line. Traditionally, Kimono was inherited from mother to daughter. If their figure is different, for instance, daughter’s arm is shorter than her mother, they will open sleeve part and fold more and adjust them again. Also, cutting for the vertical length is always in same pattern. If it seems long, we fold more length and sew them without cutting off any part. We can also adjust length and width when we are wearing them. Kimono doesn’t have any button or zipper. It is wearing with only tie up with some strings and sash. Kimono is like a supreme free size garment.

Kimono textile is generally 36cm width (14.17 inch) and 12m long (13 yard). (Image 1) In contrast, regular cloth width are about 56 inch and 45 inch and 54.7 yard long. Obviously, kimono textile is short and narrow. Because kimono textile is for a garment without wasted part.

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If we try to make kimono with regular textile, cutting method will be different but pattern is same. (Image 2)

kimono  Image 2

Honestly, kimono is not active clothes somehow I miss kimono wearing sometime. It seems in the opposite side from fast fashion. Ready to wear and disposal with latest trend is much more common for recent but kimono also has many good point.

It is time to think about slow fashion.

Reference:

Image 1

Kusukami (2011) Kimono piece goods [Online image]. Available from: http://kusukami.jp/?p=2014 [Accessed 6/11/13]

Image 2

Barony of Bryn Gwlad (2001) Kimono layout and assembly sketches [Online image]. Available from: http://bryn-gwlad.ansteorra.org/articles/as/kimono/ [Accessed 6/11/13]

Week4 Discussion of environmental impact of fibres, fabrics and processes

Fabric is the most important essence of clothes. Textiles also have market trend and recently, cupro is come back to the textile trend for these couple of years. Cupro is part of cellulosic fibres as similar process as viscose, rayon and lyocell however, it is not such as brand new fibre. The first commercial used cupro fibre has been produced in 1897 by German company J. P. Bemberg. (Asahikasei, 2002)  The first Rayon fibre was produced in 1884 with using the related invention in 1840. (TEonline) As see from the years, cellulosic fibres have more than a hundred year history.

Bemberg is the brand name of cupro made by Asahikasei, Japan which is the one of two cupro productive companies in the world. The brand name is from the first manufacturing company as mentioned earlier. Cupro is made by cotton linter which is short fibre around cotton seed. (Asahikasei, 2002) The most different things from cupro to lyocell are their materials. Lyocell is using wood pulp as a material. (Fletcher, K. pp16) Cotton linter is leftover of cotton manufacturing thus it was just waste after taking off long fibre. Using waste is the first eco-friendly point of this fibre. This action will reduce industrial wastes.

cupro_01                        Image 1

Second point is the processes. Unwinding cotton linter by machine are soaked in sodium hydroxide then it is steamed in high temperature. The cotton linter are bleached out then it is brought to the next stage as resolution.  In the process from cellulose resolution to spinning is almost same as lyocell. “Lyocell differs from viscose (also a regenerated cellulose fibre made from wood pulp) in that the raw cellulose is dissolved directly in an amine oxide solvent without needing to be first converted into an intermediate compound – a development that substantially reduces pollution levels to water and air. The cellulose/solvent solution is then extruded to from fibres and the solvent extracted when the fibres are washed. In this process, more than 99.5 per cent of the solvent is recovered, purified and reused, and since amine oxide is non-toxic, what little effluent remains is considered to be non-hazardous.” (Fletcher, K. pp16) Cupro uses a copper hydroxide and an ammonium hydroxide instead of an amine oxide at the process of resolution however a copper hydroxide and an ammonium hydroxide are also non-toxic. (ASAHIKASEI, 2002) In contrast, rayon uses carbon disulphide and this solvent has been reported some harmful case. “Numerous epidemiological studies on carbon disulfide exposure among workers in viscose rayon plants have been reviewed.

Acute and subacute poisoning appear due to exposure to carbon disulfide concentrations of 500- 3000 mg/m3 and are characterized by predominantly neurological and psychiatric symptoms, “encephalopathia sulfocarbonica” such as irritability, anger, mood changes, manic delirium and hallucinations, paranoic ideas, loss appetite, gastrointestinal disturbances and sexual disorders.” (WHO, 2000, Chapter 5.4, pp4)  It is supposed that the reason of decrease in rayon production.

how_01Image 2: process of production of cupro

There is one more advantage of cupro production in dyeing process. Nowadays, reactive dye is popular to use for cotton dyeing because reactive dye operates under low temperature moreover it is good for fixing colour. For example, synthetic fibres are generally dyed by dispersing dye and it operates from 80℃ to 130℃ although reactive dye can operate from 60℃ to 80℃. Cupro is categorised regenerated cellulosic fibre and made by cotton therefore cupro can be dyed by reactive dye. Furthermore, speed of dyeing for cupro is faster than cotton dyeing which will help reducing CO2.

dye_02   Image 3

As mentioned earlier, cellulosic fibres are eco-friendly fibres yet, they have some controversial points. Firstly, cotton linter is secondary product of cotton production. In fact, connection between cotton and cupro are highly strong and Cupro market need to dependent on cotton market. For instance, if cotton production will decrease, cupro production will decrease too. Also, if cotton rate will be changed, cupro rate will be changed together. Secondly, price of cupro is still expensive. Bemberg is extremely popular as usage of liner fabric but they are quite expensive as components so many companies choose polyester liner instead of cupro liner.

In other words, this is not only for fabric case but also all fashion business case that every roles try to act in each situation at one time. Supplier try to supply materials stably and they need to continue invention of ethical products. Meanwhile retailers should show the proper product value to consumers also consumers ought to learn the reason of price indeed, reasonable prices may have some reasons.

Reference:

Asahikasei (2002) What is Bamberg, Origin and Evolution [Online] Asahikasei. Available from:  http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/fibers/en/bemberg/what_06.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

Asahikasei (2002) manufacturing process of solution [Online].Asahikasei. Available from: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/fibers/cupro_fiber/how.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

Fletcher, K. and Grose, L. (2012) Fashion & Sustainability Design for Change. London: Laurence King.

TEonline (n.d.) The manufacturing Process of Rayon, History of Rayon [Online] TEonline, Available from: http://www.teonline.com/knowledge-centre/manufacturing-process-rayon.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

WHO (2000) WHO air quality guidelines for Europe, 2nd edition, 2000 (CD ROM version), Chapter: Part II.  Evaluation of human health risks, 5. Organic pollutants, 5.4   Carbon disulfide [Online/PDF] WHO. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/air-quality/publications/pre2009/who-air-quality-guidelines-for-europe,-2nd-edition,-2000-cd-rom-version [Accessed 30/10/13]

Image 1

Asahikasei (2002) Cotton Boll and Linter [Online]. Available from: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/fibers/en/cupro_fiber/cupro_eco.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

Image 2

Asahikasei (2002) manufacturing process of solution [Online]. Available from: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/fibers/cupro_fiber/how.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

Image 3

Asahikasei (2002) Outstanding dyeability and color development [Online]. Available from: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/fibers/en/cupro_fiber/dyeability.html [Accessed 30/10/13]

Week3 Ethical consumerism

While thinking about ethical topics in fashion area, many Regrettable issues are found out which are sweatshop, animal abuse, child labour, poor working condition, environmental destruction, counterfeiting and more. Actually, fashion and environmental protection are seem to be in the opposite. Fashion is short life cycle from the recent season to the next season and some cheap clothes especially from fast fashion shops are disposal. (Cervellon, 2012)

One of the prevalent ethical consumerism activity is a consumer boycott. In an extreme logic, to let consumers buy clothes as few as they can is one of the solution to avoid these issues but as a worker in fashion industry, it is a hard situation for the business because it will discontinue the consumption cycle then it lead the decline of fashion industry. Keeping the balance between activation of fashion industry and being ethical company or consumer is always problematic challenge.

Organic cotton is known as the one of eco-friendly fibre. Organic fibre grows “without restricted synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, growth regulators or defoliants.” (Fletcher, 2012)  Choosing organic cotton instead of other cotton is expected to keep away from the human body contamination and soil pollution caused by chemical fertilizer. Otherwise, returning to an organic farm from a regular farm takes long time and avoiding to use fertilizers reduce crop yields so organic cotton is more expensive than regular cotton. As a result, many consumer choose regular cotton products even organic cotton products seem to be much more morally right.  According to my experience in women clothes company, organic cotton T-shirts was not success like regular cotton T-shirts in the sales. In contrast, lyocell T- shirts made big sales even though it was more expensive than regular cotton T-shirts. Lyocell is one of another eco-friendly fibre made by pulp. Costumers said lyocell T- shirts was more expensive but really comfortable to wear and looks elegant so it was worth as the price besides organic cotton was not looks elegant because of thread clause it had then not seemed as worth as the price. Several consumers give priority to practical benefits and practicality and ethical mind would follow later.

Eco- bag movement from Anya Hindmarch was succeeded ethical consumerism in environmental studies.

“Hindmarch launched her now-famous canvas “eco-tote” emblazoned with the slogan “I’m Not a Plastic Bag”. The limited edition bag, which cost just £5, was intended as a replacement for plastic bags. When it was seen dangling from the arms of Keira Knightley and the model Lily Cole, all 20,000 of the first run sold out in an hour, and within days they were trading on eBay for more than £200.” (Nikkhah, 2009)

eco bag

BBC NEWS MAGAZINE (2007) It’s in the bag, darling[Online image]. Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6587169.stm [Accessed 23/10/13]

The number was not only shows in the sales but also in the number of reducing plastic bags.

“The impact of Hindmarch’s initiative has been huge. Statistics from Wrap, the Government’s anti-waste body, show that shops gave out 3.5 billion fewer plastic bags last year, with the number of plastic bags dispensed falling from 13.4 billion in 2007 to 9.9 billion last year” ( Nikkhah, 2009)

It was different approach to consumers. She pushed environmental issue up to fashion trend and caused that she changed ethical consumerism for general fashion consumers which was done by only activists.

Reasonable trendy bag from famous brand made big sales but how they made it in £5? There seems other ethical issue under the table but Hindmarch said it was. “Typical tabloid hot air.”

“Hindmarch dismisses the negative coverage she received soon afterwards, when it emerged that the bags were made by cheap labour in China, and not with Fairtrade cotton. “Typical tabloid hot air,” she says. “We were upfront from the start that in order to stay within our cost limit, we weren’t going to be able to manufacture the bags in Britain, and we offset all the carbon output from production. And don’t forget we made a loss on every bag. The factory workers were paid double their usual wage, and the factory is checked all the time because it is used by some of the world’s biggest companies. I’m proud of what we did. It made a difference.” (Nikkhah, 2009)

Actually, the bag got into other issue. The bag was limited edition and also popular in the world so there are various replicas in a black market.

“Within 24 hours a Chinese woman married her prince wearing a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Many fashion designers are monitoring what Kate Middleton is wearing so they can produce replica fashion creations. This phenomenon is not new. Copies of Red Carpet fashions (e.g. Golden Globes, the Emmys and the Oscars)are sold as wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, cocktail dresses, prom gowns or ball gowns, and are quickly distributed to the market after such events”(Miller, 2013)

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VOGUE DAILY (2011) Catherine Middleton and her sister, Pippa Middleton [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.vogue.com/vogue-daily/article/kate-middletons-wedding-dress/#1 [Accessed 23/10/13]

This is typical story about counterfeiting but there are a large amount of replicas not only in the black market. Most of trend for next season is recognised from the runway of world famous brand collection. Fast fashion companies often use these design details and use it for their design sauce.  Sometime we can find new trend design before the original product would be appeared in the shop. Education for copy products boycott of luxury brands are slightly expanded by customs control but clothes copies are difficult to recognize.

Companies try to produce clothes and fashion goods quickly and reasonable as demanding of customers but  they also need to mention that reading consumer psychology and predicting consumer behaviour then approaching to consumer with back ground information will guide smart consumer to a right purchasing without losing sales for a company.

Reference

Cervellon, M.C. and Wernerfelt, A.S. (2012) Knowledge sharing among green fashion communities online Lessons for the sustainable supply chain. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 16(2), pp. 176 – 192.

Fletcher, K and Grose, L (2012) Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change, London, Laurence King.

Miller, K. (2013) Hedonic customer responses to fast fashion and replicas. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 17(2), pp160-174

Nikkhah, R. (2009) Anya Hindmarch: bag lady with a £20m empire [Online] Telegraph. Available from: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG5178887/Anya-Hindmarch-bag-lady-with-a-20m-empire.html [Accessed 23/10/13]

Week2: Discuss findings of report on current industry practices

Recently, economical concernment is one of my big issue as a full time student without any jobs and incomes. Otherwise, to dress different is also make me concern every morning. Thankfully, fast fashion brands like H&M, ZARA and TOPSHOP are everywhere and they always keep enough stock for customers so now, it is easy to buy much more clothes than before. For example, I was also a full time university student in fifteen years ago. Buying many trend clothes were difficult for me even I had small income by part time job. Approximately, purchasing a garment per month was my best result but now I can buy three garments per month in same price furthermore these are always looks new and nowadays trend.

The word fast fashion is kind a new word which is used within a decade. Fast fashion is

“a term used to describe cheap and affordable clothes which are the result of catwalk designs moving into stores in the fastest possible way in order to respond to the latest trends” (MACMILLAN DICTIONARY: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/open-dictionary/entries/fast-fashion.htm)

so, they should be quick and cheap like fast food. When a company make clothe cheaper, they usually use the method of mass production. Mass production is “To produce in great quantities by a standardised, mechanised process. Ready-to-wear is a form of mass production; however, the term has come to mean the volume market.”(Gavin Waddell, How Fashion Works: Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Mass Production, Blackwell publishing, the UK, 2004)

Fast fashion with mass production has been changed consumers behaviour. Buying fashion items is one of the daily amusement in these days. However, fast fashion with mass production has some negative points. Firstly, low cost labour with poor working environment in developing countries which we studied before is very negative point for saving human rights. Also, over stock and making CO2 footprints are harmful for ecological viewpoint. Wearing same and less originality are likewise deplorable point.

Particular, thing to be discussed as I used to work as quality control is the hollowing out of industry and quality of production.

The ironical report was spread just before the world big event in 2012.

As a convention, national team uniforms for the Olympic are produced in their own country. Specially, for the country which has a big fashion city as London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and New York this is a good opportunity to show their great industrial power to the world. Additionally, it can be national undertaking for domestic industry so, the country work with local designer and local company. For instance, British national uniform was designed by Stella McCartney.

The USA national uniform was designed by Ralph Lauren which is one of the global famous high class brand in the USA. But when the tag had been checked the problem was come up because it was not made in the USA. It was made in China.

“Politicians from Left and Right expressed dismay that the job of producing the outfits that will be donned by their athletes for official ceremonies had not given to ailing American manufacturers.

“It is not just a label, it’s an economic solution,” said Steve Israel, a Democrat who represents New York. “There are 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in this country and the Olympic committee is outsourcing the manufacturing of uniforms to China? That is not just outrageous, it’s just plain dumb.”

The blazers, trousers, skirts and berets were designed by Ralph Lauren, one of America’s leading designers. “You’d think they’d know better,” said John Boehner, the Republican House Speaker.

The disclosure prompted a rare moment of unity in an era of ferocious partisanship in Washington that has frequently brought gridlock to the US political system.

“I am so upset,” said Harry Reid, the Democrats’ Senate leader. “I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves.

“I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” said Mr Reid, who added that it would be preferable for the athletes to wear a plain vest bearing a hand-painted “USA”. Letters of protest were sent to the US Olympic Committee (USOC).

With unemployment stuck at more than eight per cent and new job creation almost stagnant, the outsourcing of work has become one of the most fiercely-contested issues of the presidential campaign.

In a statement, the USOC said: “We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.” Lauren’s firm declined to comment.” (The telegraph, 13 Jul 2012)

USolympicUniform_2276147b

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9398541/US-Olympic-uniforms-made-in-China.html This is not unusual for our daily clothes. Most of clothes are made in other countries for saving cost. Actually, it was for saving cost at first but after years ago, many domestic factories close their business as a result of flowing out of jobs to overseas. Finally, it is difficult to find good garment factories in local area.

“The fall-off in both textile and apparel employment in the United States has continued if not accelerated. The average annual number of U.S. employees in textile mill products in 1990 was 691,000. By the end of 1998, that number had dropped to 579,000. In apparel-making, the drop was from 1,036,200 to 731,000 in the same period. (Maurice J. Johnson Evelyn C.Moore, Apparel Product Development, Prentice Hall, The USA New Jersey, 2001)

This is the number of the USA but similar things are happen in any other countries too. It could be happen in Japan and the UK too. Saving domestic industry is sometime forgot under the growth of economic but to protect manufacturing is same as protecting culture and tradition otherwise, there were possibilities to growth economics in same term.