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]

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]