Saturday, July 03, 2010



We are reaching a strange time in the history of approaches to fashion consumption. With many people wanting to pay the lowest price possible for a ‘fashion bargain’ on the high street and online, it is now possible for the consumer to buy new clothing for a lower price than 2nd hand garments. The common approach to acquiring new clothing only a few decades ago was to pass them between family members and friends or buy second hand clothing as a cheaper alternative to buying new clothing from the tailor or Marks and Spencer. The image of second hand clothing today however is still understood by many people to fit in with this second rate method of purchasing cheaper clothing - not as good quality as anything you could buy new. Yet today, when we can buy new clothing for cheaper than charity shop items sometimes of higher quality, the priorities of what we desire from our clothing have changed. The low cost poor quality items that classed as second rate and looked down upon for being ‘cheap’, have now become the new, trend driven, fast fashion items that are desired and sold to thousands of people every week. When did it become cool to wear a new dress every week? When did it become OK to spend £3 on a t-shirt? Over the years we have become increasingly proud to declare a new dress was bought from Primark, ‘it only cost a tenner – I’m skint’. With recession and student debt spiralling out of control, the mass market for fashion and mainstream appeals to the ‘fashion’ driven who can get it with a limited budget and no regard for what this destroys, how other elements of the system that creates this maximum choice effect the environment. We need to look at the bigger picture in terms of the fast fashion cycle and expose the unsustainable nature of the fast fashion age. Our skint nation has developed a dangerous addiction to maximum choice for minimum expense with no consideration for the consequences – hidden behind vibrant retail environments and distracting visual marketing...and now they’re hooked it’s going to be a dangerous habit to break.

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