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Is fashion making fun of the world?  - Companies

Is fashion making fun of the world? – Companies

More than any other industry, planned obsolescence is at the heart of the economic and cultural model of fashion.

Fashion is by essence what goes out of fashion. Twice a year, following the autumn-winter and spring-summer rhythm, each new haute couture collection aims to go beyond and bury the previous one. In ready-to-wear, we are even witnessing a permanent roll. We are also talking about fast fashion to designate the segment of this industry with almost continuous accelerated renewal. Major brands such as Zara, H&M and others have also developed very efficient industrial and marketing machinery. In addition to a virtuoso mastery of “legal plagiarism” (their models are inspired by those of great creators but adding seven differences in order to escape the ax of the law), their offer is renewed on the principle of the kaleidoscope: a multitude of short lines, which disappear as quickly as they appear, creating a feeling of scarcity conducive to impulse buying.

More than any other industry, planned obsolescence is at the heart of its economic and cultural model.

Fashion is an industry, a craft – and sometimes even an art – of the times. It lives on ephemeral trends and ruptures, permanent change being its real raw material. More than any other industry, therefore, planned obsolescence is at the heart of its economic and cultural model. No wonder, therefore, that fashion finds itself in a delicate situation even though another trend – destined to last, this time – is imposing itself in society: that of sustainable development.

Can we imagine concept more contradictory for fashion than sustainable development? In a remarkably documented book, The black book of fashion (Editions Les Pérégrines), Audrey Millet, researcher at the University of Oslo and specialist in fashion ecosystems, brilliantly explores all the springs of this contradiction.

From its origins, the textile industry embodies a sick globalization. Born with colonization, it invented the principle of mass production in the unhealthy backyards of large European cities then, at the time of decolonization, quite ironically set up its factories in formerly colonized territories, particularly in Southeast Asia. Everything moves and nothing changes. In short, fashion has long made fun of the world by enslaving it.

Audrey Millet analyzes in detail all the difficulties facing this industry if it intends to redeem itself by becoming cleaner. Because in this ecosystem, there are no simple solutions of the greenwashing. Relocate massively? Not necessarily a solution because that would be tantamount to abandoning the thousands of working poor that we have sought. Not to mention that it is know-how that we have dispossessed. Multiply ecological innovations for basic materials? Yes, but on condition that this is done in a broader framework by rethinking the production system with respect for humans and nature. Promote the second hand? Maybe, but if you resell your clothes on a platform to make yourself feel guilty about buying new ones, what effect does that have?

Because in the face of major readjustments that players in the textile industry must undertake, it is also and above all necessary to review our own way of consuming. It is about moving from the status of fashion victim to that of actor, thanks to a better knowledge of the production methods of our clothes – which this book helps perfectly – but also by asking ourselves the right questions about our real needs. Because ultimately, as Orsola de Castro, author of For sustainable fashion, the greenest garment is the one that’s already in your closet.

Fashion is in essence what goes out of fashion. Twice a year, following the autumn-winter and spring-summer rhythm, each new haute couture collection aims to go beyond and bury the previous one. In ready-to-wear, we are even witnessing a permanent roll. We also speak of fast fashion to designate the segment of this industry with accelerated almost continuous renewal. Major brands such as Zara, H&M and others have also developed very efficient industrial and marketing machinery. In addition to a virtuoso mastery of “legal plagiarism” (their models are inspired by those of great creators but adding seven differences in order to escape the ax of the law), their offer is renewed on the principle of the kaleidoscope: a multitude of short lines, which disappear as quickly as they appear, creating a feeling of scarcity conducive to impulse buying. Fashion is an industry, a craft – and sometimes even an art – of the times. It lives on ephemeral trends and ruptures, permanent change being its real raw material. More than any other industry, therefore, planned obsolescence is at the heart of its economic and cultural model. No wonder, therefore, that fashion finds itself in a delicate situation even though another trend – destined to last, this time – is imposing itself in society: that of sustainable development. Can you imagine a more contradictory concept for fashion than sustainable development? In a remarkably documented work, The Black Book of Fashion (Editions Les Pérégrines), Audrey Millet, researcher at the University of Oslo and specialist in fashion ecosystems, brilliantly explores all the springs of this contradiction. From its origins, the textile industry has embodied a sick globalization. Born with colonization, it invented the principle of mass production in the unhealthy backyards of large European cities then, at the time of decolonization, quite ironically set up its factories in formerly colonized territories, particularly in Southeast Asia. Everything moves and nothing changes. In short, fashion has long made fun of the world by enslaving it. Audrey Millet analyzes in detail all the difficulties facing this industry if it intends to redeem itself by becoming cleaner. Because in this ecosystem, there are no simple greenwashing solutions. Relocate massively? Not necessarily a solution because that would be tantamount to abandoning the thousands of working poor that we have sought. Not to mention that it is know-how that we have dispossessed. Multiply ecological innovations for basic materials? Yes, but on condition that this is done in a broader framework by rethinking the production system with respect for humans and nature. Promote the second hand? Maybe, but if you resell your clothes on a platform to make yourself feel guilty about buying new ones, what effect does that have? Because faced with the major readjustments that players in the textile industry must undertake, it is also and above all necessary to review our own way of consuming. It’s about moving from the status of fashion victim to that of actor, thanks to a better knowledge of the production methods of our clothes – which this book helps perfectly – but also by asking ourselves the right questions about our needs. real. Because ultimately, as Orsola de Castro, author of For Sustainable Fashion, points out, the most ecological clothing is the one that is already in your closet.

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