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Here today, gone tomorrow, part one

The prices and coolness of fashion have been taken out of the textile industry and people spending on clothes has declined over the last 100 years, do we need a revolution in the fashion industry to rebuild traditional values such as quality, durability, and uniqueness? Part two how can increase manufacture cost save the poor reputation of fashion? 

Media’s lists of what’s hot,” has been the measurement for coolness in the society, the desire of having the latest gadget, technology or fashion is an important factor in a circular economy whereof fast consume plays a significant role.  Fashion garments have always been connected with coolness and the single most important product creating to unite symbol of recognition in a subculture besides abstract products such as music and film. Fast fashion (speed to the market) is a result of our time technological progress, a global economy and possibility to communicate with consumers at a low-cost. Media’s enormous influence through advertising and clever PR  have been a driver for faster consume and perfect for fast fashion.

However, fast fashion has over time become the biggest killer of “coolness” and the main reason behind the decline of fashion’s importance in a society. Furthermore, taken the edge away from fashion and made it into a product soon next to milk and bread in a supermarket. The industry mad search for fastness, minimize production cost in every operation and an enormous appetite for growth whereof  “maximize sales” strategy has created a highly profitable and unbeatable fashion concept.   A consumer and in fact, most people might believe fast fashion is a win-win concept as clothing takes less of a household total expenses today than in the past. Even so, this is not the fact as technology has created brand new products we could never foresee as for example mobiles, computers, the Internet and software in the digital revolution fighting the market share. If we add the damage of common resources (in a green economy) caused by low price an “fast to the market” the company names “fast fashion”  been bankrupted years ago.

Can fashion rebuild itself?

The question raised by professionals and media recently if fashion actually should be better off with increased manufacture cost meeting the rising demand for longer-lasting quality and sustainable garments. Soon political decision might force the industry to make changes as well. Fashion has historically been seen as a symbol of wealth, power and social layer. Fashion clothing was very expensive compared to other expenses as for example housing in the past. The income difference was considerable, divided people who could afford fashion and those could n’t fashion became an important symbol of social status, manifested the difference in social class, integrity, wealth and power; the costume, with rich materials,  superfluous trimmings and difficult-to-care-for styles were not only costly. The economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen (published 1899) later put it, “Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Waste, and Conspicuous Leisure.”

 Modern consumerism and economic wealth

However, a drastic change happened after the Second World War when the economy raised considerably. Together with a  huge baby boom modern consumerism as we know it today was created as a result of more money and leisure time. The wages and economy among most people improved “substantially,” working –class families become better off and no longer depended on their children to help to support as it has been the tradition. Consequently, a whole generation of young people could keep the salaries, nevertheless, there was nothing to buy that attracted. In the early 60’s almost 40% of the population was under twenty-five; the need for Manpower replaced by better and improved technology. The increased amount of spare time, influence from brand new youth-targeted TV shows starring fashionable hosts and modern pop music created a huge market, open to young entrepreneurs familiar with wants and needs of a new consumer.

A new consumer product is born every third minute

There is hardly a place free from consumer consumption. Since then the demand for consumer products, fashion and entertainment have steadily grown into heaven and there is practically nowhere except breathing the air that is not for sale (even water has become a product people need to buy or otherwise die of diseased caused by using unsafe and dirty water). Global companies without economic limits have invented and innovated millions of brand new consumer products, created industries within entertainment, gaming, digital media and travel, and they are all competing of the same market shares and your wallet. Every third minute a new product is released the globally!

Due to hard competition, modern technology, relocation of factories and manufacturing processes the price in production has been able to stay low regardless of high salaries and material wealth in the society.  Fashion is one of the industries managing to lower production cost for many reasons; low-wage workers with jobs in unacceptable manufacturing facilities that produce garments fast, with low-quality fabrics. Modern transportation effectiveness, clever marketing, product monitoring and computerized logistics have made a very lucrative market for fast fashion where the price is considered low. How can increase manufacture cost save the poor reputation of fashion? Part two how can increase manufacture cost save the poor reputation of fashion?

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Sources and Useful Information (Click and Open)

The Textile Market

  • The world clothing and textile industry – encompassing clothing, textiles, footwear and luxury goods – reached almost $2,560 trillion in 2010, according to MarketLine.
  • The apparel, luxury goods and accessories portion of the market, which accounts for over 55% of the overall market, expected to generate $3,180 billion in 2015, with a yearly growth rate in excess of 4%.
  • Inditex, Zara company website
  • H&M facts
  • The blog freedom lightbulb  – documentary movie Lightbulb Conspiracy Documentary by Cosima Dannoritzer

Check out the new Dictionary with More than 1000 illustrated terms on Eco Fashion Design
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