Part two of the story
Here today, gone tomorrow
The prices and coolness of fashion are not hot anymore. The fashion 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?
Speed to the market
Media’s lists of “what is hot,” has been the measurement for coolness in the society, the desire of having the latest gadget, technology or fashion is an essential factor in a circular economy of which fast consume plays a significant role. Fashion garments always connected with coolness and the most critical 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 the possibility to communicate with consumers at a low-cost. Media’s enormous influence through advertising and smart PR have been a driver for faster consume and perfect for fast fashion.
Fast fashion the killer of coolness
However, fast fashion has over time become the biggest killer of “coolness” and the main reason behind the decline of fashion’s importance in 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, minimise production cost in every operation and an enormous appetite for growth of which “maximise sales” strategy has created a highly profitable and unbeatable fashion concept. 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 mobiles, computers, the Internet and software in the digital revolution fighting the market share. If we add the damage of shared resources (green economy) caused by low price a “fast to the market” the company names “fast fashion” 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? It will meet 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 seen as a symbol of wealth, power and social layer. Fashion clothing was costly compared to other expenses as housing in the past. The income difference was considerable, divided people who could afford fashion and those could not fashion became an important symbol of social status, manifested the difference in social class, integrity, wealth and power; the costume, with luxurious 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 massive baby boom modern consumerism as we know it today 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 the 60’s almost 40 per cent 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 vast 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 wallet. Every third minute a new product is released globally!
The shameless low salary of garment labour
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, smart marketing, product monitoring and computerised 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?
- H&M the great sustainable fashion swindle
- Why is it that the measurement of wealth in society is only based upon money sequence
- What kind of actions is necessary to improve sustainable fashion ahead?
- How do the new Eco and sustainable consumer look like?
- Re-thinking Environment and Sustainable Development in the Twenty-first Century
Sources and useful Information
- EU-27 expenditure in euros per capita 2003 and 2011
- Statistics consumer index EU
- Will rising costs spark a new social trend in the fashion industry? Guardian post by Dr. Pamela Ravasio
- Consumption Trends in the UK, 1975–99
- Laura Blow Andrew Leicester Zoë Oldfield, Copy-edited by Judith Payne
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies
- The value of longevity: Product quality and sustainable consumption
- Tim Cooper, Nottingham Trent University, UK Bureau of labor statistics “100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending”, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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