Slowing Down Fast Fashion // QUT Fashion Society
Monday 24th April 2017, we were fortunate to join Lauren Solomon as a Q&A panelist at the QUT Fashion Society ‘Slowing Down Fast Fashion’ Film Screening by Alex James as part of Fashion Revolution Week at the QUT Creative Industries Precinct in Brisbane.
In this inspiring 60 minute documentary narrated by Blur bassist Alex James, it became apparent by talking to consumers, that a staggering number of people actually have no idea where our clothes comes from or even what fabric composition they are made from.
Cheap, fast fashion is a term derived to mean the way fashion trends move from catwalk to market as quickly and cheaply as possible. It has detrimental effects socially and environmentally and these quick turnaround in trends are designed to be worn seasonal then deposed off in order to purchase the next season.
Because of clever marketing, its appears we have been trained into thinking we are paying too much for clothing and that in order to look great we need to replenish our wardrobe quickly.
Retail Therapy is now seen as ‘ an instant fix, like a drug’ where buying a something for yourself make us happy for a short time frame. This shift in shopping habits since the 90s has now become such an obsession with buying new clothing that it is causing a huge environmental impact.
Earlier this year, the PCI Fibres annual production forecast documented the amounts of textiles we are consuming annually in Australia to be around 13 kilograms per person per year, which comes to about twice the global average. And according to Jane Milburn, Sustainability Consultant of Textile Beat, two-thirds of the clothing we are buying are made from a synthetic fibre derived of petroleum.
The documentary touched on the larger scale issues about synthetic fibres that shed micro plastic particles when washed or disposed of in landfill; as well as issues with some natural fibres such as water overconsumption and how workers are being treated in cotton fields.
Following the documentary, we participated in a Q&A with some enlightening questions from an amazing audience hungry for answers on fabric, supply chains and in what ways we can solve this global problem.
Joined by Lauren Solomon a Doctorate at QUT, her expertise in the fashion industry has led her to lead and work on a variety of local and international projects that focus on capacity development of marginalised and disadvantaged individuals and communities. Her research has taken her to communities in Malawi and Cambodia, where she has investigated the complex relationship between fashion supply chains, questions of ethics and international development. Lauren’s aim is to develop projects that create positive intervention in the supply chain, she recently coordinated a capacity building training program for garment workers in Cambodia.
Some of the Questions asked;
Even Recycled Polyester can shed micro plastic particle - How can we prevent this?
What was it that led you to a sustainable business model?
What can the individual do to support sustainable fashion if they're on a budget ?
Who drives the sustainable fashion movement? Designers or consumers?
Ethical fashion covers many things, labour issues, fair trade and sustainable manufacturing, do you try to address all these issues?
A common struggle sustainable fashion designers face is the procurement of fabric and materials, do you think the barrier to entry is getting smaller?
Do you think ethical and sustainable fashion is becoming more affordable for the consumer?
We will be researching and answering these questions in depth over the next few months on the Eco Diary. Be sure to sign up!
Photo credits by Vittorio Yun Photography