All in Notes from the Field
The fashion industry is a majority female culture, while tech tends to be male-dominated. It’s not that male-dominated cultures are all bad, but I’ve been surprised by the rules and notions of professionalism that accompany these types of work environments.
As a fashion researcher, I was interested in the relationship between craft, creativity, and policy, but I was also deeply concerned about what these changes would mean for the city and the individuals who labor in this space. What was motivating the city to consider removing these protections now? How would fashion manufacturers cope with this change? Where were garment workers’ voices in this process?
The dark water was not a good sign. I was soaking a 1970s yellow and black dress in a plastic tub, in mild temperature water mixed with a little detergent. I had two goals—to alleviate some of the terrible smell and fade some staining in the bodice. The dress was a sturdy fabric, I threw it in its bath without much thought. I figured the worst-case scenario would be the dress was as smelly and stained as before.
Looking at this mess of textiles, we realized there was a prominent flaw within the industry and we were staring directly at it. As the speed of the industry increases and the quality decreases from fast fashion, consumers lose connection with their clothing and choose to buy new instead of cherish the old. As a result, we end up with this, a room full of textiles holding labour, water and raw materials being wasted.
In a time of informed consumers, sustainability is becoming a major marketing and communication challenge. If a brand does not communicate at least the goal of achieving sustainability they will be challenged, but if they do they will be criticized for not doing it correctly. Whatever happened to, “It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all”?