“The humankind has evolved dramatically. With the knowledge we have gained we should solve nature’s problems, not to create more.”
These words of the well-known Bulgarian professor Lazar Filipov still echoes from last month interview.
Looking back into the last two decades it’s not difficult to see the environmental progress: the car industry has managed to squeeze more power and fuel economy at the same time reducing engines capacity’ and carbon emissions. Hybrids became common with the first fully electric cars available to order. Tablets and Kindles have replaced paper books. Magazines have gone digital. Organic and Fair Trade became popular words amongst the food industry, keeping the consumer constantly aware.
But how has the fashion scene changed since then?
Has it managed to sustain its “looking-into-the-future” crown?
Is it still stepping forward? How has it managed to embrace the environmental aspect?
In the 90s there two collections. Now they have doubled, adding resort and pre-fall. Trends once two-three per season don’t squeeze under ten now. For those on the bored side, monthly micro-trends are available.
In order to deceive the customer and its wallet with newer purchases, brands, both high street and designers, have turned the market into a sea of endless production. Quality has long lost the battle with quantity. Ecology has surrendered to rapid soulless manufacturing. Creativity visibly dies spurred by the business plans to double and triple growth.
“What was amusing about the fifties was that women didn’t care about looking young. An eighteen-year-old wanted to look like a woman with jewellry and a mink coat because this was the fashion” says Lagerfeld in “The End of Fashion”.
Seems fashion has not changed much apart from now you need to add an 'it' bag and a statement pair of heels at least. And even if the fur industry and its cruel animal principles are forgiven, the fact that the human’s population has tripled since should not be forgotten.
So has consuming. And if we keeping growing rapidly like this inevitable comes the question where will all these fur and leather farms will be accommodated in two decades time.
But at the end who needs tropic forests when we have alligator skin bags!
And while asking if the meat at the butcher is organic and the eggs – free-range has become common, there’s still no such information in the leather industry. Cows, grown for their skins, and their CO2 emissions pollute more than all cars. And that was back ten years when cars hadn’t changed so much.
Ultimately fashion feeds on vain, not on ecology. We got to the truth.
Fashion is selfish. It’s not about the community, it’s about the person. It’s a competition.
“I do look good”. “I look better than you”. “You have nice shoes but I have a hundred of nice shoes”. “I have more fox coats and python biker jackets and they are all exclusive.”
Expensive clothes that cover personal insecurities. This image still gets sold in an “organic” natural way via street style shots of rich, happy people. Little has changed in marketing: we are still brain-washed by the rich culture.
Often at creative schools, it’s taught that fashion is a culture. It is merely a reflection of the times we live in. And if that is true, the question of how long it will take before Earth passes on in the knees of fashion and its vain insatiable desires for profit at any cost inevitably rises.
The good news is new, independent brands are coming on the way. Those who speak more with passion and creativity than with a revenue chart.