by Maite Cezario, our wonderful intern!
Whenever we think of social movements, we never associate it with fashion. Today, it is a movement that is on the rise. Sustainable fashion and social justice movements date back to the 1980’s when the first anti-fur campaigns surfaced. Later in the 1990’s, scandals regarding sweatshops put pressure on fashion companies and retailers to put a monitoring programme over their factories (Lundblad and Davies 2015). Following these instances, what emerged was a movement of sustainable fashion consumerism with support from Vogue, the American fashion and lifestyle magazine (Lundblad and Davies 2015). A new trend in fashion was being set, one never before seen in the industry but one that would grow exponentially in the coming years: the environment. Holding itself on a path for ecological integrity, sustainable fashion not only helps in producing quality and ethical clothing, it is also a social justice movement.
Like all social justice movements, sustainable fashion is growing in many ways. The sustainable fashion market keeps growing as we can see a clear difference in the market’s worth in the United Kingdom, per example. In 2011, the ethical market was worth approximately £47.2 billion and this market’s fastest growing sector was clothing and cosmetics at the time (Lundblad and Davies 2015). On the other hand in the US, by 2021, the sustainability market will reach $150 billion (about £121 billion) in sales (Rosmarin 2020). As the industry grows financially, so does its visibility worldwide. Awareness is ever growing, especially amongst younger generations. There is a common sense of responsibility in saving the environment, and sustainable fashion is one of many methods people are looking to. Sustainable fashion is a social justice movement because it involves different terms such as organic, green, sustainable, slow, and eco. Each of these are also associated with injustice or wrongdoing in the fashion industry and can be an attempt at highlighting them in the fashion industry. Some of the injustices that we will further mention in upcoming blog and Instagram posts are the environmental damages, textile waste, and worker exploitation.
We hope this gave you a bit of insight into the current situation. We've developed a range of articles addressing the impacts of the fashion industry and what can be done, to get you thinking about our impact on the environment during Fashion Revolution week!
Sustainability, slow fashion and the circular economy are the cornerstones of what we do at The Social Outfit. You can learn more about our impact here, or shop the latest in beautiful, ethically-made fashion here.
Here are some of the articles we used when developing this blog post, check them out:
Lundblad, Louise, and Iain A. Davies. "The values and motivations behind sustainable fashion consumption." Journal of Consumer Behaviour 15.2 (2016): 149-162.
Rosmarin, Remi. “Sustainability Sells: Why Consumers and Clothing Brands Alike Are Turning to Sustainability as a Guiding Light.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 14 Jan. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/sustainability-as-a-value-is-changing-how-consumers-shop.