Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Eco Chic, The Savy Shoppers Guide to Ethical Fashion

‘Eco Chic, The Savy Shoppers Guide to Ethical Fashion’, written by Matilda Lee is an informative text which thoroughly explores the structure of the textiles industry, its evolution throughout current years and its potential future developments. Lee covers many of the important environmental and social issues surrounding the negative impact the industry creates. Positivity is also a key element in that the majority of information included focuses on what designers, consumers and buyers can or are currently doing to prevent further damage. The main purpose of the text is to create an awareness of the impact we are having on the environment and others, in order to encourage sustainability within a highly influential industry.

The key question the author is addressing is: ‘Why should we be making changes to create a more sustainable and ethical fashion and textile industry? ‘

It is made clear how important is that we ‘buy less and care more.’(Lee 2007) Understanding how organisations as well as individual choices can help better the current situation is explained throughout the text. In regard to textile design, many are not aware of what alternatives are available that it is possible to implement these techniques on an industrial scale. T Shirt and Sons, is a company set up by brothers, John and Andy Lunt in the 1980’s. They use eco printing techniques for designs used by Greenpeace, Katharine Hamnett and The Glastonbury Festival. Although the overall process is extended, Andy states:

“We have saved a lot of money going organic. We spend much less on waste management, for example.”(Lunt, A, 2007)

Matilda Lee has used primary sources to compile her own personal research through interviews with designers and retailers currently implementing sustainable elements into their practice: “It is based on...interviews with people involved in designing, making, promoting, retailing and writing about clothes and fashion”.

Through secondary research sources the author has created a clear image of the current issues worldwide. Examples of these are journal article extracts, newspaper articles, relevant texts and statistic reports. These were most likely gathered through contacts, catalogues and extensive research within this field.

Lee concludes that although the way consumers shop will not drastically change the fate of our planet, as individuals our everyday choices play a huge part towards climate change. Designers and retailers decisions on what they make available and how they use resources are included within this concept of sustainable living. Understanding the ‘green’ possibilities and how to resource ethically is key. Lee includes many contacts and businesses operating in this way within the text.

The main assumption underlying the authors thinking is that people are going to be so easily converted to this ethical way of shopping/ living. She takes an optimistic approach which is understandable in regard to the content of the text and doesn’t often create an opposing argument from designers/ makers maybe less interested in the ‘green’ shift.

If we take this line of reasoning the implications are that we could as a union create positivity by making small changes and genuinely prevent further damage to the environment.

If we fail to take the authors line of reasoning seriously, the implications are that we will continue to ruin the natural environment around us through over consumption and pollution.

It is designers, makers, retailers and writers points of view along with the authors which create the main perspective throughout the text.