In ‘Clothing as material culture’, Miller discusses the importance of the multiplicity of the wardrobe, one can apply this point to the opportunity micro trends provide for consumers; “Combinations of clothing involve a moment of totalization: of incorporating the diverse threads of [one’s] life within [their] clothing.” (Küchler & Miller 2005). Fast fashion allows for more looks, which allows identity to change and adapt depending on mood and occasion. Carole Kane of boohoo.com applies the issue of social media to acts of consumption in stating, “…Because everything is recorded now on social media, I can’t wear the same thing again.” (Kane, C, 2015) Her fast fashion company boohoo.com is an affordable means for a new outfit for each social event.
Both Küchler & Miller and Kane’s understandings demonstrate Fast Fashions’ success as an industry, when considering the short-term use value of garments due to photographs on social media. One can apply Veblen’s theories to explain the idea behind Fast Fashion’s success within the world of social media, Firstly ‘Pecuniary standing’ (Veblen, 1924). The display of a diverse range of outfits could be seen as pecuniary standing; as social media platforms provide individuals with an opportunity to display their choice of purchase and create a persona based on a range of images with which their personality can be associated with. However it is important to highlight, as the concept evolves, that “despite their tactical value, social media can have a paradoxical effect of insulating us from one another.” (Kester, 2012)This point is resonant with the idea of mass communication being insulating, and users overlooking aspects of fast fashion le...
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A contrasting opinion is that of Catarina Midby, sustainability director for H&M, Who says of her retailers consumers; “People buy to wear and to keep their garments.’’
Midby also provides the answer for unwanted clothes – “One solution is using waste as a resource – hence the garment collecting initiative from H&M stores… to be shed into new fibres, new yarn and new garments… it’s only on a small scale so far.” (Midby, 2015) – One can see that waste management is undertaken, if on a small scale. A conflicting message concerning H&M is seen in the film The True Cost; the ‘second largest clothing corporation in clothing history, who’s largest producers are in Bangladesh and Cambodia – declined all interview requests for this film – On learning this, one could wonder what issues prevented this interview, if the were a fully ethical and sustainable corporation.
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