Monday, October 24, 2016
Consumption Madness in "Disposable Fashion"
Quartz has run a quite troubling piece about the growing trend now of cycling fashion trends ever faster. This, with the ongoing madness of ever lower prices (the "Wallmartization" and "Amazonization" of economics where the laborer suffers as a consequence of benefiting the purchaser; itself another aspect of the insanity of supply side thinking), as well as the spread of this type of consumerization to the developing world, spells even more trouble for the environment, as well as economic stability.
With clothing, of course, this can be a double whammy of negative affect because not only does fiber production (as both agriculture and synthetics production) consume significant quantities of water, energy, and land as a part of production, there is also the water and energy consumed in washing ever more clothing to consider after it's purchased.
Not only are there more "style" changes per year now, creating a greater perceived need for new purchases, and the incentive for disposing of old "styles," there are no coordinated standards for making old cloth recyclable; no small thing when you consider how natural and synthetic fibers can be blended these days. Any more than there is a greater effort to publicize the eco-friendly aspects of Thrift Stores recycling the use of past fashions.
The problem, of course, is that front end production is where the profits are, especially when volume consumption is the order of the day; which then necessitates that marketing provide the spur to keep this contradiction going. People work harder to keep up even as the producers play areas of production against each other to keep costs down, and prices low. The people working harder are made ever more dependant on lower prices, and always so distracted by so many other things going on, that they can not see how this arrangement is consuming itself out of existence.