20.2.14

YOU LOVE FASHION BUT DOES FASHION LOVE YOU?


Picture by Chris Browne

We can all admire the creative designers and exquisite craftsmanship of couture clothes. However, as one senior manager from Louis Vuitton uttered, “how can strips of material coated in plastic be worth so much?”

Tansy Hoskin’s book ‘Stitched Up – The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion’ looks underneath the glamour and the sequins to reveal an Industry controlled by a small number of corporations who exploit their workers and devastate the environment.

These corporations air brush their brands imaginary to an unattainable level at the same time controlling the media from any criticism. You’re not going to read about how leading Parisian fashion houses; Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel all collaborated with the Nazi’s during the occupation of France in the pages of Vogue.

If you wish to hurt them where it really hurts, in their pockets, then the highest mark-ups are made on handbags and perfumes.

Who should be blamed for this hidden state of the fashion industry? Corporate executives whose business models are designed to maximise profit at the expense of hundreds of thousands of mainly young female workers with ultra-low pay and dangerous working conditions? Or consumers, who are preoccupied with brand image and price? Tansy suggests the real culprit is the capitalist system.

What can be done? Should you wear a protest t-shit and stand outside Hermes? Such protests will somehow become incorporated and soon the brands will be selling you the protest t-shirts and at a sizeable profit.

If you decide to wear nothing, then you will be arrested for public disorder. Perhaps we should all be arrested for wearing exploitative toxic fashion?

Lend your voice and body for a better fashion industry. Where textile workers are treated with respect and paid a living wage. If wages were to be doubled even tripled then this would only increase the retail price of your dress by between 1-3%. And where dye water is treated and recycled instead of being washed away to pollute local rivers and lakes. It shouldn't be big and clever for corporations to negotiate with government officials to avoid paying minimum wages and operate under little or no environmental regulations in far away countries.

When your favourite celebrities and sport stars strut about parading in such destructive fashions then offer your advice and support for change. There is a better way to make your clothes and make an ethical buck.

Watch the book trailer here:

If you want to take a sneaky peek, here's a link to some online content:


More information on the author can be found here: http://www.tansyhoskins.org
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