Fall in prices, quicker production rates and easier access to fashion (fast fashion) have meant that fashion is now more accessible to the common man than ever before.
Taking a look at Europe, for example, studies have shown that the percentage of clothing bought by a resident of the European Union has increased by 40% in just a few decades, with the current spending average of about $782 per year per capita.
But at what cost?
The clothing and textile industry is the second largest pollutant in the world (following oil) contributing to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Reasons which cause concern include
- Abuse of natural resources (land, water and an increased use of chemicals and pesticides) for the production of raw materials at a faster rate.
- Manufacturing and finishing processes such as spinning, dyeing or giving the fabrics strength and shine are energy-intensive processes in which large amounts of water and chemicals are used.
- Most textile raw materials and final products are imported into the EU, which means long delivery routes.
- Consumer User Pattern
Can a solution to this situation be found? How do we reduce waste and keep materials within the consumption and production loop for as long as possible? How do we maximize the life cycle of products? Would redesign be a viable solution? Would the use of recyclable material help?
How do we empower second hand and reselling platforms? How do we work towards making a positive impact on the environment? And most importantly how do we ensure that their quality is second to none? Can design be used as a tool to inspire, create awareness and change perspectives?
Design an urban studio to sensitize the community about the increasingly negative effects of fast fashion, and the dire need to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.