Lockdown has been a wakeup call for the industry and Coronavirus has brought fashion to a halt. So what next?
Over the past few years, sustainable fashion has been inching towards the mainstream. Now, given the pandemic crisis, discussion of how to create a more ethical and less environmentally damaging model for an industry that is responsible for 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, is more relevant than ever. With much of the usual churn on pause because of coronavirus and many of the cracks of the industry coming to the fore, people are taking this hiatus as an opportunity to reassess fashion’s direction of travel.
Hope for a post-coronavirus fashion future is one that also values those in the supply chain. Garment workers are the heart of the fashion industry but are treated the worst and often come from the most marginalised communities. Many workers are navigating the sweatshop conditions they would face on any normal day – with risks of poor ventilation, dirty conditions and no social-distancing practicing. But there is a shifting tide and a unique moment because consumers are actually paying attention and reorienting relationships with consumption more than ever. Governments and corporations are being called out and garment workers are continuing to resist.
Now is the time to reimagine new systems and challenging each other beyond these systems that we are critiquing, let’s propose alternatives.
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