Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands

Annamma Joy, John F. Sherry, Alladi Venkatesh, Jeff Wang, Yee Kwong Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

254 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The phrase "fast fashion" refers to low-cost clothing collections that mimic current luxury fashion trends. Fast fashion helps sate deeply held desires among young consumers in the industrialized world for luxury fashion, even as it embodies unsustainability. Trends run their course with lightning speed, with today's latest styles swiftly trumping yesterday's, which have already been consigned to the trash bin. This article addresses the inherent dissonance among fast fashion consumers, who often share a concern for environmental issues even as they indulge in consumer patterns antithetical to ecological best practices. Seemingly adept at compartmentalism, and free of conflicted guilt, such consumers see no contradiction in their Janus-faced desires. Can luxury fashion, with ostensibly an emphasis on authenticity, and its concomitant respect for artisans and the environment, foster values of both quality and sustainability? Since individual identity continually evolves, and requires a materially referential re-imagining of self to do so, we hypothesize that actual rather than faux luxury brands can, ironically, unite the ideals of fashion with those of environmental sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-295
Number of pages23
JournalFashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Fast fashion
  • Luxury brands
  • Quality and consumer behavior
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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