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All good love stories have a good ending. This is the last one in the Trusted Clothes series, focusing on the ethical and sustainable fashion industry. The central reason for participating in this industry on the independent journalism side is curiosity.
I had the opportunity to write for them, grow, learn, devour, and develop areas of more excellent knowledge. Indeed, we can find woo in the industry. However, I focus on the personalities, the industries, and the like.
The personalities were lovely. The businesses were quaint to severe. Most often, the businesses were run by women. The big takeaways are the plurality of forms that ethical and sustainable fashion businesses can take globally.
I was talking to people all over. I was fascinated by how they could produce such a large assortment of creative forms of harvesting for the fibres, whether animal or plant and the vast array of design and manufacturing methodologies.
It is essential to comprehend the crazy endeavour of many individuals within these industries. First off, they are coming from a situation of little wealth. Most have a severely limited amount of capital.
Fashion, especially for the big players, is a capital-intensive industry. The most prominent fashion brands are Nike, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Gucci. This is a severe corporate-level, international-scale industry and advertising. These people know fashion.
These people know outreach and sales, and it shows in the numbers. For small and medium businesses to compete ethically and sustainably in the industry, it’s like going against the Death Star with a single X-Wing or fighting Voldemort without a wand.
However, I do not take a confrontational view of these industries as particularly productive. I take the perspective(s) of integration into the larger structures to change the manufacturing patterns. Eventually, the technology will emerge out of necessity to scale up more sustainable fabrics than polyester-based ones.
Plastic pollution will become too much of a concern for more pampered nations and citizens with higher living standards and disposable cash. Also, as with alternative energy sources, the prices will drop too.
There will be bottom-up and top-down pressures for all fashion production lines to make more sustainable choices and even more ethical choices in how workers are treated, what types of fibres are harvested, and how those fibres are harvested.
It will be a multimodal formulation of change and will not happen overnight. However, the future of fashion will likely tend towards ethical and sustainable fashion, even though the dominant fashion form now will be polyester and worker maltreatment.
So, why the bed in the end? The cover is ode to a turning of a chapter, a bedtime past its time as a past-time. I am grateful the entire opportunity to grow with this family at a time when needed.
January 26, 2024
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
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Photo credit: Photo by Kenzie Kraft on Unsplash.