Our Invitation to You to Join the Conversation Now
As you prepare for, or engage in, some aspect of the fashion industry, do you consider how your actions impact fashion’s ecological footprint? Do you think about how fashion can either hinder or enhances people’s sense of self and their relationships with others? Have you pondered over innovative processes and alternative materials that might lend improvements, not wanting to resign yourself to fashion’s same unsustainable ways? If you answered yes to these questions then you are concerned about fashion and sustainability and this book is for you. Within these pages a conversation begins that needs to happen now. The ideas behind it started through conversation, we then invited many writers to join us, and we now invite you to participate.
Addressed within this book are the issues and consequences that consumers, marketers, designers, and product developers engage in as they move toward sustainability. It features an exploration of systems that facilitate the least burden on the environment with the most benefit to people. Yes, this is complex and involves all aspects of the fashion industry, yet we have chosen to focus the conversation mostly on issues of concern within design and product development processes. These issues and practices begin the conversation that needs to be had. Anyone involved in any dimension of fashion will benefit from reading, discussing, and putting ideas into action. The time is now for taking action toward sustainability through fashion. Join in the conversation and together we will take action.The format of this book is an anthology, divided into three sections, each focused on an in-depth exploration of sustainable opportunity that we have identified: people, processes, and the environment. This innovative model is explained in the introduction and then expanded upon throughout the book. It provides an interconnected and circular way to explore these issues that is not possible through old linear models of understanding the fashion industry. It is different and different is what is needed now.
We begin each section by introducing the overall concepts, issues, and practices that arise within its five chapters. The chapters stand alone, yet together form the conversation. They may be read in any order, you may come back to some often or skip over others, depending on your current concerns and interest. Included at the end of each section is an interview with a business or individual that is actively engaged in sustainable practices, in order to show application of the issues raised within the section. Throughout your reading, please formulate your own challenges and responses to the question ‘Why now?’.
We have invited fashion academics and practitioners, each with their own unique knowledge and expertise, to write the chapters that contribute to this dialog. They represent many diverse voices and writing styles, making for lively conversation. The writing is in varying levels of depth and perspectives. And, like any important conversation, there are sometimes conflicts. Because of the variety in both content and viewpoint, this book is appropriate for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as people working to bring about change within the fashion industry. It is also important reading for consumers of fashion. We are all in this together. So, thank you for picking up this book. Welcome to the conversation.