The Cost of Our Fashion Cravings

Overproduction of clothes as cheaply as possible is an environmental challenge that concerns all of us. Annelies Keus presents a complicated topic in a passionate and clear sighted way we can all get behind.

Climate change is real. We are using up the Earth’s resources at a rate that compares to no other time in history. Companies are convincing us to buy clothing that we don’t need, and we give in to our constant need for outward gratification. 'Consumer demand' highly influences the industry. They make, we buy, we demand, they produce.

With Burberry as a first, the newest trend in high-end fashion is “See now, Buy now”, where customers can buy the collections straight off the runway. This can be considered a new way to engage with customers and a new chapter in our global fashion industry. Although it seems as though this might be another huge challenge for our ‘oh so influential’ minds, this new chapter could have an amazing impact on the global production chain. When it comes to reducing overproduction and combating fast-fashion chains which churn out tons of clothing every year, this might be the first stone toward bridging the gap between theory and practice.  

Limiting our purchases to consciously manufactured, high quality pieces and consuming only that which we truly need and know we will be wearing for as long as it lasts, should be a first priority for every consumer. Evidently we are not about to stop buying clothes entirely. However, it is important that we step in to tackle the main problems of the global fashion industry. There has been made a small amount of progress over the past few years, but we still have a long way to go in terms of human impact, the environment, social responsibility and the future of the sustainable fashion movement as a whole.

The Collapse of Rana Plaza

The documentary called “True Cost” shows why the fashion industry is the second largest polluter on earth. Released after the Rana Plaza disaster, it not only shows the horror of the 1,134 people who were killed and the over 2,500 who were injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh when the complex collapsed on April 24, 2013. It also highlights the astonishing inequality of garment workers across the globe.

The True Cost will be screened at the University of St Andrews on Wednesday 26th October, in School 3 at 18:30. This will be followed by a brief discussion on the themes presented.