Essay on Fashion Industry and Its Impact
Gone those days when Paris used to be the mecca of fashion and celebrities designers used to decide what is fashion and what is not. Those were days when celebrity used to start the fashion trends and people used to copy them. Now the world is changing, thanks to the technology. Celebrities don’t have the monopoly they used to have in fashion, they do influence a great deal. But due to technological advances common people, small time designers and creative minds taking fashion in their hands. Apps like Instagram, Pinterest, fashion startups like ETSY changing the game. Teenagers are becoming the fashion gatekeepers and trendsetters now.
What is Fashion?
Fashion is not about clothes and cosmetic products only. Then what is fashion? Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, makeup, footwear, accessories, and body but not limited to it. There is the fashion in music, art, videos. Fashion is the method with which you can express yourself with your clothes or accessories etc.
One who chooses a dress in morning, say something with those clothes, it represents their mood and even the personality. Choice of colors also says more about people than we think, why people choose black or bright colors. There is a major difference in people who wear all black and one who like bright, shiny colors. Fashion is sometimes overhyped or over criticised. There are serious problems like exploitation, consumerism but that with the fashion industry, not the fashion itself. Creative artists put their mind and soul into their creation and industry makes a business out of it. Here we are discussing problems of the fashion industry and its impact on people.
The only rule in fashion is Change.
Pressure on Designers
Earlier there used have 2 to 3 main events in fashion collections like summer, spring, runway fashion etc. But due to the high demand of variety and competition among the fashion houses and brands fashion designers are under pressure to create more style than ever before. Today we have dozens of fashion seasons a year. Each month or two a new collection is launched by top fashion brands.
Empowerment & Exploitation
Fashion industry mainly employs women from designing to sewing and stitching. It gives jobs to women; if monitored well fashion industry can be a good way of empowering skilled women. But the reality is far from it. The fashion industry is infamous for its exploitation and mainly women as their number is far more than males in this industry.
In 2013, 1134 garment workers died in a suburb near Dhaka, Bangladesh. They were cramped in 8-storey old building which was cracking. There were working on world’s top fast fashion brand. All these Bangladeshi garment workers were getting minimal wages, not enough to take care of their families. A lot them even forced to work there without their wish. All brands declared that they had no connection with the factory. But the clothes collected from debris made it a white lie.
Same is the situation in other poor or developing countries too. Fashion industry exploits these poor workers for their margins. This is one of the dark sides of the fashion industry.
Constant advertising, the involvement of celebrities, athletes influence their fans to follow the fashion brands. On top of it, these fashion brands; small or big come up creative ideas to sell their collection. They try all possible ways to make you feel that you are missing something, feeling that you are left behind which makes people buy fashion without thinking.
These fashion brand give discounts, offers, goodies, freebies, 10-minute stardom to their buyers. They try all tricks in their marketing hat. When people buy the fashion not to express themselves or feel better but just stay up to date with trend, that is the consumerism at it’s best.
Role of Celebrities
Fashion brand pays big money to celebrity from movies, sports for their promotional deals. These celebrities have a huge fan base and that is the target. People who follow these celebrities tend to buy the brand that their role model has.
Nowadays, they target fashion influencers too. People who have a big subscriber base for fashion related Youtube channels or on social media etc also get a good amount of money to promote their brand. They are called as an influencer because they influence the choices their fans make.
Role of Media in Fashion
Traditionally television, magazines, page 3 and now online media is having a great role in the growth of fashion industry. Fashion trends which were limited to western countries now create a world wide trend. Western clothes have great demand in the eastern hemisphere.
Eastern countries are mainly culture centric like China, India even Japan where there is great pseudo or real respect for culture. Staunt culture mindset accuses fashion world for cultural invasion.
We are Free to Make Choices
Yes, all these problems are there and it’s sad, but every individual has their choice. We as the country chose the global economic structure. In a democratic world, one cannot stop other to do what they like or stop them wear what they like. Donning fashion don’t hurt others, it’s individual choice.
Consumerism, the bombardment of advertising, exploitation are real problems with fashion industry so is in retail, infrastructure, technology and even in IT services too. Every industry has their own problems and impact on the world.
What we need is people with good souls in the industry who will not exploit poor for margins in any industry small or big, eastern or western. We should not turn a blind eye on exploitation if consumers react industry has to change its rules.
The young generation, teenagers are ones who fall prey for these fashion trends. They should be allowed to wear what they like but they also need to know the truth about respective industry and problems created by it. They should be free to make choice. If a choice is forced on youth one day they rebel.
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