Fashion, Sustainability, and the Anthropocene
Francis, Robert A.
Penn State University Press
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The unbridled consumption of clothing threatens the environment. A discussion is developing around the adoption of new materials and economic models to reduce the impacts of clothing production and use. We discuss these emergent technologies in the wider historical setting of the Anthropocene. The history of human-environmental interactions is interwoven with the development of international garment economies. This article provides an account of how changes in clothing manufacturing and consumption patterns have affected environmental systems, focusing on laundry practices in Britain. We draw on closed-loop recycling to discuss how ideas from clothing businesses privilege the status quo and technological change. Optimistic solutions to fashion and sustainability challenges are an example of mechanisms that are responding to a utopian eco-modernist argument that human systems can adapt and prosper in a changing world. Such flawed solutions hide from view more radical visions to transform the relationships among fashion, technology, and the environment.
Brooks, A., Fletcher, K., Francis, R., Rigby, E., & Roberts, T. (2018) 'Fashion, Sustainability, and the Anthropocene', Utopian Studies, 28(3), 482-504. doi:10.5325/utopianstudies.28.3.0482
Article published in Utopian Studies available at https://doi.org/10.5325/utopianstudies.28.3.0482
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