With the current weather so sunny and warm, I haven’t been spending a lot of time in front of the computer these days. Perhaps it is this, coupled with the general anxiety I have as a rising college senior, that I haven’t been thinking about fashion much. At least in a substantial way.
On the odd occasion that I do think about fashion, it is always twinged with certain sense of melancholia, especially after all the recent Bangladesh accidents. It feels wrong to talk about “silly” things like aesthetics again, when so many have died for fast fashion. A particularly gruesome image of a man crushed under the rubble at the collapse of Rana Plaza continues to haunt me. I can’t help but feel partially responsible, even though it has been years since I bought anything from the known brands that used Rana Plaza for their manufacture of goods. What is particularly upsetting is to see so few mainstream fashion blogs (the big personal style ones) even mention in brief, anything about the tragedies in Dhaka. More so, I have yet to see any fashion magazine discuss the events either.
I want to argue that fashion is more than clothes, that it’s about capturing the zeitgeist and creating a channel for self-expression; nowadays, I just see D-E-A-T-H. It might feel overly dramatic, but for every piece of clothing (especially fast fashion) I notice, I can’t help but wonder: who has suffered for it this time round? I have always known intuitively, ever since I started buying fast fashion clothing as an pre-teen, that fast fashion sounds too good to be true. Though I have matured much since, with the full extent of the hidden social costs revealed before me, I have incredible difficulty in moving on past these tragedies to more lighthearted anecdote and musings in my continual discussion about fashion. Even menswear, which generally focuses more on quality and craft rather than trends, has lost its allure. I might be happy and thus learnt to deal with being small, but I highly doubt many others ever will be.
I wonder if there is any others, who feel as strongly as I do about the general appalling state of consumption habits in fashion, especially amongst the younger demographic that I belong to (ages 18-24). Perhaps there are more important issues that us Millenials have to deal with—terrible employment opportunities for one and chronic underemployment for another—yet the choices we as Gen Y makes, continues to matter with profound impact on the rest of the globe. Is there an easy(-ier) way out of this mess we’ve made?