Everybody wears clothes, be it ordinary or designer. Certain people are accountable for manufacturing these clothes. Without them, all of us would have to be content donning ourselves in bark clothes and animal skin, something akin to our caveman ancestors.
This throws a sharp light on the fact that fashion is essential in society. Something that may have caught you unawares is that the fashion industry is the most fascinating and underrated of all sectors.
Fashion is an aesthetic expression and a form of art that helps people display their talent and personality. It showcases the sentiments and the mood of a person, his tastes and choices, and reflects on their sense of style.
Fashion has taken our society for epochs. While the concept of fashion has not changed, the definition of fashion has gone through some severe revolutions these past couple of decades.
Fashion matters. Socially, economically and individually- it reaches out to each one of us at a personal level.
While virtually almost every person is a direct consumer of the fashion industry, by dropping in on merchandisers or purchasing apparel from vintage shops, many of those same shoppers glimpse the industry as frivolous, fleeting, and vain. It feels that the industry is made up of hobbyists and shallow women.
The community is divided on the thoughts of fashion having an affirmative or adverse impact on society. Nearly half of society believes that fashion harms society, but that is a story for another day.
A memory is evoked from the film “Devil Wears Prada.” A particularly feisty scene wherein Miranda Priestly takes time to make the new assistant understand that whether you appreciate and value fashion or not, you are a part of the ecosystem, and you get into it with every purchase you make.
This makes you obliged to take a glance at the good that fashion has been doing in society.
What is the need to have fashion in society?
While we have already taken a look at fashion and society, this article would like to introduce you to the economic need of fashion around the globe.
You might be surprised to know that the fashion industry is valued at $3 trillion. Now that is something! It is the second-largest worldwide activity by volume of trade and employs over 57 million workers. The numeral figures just keep on going higher and higher.
Take the fashion world out of today’s economy, and the global recession will be ten times what it is now.
Explore the bond between fashion and history
Fashion started with the primitive man wearing tree barks and animal pelt for protection against environmental elements.
Since then, fashion has been evolving and coming back. The ancient Romans and Egyptians had a keen eye for their appearance.
Fashion styles became prominent in the court of Philip the Good. Burgundy emerged as a fashion hub in Europe. The trend then shifted to Italy and then France with the advent of the age of the Renaissance.
The Dark Ages of Europe, the Medieval Period, the Tudor and Stuart era, the Georgian Period, the Victorian era, the Edwardian age, and the British periods of history were critical aisles of world fashion history.
Imperialism in the 16th and 17th centuries was an entirely new phase in the history of fashion.
The history of fashion is the history of people. Fashion designers and enthusiasts of the past century have laid the foundations of the fashion we know and recognize today.
Many traditional costumes have also preserved the rich culture and heritage of their community.
How does fashion enable environmental sustainability?
Have you ever come across a newspaper headline over the past decade which has given you accurate statistics about the waste generated and the devastating effects that making a garment has on the environment?
The reality is a bitter truth. A single pair of jeans needs about a kilogram of cotton and approximately 10,000 liters of water. Not to mention that the harsh fabric dyes pollute the water resources and destroy marine aquatic life.
On top of that, the fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than those that come from aviation.
This has led to the evolution of sustainable fashion practices. Sustainable fashion is a movement facilitating the transition of fashion products and the fashion system towards substantial ecological integrity and social justice.
It produces garments, accessories, and footwear in an environment-friendly process which are socio-economically endurable. Many companies are manufacturing high-quality and durable clothes that support textile recycling to promote sustainable consumption patterns and use.
Consumers are now reducing unnecessary buying of clothes and frequenting vintage stores and thrift shops selling refurbished clothes.
What are some other windfalls of fashion in society?
The Fashion industry manufactures clothing
Well, this one is pretty obvious. Clothing is one of the three necessities of life. Had it not been for the fashion industry, we would still be as naked as the day we were born.
Fashion provides employment opportunities
The fashion industry operates laborers on numerous levels. Garment workers, pattern makers, textile designers, packing companies- all of these hire labor workers.
The fashion industry provides income for many households and involves both skilled and unskilled labor.
Fashion causes a ripple effect and relates to the jobs created in the market
The fashion industry comprises of merchandisers, multinationals, production houses, publishers, and others. All of these firms provide business to traditionally-accepted fields such as law, finance, and technology. Some of the massive deals that employ people with JD and MBA degrees come out of the fashion industry.
Despite its faults, fashion spreads a notion powerfully and coherently with a ‘cool’ factor. Fashion is and has been a regular part of our existence. Many may see it as trivial, but it has always been a creative, enterprising, multi-faceted industry that is vital to our economic and social well-being. Fashion does matter. It is crucial in our society. Nobody can dare to deny it.