The “Democratization of Fashion”.

“American fashion brands continue to move their production and manufacturing to factories outside of the states where labor is cheap, fast, and products are made in limited standardized sizes. It seems that the “democratization” of fashion (the demand that fashion goods be available to the masses at low price points) is creating a phenomenon that pushes the use of cheap materials and low quality products that fall apart after washing or multiple wears (think Forever21). As demand for designer styles from the masses continue, the market responds with providing low quality, cheap products made by underpaid workers. This continues the inevitable “fast-fashion” conundrum of purchasing cheap goods, wearing them a couple times, and feeling no remorse simply throwing them away when the next trend hits the shelves weeks later. This consume-and-discard shopping behavior has consequences. The hard work and original creativity of designers become diluted as  fast-fashion companies steal the look and make a near exact replica with poor labor and even poorer materials. As people continue to consume and discard apparel, landfills pile up with last season’s looks and even though it may seem money saving to buy cheap apparel, purchasing low quality items that need constant replacing is more devastating to the wallet. As demand for cheaper goods continues, quality craftsmanship loses out to cheap, unskilled labor.” – Kelly Sullivan, SoHo Life Magazine, March 2013

Consumers are blinded by inexpensive prices for “trendy” items and the behind the scenes implications fall into the shadows. Meanwhile, landfills are piling up, toxic chemicals are used in production to cut costs, designer integrity falls to the wayside and more American jobs are being outsourced. I.F. has a mission to start a dialogue about these issues and make the average consumer become more aware of these effects.

Part of I.F.’s mission is to give advice for ways of avoiding falling into the grey void of mindless consumption, and promote longevity, high quality and craftsmanship. Here you will find articles pertaining to the discussion of the benefits and consequences of the democratization of fashion as well as interviews with innovative fashion brands that are known for promoting the movement of sustainable fashion.

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