Past research enabled me to define what I associate with sustainability and where I see the problem. Apart from the issues within business supply chains, many of the issues lie with the consumers. The consumer habits of over consumption is fuelling the market of fast fashion and has now become a way of life. From constant advertisement, which leads people to believe that they need to buy their products to keep up with current trends, to the continuous reduce in prices, sustainable choices can not compete unless consumers start to change their sources. I discovered that sustainable brands and methods are not advertised to target the young demographic, who are the main consumers of fast fashion. This got me thinking into researching different ways to encourage and educate the individual consumers to make sustainable choices.
Throughout my initial research I was looking at various types of photography, trying to get the feel of what outcomes would be best suited for my website. Along with that I was also looking into sustainable advertisement videos such as Monki’s close the loop and Stella McCartney’s sustainability video of which inspired me the most. My aim was to find a common ground between the two, combining conceptual nature clips with bold bright colours accompanied by an encouraging narrative.
My first test shoot was in a studio using a plain background featuring clothing swapped through friends and bought from charity shops to show the creative side of using second hand clothing to create fashionable and unique looks. However, my vision was to make a bolder statement therefore I experimented by adding coloured backdrops which I felt transformed the photographs. Shortly after this, I decided to go in a slightly different direction in terms of my outcomes featured on the website. I originally thought of doing one long video that featured on the swap platform but further into my research and experimentation I decided that I would go down a different route as I felt I wanted to display the beauty of nature in one conceptual film as the promotional video for the platform. But, I wanted to ensure that I remained with my initial reasons for creating the swap platform and include fun, bold and informative elements so I decided I would also create editorials to feature on the website.
Throughout my research into the fast fashion I came across many issues within our day to day routines that are causing a large effect on our planet. I chose three common problems that are easily resolved through small but very beneficial changes such as washing less and on a cooler setting, sourcing clothing sustainably and learning how to reuse and recycle clothes. I wanted to create exciting, eye catching photography to feature in the editorials aimed to attract the target demographic. I decided to source locations that would reflect and promote these issues and that is where I got the idea of shooting the wash less editorial in a Laundromat. I created my own backdrop for the reuse and recycle shoot with multiple pairs of denim jeans, I chose denim as the denim industry has been proven to be one of the main causes of environmental issues life-threatening concerns in the world. As for the sourcing sustainably shoot, with inspiration from photographer Laura Allard Fleischl, I thought it would be nice idea to photograph in second hand stores, flea markets and charity shops. Throughout my experimentation I discovered a new appreciation for film photography so, I decided this would be the perfect shoot to photograph in film and I was very happy with the results. Having taken many photos in film I thought they would be perfect to use on the social media platforms also.
The research was ongoing with the promotional video throughout, continually looking for new locations to film which resulted in many clips to chose from. By creating story boards, it helped me narrow down the clips and decided what worked best together. I travelled to a number of locations in Wales and East Sussex, visiting many times to ensure the weather and lighting was just what I had imagined. The aim of this video was to promote the beauty of nature and the respect for animals and humans. Editing the video, for me was a challenge to begin with as I had never used the software before but after watching many tutorials online I finally go the hang of it. I enjoyed this experience as I feel I self taught a good skill that I can carry with me for future jobs if need be.
After editing and adding a backing track, which I thought worked perfectly with the video and the concept I no longer felt that having a narrator, as I originally wanted, would work with the background music. Saying this, I did feel it needed inspirational words to encourage and also educate viewers so I decided to include text, which I then added to multiple clips throughout. I am very happy with the outcome of the promotional video; it is a subtle representation of the beautiful surrounding of which we could lose if things do not start to change.
The overall aesthetic of the website was initially going to be bolder and brighter but as I created the content that would be featured on the website, I had to take into consideration how it would look all together. After choosing to create a pink logo for the website I decided that that would be the theme of the swap platform. As the editorials are bold and colourful I decided using a white background would work best along with the bright logo. I made sure any text on the website were grey/black to ensure it wasn’t too overwhelming with bright colours and kept the website looking modern and contemporary.
Having created the three editorials which featured motivating information and exciting photography I decided that I should create a small zine to go alongside the website, a little capsule of the reasons behind the swap platform. I’m very happy I decided to make the zine alongside the website as I feel photographs have a larger impact when seen physically. When I edited the shoots I also decided to create Gif’s to accompany them which led me on to the idea of making the zine interactive which I was then introduced to the HP Reveal app which allowed me to do so. I think this is a fun and added extra to my project which allows people to not only interact with my website but also my zine.
Overall I am very happy with my outcome and feel I have learned and achieved many new skills along the way. There is a long way to go for the fashion industry to become sustainable but with small but beneficial changes to our shopping, washing and recycling habits we can make a great difference. My swap website intends to target the younger demographic through social media and advertisement to encourage a change in over consumption.