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.
For my online presence, apart from my portfolio I decided that I would create an instagram page which I named @isabellafashcomms. I feel this will be very beneficial for me as my work has been and will be very visual as I intend to specialise in buying and merchandising. The images on my personal Instagram account is currently very similar to my swap account due to the fact that I feel i’ve wanted to show the content of this project in particular as it’s something that i’m proud of and feel is very current in the industry. I have experimented and learned from many new techniques during my final major project and feel my Instagram account is a great place to display my outcomes. I have also attached my online portfolio to my bio which sends you straight to my official page – www.isabellasalini.co.uk
My original mission statement at the beginning of the project was that I had identified that consumer habits of over consumption is fuelling the market of fast fashion and has now become a way of life and there is a need to attract a younger audience regarding the reuse of clothing as they are one of the most influential consumer groups in the fast fashion retail market. This has remained the same throughout the project with the intention to experiment with the aesthetic to initially attract the audience whilst ensuring it portrays the beauty of nature through colour and image.
The main platform for the action of this project was to create a swap website which I have achieved but throughout my research and experimentation some elements have changed. When developing my ideas, I decided that the promotional video will be the main aspect to my swap website, which features the beauty of nature, animal welfare and the representation of human’s role in saving the environment through moving image and text. Adding in the aspect of colour and imagery to attract the younger audience I decided to create three individual editorials representing different ways of benefiting the environment and reducing over consumption. As a result of this I decided to create a zine to go alongside the website which features the three editorials which are also interactive. I decided to use Instagram as the social media platform for the swap website where it promotes tips and information about the fashion industry along with beneficial ways to improve sustainability. I also planned to create a page on the website that gives advice on how to host a swap party but instead I actually went ahead and co-hosted a swap party in a pop-up venue in Brighton and created a short video that will also feature on the website to inspire others.
The initial aim of my project was to create a platform that brought people together whilst benefiting the environment through the reuse of clothing and reducing the over consumption of fast fashion. I feel my platform has achieved this aim, by creating a website that contains a promotional video along with colourful and informative editorials to attract the target demographic along with the interactive zine and social media platform. I feel my project will have the possibility to reach out to the millennials to encourage a change in their shopping habits and teach them to find a new respect for their clothing and the environment.
Swap’s main source of advertisement and promotion will be through its official Instagram account @swapwithapurpose. This account will feature all of Swap’s content along with extra images a videos sharing useful information on ways to benefit the environment along with interesting facts about the industry. I also felt it was important as I am promoting sustainability for most of the Swap advertisement to be online to ensure there is no paper waste.
When looking at how to advertise the swap website I was sure that I wanted to advertise the short film on the television as I feel the video would have the greatest impact on larger screen. I also took into account my target audience which is the millennial demographic and it has been said that due to new technology we tend to spend most of our time looking at smaller screens such as iphones and ipads. With this in mind, I have ensured that the video works just as well on a mobile screen and is large enough to make an impact.
As my target market for this website are known to live and breathe social media and that’s why I decided that it was essential for the platform to have its own official Instagram page. However, due to the many social media platforms available I decided to mock up an example of the Swap platform on Facebook as a preview of how it would be advertised with the easy shopping accessibility.
I also feel a beneficial platform for Swap to be advertised is YouTube. In my mock up example I have chosen a clothes haul to demonstrate the types of videos that my advertisement will be beneficial. Clothes haul videos are about showing their viewers how many things they have bought from fast fashion retailers and how little they paid for them, these videos’ encourage over consumption and hopefully if advertising my promo video ahead of them will inspire others to reconsider the source of their clothing.
Encouraging a change in over consumption and shopping habits.
Today, the present speed of fast fashion has accelerated and is now a global market that entices consumers with its cheap clothing and endless ‘must have’ collections. Shopping for new clothes used to be a occasional occurrence during the new seasons but recently the fashion industry has seen a change, the supply chains have drastically sped up and the high street is seeing more collections released each month then there was annually. Now, retailers are releasing around 52 different collections a year. Therefore, clothing is less appreciated, people no longer value their clothing due to the items being poorly made, cheap and easily assessable.
“Globally, we’re producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year, and the planet cannot sustain that” – Lucy Siegle
Taking your time to shop, looking through various shops and clothes until you find that unique piece that you love! Learning about where your clothing comes from and who it was made by is important, This will help you value and take pride in your clothing. shopping for clothing should be a fun and educating experience. Shopping this way also benefits the environment by ensuring these clothes don’t end up in landfill in developing countries. Also, in time, the speed of fast fashion should start to decrease due to less demand.
A few changes to everyone’s washing habits could greatly improve the environment and create some large benefits. When washing on the lowest temperature possible it cuts CO2 emissions and saves energy. Investigated by Levi Strauss, one pair of Levi’s 501 jeans used a total of 3,480.5 liters of water through its life cycle and home washing alone accounted for 2,000 liters! These results have inspired Levi’s to launch their own campaign, encouraging customers to change their washing habits to benefit the environment. The environment have suffered disaster due to water shortage such as the disappearance of a sea (Aral Sea). Therefore, changing habits such as lowering the temperature and washing less could not only save energy and money it will also have a positive impact on the environment.
“Washing at a low temperature not only saves energy and money – it also helps keep your clothes looking good for longer.” – Philip Malpass Director General, UKCPI
“With the average student spending over £500 per year on energy usage, we’re delighted to support the I prefer 30 campaign to help raise awareness of how students can save money on their energy usage while doing their bit for the environment as well.” – Dom Anderson NUS Vice President of Society and Citizenship