The Price of Fashion – Assefeh Barrat

The Price of Fashion which was presented by Assefeh Barrat, figure 36, was another insightful BBC programme, figure 35, that talks about the impact of fast fashion on our environment. One aspect Assefeh Barrat talked about was how America is one of the largest provider of cotton, the cotton produced in America is distributed all around the world. Half of the cotton produced is provided to manufacturers that make clothing. Cotton uses a hell of a lot of water and pesticides during production. The water used is only used once and not recycled and the pesticides used are full of chemicals that kill wildlife resulting on a knock on effect down the food chain. Pesticides also emit pollutants through its chemical makeup, these pollutants are a major threat to emission levels, however, there is new technology being developed everyday with the intention of decreasing the use of water and pesticides during production. Assefeh Barrat went to America to visit cotton farmers with the purpose of finding out what farmers are doing in order to make the stages in production more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Another factor touched on within this documentary was London fashion week and how designers who took part were doing their part towards a sustainable future. Designers have been adopting a circular-looped approach within the production of their designs. Sadie Williams is an example of this as she up-cycles her off cuts, incorporating them into her work and producing accessories where possible. Edeline Lee is another designer who took apart in the 2018 London fashion week, she strive towards making her practises as sustainable as possible, however, she did say that the fashion industry is not geared up to accommodate small designers as it is easier to provide a large batch of materials to bigger companies. Sustainable materials are also difficult for her to use as she has deadlines and new trends that she needs to keep up with.

Assefeh Barrat found that fashionistas believe that sustainability is very doable as fashion trends go around in circles meaning that it is possible to keep statement pieces in  your wardrobe and recycle them when back in fashion. They say that by investing in timeless classics and high quality products you can hold on to your wardrobe for a longer time, limiting the amount of new clothing you need to buy. Sustainable fashion is not just for the rich, it can be for everyone to get involved with.

By watching this documentary it has come to light that many people are doing what they can to help the environment and there are many small changes that everyone can make to move towards a sustainable future. In an ideal world cotton and other materials such as Polyester would be swapped with sustainable alternatives but for the moment I think that until these materials are made more accessible a closed loop approach is the best tactic.

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