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Fashion, Sustainability and the Anthropocene

Brooks, Andrew, Fletcher, Kate, Francis, Robert, Rigby, Emma Dulcie and Roberts, Thomas (2017) Fashion, Sustainability and the Anthropocene Utopian Studies.

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The unbridled consumption of clothing threatens the environment. In fashion communities, a discussion is developing around the adoption of new materials and economic models to reduce the impacts of clothing production and use. We discuss these emergent technologies in the wider historical setting of the Anthropocene, a geological term that denotes the global scale environmental changes brought about by agricultural and industrial activity. The long history of human-environmental interactions is inter-woven with the development of international garment economies that have shaped biological and physical systems. This article provides an account of how changes in clothing manufacturing and consumption patterns have effected environmental systems over time, with a particular focus on laundry practices. We draw on one technical solution that has emerged in recent times - closed loop recycling - to discuss how the forward-looking ideas privilege the status quo and prioritise incremental change. Optimistic solutions to fashion and sustainability challenges are a signal example of mechanisms that are responding to a 'good Anthropocene', a utopian ecomodernist argument that human systems can adapt and prosper in a changing world. Such flawed solutions hide from view more radical visions to transform the relationships between fashion, technology and the environment.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 2017
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 the authors.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 16 Nov 2017 14:09
Last Modified : 16 Nov 2017 14:09

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