What does one wear to a climate emergency? This course asks you to more carefully consider: What does what you wear mean for citizens, communities, nations, the planet and you?
Environmentally, the fashion industry is known as one of the most polluting industries, wasteful of scarce resources, and a greenhouse gas emitter. Socially, the fashion industry’s record is similarly concerning. The collapse of the Rana Plaza apparel factory in Bangladesh in May of 2013 was the world’s worst apparel industry disaster. The disaster ushered in a popular culture conversation about the costs and payoffs of a global fashion industry, notably through the documentary The True Cost, the social media organized Fashion Revolution Day, and a new slew of companies that forefront their sustainability missions. Yet, economically, fast fashion companies remain the most successful companies across the retail landscape. How did we get here? What private, governmental, and non-governmental structures keep a polluting, socially unjust system in place? What problem solving is possible using sustainability paradigms?
We will examine sustainability through the value chain of fashion from farms and factories to brands and retailers to policymakers. We will take an intensive look at your role as citizens and as consumers, critically considering how your role maintains or challenges pervasive structures. This analysis will ask you to answer, what is fashion that sustains us as individuals and as a community?
Catalog Information: COLL-S 104 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN S & H