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Random Fashion Thoughts (Part 3: Style farmer strikes back) - our general discussion thread

Teger

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I don't think these are the same things. High-end clothes can be recycled through the second-hand market for years and years and years. Margiela five-zips, EG Bedfords, Rick Intarsias, Kapital Ring coat, etc have remained relevant for more than a decade. People continue to buy them on the second-hand market.

For a variety of reasons -- brand snobbery, construction quality, and trendy design -- you can't do this with cheaper Zara and H&M clothing. That's the stuff that winds up in landfills and African rag markets, not some Yohji piece. Same for a lot of stuff coveted over on the CM side of the board -- Alden shoes, bespoke suits, J. Press ties, etc.
of course Zara and H&M clothing isn't going to last the way an EG Bedford will -- and its not going to survive a cycle of reselling -- but some people don't have access to that EG in the first place, and it's important when we're talking about ethical consumption its with the caveat I described above: if H&M is all you can afford, you shouldn't be judged for that purchase.

and you know there's lost of posters who have great pieces just sitting in their closets for years. the engagement of objectively judging what you need or don't and selling of those things that don't make the cut is a lot more than people are willing to do.
 

dieworkwear

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of course Zara and H&M clothing isn't going to last the way an EG Bedford will -- and its not going to survive a cycle of reselling -- but some people don't have access to that EG in the first place, and it's important when we're talking about ethical consumption its with the caveat I described above: if H&M is all you can afford, you shouldn't be judged for that purchase
This comes up all the time, where people assume the world is either a choice between uber high-end brands or fast fashion. And that poo-poo'ing fast fashion is somehow undemocratic and classist.

Fast fashion doesn't mean cheap clothing and not all cheap clothing is fast fashion. Hanes, Clarks, Levi's, Carhartt, Converse, Champion, and plenty of other companies are affordable but not fast fashion. It's true that people stockpile these clothes as well, but at least you can wear Chucks and Levi's 511 jeans for a decade or more, should you choose to. People won't buy them on the second-hand market, but they're not disposable in terms of design like fast fashion.

Fast fashion is unique in how it rips off runway looks and turns them into the hottest trends. It's the design process that distinguishes it, not the price.

For people on a budget, there are plenty of options for dressing well without shopping at H&M and Zara. Those companies didn't even take off until the late 90s/ early aughts and people were dressing well on a budget before then.
 
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LonerMatt

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Right - and I think Teger and Fok were sort of speaking to this a bit - if I'm buying a new pair of Levis each month that's not fast fashion, but it's also NOT sustainable.

Similarly, your point about cotton totes vs plastic bags alludes to the cost of cotton in terms of water, dyeing processes, run off and carbon in the form of machining, so one has to wonder if buying plenty of Hanes is also sustainable even if it's not fast fashion.

It's NOT hard to know what is sustainable. It's been mentioned that the most sustainable thing is not to buy stuff (or new stuff), but of course that's quite counter-cultural and certainly a hard sell for many people, industries and employees. What's hard is working out how we're able to keep the best parts of commercial practice without fucking over our homes.

More broadly, I suppose, one could get quite defeatist around capitalism's ability to be a base for/support a sustainable society.
 

LA Guy

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More broadly, I suppose, one could get quite defeatist around capitalism's ability to be a base for/support a sustainable society.
I don't even think that it's capitalism, per se. It's more broadly a free market and industrialized economies. Frankly, I'm unconvinced that we can really do anything sustainably without basically reverting back to feudalism, where only a few can do things like travel (which will always be hugely inefficient just because of the limits of thermodynamic efficiency, if nothing else), and where we basically kill the economy, to the point where any consumption is hugely expensive and largely out of reach of most people, including most people here, including the modern equivalent of the petite bourgeoisie. No matter how to distribute the resources, most people would live pretty miserably lives, with a lucky few with modern standards of living.

Fashion is a small, silly industry with rather low stakes, but this issue extends to pretty much all sectors.
 

mmmargeologist

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Pretty much nailed it fok. Energy intensity - the absence of storage leaves us with oil and gas or nuclear for things like 15,000 PSI pumps and smelting iron. Furthermore, scale - solar farms require 450 times more land than nuclear plants - and even worse - wind farms require 700 times more land than natural gas wells. Not to mention the amount of plastics and energy required to produce said solar panels and wind turbines (they’re not that renewable).

At the end of the day, the answer is greatly reducing our consumption. But what does that hat mean for our economy? The answers are complicated.
 

Lane

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we are going to live on the moon soon, dont worry about the planet. Enjoy your H&M X Elmo T's.
 

am55

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I don't even think that it's capitalism, per se. It's more broadly a free market and industrialized economies. Frankly, I'm unconvinced that we can really do anything sustainably without basically reverting back to feudalism, where only a few can do things like travel (which will always be hugely inefficient just because of the limits of thermodynamic efficiency, if nothing else), and where we basically kill the economy, to the point where any consumption is hugely expensive and largely out of reach of most people, including most people here, including the modern equivalent of the petite bourgeoisie. No matter how to distribute the resources, most people would live pretty miserably lives, with a lucky few with modern standards of living.
I'm sure you're aware of the logical alternative solution that some reach (allegedly including Pol Pot).
 

LA Guy

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I'm sure you're aware of the logical alternative solution that some reach (allegedly including Pol Pot).
Yeah, that's a third option. Personally, I feel like we are pretty much at as good as it gets. Basically, it comes down to the inescapable "everything has a price".
 

LA Guy

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I think the only way to solve this is to have everyone in America post their shopping considerations first in the "Should I Buy" thread before they purchase anything. The Council then votes up or down.
Styleforum will fight any attempts to make the forum into a utility. But we'd welcome the page views and mandatory engagement.
 

LA Guy

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Alright, this is pretty awesome and interesting. From @kiya 's email this morning:

"We're proud to introduce Rick Owens into our stable of lines at Self Edge. We've been working with the Rick Owens team over the past two years as they've developed their first ever made in Japan line of denim based garments. This collection marks the first time Rick Owens has produced a part of his collection outside of his own factories in Italy.

This collection includes a slim cut jean and a denim jacket, both with slight detail changes giving them a little twist from your average 5-pocket jean (this one has 6..) and your average Type I/II/III denim jacket.

The jeans and jacket are made of a 13.75oz raw Japanese selvedge which has a pure-indigo rope dyed warp and a natural weft. There is also a black warp and natural weft jean which has been treated with a black wax for a very unique feel and sheen.

Along with these jeans and jackets we have the Rick Owens DRKSHDW "Gimp" hoodie. All of these items are available now at all Self Edge stores and online."

I love this type of category breaking mix and matching.
 

cyc wid it

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I think the only way to solve this is to have everyone in America post their shopping considerations first in the "Should I Buy" thread before they purchase anything. The Council then votes up or down.
That's not how it works already?
 

zissou

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I think it's always going to be hard to discuss sustainability on a forum like SF where were are generally praised for overconsumption. Some folks are great at eschewing the BUY! mentality and consistently provide great advice. But, that's maybe 5% of us. Much of the industry revolves around putting out new and exciting things twice a year to inspire us to buy more. I think a few of you have hit it on the head- buy less, buy smaller, buy durable, buy second hand.
 

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