First published May 2018

The 10 year Prediction from 2008

Farrer & Fraser (2009) Conscience Clothing: Polarisation of the Fashion Textile Market

Originally delivered in 2008, I co-authored this paper, as the junior researcher, with Dr Joan Farrer. This was my first research paper in sustainable fashion and I remember starting out so excited in the beginning. I was charged with articulating the issues to understand how, in 2008, we had reached such extremely wasteful behaviours. At the time a multitude of incredibly ethical and environmental solutions were popping out of fashion research projects throughout the globe and I was still very green and overly optimistic about a bright sustainable fashion future. Unfortunately, as we dug deeper and debated the research, the scale soon became clear: on one side of the scale there are the those who believe and care and who want to make change; with those who don’t care on the other side. And as Ezio Manzini pointed out in 2003 there are ‘[b]illions of people in the planet … entering the main-stream industrial economy, culture and behaviour.’

Polarisation Fashion Textile Market Farrer & Fraser 2008

There was a lot to take in, the issues in the industry were huge and complex. We needed a user-friendly way of illustrating the issues, so in 2008 we predicted a future scenario for 2018. We demonstrated the division through two fictitious adjacent clothing stores in the high street of 2018: predicting a continuation of the unsustainable global manufacturing fashion textile industry as Shop Two; running in parallel to an emerging new paradigm of fashion and textiles found in Shop One.

Conscience Clothing Polarisation of the Fashion Textile Market

And here we are ten years later in 2018 and our prediction almost nails it!! The exception is that Shop One, wisely, replaced the ‘bricks and mortar’ shop for digital environments. See here for the original paper in 2009:

And the extended paper that followed:

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