As we talked about it in some other blog posts, clothes or fashion can be a way to express ourselves, who we are but not only. “ Some designers were turning personal fashion statements for the greater good “ (Ethical, 2012). So clothes are also based on statements. They have a reason to be made, a meaning. But also where they have made matters to people, with what kind of fabric and who made them matter. The controversy about Nike when consumers found out that children were working for the brand showed it.“Instead, the work was sub-contracted round local villages, and children were drawn into the production process. Now, it insisted, any factory found to be employing a child must take that worker out of the factory, pay him or her a wage, provide education and re-hire them only when they were old enough.” (Bogan,2001) When Nike found out they changed their politics and showed their were defending children’s rights and supporting they education.
Ralph Lauren also found itself in a controversy recently by admitting that 2014 Olympic uniforms for US will be made in China instead of in the US. Consumers see the brand as a betrayer. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said about it : “I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should
be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.” (Mavrody, 2012) All of this is due because we accord also importance to what represent clothes. They are just what you wear for you but also what they represent to all the people looking at them and specially for celebrities, athletes, politicians,etc…“The Olympics are a kind of costume drama of international relations, in which each country’s team is an emblem of its national identity. “ (Mavrody, 2012)
What you wear casually can also be something that show what you defend and not only what brands or designers think. They permit to defend opinions obviously during manifestations for example. “In 1983, fashion began broadcasting social protests when Katharine Hamnettreleased her first protest T-shirt line.” No matter the topic, what you wear is a political or social medium. It can hurt people. Like Karlie Kloss did when she wore a Native American costume for a Victoria’s secret show. “I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the Victoria’s Secret Show offended anyone” (Johnson, 2012). With all the media around us fashion spreads easily so you never really know that something you can wear can have an impact somewhere else or consequences.
Boggan, S. (2001, October 20). Nike admits to mistakes over child labor. Common Dreams. Retrieved from http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1020-01.htm
Johnson, Z. (2012, November 12). Victoria’s secret, karlie kloss apologize for controversial native american costume. Weekly US. Retrieved from http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/victorias-secret-karlie-kloss-apologize-for-controversial-native-american-costume-20121211
Mavrody, N. (2012, July 17). Why the team usa ‘made in china’ backlash is such a giant story. The Fashion Spot. Retrieved from http://www.thefashionspot.com/runway-news/news/174913-olympics-made-in-china
Why fashion needs to get political. (2012, February 23).Ethical Style. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/posts/ethical-style-why-fashion-needs-to-get-political/