Colleen Donlon

Colleen Donlon

COURSE: Fashion Business & Promotion 2017


TITLE: Irresponsibly Responsible


Fast fashion is not cheap: somebody, somewhere is paying the real price.
The price of clothing has declined over the past decades, which has seen a rapid growth in fast fashion sales and is continuing to grow. Through the years the cost of cheap fashion has had devastating impacts on peoples lives and the environment.
In 1974 the Multi- fibre agreement was settled as an international trade agreement in textiles and apparel industry. This limited the EU and US markets from importing excessive amounts from developing countries, until 1995 when that agreement was lifted. As a result the markets were immediately opened up to exports from developing and lesser developing countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, which offered a competitive price and quality rate and followed in an increased demand for cheaper manufacturing. Brands that originated from the more economically developed countries expected to maximize their profits as significantly as possible, which subsequently lead to exploitation and neglect of workers. Forced and child labour, unsafe working conditions, ignoring human rights and health and safety are just a few examples of the mistreatment that is still happening today.

Rana Plaza stood an eight story commercial building that collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24th April 2013 killing 1,134 workers. Research suggests that the infrastructure of the building was developed for housing or commercial purposes, large-scale clothing production were not supported so consequently lead to extremely unsafe working conditions. Brands that are found on the British High Street such as H&M, Mango, Primark and Gap were identified as producing garments in the factory Rana Plaza and have since donated $21.5 million to the Rana Plaza Donor trust fund as compensation.

The Millennial consumer tribe is the biggest driver in fashion consumption, their priorities include price and style and aren’t willing to compromise easily on either. Millennial consumers are also ethically motivated and are willing to avoid brands that are not practising ethically, this type of consumer is what the future holds according to WGSN. The future consumer in 2018 has been predicated to be one who is consciously motivated and expect sustainable and ethical standards always.

Irresponsibly Responsible was developed to give consumers control over their purchasing power, this new online brand uses only sustainable and ethical practises to produce dresses that are inspired by trends. The brand ensures consumers prioritises are never compromised, they believe that companies should take responsibility of their own actions and not only be concerned with the bottom line. Their unique personality gives the brand an energetic spirit to a subject that is often concerned uninteresting, Irresponsibly Responsible feels very passionate about the issues that surround the fashion industry but also want to meet the primary needs of their consumers by educating and inspiring always for change.

IR believes that nobody should have to die for fashion.

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