When Women Owe Women: Framing Consumer Responsibility in the Context of Fast Fashion
The consumer is an important political subject in addressing global social issues, especially in the fashion industry. Due to the complex, multi-jurisdictional nature of the problems created through global capitalism, a significant overhaul of the fashion industry is not easy to achieve; nor is it easy for consumers to choose to withdraw from these markets. Further, framing individual consumer responsibility is difficult, especially when considering how questions of obligation intersect with geographical hierarchies as well as questions of privilege.
In this paper, we critique how responsibility is framed in contemporary fashion activism in relation to questions of gender. Using the organisation Fashion Revolution as a site of normative consumer activism, we highlight how two hashtag campaigns, #WhoMadeMyClothes and #LovedClothesLast, instrumentalise gender to engage consumers to act against injustice. Through our analysis, we question how calls to take up responsibility for fashion injustice intersect with profound questions about what women owe other women.
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