Free Content Sustainable Apparel Product Development: In Search of a New Dominant Social Paradigm for the Field Using Sustainable Approaches

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The apparel industry is complicit in the current ecological crisis. Since the Industrial Revolution, the industry’s impact has grown unceasingly and there are now social, environmental, and economic consequences that must be addressed. Though the fashion industry has begun its move toward sustainable strategies, opportunities remain. Design and product development processes represent a key inception point for a multitude of impacts. Thus, it is imperative to identify the points on which those processes may be enhanced or revolutionized by approaches used in other industries leading innovation for sustainability. In this article, the authors commence an exploration of these other industries in search of a new dominant social paradigm, a more sustainable pattern of practice, for the apparel industry as well as education. The findings indicate that costing strategies, collaboration and cooperation in the supply chain, and tools for decision making represent the primary components of the transition to a sustainable paradigm. Additionally, the authors argue that industry proclivities such as economies of scale, implacable competition, and the use of the concept of fashion must now be scrutinized and reconciled to better support quality of life.

Keywords: apparel; design; product development; sustainability; textiles

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Fashion Practice is the first peer-reviewed academic journal to cover the full range of contemporary design and manufacture within the context of the fashion industry. Fashion Practice provides a much-needed forum for topics ranging from design theory to the impact of technology, economics, and industry on fashion practice.

    Interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, Fashion Practice addresses the entire business of fashion, including: innovation in fashion design and practice; sustainability and ethical decision making within the industry; micro- and nano-technologies within the fashion context; “smart” textiles and digital fashion; materials, design, concepts and interdisciplinary process; fashion consumption and production from retail/e-tail to performance fashion; new developments in fashion and clothing retail.

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