Behind the Scenes of Fast Fashion

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Dr. Christina Moon, Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons New School for Design, has recently published an article in the Pacific Standard about the world behind fast fashion. The article can be found here: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/secret-world-slow-road-korea-los-angeles-behind-fast-fashion-73956/

Dr. Moon highlights points about the fast fashion industry and how it all began which will surely surprise any TMD/TM major. With that said, I highly recommend this article to all students in our field of study. It was surprising to discover that the fast fashion business was created by the Korean immigrants of Los Angeles, and progressed thanks to the help of their children who brought “Americanized cultural identities” to the table. As Dr. Moon points out, second generation Korean students became the driving force behind US fast fashion. A business coordinating all parts of the apparel manufacturing process such as design, production, logistics, wholesaling, and marketing is bound to be a recipe for success; however, I don’t know if I go as far to claim this business model “sparked an explosion of creativity.” With a two week production cycle as compared to a traditional three month production cycle, I don’t see too much room for innovation. Although, with our fast paced lifestyle and our becoming accustomed to easily attainable, inexpensive, and stylish clothing, innovation and creativity are most likely not at the top of a consumers list when shopping for a new outfit. As a TMD/TM student, what’s your take on fast fashion?

Any and all thoughts are more than welcome!

By MacKenzie Cahoone

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Export Growth Expected from Turkey in 2014

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According to just-style, Turkey is aiming for increased export growth in 2014, mainly to EU markets. Although the cost of sourcing apparel from Turkey averages 30-40% higher than countries such as China and India, quicker lead times as well as Turkey’s ability to offer shorter runs are proving to be beneficial for European retailers. Despite increasing pressure on price from European retailers, Turkey’s clothing industry is still expected to grow during the upcoming year. Another factor Turkish apparel manufacturers benefit from is the depreciation of the country’s currency, the Lira. Depreciation of the Lira could potentially act as an advantage for Turkish apparel manufacturers, making apparel sourcing from Turkey more price competitive for European retailers.

By MacKenzie Cahoone

Source:Dyson, Jonathan. “Turkey looks to strong clothing export growth in 2014.” just-style Global News. 15 February 2014. http://0-www.lexisnexis.com.helin.uri.edu/hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=343994.

More on Bangladesh: What’s Next?

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I’m sure  you have all been reading about the current factory protests in Bangladesh, but here are the basics of the current situation. Factory workers of Bangladesh are asking for a $100 monthly minimum wage, as compared to their current $38 monthly wage. The issue is that factory owners are finding it difficult to pay such a dramatic increase on worker’s wages because of their customers (large global brands). The owners are looking to these global brands as the cause of these issues, claiming these large brands are unwilling to pay more for their goods manufactured in Bangladesh. Currently, factories are unable to produce the goods these global brands have ordered due to the protests.

My question is: What’s next not just for Bangladesh, but for the United States? How will our economy be affected if the factory workers, factory owners, and global brands cannot come to a solution relatively soon? What does this mean for us as consumers? Is there anything we can do as consumers? Welcome for any thoughts!

by MacKenzie Cahoone

Extended reading: http://world.time.com/2013/09/23/bangladeshi-garment-workers-set-factories-ablaze-in-bid-for-higher-wages/