With the rise of the internet, and the ability to access brands, stores, and ideas from all across the world, the way that we see a lot of aspects of culture is changing, including fashion. Now, fashion is more than ever a tool for purpose, and there are brands and creators very much at the forefront of this revolution. Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways that the internet is breathing new purpose into the fashion world.
Sustainability is a concern that’s fast on the rise for a lot of people, as the warnings of how much we need to scale back our modern mode of resource extraction and production become a lot clearer. Sustainable fashion is becoming more popular than ever, and the internet is greatly helping, with fashion streamers, in particular, putting out a lot of the work that platforms this kind of fashion and educates viewers on what really is and is not sustainable in the fashion world.
The dominant culture of any given area will always have the greatest sway over what kind of fashion gets released, the styles, patterns, and other forms of fashion productions, all the while, assimilating parts of other cultures and hertiages. Nowadays, however, it’s much easier to source looks directly from other cultural traditions, such as with this African clothing brand making styles not as common in the “global north” a lot more accessible. It can help more people find styles that feel representative of them and increase a sense of natural cohesion between cultural norms, rather than a one-sided appropriation and assimilation.
Ethical labour purpose
One of the big changes that the internet has allowed for is that it’s not just brands that are in control of their message. Nowadays, there are several voices who keep close tabs on the industry willing to report the nature of how it works. This includes unethical workplace treatment, which has been a huge problem for the fashion industry for a long time, now. However, it also makes it a lot easier to make a note of those brands with ethical practices, so you can reduce the level of guilt associated with your own wardrobe.
Is it all good?
Can we say that the democratising nature of the internet has been a net positive for fashion? Probably. But wholly positive? Certainly not. The wider availability of more brands launching their wares online has given rise to some particularly damaging and ethically shaky practices such as the entirety of the fast fashion industry as we know it. It’s easier to access fashion brands doing really well and exploring interesting avenues of the world of design, but that also makes it easier to access brands offering a tempting deal that does more harm than you might think.
Of course, fashion has always had a purpose. But the democratizing effect of the internet means the decision-making power behind that purpose is open to more people than ever, which results in a much wider range of options than ever, too.
Photo by Anete Lusina
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