Trash the Runway poster.pdf (512.56 kB)

Examining climate change and fast fashion.pdf

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posted on 2021-07-15, 18:24 authored by Patrick Chandler, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Beth Osnes, Presley Church
In this research project, we interrogate fast fashion in the 21st century in the context of a changing climate, by assessing emergent trends in sustainable fashion as an alternative consumption pathway through the annual ‘Trash the Runway’ event in Boulder, Colorado. We interviewed and surveyed designers and analyzed workshops and activities that led up to their annual fashion show. We also surveyed and interviewed students at the University of Colorado Boulder who worked with designers to produce short films about them and their work. The project provides youth – who are often marginalized in decision-making processes – a literal stage to suggest policy and behavior changes to address climate change and sustainability. We found that designers expressed reticence before the workshops and events to speak about climate change in everyday life, yet their design work creatively spoke powerfully for them, and they expressed less discomfort after the experience while they advanced their skillset as climate communicators. Moreover, we found that both designers and student partners reported that they think climate change will impact people greatly in the future, yet fewer respondents reported that climate change impacts them personally. While engagement with sustainable fashion helps to de-fetishize production processes and link consumption habits with awareness of climate and environmental change, more creative work should be done through fast- and sustainable-fashion to draw out temporal considerations of climate change threats here and now.This poster was presented at the 2021 Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Summer Meeting held virtually in July 2021.