For the longest time I have been fixated on how the fashion industry morphed after the Great Depression. From that era till now is what we know of the fashion industry—the luxury giants who have become the backbone of all that is beautiful. Now that we have found ourselves mirroring the Great Depression I have become even more fixated on where the industry is headed. It seems as though the luxury giants have been scrambling to figure this out when the answer is right outside their front door. Whether you are on 5th Avenue or the Fashion District the first people you encounter are the homeless. So how exactly could the homeless influence one of the largest industries of the world? It’s not due to the fact that a major portion of the homeless have actually spent time in a few factories or how the luxury consumer has relied so greatly on government programs to feed this growing class. (Quite the cycle if you ask me.) It’s due to a rising movement that has yet to truly stake it’s name, so for now I will refer to it as the For-Profit-Non-Profit-Fashion Movement (FPNPFM if you will). I fear the fashion empires will truly have to experience their lowest low before they can hop on board with this movement. It’s one of creativity, passion and love. One where the designer would rather spend an extra 10 cents per garment to know that an actual hand is sewing the garment rather than a sweat shop victim feeding a machine. It’s a movement of Fair Trade and providing jobs for the jobless.
With fashion being a reflection of society one can’t help but look at our great moments in history and see the tremendous reflection it’s had on this industry. Some have been highlights that could be ESPN worthy and some are those that history books with someday bear the legacy. Either way we can’t forget all the jobs that these fashion empires have created in the world. It’s just time to make a change, put our heads together and figure out where exactly fashion is headed. For the first time it seems as though the main concern isn’t just apparel trends, but rather the internal workings of how the company runs. This is anywhere from the origination of fabric, assembling the garment to packaging goods.
As designers, companies and consumers are reevaluating every dollar they spend, it just seems fitting that fashion is reflecting this movement. The FPNPFM is building a strong foundation for the fashion industry to someday call it’s home.