The fashion industry is one of world’s fastest. People are constantly buying clothes. Brands are constantly producing new items. Stores are constantly having new collections. For the last 60 years we have gone from tailor-made clothing and 'haute couture' to a $ 1.3 trillion fast fashion industry. With 80,000,000,000 new garments sold every year, fashion is the industry with the highest growth. Unfortunately, this also makes fashion the second most polluting industry after the oil industry. The impact is immense. Not only in terms of ecology but also from a social aspect it has a lot of dirty secrets. With the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24, 2013, the industry started to shake a little. Organizations and sustainable brands are on the rise. But some companies see this as the ultimate way to sell with greenwashing: faking that they are ethical.
What can be the solution? Technology and recycling? Nowadays technology is not yet on point and textile recycling is a difficult process. Sad if you know that half of the clothing that is made is not even ever worn before it ends up as waste.
I did research on individuals who want to make a difference within this industry. Still I am not completely convinced of their efficiency. I am surely convinced that individuals can make a difference and that a movement can take place. But I still have the feeling that sustainable brands want to be a better alternative but do not take an activist approach. Consumers are not sensitized enough. Not enough attention is paid to the “why” of the case. In addition to producing ethical and ecological fashion, a sustainable brand should also be an eye opener for consumers.
My project, Data Kamā, is an anti-fast fashion brand. The collection is made from old items of clothing that were no longer used. For this I used the upcycling technique. The consumer receives all the information he needs to receive: material, waste, pricing and working hours. The first collection that I made as part of my Master project counts 60 pieces, focusing on young people between 18 and 30 years old. Why? This target group is the biggest consumer of fast fashion because of social media. Yet I don’t really feel that there is a good alternative for their style and budget. The style with which Datā Kama profiles itself, is high fashion streetwear with a twist.
That twist is mainly due to the sound visualization and the textile processing inside the collection, refering to various problems within the industry. Rana Plaza, Aral Sea, Monsanto, the leather industry, the luxury brands which are actually the most unethical of all, ... The collection is supported by an online shop that focuses on transparency for the consumer and is being launched with a fashion show.
With Data Kamā, I try to start an alternative in the fashion industry and to open up the hidden agenda of the fast fashion industry.
Data Kamā: an anti-fast fashion brand and a wearable data visualization the this industry.