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How Translating Between Heritage and Contemporary Fashion Can Create a Sustainable Fashion Movement

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Part of the Sustainable Textiles: Production, Processing, Manufacturing & Chemistry book series (STPPMC)

Abstract

Sustainable fashion and the search for more balanced and less exploitative production and consumption patterns has become a fashion trend. The industry and end consumer market are currently re-discovering the values of handmade items. With practices of traditional heritage textile manufacturing, the perception and demand for artisan fashion became a popular add on to contemporary fashion designs. This article is looking into the different approaches brands and designers can have, when working with artisan communities. The findings and examples are based on expert interviews, which I conducted with the creative directors and owners of three different brands, located in India and Columbia. The value of handcraft items is shown here as a point of uniqueness, entrepreneurial business aspect and wider social responsibility. With all brands and designers having a strong bond to their local communities, they see the identity of handmade textiles as a signature to their contemporary designs. Additionally, we can emphasis the complexity of collaborating with artisan groups in a respectful way. Implementing modernisation and keeping traditions integer is a crucial pint when translating heritage skills into the future.

Keywords

  • Heritage textiles
  • Artisan
  • Contemporary fashion
  • Sustainable fashion
  • Handmade
  • Communities
  • Slow fashion
  • Entrepreneurial1

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-5967-6_11
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References

  1. Donaldson T (2020) Is slow fashion the new luxury? WWD. https://wwd.com/fashion-news/ready-to-wear/slow-fashion-artisan-luxury-sustainability-social-impact-1234575062/.

  2. The State of the Handworker Economy (2018) www.buildanest.org, The Nest, p 26. https://www.buildanest.org/shereport/.‌

  3. Backs S, Jahnke H, Lüpke L et al (2020) Traditional versus fast fashion supply chains in the apparel industry: an agent-based simulation approach. Ann Oper Res. https://doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10479-020-03703-8

  4. Granskog A, Lee L, Magnus K-H, Sawers C (2020) Survey: Consumer sentiment on sustainability in fashion. https://www.mckinsey.com. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/survey-consumer-sentiment-on-sustainability-in-fashion

  5. Wipo.int. (2019) Arts and crafts of Colombia. https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2006/06/article_0002.html

  6. Banik S (2017) A study on financial analysis of rural artisans in India: issues and challenges. [online] Banik S, A study on financial analysis of rural artisans in India: issues and challenges (November 15, 2017). Int J Creative Res Thoughts (IJCRT). https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3137936.

  7. Jansen A (2019) Decolonising fashion | Vestoj. Vestoj.com. http://vestoj.com/decolonialising-fashion/.

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Correspondence to Dorothee Sarah Spehar .

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Spehar, D.S. (2021). How Translating Between Heritage and Contemporary Fashion Can Create a Sustainable Fashion Movement. In: Gardetti, M.Á., Muthu, S.S. (eds) Handloom Sustainability and Culture. Sustainable Textiles: Production, Processing, Manufacturing & Chemistry. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5967-6_11

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