How Depressing Is It That This Might Be The Future Of Fashion?

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 11 months ago | News

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We know that social media shopping is becoming increasingly common, but have we really given much thought to what this could mean for the future of fashion? One writer Alexis C Madrigal is shedding light on this very issue in a recent article for The Atlantic. Therein, Madrigal recalls how he bought a camel coat through Instagram, from a brand called West Louis. “It was, technically, the item I ordered,” he says of receiving the garment, “only shabbier than I expected in every aspect.” Disappointed by the quality, Madrigal then went to the brand’s Instagram account and performed a reverse image search, only to discover that the exact same coat was also being sold around the world through a variety of other ‘brands’.

Then the same thing happened with a sweatshirt that he purchased – also through Instagram. In total, Madrigal was able to track down 15 different shops that were selling this same identical item. “Each very lightly brands the sweatshirt as its own, but features identical pictures of a mustachioed, tattooed model.” And interestingly, all of these brands were being powered by the e-commerce platform Shopify.

“Shopify serves as the base layer for an emerging ecosystem that solders digital advertising through Facebook onto the world of Asian manufacturers and wholesalers who rep their companies on Alibaba and its foreigner-friendly counterpart, AliExpress,” Madrigal writes. “It’s a fascinating new retail world, a mutation of globalised capitalism that’s been growing in the cracks of mainstream commerce.” In other words, through technological advancements and the popularity of social media, we are now being faced with a fashion system in which what you sell matters much less than how it is sold.

“Some Instagram retailers are legit brands with employees and products,” writes Madrigal. “Others are simply middlemen for Chinese goods, built in bedrooms, and launched with no capital or inventory.” But it’s the power of social media sites like Instagram and Facebook – as well as certain Shopify tools – that keeps them all going. And if this is what the future of fashion really looks like, then it represents a very scary prospect for both the quality of our garments, and the rights of the people making our clothes.

Via The Atlantic


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