Chapter 7: Optimized lifetimes

The speed and volume with which industrially produced products flow through the fashion system has resulted in their depersonalization. We no longer know the makers, or the source of the materials; they no longer speak of our myths, communities or societies. Our garments have become inanimate objects, mainly providing a means for delivering on commercial goals. Poetic meaning has been reduced in importance in favour of efficiencies of production, and a garment’s aesthetic reflects a bare minimum appeal, developed primarily to secure the initial sale. They are, as Jonathan Chapman calls them, ‘aesthetically impoverished’.8

The limited presence of meaning and empathy in so many commodity fashion products, combined ...

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