The dark side of fashion
The fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, London and Berlin not only attract journalists, bloggers, buyers and celebrities. Models parade around in outfits that are, more or less, suitable for everyday wear, orchestrating designs and breathing life into them for a few moments on the catwalk. Glossy magazines, blogs and TV shows report on the latest looks, must-haves and It-pieces.
But where does it come from, this fashion that makes the transition from the catwalk to the stores, from prototype to mass production, in the course of just a few weeks? Where is it manufactured, under what conditions and by whom? How is it that items of clothing can be so cheap? Answers to these questions can be found in this exhibition.
Images of seamstresses on the brink of exhaustion, collapsed factory buildings with hundreds of dead – the shady side of a glamorous business. Using the manufacturers as scapegoats would be too simple. In many developing countries, the textile industry is seen as pioneering, capable of attracting many other fields of industry, in other words, as making a contribution to gradually improving standards of living. Then again, the textile industry situation in Europe has changed. There are hardly any weaving mills or clothing manufacturers left.
Besides its economic effects, mass consumption also has an ecological impact. It harms the environment and mankind permanently – from raw materials such as cotton being marred by pesticides, water consumption, to the use of chemicals in production and even toxic refinement on clothing. How can we avoid this kind of dilemma? Should we forgo fashion? Surely not. As the show and the exhibition portal demonstrate, there are already alternatives – from sustainably produced fashion to upcycling concepts, new fibers and innovative technologies.
© Sarah Bernhard
Stilbrise. The MKG’s fashion blog
Can fashion be fair? Sustainable? As part of “Fast Fashion. The dark sides of fashion” we ask ourselves just how we can reconcile these apparent contradictions. What our visitors think about what they buy and how they go about this is of great interest to us.
Every second Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm and on various special occasions we make our way around the MKG with photographers Lisa Notzke and Ulla Deventer in search of that special look on a visitor and of original ideas on topics such as secondhand buying, upcycling and transformation. The following week we present the images and statements on our blog. Along with the latest reports, information and news on the accompanying program, regular interviews and impressions from Instagram and Twitter, addresses for fair fashion, DIY ideas and much more.