Digital Fashion and Sustainable Fashion Futures

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University of Guelph

Abstract

The fashion industry is often criticized for its damaging global impact. While movements exist to challenge poor industry practices, consumers are vocal that organizational practices remain insufficient in meeting ethics and sustainability demands. Recently, there has been a turn in the fashion industry where fashion practices and garments are produced and consumed digitally. This thesis explores how narratives about technology are used to disseminate visions and actions toward sustainable fashion futures. Using concepts of digital solutionism, thriving otherwise, and futurism, I argue that narratives of fashion technology as futuristic function as a tool to appease consumers’ desires for change and a means to mobilize activist efforts in fashion. This thesis also adds to ongoing scholarship on the characterizations of the future embedded in framings of sustainable technology, articulates how these characterizations are employed in the fashion industry, and provides insights on how digital fashion producers can create effective sustainability development.

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Digital Fashion, Digital Technology, Sustainable Development, Organizational Practices

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