Under the Garment is a protest against fast fashion, taking an unsafe approach to break the habit of fashion consumption in just 66 days. Researching the deep rooted environmental and ethical issues in the fashion industry led to my research statement, ‘An overdue intervention for consumer behaviour in the fashion industry.’
Fast fashion is a feminist issue. From the point of production, where less than 2% of garment workers earn a fair wage, 80% of whom are women, to the point of disposal, where there is a whole rubbish truck of clothes being dumped every second. Considering the whole life cycle, my chosen actors fall into three categories: The self elected power, the change makers and the labourers. My economic model forms a collective with all the actors (except the CEO), which is beneficial to everyone involved and to the environment. The funds generated from my building programmes will be used to up-skill the factory owners, workers and cotton pickers and invest in greener machinery.
I have taken a drastic approach because we need to act now. The climate crisis is here and everyday that passes is another day that the women and children in the fashion industry are being exploited. To tackle these issues I am situating my project in H&M on Market Street and reinstating the old underground market which runs beneath it. This is an intentional subversive strategy which brings to light the underground nature of the fashion industry, posing the question - if a consumer went underground first, would they still behave the same overground?
The protest occurs over 5 phases which are informed by the 5 steps to break a habit. With each step, a new element of H&M is demolished, along with breakdown of the industry.