Re-Fashioning the Ethical Dilemma

Authors: Breeze Mojel*, University of New South Wales
Topics: Cultural Geography, Social Theory, Economic Geography
Keywords: Fashion, Deleuze, Ethics, Problematization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bonaparte, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the 1990’s the fast fashion industry has garnered a reputation pertaining to the use of exploitive and unethical practices, prompting an enquiry into the fashion industry by geographers, particular regarding the exploitation of workers within developing nations. However, despite focused efforts to eliminate the unethical practices that have become so synonymous with fast fashion, only small improvements have been made. Taking seriously Deleuze’s statement that every ‘problem has the solution it deserves in proportion to its own truth or falsity’ (Deleuze, 1994, pg. 159), the lack of movement on this issue is in part due to the questions being posed to it. Rather than questioning how to reconstitute fast fashion to exist within an ethically productive framework, first both fashion and ethical production need to be separately dissected into their composites so as to identify and critique their assumptions and generalities. In following this approach, I argue that fashion takes form as a desiring-machine that is not characterized by lack but rather intersects with other social and cultural productive machines. Seen in such a way, we can reposition the question of fashion and ethical manufacture so that it does not immediately cut off those effected by the fashion industry, from their capacity to act.

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