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Globalization, the fashion industry

December 8, 2021


History of Globalization 

The Western economy had been “global” since the sixteenth century. The history of the African slave trade, colonialism and the intercontinental trade in sugar and coffee has made the world of capitalism what it is today.  

Fast forward to the nineteenth century when the first fashion magazines appeared in the world. Since the 1980s, technology and the media have spanned the world. Love to Know says, “Taken together, these forces have profoundly restructured the world economy, global culture, and individual daily lives.” Mass media allows fashion to be thought of, produced, bought, worn and thrown away faster than ever.  

Effects of Globalization 

Fashion magazines, films, television, and the internet make their way around the world creating a “global style” across borders and cultures. Asian, African and Western fashion systems borrow style and textile elements from each other. Love to know gives the example blue jeans, T-shirts, athletic shoes and baseball caps, saying they capture consumers everywhere from Manhattan to villages in Africa.  

Style Vanity goes in another direction speaking of consumers consumption of clothing. Globalization has allowed department stores to sell clothes at a low price, letting consumers purchase more than ever before. This is simply the idea of fast fashion which Style Vanity says, “has more negatives than positives.” 

Businesses now need to make products at a higher rate than before, introducing cheap labor and the cost. In developing countries, it is impossible to find a large group that will work for low wages, companies then turn to international labor. This negatively impacts the global economy. 

Businesses are finding the people of the world are looking for trends, this leads to a lack of individuality. Many regions have a long history of unique fashion. The fashion industry is becoming Westernized, erasing cultures.  

The heritage of fashion is vanishing. Style Vanity points to fashion globalization when searching for the responsibility of the loss of family heritage and domestic skills. The ability to sew has been passed down from generation to generation. Even if families could afford to buy their clothes, they still knew how to repair them.  

The inherent skill of sewing led to an appreciation for quality garments. People has expectations for durability and longevity of clothing. Manufacturers felt it was their responsibility to craft high-quality items. These days, people purchase low-quality clothes because they simply cannot tell the difference. 


Fashion Brands 

Globalization has shaped the mind to understand they want the brand more than the piece of clothing itself. Advertising has placed these images into everyday life and made people aware they want to feel, happy, fit, cool, and carefree just like the people in their advertisements. Technology rules the world once more, spreading these advertisements. 

When people decide they want the brand more than the piece of clothing the consumption level will rise because instead of buying one piece of clothing they buy more to support the brand and the emotions they want to feel.  

Glenn Schlossberg says “Fashion has long been a symbol of status and class distinction, delineating the upper class from the lower class. Each garments value and craftsmanship were essential to its look and feel, and these attributes became metrics for how we viewed fashion.” 

Youthful ages are seeing brand acknowledgments as an urgent factor they need in their closet. “For youngsters, pants have become an instrument of social and political dissent, of adherence and enrollment, image and token; for beauticians, pants have become an in vogue easygoing item, a refined prêt a watchman article or a serious high fashion creation.” Wearing a pair of Levis to the younger generation is a statement of cool and class.  


Fast Fashion 

“The effects of modern globalization on the fast fashion industry have changed the face of fashion forever” says Glenn Schlossberg. 

 In the 19th-century, Charles Frederick Worth was the designer that first designated the idea of the fashion house in Paris. People blame the rise of the fashion house for marking the beginning of modern globalization and the impact it has on fast fashion.  

Glenn Schlossberg explains, “as the social and economic lines between the upper and lower classes began to blur, so did fashion.” 

In response, the globalization of fashion turned into a market that succeeded in a massive demand for trendy clothes. The old ways of traditional fashion houses could not keep up, introducing fast fashion. Fast fashion can turn any trend into a ready-to-wear item in seconds, placing it on the shelf for consumers to use and throw away within months.  

Fast fashion is quick and inexpensive, bringing huge business to the people in charge, leaving the rest of the world with their cheap clothes they do not want. However, people still purchase because globalization has taught them, they want the latest and greatest trends. 

“Gone are the days of the art of fashion,” explains Schlossberg. “The increasing influence of globalization has directly impacted the fashion industry, and many insiders attribute the fashion industry as being the most significant effects of globalization.” Today, the industry is driven by the success of the market or in other words, money. Globalization has opened the door for fast fashion to take over the world by providing low-cost labor and easy access to International markets.  


Future of Globalization  

Knowing the fashion industry has changed forever, people are wondering what is next? 

Some may be thinking about future trends but inside the fashion community they are only thinking of the environmental impact of fast fashion. Garments are often trashed after being worn only a couple of times, creating a cycle of waste never seen before.  

Schlossberg predicts the next phase will see the “rise of sustainable fabrics, production practices, and methods of encouraging the recycling of used garments.” They say until then fast fashion is here to stay.  

Style Vanity thinks we should focus on limiting outsourcing to other countries. “At the very least, whether fashion brands operate within their home country or internationally, all workers deserve fair wages.” 

“Time will see how much more the global economy suffers and changes due to the globalization process,” says Style Vanity.  





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