Ethics and the fashion industry in West Europe

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Ethics and the fashion industry in West Europe

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Title: Ethics and the fashion industry in West Europe
Author: Skov, Lise
Abstract: The question of ethics is about determining concepts of right and wrong human action. There are a number of ethical controversies in relation to the industries that dress the visible self, especially clothing, shoes, accessories and skincare industries. The most important are, firstly, representations of idealized gender and body images, secondly, fakes and counterfeits of branded goods, thirdly, working conditions, fourthly, environmental impact and sustainability, and fifthly, animal rights. In a strict philosophical sense, these issues cannot be said to be purely moral because they overlap with political, social, legal, economic and environmental concerns. But they are problems that have been cast in terms of right and wrong behaviour from the point of view of West European industries and consumers. Because both consumption and production of dress are highly globalized these debates in West Europe are not qualitatively different from those of other highly developed regions. Many ethical problems, campaigns and monitoring issues are distinctly transnational because both consumer markets and production systems are highly globalized. It is a paradox that while many consumers have a positive involvement with clothing in terms of emotional attachment and identification, they also tend to have a distinctively negative image of the industry behind. In fact, there is a widespread cynicism about the fashion industry.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7770
Date: 2009-04-07

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