Who Supports Independent Labels?

Exploring The Current Fashion Scenario


There’s a poignant question in the fashion industry: who supports independent labels? The current fashion context is volatile, unstable and tough – especially for independent designers who struggle to survive. Just like independent fashion retailers. Therefore, many are making the difficult decision to close their businesses.

The current fashion scenario: mass fashion


On the one hand, there is mass fashion, encompassing both luxury brands and fast fashion. Despite their differences in price and perceived exclusivity, they follow the same model: overproduction, overconsumption, and exploitation of natural resources, labour, and human rights.
What do mass brands do? Business as usual; now cloaked in a veneer of greenwashing. And what do people want from them? Business as usual. Greenwashing allows consumers to feel comfortable with their purchases and lifestyles. We can affirm this because, even though consumers are aware of brands’ unfair practices towards people and the planet, they continue to support them wholeheartedly.

Niche brands and independent labels


On the other hand, there are niche designers, or small independent labels who produce limited quantities, creating a leaner and respectful business. Their prices are much higher than fast fashion for obvious reasons, yet lower than luxury brands. Unfortunately, according to Financial Times Fashion, many independent labels have had to close their doors this year. Although the article focuses on the US situation, it’s no different in Europe.

What happens to them, as well as to the independent retailers who support them? People complain about their prices, showing little understanding or respect for their work. In the end, what do they do? Consumers often choose fast fashion or discounted luxury brands while preaching sustainability and human rights support.

Conclusion


So, who supports independent labels? A very tiny percentage of free thinkers. Perhaps not enough to sustain their businesses. The risk of a polarised fashion industry is very strong. Based on this brief exploration, we must ask: will information and education ever contribute to creating a more diverse fashion scenario?  Or are we doomed to an irresponsible and destructive mass fashion?

Share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you!

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