Scanning the dark side of fashion, we came across a document released by ASPI – Australian Strategic Policy Institute – “Uyghurs for sale”. This detailed paper leads to a sad reflection on modern society and its economic system, capitalism. A system that can thrive only by exploiting people and the planet.
The Uyghur minority
Uyghur is an Islamic minority from the far west region of Xinjiang. The Chinese government has facilitated Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens’ mass transfers from Xinjiang to factories that operate in the supply chains of about 83 well-known brands.
In China, 80,000 human beings live in segregated dormitories subject to constant surveillance. Put through ideological training outside working hours.
Fast-fashion brands are made in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam. Well, not only fast fashion brands! Therefore, we naively thought it was mainly a fashion-related issue. But learning about that horrific condition, we had to change our mind, as often happens.
Going through the pages, ASPI named various global brands, not only from the fashion field but technology and automobile too, and, of course, we know them all pretty well.
Fashion or modern society?
The dark side of fashion, that was supposed to be the point. At least we initially believed it was a matter that identified one industry only. But, in the end, we acknowledged that there is a common thread that links all manufacturing, the whole economic system. Capitalism, indeed.
Although we believe it is crucial to uncover fashion issues to move towards a better society, it is clear that exploitation, environmental impact, disposable goods, and lack of inclusivity, are issues that regard our modern society in full.
Perhaps, it is not about fashion but human behaviour, the greed that characterizes and dominates our economic system.
The truth is that society needs new slaves to flourish.
This must stop.