Fashion Ethics  book cover
1st Edition

Fashion Ethics

ISBN 9780415531054
Published September 11, 2017 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Fashion Ethics provides a comprehensive overview of the ethical issues in the fashion industry, from collection design concept to upcycling and closed loop production. This book answers an urgent need for a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental ethics of the fashion industry.

Sue Thomas goes beyond the usual contentious issues of environmental impact and human rights, taking the reader deeper into the endemic issues including sizeism, ageism, animal rights, and the lack of diversity in models and in the media. The book lays out the significant ethical issues within the fashion supply chain by mapping the lifecycle of a garment and exploring key topics such as deep ecology, cultural copyright speciesism, the role of the customer, and technology in future ethics. It also features current international industry information and industry-relevant case studies from brands, media and mobile technology, and NGOs including Oxfam (UK), Redress (Hong Kong), Nimany (US), Labor Link (US), People Tree (UK), and Peppermint (Australia).

Fashion Ethics provides much-needed information for fashion students, industry professionals, and customers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Design, ethics, and the designer  3. Production  4. Marketing  5. Wear  6. Disposal and reincarnation  7. Future ethics  8. Conclusion

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Sue Thomas is Assistant Professor of Fashion at Heriot-Watt University, UK. Having taught in the UK and Aotearoa, New Zealand, it was in Australia that she began teaching fashion design for sustainability. A public speaker and broadcaster, she champions ethics and sustainability. She contributed a chapter on faith in design in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (2014).


‘Thomas breaks new ground by examining the fashion value chain through a lens of ethics. Fashion Ethics provides a comprehensive view of the fashion landscape, from industry stakeholders to the end user, and points to both a radically altered global fashion system and new research areas for fashion studies for years to come.’

Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability, Parsons School of Design, New York

'Sue Thomas expertly leads the reader through an insightful and challenging critique of the ‘fast fashion’ system. The coverage of serious impact of over-production and consumption on humanity and the environment are unravelled in her highly accessible book on fashion ethics. She is an inspirational advocate for change!' 

Liliana Pomazan, Senior Lecturer, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, Australia

'In Fashion Ethics, Sue Thomas uses her commanding knowledge of the fashion industry and engaging writing style to guide readers through a breadth of uncomfortable ethical issues that demand reflection and consideration. Thomas advocates for shared responsibility and collaboration to "dream big" about how to integrate compassion for all stakeholders into the industry – and then for making the choices necessary to secure the future of the fashion industry and the planet. A must-read for every first year fashion student and for any industry professional whose work intersects with the design, production, marketing, wear, or disposal and reincarnation stages of the product lifecycle.'

Marsha Dickson, Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware, USA

'In this informative and topical text, Thomas introduces the reader to a wide range of subjects and debates concerned with ethics, and the production and consumption of fashion products. In the chapters we explore themes that have been (and perhaps still remain) largely "invisible" to the fashion system – from ageism, sizeism, and racism, to concerns for environmental impacts and intellectual copyright. Throughout the text, Thomas challenges designers, retailers and consumers to consider what it is to be ethical, and how this should/could be demonstrated in the way that we make, sell and use clothes. Fashion Ethics has to be a must read for all burgeoning fashion students and consumers.'

Alison Gwilt, Reader in Fashion Design and Sustainability, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

"I would recommend this book to anyone who works within or is interested or engaged in the fashion industry. In fact, I reckon it should be required reading for all fashion students, as they (we) are the future of the industry and we need the moral backbone to back up our decisions and their impacts."

Urbanity, November 2017