1st Edition

The Dirty Side of the Garment Industry Fast Fashion and Its Negative Impact on Environment and Society

By Nikolay Anguelov Copyright 2016
    236 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    234 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    When thinking about lowering or changing consumption to lower carbon footprints, the obvious offenders come easily to mind: petroleum and petroleum products, paper and plastic, even food. But not clothes. Although the clothing industry is the second largest polluter after agriculture, most consumers do not think of clothes as a source of environmental damage. The Dirty Side of the Garment Industry: Fast Fashion and its Negative Impact on Environment and Society exposes how clever marketing tactics designed to increase demand skillfully hide this reality.

    An in-depth examination of the international fashion trade and related goods, this book raises visibility of the ethical aspects of promoting overconsumption through explaining the ecological damage resulting from the high rate of discarding old clothes. It focuses on the promotion, globalization, and integration of the apparel sector into our social and political landscape. It presents an expert overview of the garment industry, highlighting the harsh realities of the environmental and labor problems associated with it. It tracks the commercial and cultural factors that have led to the growth of fast fashion retail and its dominance of the entire industry.

    The book covers current regulatory policies, both national and international, on production and labor, and the author does not shy away from making recommendations for change. He examines marketing, business, and economic models to explain how assumptions of traditional economic theory on industrial growth and prosperity fall short in addressing the high social costs of promoting the overconsumption of cheap and readily disposable clothes. You will come away with a detailed, holistic understanding of the garment industry as well as clarity regarding the larger issue of finding balance when it comes to the ethics of consumption.

    From Fashion to Fast Fashion
    A New Way to Create Trends
    Teaching versus Listening to the Customer: Building the Foundations of Manipulation
    Global Brand Proliferation
    Fast-Fashion Retail

    The Promotion of a Lifestyle
    Advertising Behavior, Not Product
    Global Branding
    Global Taste and Preference Convergence

    The Production Platforms of Modern Garment Manufacturing
    Industry Agglomeration
    Changing Supply Chains
    Retailer-Driven Business Model

    Regulatory Environment
    Deregulating the International Trade in Clothes
    Policy Winners and Losers
    Recuperating Regulatory Losses Through Environmental Sourcing

    The Carbon Footprint of Textile Manufacturing for Fast Fashion

    The Ecological Impact of Fiber Production and Supply
    King Cotton: The Economic Power of Cotton Producers
    Exporting Cotton = Exporting Pollution
    Existing in Isolation in the Production Chain?

    The Direct and Social Costs of Low Prices

    The Social Cost of Firm Profitability
    Understanding Customer Utility
    Theoretical Implications for Economic Analysis: Elastic
    Choice but Inelastic Sales

    The Economics, Demographics, and Ethics of the Low Price Quest

    The Industrial Psychology of Impulses
    The Moral Universe of Non–Wage Earners
    The Elasticity of Dirty Consumption
    Utility, Ethics, and the Quest for Sustainability in Fashion Commerce: Not While Prices Are Falling

    Implications and Conclusions

    The Economic Reasons for Ignoring Social Costs
    Social Costs and Perverse Incentives in Fashion Economics
    Telling the Hard Truth: Why Extant Solution Recommendations Are Ignored


    Nikolay Anguelov is a professor of economic development in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He oversees the graduate certificate and concentration in Public Management for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program as well as service the research-intensive policy analysis curriculum for the department. Dr. Anguelov is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work focuses on the adjacencies between economics, politics and diplomacy. His research focus is a product of his private sector experience in international trade. As an alumnus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Anguelov started his career in the private sector of fashion and home product international commerce where he eventually started his own successful business. Those experiences define his attention to the role policy plays in creating economic incentives both domestically and internationally. Dr. Anguelov is also the author Policy and Political Theory In Trade Practice: Multinational Corporations and Global Governments (2014) and Economic Sanctions Vs. Soft Power: Lessons From Myanmar, North Korea and the Middle East (2015) both published by Palgrave Macmillan.