Authentic Fashion Products! is an installation and workshop that addresses recurring issues of a changing fashion industry. It serves as a space for critical reflection on ethical production, speed, the value of textiles and the tension between original and appropriation. An interactive pop-up production space, it lets visitors engage in textile production. Made to produce wax print bandanas with illustrations of industry stories, the slow process needs attention and offers room for discussion. The visitors’ performative action aims for a shift in perspective and increased decolonial sensibility. Wax printed fabrics and the bandana both have complex histories of copying and appropriation. They symbolize pride and belonging as well as politicization and resistance. As such, they reflect the current state of fashion practitioners who are dedicated to their craft yet also opposing the ways in which the industry is working. As more information about unethical production conditions is made public, many designers decide to change the fashion industry with more responsible design and production decisions. Tied together through a web of global interdependencies with complex histories, its international trade perpetuates many of the power imbalances established by imperial and colonial forces between East and West, North and South. At the same time, designers seek to push past these inequalities through inclusive design, collaboration and fair production. Best and worst practice exist side by side, filling the market with fair trade and greenwashing, originals and copies. There are no simple solutions for the industry’s complex issues but an urgent need to rethink current practices. Authentic Fashion Products! is an invitation to rethink the fashion system while actively contributing to it.
Installation. Critical reflection on global fashion and textile production while actively contributing to it