Pull the Thread: The Creative Vision of DUCFS 2019

Fashion can visually communicate our tastes, values, and sources of influence. In this way, our style allows us to define ourselves within the cultural reference points of our society. Yet this visual expression has been codified by brands and trend-analysts. Individuals are classified according to consumer tribes, and reduced to data in trend forecasts. With fast-fashion houses predicting and following each latest fluctuation in celebrity and high-fashion trends, the expressive potential of our clothes is often misdirected. Rather than an inward-looking expression of one’s personality, fashion is frequently used to project an image which satisfies the expectations of others. In place of holding personal significance, garments function as status symbols - whether that be through their branding, emulation of the moment’s most prominent style-influencer, or their ‘on-trend’ design.

The inundation of marketing messages and prompts, coupled with social media’s often toxic aspirationalism, encourages us to consume at an unprecedented pace and scale. Fast fashion brands churn out designs and “trends” as quickly as they flood our inboxes with offers, sales, and must-haves. But the rock-bottom prices of these offerings do not only suppress the quality of production, but also the value that we as consumers attribute to our purchases. In a constant search for the next new thing, we discard as quickly as we buy, flooding landfill sites and oceans globally with the spoils of our shopping sprees.

Yet this devastation is frequently hidden from the consumer’s view.The high-gloss facade of the fashion world expresses nothing of the environmental devastation and the vast exploitation of human rights which enables the mass production of the fast fashion industry.

Prices keep dropping, and the pace of manufacture, consumption and destruction keeps accelerating at an unsustainable rate. To carry on at this pace would drive us to the brink of environmental and humanitarian crisis.

To avoid such a disaster requires a shift in consumer attitudes now. We must question the origins of our purchases, the destination of our clothing waste and the web of effects we as individuals have on people and planet.

Our fashion choices should reflect our values. By consuming consciously, and attaching real value to what we wear, we can reclaim fashion as a mode of empowerment and self-expression.

DUCFS celebrates those who are leading the new wave of change: technical innovators who working towards more sustainable modes of production, companies committed to ethical practices, and every individual who recognises their role within the wider social fabric.

For this reason, We are proud to be supporting the Environmental Justice foundation, a charity whose commitment to environmental security as a fundamental human right has propelled dynamic and effective change.

Join us to go against the grain and #pullthethread.

The DUCFS Exec