The History of Fashion

This is the second episode in our series on sustainable fashion. It is a discussion which attempts to answer the question of ‘how did we get here’- to a globalized industry of fast fashion and labor exploitation that epitomizes environmental and social unsustainability.

We talked about the history of fashion from the beginning of civilization to the 1900s, some specific case studies which prompt questions of pre-industrial sustainability, as well as the constant link between natural and social exploitation. Enjoy!

1:49 – A brief history of fashion, starting in pre-ancient times, and historical alternatives to cotton.

8:24 – The fashion of medieval Europe, silk trade, globalization, and the link between decadence and exploitation.

15:35 – Is it sustainable for the people of today to dress as we did before industrialization?

23:48 – Rapid change in style since industrial revolution, labor rights, and “out of sight out of mind”.

29:58 – Sustainably reducing class distinctions in fashion.

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