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Transforming Sustainable Fashion in a Decolonial Context: The Case of Redress in Hong Kong

by Anne Peirson-Smith & Jennifer Craik

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While the Global South is currently the dominant area of fashion production, there are increasing pressures to tackle sustainability issues, including environmental degradation, waste, employment exploitation, negative human impact and excess consumerism directed from the Global North. This article approaches the issue of sustainable fashion from a decolonial perspective focusing on attempts to reverse the mixed messages, counterproductive interventions, and often contradictory efforts to transform garment production and the fashion system into a more sustainable and ethical industry. Based on in-depth interviews with the NGO personnel and a thematic analysis of promotional materials, this case study interrogates Hong Kong based NGO Redress’ social marketing efforts based on events and mediated communication messages and content to promote sustainable fashion practices for producers and consumers in encouraging the reduction of garment and textile waste across the supply and consumption chain. The article evaluates attempts to transform sustainable fashion mind-sets and behaviors in post-colonial Hong Kong with the intention of ascertaining the impact of such approaches when implementing more sustainable practices and in determining their relevance for fashion players in the Global North.

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