By Josie Gudgeon
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” —Miuccia Prada
When you think of the word fashion, what do you think? Whether it’s a mundane everyday outfit or an outrageous runway garment. Whatever your impression of fashion, it is obvious that fashion plays an important role in today’s society. As I have mentioned in previous articles, we are judged by our appearance. Every day hundreds of people pass through our visual field whether it’s on the street, at work, at school, or on television. It may be intentional or somewhat unintentional, but fortunately or unfortunately, we judge these people based on their choice of clothing.
Studying creative subjects all through school, I was always considered unintelligent. The lads at sixth form would always laugh saying: “all you do is cutting and sticking all day”. I Remember thinking my work will have a far greater impact than you will ever realize. People truly believe that the art and fashion industry has little intelligence and plays little importance in society. They truly believe we are just people who enjoy colouring all day and don’t want to work a real job. I can tell you now that the art and fashion industry is no easy road. It consists of dedication, passion and hard work which will allow you to achieve your goals.
Why fashion is important for allowing you to be creative and expressing yourself
Fashion is important in our society because it determines how we perceive someone. It has the potential to bring different people together to celebrate their own individuality. Personally, I feel the best way to enjoy fashion is to wear what you love and be yourself! Clothing can contain memories and reflect our personalities. We all have to wear clothes, they can act as a biography to talk about our lives, every piece of clothing we wear represents a personal choice. It defines who we are and expresses our personalities. Fashion is art, defining your country, religion and maybe even history.
People often use fashion as a way to be judged – or not be judged. Often people will wear high-end, fashionable clothing to show that they have money, care about their appearance and want to stand out. Others may wear clothes that allow them to hide – basic jeans and staple tops which allow them to blend in.
However, fashion is too often seen as an idiotic, vain or a short-lived industry. This is despite what we wear, telling a story of who we are or who we want to be. Fashion is important because clothes are not just there to cover up our bodies. When you see a woman in a sari you know that she is from an Indian Subcontinent even if you can’t tell which area she is from by the way that it has been wrapped. Similarly, you can identify a soldier anywhere from their uniform. All of these iconic distinctions would be nothing without traditions built up by the fashion industry.
Fashion shows are another great concept to show why the fashion industry is important for society. Although most of the styles in today’s fashion shows are not wearable, they bring creative ideas of the individuals involved within various designs. Having only doctors and lawyers would create a very mundane world. The world is stimulated by the creativity of people creating these garments the fact that someone came up with ideas so crazy, it should be applauded. We are all created differently with different talents. This should be celebrated.
How fashion shows the ideological shift in society
As the human world developed so did the practice of clothing and what people developed out of different materials to wear. For example, the corseted ball gowns of eighteenth-century England. The imaginative array of designs that mankind has developed over the year’s fashion reflects the ideological shifts in our society.
The suffragette movement is a key period that shows the ideological shift in society especially in the fashion industry. Previous to this movement women had been conforming to this masculine fashion standard. Women took the bold leap; taking independence over there fashion choices and style. This saw skirts getting shorter and clothing, in general, became less cumbersome.
Other changes over the years include the evolution of technology. The fashion industry has transformed from clothing covering our legs, arms and necks to wearing skimpy, next to nothing clothing. This is all down to the imagination within the fashion industry. Clothing can be produced at a much faster rate due to mass production, meaning the want for fast fashion and new styles is ever increasing.
Why fashion is important for the economy
Fashion is important to the economy as many people fail to appreciate what impact it has on the wide-reach. Globally, the industry is valued at $3 trillion. It’s the second biggest worldwide economic activity for intensity of trade – employing over 57 million workers in developing countries, 80 per cent of whom are women.
The fashion industry has created a considerable amount of jobs in its sector. The fashion industry will employ people both skilled and unskilled in the UK and abroad. The fashion industry has a large spectrum of workers needed for different sectors within the industry- employing garment workers, pattern makers, textile designers, packing companies. All of these are labour jobs needing a high level of manual workers.
Also, the fashion industry creates a ripple effect and in turn, creates relationships within the job sector. The fashion retailers buy their stock from different fashion making factories; the retailers sell the stock and put their sale proceeds in banks; the banks manage their funds; which intern the banks employ staff and lawyers, the list goes on, and so does the chain.
The negative side of the fashion industry
Like most other global industries, fashion has its dark side. The exploitation of garment workers, lack of diversity and environmental damage remain an issue of which the industry must do more to address and resolve. In vaster and more built-up areas like towns and cities, there’s often more pressure on fashion and your appearance; it can affect your ability to gain employment.
How the fashion industry is combining with science
As electronic textiles are developed this allows us to collaborate fashion with science, engineering and technology to create a new future: one where it has a positive influence on the environment, society and our health.
Fashion is now being developed further to help our health and wellbeing. We are now seeing the development of bras with the ability to detect tumours before breast exams and mammograms, and smart socks that use temperature sensors to track diabetic health. This shows how the development of clothing will help us manage the significant changes in our demographics. The integration of technology into the fabric of our lives will help us in innumerable ways. Clothes could become easier to put on for differently-abled people, they could monitor our body temperature, and they could even help administer drugs or connect us more easily to our friends and family.
We are beginning to see fashion as a less senseless and a more serious tool. We can all use the creativity and techniques of fashion and applying them to health or social issues, to make our lives better.
Why the fashion industry is important for Huddersfield
The fashion industry is hugely important to the society of Huddersfield because of the town’s textiles heritage. The words ‘Made in Huddersfield, England’ where a highly admirable global. Although a lot of the textile manufacturing mills have closed down the textiles centre here in Huddersfield is still going strong, along with many other textiles mills. These manufacturing centres provides a strong connection between Huddersfield and the fashion industry. This, in turn, provides a large number of jobs for people in the local area.
Along with this, the high street of Huddersfield provides opportunities for people to get their hands on the latest trends or implement their unique style. Again, this is providing jobs for the local people and then creates this ripple effect as these works will need banks to use, shops, etc.
My opinion on why the fashion industry is important for society
Personally, I feel the fashion industry is massively important in society. Fashion is one of the leading forms of communication. The way we dress allows us to show so much about our lives – be it our job, our culture, our emotions, all of these are expressed without even verbally speaking. However, I do not feel that people should express themselves through logos just for them to show that they have money.
Also, I feel that the fashion industry flues many other sectors. The technological advancements show how fashion can have major health benefits and develop the science industry. Along with this, the fashion industry is providing jobs for so many people worldwide creating the ripple effect in the economic chain with it being the second-largest worldwide economic chain.