Essay on Hippies Fashion

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“Fashion thrives on its reputation for being lawless and the most famous notions of irresponsibility have captured the media and gained public recognition.” Lucy Siegle, journalist, founder of Observer Ethical Awards, and TV presenter.

The concept of ethical fashion, it’s not new, although it is a substantial topic of discussion in the industry at this moment in time as climate change and environmental awareness have become leading social and political issues. The fashion industry has a poor record of ethical practices, with concerns being raised regarding the use and fabrication of synthetic fibers, unethical cultivation of cotton, exploitative labor practices, and fur farming.

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In this essay, I am going to analyze how in the mid-1960s, the Hippies, a counterculture born in San Francisco inspired by music, art, and politics going against the dominant norms of the time, applied sustainability to fashion and made it appealing to a young audience.

In 1962, a book that started moving people’s conscience toward the issue of sustainability came out, was Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, an environmental science book that focuses on themes like the damage done to the environment due to the incessant use of chemicals. The offenders included cotton growers and textile manufacturers. Cotton growers were to blame because of the large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers used to produce greater crop yields, while textile manufacturers discharged chemicals into local rivers and streams through their mills. Environmental issues suddenly became a topic of discussion and they found their voice in a community of young people that shared values like opposition to the war in general and the Vietnam War in particular, rejection of the soulless consumerism that surrounded them, and a desire to get back to nature. They created their own life by their way of life. Hippie fashion was characterized by bold patterns and colors, and free-flowing clothes, from peasant blouses and skirts to bell-bottom trousers and vests and long hair for both men and women, but hippie fashion was more than mere rejection of sobriety and traditionalism, as it was often used to make a political statement. Wearing a Khaki army surplus jacket with a flower in the buttonhole encompassed their beliefs of peaceful protesting against the Vietnam War. The vast majority of the clothes the Hippies were wearing were bought from secondhand shops and often customized or handmade, using organic fabric. Though they were against mainstream fashion, their established culture, style, and fashion are still prevailing in our contemporary fashion.

In recent years, the term sustainability has gained more and more popularity in the fashion industry and many designers and organizations around the world have started to make the shift to a more ethical approach. But it is not enough to fulfill the mass demand. For establishing sustainable fashion, we should focus on all the elements of sustainability that already exist in our surroundings. For example, local handicrafts, handloom, garments wastage & second-hand clothes.

In recent years, the term sustainability has gained more and more popularity in the fashion industry and many designers and organizations around the world have started to make the shift to a more ethical approach. But it is not enough to fulfill the mass demand. For establishing sustainable fashion, we should focus on all the elements of sustainability that already exist in our surroundings. For example, local handicrafts, handloom, garments wastage & second-hand clothes.

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Essay on Hippies Fashion. (2024, February 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-hippies-fashion/
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Essay on Hippies Fashion [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Feb 28 [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-hippies-fashion/
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