Little to my surprise, the Fashion Industry is laced with controversy and exploitation in recent times. However, many assume that is due to the competitive, shallow nature appearance and luxury promotes, and some are. But the true issues pressing the Fashion industry revolve around greed and big business, which, in a sense, isn’t much different from any other branch of the modern economy.
Fast-fashion practices, or a retail concept centered around producing up-to-date product quickly and inexpensively directly inspired by recent designer collections and trends, account for roughly 60% of the sales in the American fashion industry last year alone. This includes retailers like Zara, which is infamous for their quick turn around and almost synonymous with the term “fast-fashion”, Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew, H&M, Forever 21, TopShop, Urban Outfitters, Charolette Russe, Wet Seal, etc. This force is obviously beneficial to the American retail economy, however, it is causing modern designers and fashion houses to suffer.
Though fashion revolves around the basic principles of reference and reinvention, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding just how inspired these fast-fashion retailers are by established designers’ collections at various showings like fashion weeks or online exclusives. Most prominently, designer handbag knock-offs have been widely popularized in the last 20 years, and, under US and various foreign governments, are explicitly illegal due to the use of a copyrighted logo. But logos, name brands, and signature prints are the only elements of designer fashions that the US protects under copyright law. Patents are only granted to works that separate beyond their purpose of serving as clothing. Stores like Zara are producing not only replica bags without logos, but identical garments in shape, texture, color, and cut for up to a 98% cheaper price than the original design.
In US history, there have been several attempts made to pass...
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