Prof. dr. Anneke Smelik is professor of visual culture at the Radboud University Nijmegen. For many years, she has done research on film and media in relation to identity and the human body. Her teaching and research has been focussed on fashion in the past few years. As a diverse and relatively unexplored field of inquiry, fashion offers possibilities for developing theories. This is crucial for critical reflections on the fashion industry. How does this industry operate? And how do we relate ourselves to the fashion industry?
Using different examples, prof. Smelik will present a broader perspective on sustainability in the fashion industry. She will provide insight in what may be the biggest capitalist system there is. It is an industry which revolves around consumption, change, and speed. The production chain of fashion has gone from 14 months to 6 to 4 weeks. We live in a world where overproduction has become the norm and clothing is easily discarded.
Prof. Anneke Smelik invites us to think about what sustainable fashion ought to entail. Nowadays, sustainable fashion is fragmented, and often aimed at different parts of the production process, like sustainable materials. But this does not change the capitalist system which makes the fashion industry very harmful to the earth and the workers who have to produce fashion. What are the alternatives? How can we put a stop to fast fashion and offer possibilities for slow fashion? Where should we start? And how can we resist the temptation of always wanting something new?