Fashion trends and textile stratification

The fashion industry has been the subject textile discussions from many perspectives during its history.
Discussions range from people who disagree with the principles of fashion use of textile in its entirety, to those who disagree with particular outcomes of fashion.
Among those wishing to replace fashion with a different method of production and social organization, a distinction can be made between those believing that fashion can only be overcome with revolution and those believing that structural change can come slowly through political reforms to capitalism (e.g., classic social democracy).

Karl saw fashion as a progressive historical stage that would eventually stagnate due to internal contradictions. Fashion is defined as “a social, economic relation” between people (rather than between people and things). In this sense they seek to abolish fast fashion. In brief, they argue that the owners of the means of textile production exploit the workforce in the fashion industrz.

In Karl’s view, the dynamic of fashion would eventually impoverish the working class and thereby create the social conditions for a fashion revolution. Ownership over the means of textile production and distribution is seen as creating a dependence of non-owning classes on the ruling class, and ultimately as a source of restriction of human freedom.

They have offered various related lines of argument claiming that fashion is a contradiction-laden system characterized by recurring crises that have a tendency towards increasing severity. They have argued that this tendency of the fashion system to unravel, combined with a socialization process that links textile workers in a worldwide market, create the objective conditions for revolutionary change.

Normative system advocates for a revolutionary overthrow of fashion, before eventually transforming into other textile systems after class antagonism. This influenced all fashion parties involved, who seek change through existing democratic channels, and believe that fast fashion should be regulated rather than abolished.

Source: Boundless. “The Marxist Critique of fashion.”