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  • Fashion (with a capital F)
    "While ‘dress’ is a human universal, ‘Fashion’ is a culturally-specific system of dress undergirded by a dominant economic system. The now ‘globalised’ Fashion system operates in line with the capitalist imperatives of growth and accumulation of profit." Sandra Niessen, Climate Words Fashion Act Now capitalises the 'F' in Fashion to highlight that Fashion is a specific system of dress belonging to capitalism. It recognises that the word fashion has also be used to describe other dress systems and capitalising Fashion differentiates the word from other uses.
  • Defashion
    "While ‘dress’ is a human universal, ‘fashion’ is a culturally-specific system of dress undergirded by a dominant economic system. The now ‘globalized’ Fashion system operates in line with the capitalist imperatives of growth and accumulation of profit. As such, it wreaks profound harm and must be reduced by 75% – 95% to come within Earth’s carrying capacity (Fletcher and Tham 2019). Defashion is a grassroots emergency response to the industry’s inability to degrow. Defashion aims to dismantle the fashion system and replace it with a pluriverse of local, sustainable, historically and culturally relevant systems that honor values other than monetary (commons). Defashion puts wellbeing and the Planet first. The neologism ‘defashion’ signals a paradigmatic shift towards a decolonial future in which fashion fairness goes far beyond concern for the plight of garment workers. In a defashion world, indigenous and non-fashion dress systems that have been erased by dominant, global fashion, are cherished." Sandra Niessen, Climate Words. Fashion Act Now is the originator of defashion, a provocative term that describes the role that Fashion must play in degrowth. Fashion Act Now wants to bring the concept of defashion into the mainstream discourse. Defashion is a transition to post-fashion clothing systems that are regenerative, local, fair, nurturing and sufficient for the needs of communities.
  • Post-fashion
    "Post-Fashion denotes a future world in which the currently dominant Fashion system is dismantled. The Fashion system is unsustainable, growth-oriented and constructed to profit from the universal human need to dress. It is also a colonial throwback representing the proliferation (globalisation) of a Western system of dress to the detriment of all other systems of dress supported by different economic systems. It must be eclipsed. Post-fashion implies that there are alternatives in place: a pluriverse of sustainable, clothing traditions. Some alternatives are already available in the form of indigenous systems. These require nurturing and must be provided with room to survive in the face of the current expanding Fashion system. Other alternatives need to be constructed in local, historically-grounded, culturally-relevant, earth-friendly ways. This will ensure the obsolescence of the current Fashion system. Post-Fashion is being spear-headed by activism. Initiatives like farm-to-fashion and fibershed(s) are leading the way." Sandra Niessen, Climate Words
  • Degrowth
    "Degrowth is a planned reduction of energy and resource use designed to bring the economy back into balance with the living world in a way that reduces inequality and improves human well-being." Jason Hickel Source: ​ “This ideology of economic growth has taken the role, almost, of religion in a secular era. Not only in the economy but us personally — each one of us, in our life and business, believe we should grow. Degrowth is a critique of this whole ideology.” Giorgos Kallis
  • Sacrifice zones & Fashion's sacrifice zones
    "'Sacrifice: ‘destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else’. The destruction represented by the tar sands of Alberta, for example, is deemed acceptable in exchange for energy and profit. The geographic framing of ‘sacrifice zones’ verges on the euphemistic because what is considered ‘acceptable’ depends on the relative power of the one doing the considering (the Cree people can never agree with the sacrifice of their heritage lands), and because the word ‘zones’ suggests only physical destruction. In the fashion world, ‘sacrifice zones’ are understood holistically, to also include e.g. cultural and psychological damage wreaked by the industry. Sacrifice is inevitable when an economic system is based on exploitation. The Anthropocene, a designation that references massive alterations of the world due to human activity, raises the question of the extent to which humans will make Earth and future into sacrifice zones." Sandra Niessen, Climate Words Fashion Act Now recognises that the globalised Fashion system exists through the use of sacrifice zones. It sacrifices the environment through unsustainable resource use and the dumping of waste (particularly in the global south). Sacrifice zones affect people connected to and living off their surrounding environments and impoverishes their natural wealth, forcing them to depend on wage labour to support their livelihoods. They are then forced into the capitalist system. But also, the spread of one mono-culture of clothing throughout the world sacrifices indigenous and sustainable local dress systems as it grows." Nashir, MJA and Niessen, S. (2022), Uli’s Voice: From a Sacrifice Zone of Fashion. Indonesia: Fashion Act Now (FAN) Niessen, Sandra, 2020. Fashion, its Sacrifice Zone, and Sustainability". In Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture 24:6. pp. 859-877.
  • The commons
    The Commons as described by David Bollier in The Commoner’s Catalog for Changemaking: "A system of shared intention designed to steward collective care-wealth in fair, collaborative ways." "A socially coherent group of peers managing collective resources (both deportable and replenish able) with minimal reliance on the market or state.” "Bottom up initiatives that prioritise meeting people’s needs over market exchange and capital accumulation. They stress the importance of stewarding the earth and its ecosystems, especially in contrast to market-based extraction.” When discussing the economy, the state, the market and individuals are often considered to be the major human forces at play. Fashion Act Now consider that there is another powerful force at play that is often forgotten - the commons - groups of individuals that create their own rules on how to collaborate and share their collective wealth rather than relying on the market and state.
  • The pluriverse
    "A world where many worlds fit and all people’s worlds coexist with dignity & peace without being subject to diminishment, exploitation, misery." Joy M.
  • Sandra Niessen and Defashion
    Sandra Niessen is a founding member of Fashion Act Now and her thinking on Fashion’s sacrifice zones has been core to forming FAN's perspective. Sandra claims that fashion creates, depends on and normalises sacrifice zones. The sacrificed are not just ecosystems, but people and culture. What is sacrificed is intergenerational. Core too, is Sandra Niessen’s perspective on supply chains - these chains enable extraction and exploitation in the global south for the benefit of the global north. Fashion Act Now believes supply chains must be greatly shortened and eradicated when possible.
  • Our affiliation with Extinction Rebellion and support of civil resistance
    Fashion Act Now is an independent campaign group which has evolved out of Extinction Rebellion, specifically its Boycott Fashion campaign and continues to support them. We recognise that non-violent direct action and civil disobedience have been successful throughout history in achieving social and political change. We are unwavering in our belief that using these tactics can be effective, necessary and justified. Whilst Fashion Act Now firmly supports Extinction Rebellion’s demands and tactics, it is guided by its own aims, tactics and principles specific to tackling climate justice issues in the fashion industry. With this initiative, we centre the use of dialogue, research and campaigning.
  • Earthlogic, post-growth fashion & the work of Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham
    Fashion Act Now build on the work on post-growth fashion by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham.
  • Who is Fashion Act Now (FAN)?
    Fashion Act Now is an activist network inspired by, born out of, and working in collaboration with Extinction Rebellion. After the turbulence of COVID, a team consisting of fashion activists, thinkers, practitioners, creatives, academics, economists and sustainable fashion experts was formed.
  • Why was Fashion Act Now created?
    We are facing a climate and ecological emergency in which Fashion is profoundly responsible. Whilst the industry leads us to believe that Fashion can transition to sustainable practices, Fashion Act Now points out that Fashion itself is incompatible with true sustainability as it is predicated on growth, oppression and planned obsolescence.
  • What does Fashion Act Now do?
    Fashion Act Now urges an immediate crisis response to dismantle the dominant globalised Fashion system. We use education, dialogue and campaigning to foster defashion initiatives in communities to drastically and immediately downsize the fashion industry.
  • Isn’t ‘defashion’ just another form of greenwashing?
    Defashion highlights the need and possibility to exit the system that enables greenwashing. ‘Greenwashing’ offers the appearance of sustainability while supporting business as usual. Defashion calls for the dismantling of business as usual.
  • Does defashion mean the end of Fashion?
    Defashion is not the end of clothing culture and creativity. The end of Fashion, the monolithic globalised system, would lead the way to culturally diverse clothing systems. Fashion Act Now supports the development of clothing commons, clothing cultures that are developed and supported by their respective communities.

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