After our work on fashion and politics, it was time to address the critical state of labor in the realm of fashion: our human labor in fashion turn us into Animal Laborans. So much of fashion is produced under horrible conditions in sweatshops, but we can also find exploitation and appropriation at the very heart of fashion design itself. So we set out to explore how we could think of the many layers of labor that produce fashion, so effectively hidden under the seductive glamor and glitz.
This time, six questions followed us through the book sprint, and we used them to engage with peers and visitors to the sprint:
- Who makes fashion?
- What labor is involved in attending to or using fashion?
- What type of labor in fashion interests you?
- How is the labor of fashion made visible or invisible?
- How do you see labor change or move?
- How does the labor of fashion feel as it is lived?
Please find the link to the PDF book here: AnimalLaborans-w
And the print-on-demand version on Amazon.
Here are some extra notes from the co-authors at the sprint adding to the discussions:
Who makes fashion? We make fashion and fashion makes us, we are In fashion.
What labor is involved in attending to or using fashion? The labor of love and joy, of courage and self-expression, the expression of our vulnerabilities, our fears, our kinship to others, our humanness.
What type of labor in fashion interests you? The labor of exchange, of belonging, of human togetherness, the labor of showing up and sharing ourselves with others.
How is the labor of fashion made visible or invisible? Fashion cannot hide, and we cannot hide behind fashion, it is present and alive whenever and wherever people are together.
How do you see labor change or move? When I feel loved, seen and heard, the labor of fashion becomes an expression of my joy and playfuness, I desire to express care and beauty in the garments that I wear. I become aware of myself as a gift to the ones that meet my needs for belonging and celebration.
How does the labor of fashion feel as it is lived? Like a gift.