How fashion needs to change – according to Dazed readers

With abuse, a lack of diversity, pollution and sustainability all serious issues within the industry, we asked you: how does fashion need to change?

As the fallout from the Weinstein scandal begins to find its way to the fashion industry (see; the New York Times’s exposé of Bruce Weber and Mario Testino’s alleged sexual misconduct) it’s becoming increasingly apparent that things can’t go on as they have been; something's got to give.

The Times piece got us thinking about what the future should look like, and we figured it probably did the same for you. So we opened up a conversation on the @dazedfashion Instagram, asking a simple question: how do you think the fashion industry needs to change?

Here’s what you had to say.

ACCOUNTABILITY

When it comes to sexual harassment, there has to be a way to protect the models. Abuse of power is something that happens in EVERY industry around the world, but the fashion industry should be an example to everyone else and stop this. I’m glad that models (female and male) are speaking up against these big photographers. Someone has to stop them.

@Sofiadgesso

MORE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

More women (especially WoC) in positions of power. Respect towards everyone – from factory workers to assistants to interns to models. Not just the people at the top of the totem pole. Representation and unionisation.

@___yld 

Diverse teams on set. Diverse editorial teams. Without those, decision making won't change. Plus, incentives to challenge up and coming designers to make more ethical and inclusive clothing.

– @Jessicamnty 

SUPPORT AND NURTURE YOUNG, EMERGING TALENT  

Respond to and empower the needs and ideas of models and designers, treat them as humans and not simply images to work with, consider the obstacles that unknown creatives, models, designers, and artists face everyday.

– @_terry_the_creator 

Bigger companies; stop stealing ideas from students and smaller designers.

– @Joydaydreams

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY  

Less clothes. Less change. Less energy. Less stress. Less shite. Use more. Repeat.

– @Dahrendavey

EMPHASIS ON THE FEMALE GAZE

Hire more female photographers! I want more recognition of female photographers. Agencies need to start representing a wide variety of looks. Out with the old in with the new please. 

– @Ivanae

More women fashion photographers!! As a woman, I’ve never felt as empowered as I have by other women. Women connect in ways that are different than men and women. People should get to see that!

@Edenlaurenphoto

LESS WHO YOU KNOW, MORE WHAT YOU KNOW

"Realise the setbacks that poverty, abuse and oppression has on our younger population of creatives and take a chance on them, just because someone doesn’t have an online following, or an established portfolio, or picture perfect instagram accounts that does not make them any less capable in the creative process. Offer ways to address and teach about these shortcomings, and if you don’t want to work with someone, tell them why, exactly, how they can improve and what opportunities they can pursue rather than just telling people to 'work harder'" 

– @_terry_the_creator 

SLOW. IT. DOWN.

Just slow the whole system down, and make new ways of working so it doesn't destroy the planet like it's doing now.

 @katie_w_w

STOP CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

I am sick and tired of cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. No more Asian, African/Black American, or Native religious/cultural representation worn as costume on white models.

– @Thaisynjones 

MORE CREATIVITY

The power balance needs to shift. A few big companies, magazines, designers, and photographers aren’t fashion. Fashion is creativity and culture and compassion  not capitalism. We need to stop exploiting this image that fashion is untouchable when we should all be able to be a part of an industry that’s already about us.

 @Wheresmaddie

END FAST FASHION

Upcycle, destroy fast fashion. Think of how clothing can be timeless rather than trend-based. Function, design, and durability should work together to create lasting garments that aren’t thrown out or forgotten due to breakage or trend progression. 

 @Yuriykyrzov