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Accepted Paper:

We make fashion look good, not only on you, but on the planet too: What kind of sustainability Portuguese ethical fashion brands sustain?  
Daniela Guerreiro (ISCSP- University of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

Despite Portuguese ethical fashion brands have the same understanding of what is a sustainable production, at the end of the day the sustainable choices and practices that some adopt are not seen as sustainable by others.

Paper long abstract:

Despite fashion and sustainability being considered opposite concepts of impossible coexistence (Woodward 2015), with the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 in Bangladesh (Horton 2018), fashion brands began to identify themselves as “ethical fashion” (Haug and Busch 2016).

In their official pages they claim to be sustainable since their production process is designed to have the least impact on the environment. However, they have been criticized, especially for using the concept of sustainability, as they use it in an ambiguous or unspecific way (Ehrenfeld 2015; Evans and Peirson-Smith 2018), which has led to consumers’ misunderstanding (Thomas 2008), thus leading them to distrust the veracity of their speeches.

This article, which is based on the analysis that I did on official pages (website and Instagram) of seven Portuguese ethical fashion brands, seeks to reflect and question their sustainability. It is intended to demonstrate that, even though they understand the sustainability of the same way, this does not necessarily lead them to have the same kinds of concerns, nor does it lead them to adopt the same practices, because as I learned what is sustainable for some is not sustainable for others.

Panel P117
Fashioning sustainability – What does “sustainable” mean for consumer product brands?
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -