The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing every year. This constant demand for clothing has given way to the expansion of the Fast Fashion industry, a manufacturing model in which clothes are designed, fabricated, and sold quickly to keep up with ever-changing trends.
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art explores this industry in an exhibition, appropriately named “Fast Fashion,” from December 2 to February 27. An opening reception will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.
The process of mass-producing cheap clothes consumes one tenth of all water used industrially, and approximately 20% of the wastewater created worldwide. The detriments of fast fashion extend far past the degradation of the environment and to racial and gender inequality as the industry exports its production overseas to factories that employ a disproportionate number of women whom they pay meager wages.
Where did the problem originate? What are the consequences? Where do we go from here? These are the questions the California-based artists included in this exhibition, supported in part by the California Arts Council, explore through site-specific installation, sculpture, and print media. This exhibition not only seeks to enlighten audiences about the impacts of textile consumption, but to offer solutions.