Analyzing Fashion Trends across Popular Culture Media Sources and the Subsequent Trend Classification of Secondhand Clothing Articles;The Overconsumption of Fast Fashion: An Analysis on the Social and Environmental Impacts of Stakeholders

Brinkley, Bill, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

The rise of consumer demand for trending fashion items has led to a cycle of ethically and socially reprehensible consumption. As fast fashion industry giants lean into business practices focused on expediting the clothing both into and out of end user wardrobes, exploitation becomes a primary tool of the trade. The exploitation of the laborers in low to middle economic countries who work in unsafe conditions, the exploitation of the ecosystems harboring the waste and pollution, and the exploitation of the consumer are all going to be explored in this research. To investigate the issues at hand, the research is primarily oriented about how trends in the consumer behavior regarding the consumption of fast fashion impact producer-consumer dynamics, relevant social groups, and the environment as a whole. In doing so, the Actor Network Theory framework will be utilized to better understand the motivations behind each party involved. Ultimately, in delving deeper into the rationale behind actions of the key actors responsible for the overconsumption of fast fashion, the ethically responsible choices for each party can be better understood. From these insights, relevant policy can be reviewed to ensure actors behave responsibly, and the individual consumer can be better aware of the implications of their purchases.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
fast fashion, secondhand clothing, sustainability, fashion consumerism

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team members: Bill Brinkley

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