Should we ban fashion advertising?



One of the main issues preventing clothes from becoming “durable” is the rate of consumption. Consumption has overtaken population growth as the greatest threat to the planet; more and more people are buying, as new fashion products are aggressively marketed to people online and offline. Faced with the climate crisis, is it time to ban fashion advertising? In this panel discussion, we will explore this question by examining what a world without fashion advertising would look like. Could this wean people off of fast fashion and the planned obsolescence so manly in the contemporary fashion landscape? What would happen to the skills of the people in this space? What would the media landscape look like? How would people develop their style if they strayed from relentless marketing? Presented by SVA Continuing Education.

Moderated by Shonagh marshall, faculty member of SVA MPS Fashion Photography; Curator, writer and founder of Denier, a bimonthly newsletter that explores fashion during the Anthropocene era.

Instagram: @shonaghmarshall


Aja barber, Instagram activist, writer and influencer. Barber writes and talks about issues that underlie fashion and sustainability, such as colonialism, oppression and planned obsolescence. She is a supporter of buying less and is a reformed fast fashion shopper. She has written a book due out in September titled Consumed: on colonialism, climate change, consumerism and the need for collective change.

Instagram: @ajabarber

Willow Defebaugh, writer and co-founder of Atmos magazine. Atmos aims to tell stories about the climate crisis through the prism of art and culture. They aim to have a different approach to fashion promotion in the magazine space.

Instagram: @willowrites

Shazia Abji, experienced designer and North American manager of Overview, a creative collective dedicated to social change. A Glimpse project took all the ads off a London Underground station and replaced them with pictures of cats – because cats are good for us and ads don’t!

Instagram: @wegimpse

Charlie engman, fashion photographer and designer. Engman has photographed campaigns for Nike, Adidas, Stella McCartney, Hermes, Pucci, Vivienne Westwood and for editorials for fashion magazines such as Vogue, T and Another. Along with photography, he co-designed the Collina strada fashion collections, aiming to be as “sustainable” as possible. He also visited the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana, one of the largest second-hand markets selling unwanted clothing in the North. This research has resulted in an existential reflection on how his images sell clothes we don’t need, while waste and consumption are central issues in the climate crisis.

Instagram: @charlieengman

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