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Sunday, 21 June 2009

It would have been the perfect goodbye. After two years of working with ModaFusion towards the realization of Ethical Fashion Show, this month it would finally take place. But not anymore. In times of economic recession, it´s not easy to find funding for an event like this. Besides that, getting all brands together took more time than expected. Thus no show this month, but in November this year. When I can´t fly to Rio...

I´m lucky to be here now to present my very first academic paper at the EAMI management conference. ´ModaFusion on the Global Catwalk´, it´s called and it´s a discursive interpretation of the stories I have collected while working with this eco fashion company. I have analyzed them as being part of ´the grand narrative of the ethical fashion movement´: the movement in which companies create fashion that has been produced in an ethical, economically viable way, according to strong environmental and social values.

My study shows the daily reality of ModaFusion´s founders and how they try to work with this grand narrative. From struggling to source eco fabrics to the constant threat of working with seamstresses in Rio´s dangerous favela´s. From a continuous shortage of resources to last minute partnerships which make them work day and night. I have often watched in awe how they dealt with situations that would have made me scream a sore throat. Patience is a welcome virtue in the world of eco fashion. Especially when you have a curious researcher walking around firing a million questions at you all the time

But the bonuses were manifold. With the many avant-garde events ModaFusion realized and with the positive spin-offs of their collaborations. But maybe most of all with the empowered women that could start their own cooperatives, commercializing the work they had been doing for ages. Outcomes that can´t be measured in numbers, but force a redefinition of the word ´success´.

A big thank you to ModaFusion for opening their storybox to me!

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