Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty special issue on fashion and ethics
Volume 2 Numbers 1 & 2

Intellect is delighted to announce the publication of Volume 2 Numbers 1 & 2 of Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty: a special issue on fashion and ethics

Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty focuses on issues of power, social positioning, ideologies and practices within the web of relationships between creators, producers, practitioners and end-users of fashion. This special double issue on fashion and ethics brings to the forefront some of the ethical controversies, raising the question of whether 'ethical fashion' is actually a contradiction in terms, as editor Efrat Tseëlon suggests in her editorial. Offering a critique of some of the fundamental assumptions, this issue seeks to expose the ideologies of ethical fashion, which often mask its status as a product that uses ethical credentials as a marketing ploy to relieve consumers' guilt.

In his article 'Fashionable dilemmas', Austin Williams questions the concept of ethical fashion, examining what he considers its self-appointed morality and ability to 'impose on the underdeveloped world the idea that environmental concerns should take priority over poverty alleviation and human development'. Williams suggests that supposedly ethical companies use consumers' sense of morality to get to their bank balances, arguing that while designers are under ever mounting pressure to be 'ethical', such subjective 'moral' considerations may do as much harm as good.

Similar issues are raised in Marie-Cécile Cervellon and Lindsey Carey's article exploring consumers' motives for buying 'green'. Cervellon and Carey state that buying such products gives consumers a 'license to sin', raising the question of whether consumers are truly concerned with buying ethically. Rafi Grosglik also asks to what extent consumers are motivated by ethics rather than by a desire to follow fashion trends in his exploration of ethical culinary fashion, as exemplified by the surge in popularity of organic hummus in Israel. This volume also includes a study of the high-end fashion company Comme il faut by its CEO Sybil Goldfiner, which, as Efrat Tseëlon argues, is possibly one of the only truly ethical fashion labels, while John Sorenson provides an incisive critique of the exploitation of animals, focusing on instances of extreme cruelty in the procurement of animal skin and fur for use in fashion.

This issue also includes two explorations of ethical dilemmas in the modelling industry: Patrícia Soley-Beltran explores how extreme and narrow expectations of beauty shape models' self-perception and the ways they experience their own bodies, while psychoanalyst Miriam Tawil examines the psychological toll on child models. Finally, this issue includes a review of the Endangered Species summit, focusing on society's obsession with body hatred, as well as exhibition and book reviews and reports.

With its uncompromising scrutiny of such thought provoking issues, Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty forces us to ask the question: is ethical fashion just a charade of good intentions?
View the full contents and abstracts

Efrat Tseëlon, University of Leeds
Ana Marta González, Universidad de Navarra, Spain
Susan Kaiser, University of California Davis

Title Information
Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty | 2 issues per volume | ISBN: 20404417 | Online ISSN: 20404425

Call for Papers
The editors of Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty welcome submissions to this journal. For further information, please visit the journal’s webpage

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