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Creative Exploration Of The Consumption And Disposal Habits Of Fashion Retail Employees

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posted on 2021-05-22, 17:13 authored by Sara Harlow
This research project was conducted to assess the potential influence of fashion retail workers on industry sustainability by critiquing the standard practices of brand consumption as required by retail employers. A mixed-methodological approach, with an emphasis on creative exploration, was undertaken to examine employee experience and propose alternatives to unsustainable practices. Creative experimentation was supported by an anonymous online survey and photo submissions by individuals working in the fashion retail sector. Bourdieu’s Field Theory was applied to establish a lens from which to view retail employees as actors in the field of the fashion industry that functions as a group according to a unique habitus with specific dispositions. Use of Aesthetic Labour practices by fashion brands encourage the development of this habitus and manipulation of employees for the sole benefit of the company. The modes of interaction as both marketer and consumer are acquired and learned within the job and build upon the employee’s existing experience. It is therefore argued that these learned behaviours could be altered in a direction more beneficial to the employees themselves, as well as for improving the industry as a whole. The main finding of this research study was the need for awareness regarding the current economically and environmentally unsustainable expectations for fashion retail employees. Further participant-informed research would be beneficial and assist in broadening awareness. This information brought directly to the employees themselves has the potential to instigate significant change to an industry facing new challenges in both the retail and environmental sector





Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University Grahame Lynch

LAC Thesis Type