Pass the scissors : consumers close in on the fashion industry

McMahon, Kay (2012) Pass the scissors : consumers close in on the fashion industry. In Shanbhag, Vinod (Ed.) Fashion Beyond Borders 14th Annual Conference Proceedings 2012, Pearl Academy, Jaipur, India, pp. 260-270.

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The fashion ecosystem is at boiling point as consumers turn up the heat in all areas of the fashion value, trend and supply chain.
While traditionally fashion has been a monologue from designer brand to consumer, new technology and the virtual world has given consumers a voice to engage brands in a conversation to express evolving needs, ideas and feedback. Product customisation is no longer innovative. Successful brands are including customers in the design process and holding conversations ‘with’ them to improve product, manufacturing, sales, distribution, marketing and sustainable business practices. Co-creation and crowd sourcing are integral to any successful business model and designers and manufacturers are supplying the technology or tools for these creative, active, participatory ‘prosumers’. With this collaboration however, there arises a worrying trend for fashion professionals. The ‘design it yourself’, ‘indiepreneur’ who with the combination of technology, the internet, excess manufacturing capacity, crowd funding and the idea of sharing the creative integrity of a product (‘copyleft’ not copyright) is challenging the notion that the fashion supply chain is complex. The passive ‘consumer’ no longer exists. Fashion designers now share the stage with ‘amateur’ creators who are disrupting every activity they touch, while being motivated by profit as well as a quest for originality and innovation. This paper examines the effects this ‘consumer’ engagement is having on traditional fashion models and the fashion supply chain. Crowd sourcing, crowd funding, co-creating, design it yourself, global sourcing, the virtual supply chain, social media, online shopping, group buying, consumer to consumer marketing and retail, and branding the ‘individual’ are indicative of the new consumer-driven fashion models. Consumers now drive the fashion industry - from setting trends, through to creating, producing, selling and marketing product. They can turn up the heat at any time _ and any point _ in the fashion supply chain. They are raising the temperature at each and every stage of the chain, decreasing or eliminating the processes involved: decreasing the risk of fashion obsolescence, quantities for manufacture, complexity of distribution and the consumption of product; eliminating certain stages altogether and limiting the brand as custodians of marketing. Some brands are discovering a new ‘enemy’ – the very people they are trying to sell to. Keywords: fashion supply chain, virtual world, consumer, ‘prosumers’, co-creation, fashion designers

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ID Code: 49991
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: fashion supply chain, fashion theories, consumers, co-creation, crowds, crowd sourcing, digital technology, democratization
ISBN: 978-81-929007-1-1
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Textile and Fashion Design (120306)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). Individual contributors will also retain ownership of separate copyrights in their own contributions.
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording of otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher.
Deposited On: 01 May 2012 01:46
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2014 10:36

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