Ethics of Use
Brands control upstream supply chains assiduously; but downstream, after a garment is sold, the user is in charge. A user’s actions can uphold a brand’s values, be incurious about them or subvert them in a range of direct or subtle ways. Defiance comes in many forms: the protestations of a blog, the cutting and reworking of scissors and thread, or the attitude with which a garment is worn, upending the worldview of the corporation that made it.
Undoable sign of the need for change
“This is a bicycle pin and I don’t actually wear it normally. I clipped it on my scarf a few weeks ago and I can’t get it off now because its childproof and I just can’t undo the really tight closure. I never can seem to squeeze [the pin] out there without really bending it back… I wore it in my preschool photos and I think my first grade photo as well… wearing it pinned on a little cream sweater. So I think my mom really liked it. But I can’t really ride a bike. I’m not very good. I can’t turn. I feel a little bit like, ‘I can’t ride a bike, why am I wearing a bicycle pin?’”
London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell
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