Thursday, 19 November 2009

More Ethics & Prada's Party

The second day of the Drapers Summit was very well attended… except for the session devoted to ethics and sustainability in sourcing and supply. At the end of the previous session, at least half the audience left the hall. I'm sure that it had nothing to do with the calibre of the speakers but reflected the fact that, in these difficult retailing times, retailers simply feel that ethics are a luxury they can't afford. As one speaker said, to check out cotton sourcing and manufacturing standards could add as much as £10 to the cost of a mid-price bra, as if this was such a shocking thing it couldn't be contemplated. And so the exploitation of which nearly all of us in the West are guilty goes on.

In the evening, I went to the Prada party in their Bond Street shop to celebrate the launch of a book - Prada's first - which celebrates in pictures the firm's ground-breaking history in well designed pages full of radical photographs. It was packed of course, and we found ourselves dipping and dodging round a long line of scantily dressed mannequins showing us the cruise collection of brightly coloured prints. No reference to sourcing, as far as I could tell, but that was not much of a problem for the crowds, celebrating what was effectively the first fashion Christmas drinks party in London this season.

1 comment:

  1. One of the (many) things I like about this blog is the issues it raises.

    I wonder how many consumers know about (or forget? or block out?) all the issues attached to the clothing/accessory production process. I'm sure if every single step of these processes were entirely ethical, nobody could afford a thing. Clear consciences cost an awful lot. But we all need clothes, and we love fashion; how do we get what we need, want, and love without contributing to the problem? I can't imagine anybody would want to knowingly "support" shady ethical practices. Messy.

    Prada just did that book launch party north of here (Beverly Hills) and the biggest attraction at the event seemed to be an adolescent blogger. Apparently, her caché trumped that of the book! [said wryly]