Fashion and Sustainability – M&S

(Limited Collection Flirt Lace Non-Padded Plunge Bra, Marks & Spencer’s)

I’ve chosen to analyse the sustainability of my bra from Marks & Spencer’s. It was manufactured in China. M&S previously manufactured their bra’s in Malaysia but since the fall of M&S their manufacture has moved, has this a resulted in cheaper manufacture? Lower ethics? Less care for the environment??

Many would love to just assume that this is the case but in fact it shouldn’t be that detrimental to M&S ethics and sustainability. M&S have many policies in place such as ethical trading and chemicals in textile production to combat any misconduct from it’s manufacturers.

M&S takes the environment, ethics and sustainability very seriously and encourage their suppliers and manufacturers to follow suit. One key thing is that they have to comply with ‘law of the land’ plus additional M&S requirements including; corporate ethics and equal opportunities as written in their international policy. (How We Do Business – Our People. Corporate.marksandspencers.com, 2014)

M&S also work closely with suppliers to develop high quality products by…

‘Operating rigorous quality management systems which have been developed with our suppliers. These operate on a precautionary principle and are supported by a range of on-site audits and product testing. Suppliers are required to meet a range of quality, safety, environmental and social standards.’(How We Do Business – Quality and Innovation. Corporate.marksandspencers.com, 2014)

Since the development of my bra M&S has been working extremely hard to develop itself and has created a sustainable carbon neutral bra, raised 11m worth of garments recycled to Oxfam as part of their shwop scheme. Continue to meet their goals set out in their revolutionary Plan A initiative to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically and help our customers to lead healthier lifestyles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi6PX80XwP4

(Sustainability at work – M&S Plan A awards – Marks and Spencer 2011. MarksandSpencersTv, 2011)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLpao2f4eCk

(M&S: Shwopping Advert with Joanna Lumley – Marks and Spencer 2012. MarksandSpencersTv, 2012)

Refernces:

Marks & Spencer’s (n.d) Limited Collection Flirt Lace Non-Padded Plunge Bra [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.marksandspencer.com/Limited-Collection-Floral-Plunge-Non-Padded/dp/B00DSVZ454 [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2014) How We Do Business – Our People. [Online] Marks & Spencer’s. Available from: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/howwedobusiness/our_policies/our_people [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2014) How We Do Business – Quality and Innovation. [Online] Marks & Spencer’s. Available from: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/howwedobusiness/our_policies/quality_and_innovation [Accessed 08/01/14]

MarksandSpencersTv. (2011). Sustainability at work – M&S Plan A awards – Marks and Spencer 2011. [Online Video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi6PX80XwP4 [Accessed 08/01/14]

MarksandSpencersTv. (2012). M&S: Shwopping Advert with Joanna Lumley – Marks and Spencer 2012. [Online Video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLpao2f4eCk [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2014) How We Do Business – Waste. [Online] Marks & Spencer’s. Available from: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/howwedobusiness/our_policies/wastew [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2005) Global Sourcing Principles. [Online PDF] Marks & Spencer’s. Available from: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/how_we_do_business/global_sourcing_principles.pdf [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2013) About Plan A. [Online] Marks & Spencer’s. Available from: http://plana.marksandspencer.com/about [Accessed 08/01/14]

Marks & Spencer’s (2012) How We Do Business Report 2012. [Online PDF] Available from: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/file.axd?pointerid=24f35ecfc08e4eb1992603107c4ec51a [Accessed 08/01/14]

Daily Mail Reporter (2011) This is not just lingerie: M&S unveil world’s first carbon neutral bra. Daily Mail, 14th Apr. Available from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1376538/M-S-unveil-worlds-carbon-neutral-bra-This-just-lingerie-.html

‘Here Comes the Bride’

‘Here Comes the Bride’

There are clear gender specific dress codes at a wedding ceremony. Wedding dresses or gowns are typically worn by a female bride they would merely wear the best dressed they could afford. According to the views of ]Stamper and Condra (2010 p.125) ‘the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert provoked a tremendous amount of interest in many countries. Her choice of white dress was a clear break with the royal past and is reported to have been influenced more by her interest in encouraging English manufacture than in setting the new standard for wedding attire.’ whatever her intentions may have been she has been a clear impact on wedding dresses since then.

Figure 9: The silk satin wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1840, (Historic Royal Places)

‘While fashion may affect the silhouette, the white dress and veil have virtually remained unchanged in over 150 years’ (Delamore, P. 2005, p.6)

Wedding dress practices vary across the globe as the meaning changes from culture to culture. I believe the wedding dress is the only garment to a female has that holds such importance a piece of fabric can. This is why there is such a variety of wedding dresses as a dress is individual to the bride, her culture, her views and her body therefore no wedding dress is the same or means the same to each bride.

Although women have changed the way their femininity is expressed through the clothes the wedding dress surpasses time and still remains the height of ones femininity in a dress.

‘Selecting your wedding dress is a big decision that has more to do with just how you look on that day; it is the ultimate expression of your personal style.’ (Fleetwood, T. 2005, pg.1)

Refernces:

Stamper, A. and Condra, J. (2010) Clothing Through American History: The Civil War Through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899. California: Greenwood.

Historic Royal Places (2012) Figure 9: Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.hrp.org.uk/Assets/RWD_QueenVictoria_SS.jpg [Accessed 08/01/14]

Delamore, P. (2005) The Wedding Dress: A Sourcebook London: Pavilion Books.

Fleet, T. (2003) The Afrocentric Bride: A Style Guide Phoenix: Amber Books

Foster, H. and Johnson, D. (eds.) (2003) Wedding Dress Across Cultures (Dress, Body, Culture) 1st Edition. New York: Berg

De La Haye, A. and Wilson, E. (eds.) (1999) Defining Dress: Dress as Object, Meaning and Identity Manchester: Manchester University Press

Historic Royal Places. (2011) Royal Wedding Dresses: a history [Online Video] Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htSvZDvIf5I [Accessed 08/01/14]

‘Cleavage – do your or don’t you?’

Contemporary issues

‘Cleavage – do you or don’t you?’

The way we have viewed cleavage over the years has changed dramatically especially concerning age. I stumbled upon the this article in the Guardian ‘Cleavage -do you or don’t you?’ it is mainly referring to age and it caught my attention. The view of cleavage in dress has fluctuated through out the years.

Starting in the 1800s many fashion garments had a high neckline, chest completely covered, through the decade the neckline grew lower and the corset foundation garments pushed breasts forward to nearly sitting underneath the chin, this continued to evolve through the early 1900s. During the late 1900s and leading into the 20th century foundation garments changed and so did women’s rights. We were no longer bound to a certain shape and became much freer with what we wore. This freedom lead us through androgynous periods where women would wear majority male style clothing; chest being covered.

Now in the 21st century with have come back around to the idea of the hourglass shape being one of the desired female forms and are naturally expected to have bigger than average perky boobs. This ideal has lead to an abundance of cleavage showing garments. Some to the extreme of side boob (not designed for all, ladies!) This current trend and the pressure now put on women to stay younger looking for longer raises the question how far should the older women attempt to maintain her youth? Is it appropriate to show cleavage? and/or how much?

Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn … artfully déshabillée. Photograph: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic (Guardian, 2013)

Now these are the critically questions and in my opinion it’s to the discretion of the individual (to some degree) but it’s impossible to have one rule for all. I hope women of a certain age feel they could display appropriate cleavage if they feel that way inclined and will also know when it’s time to limit the amount shown. That’s my opinion, how about yours?

References:

The Invisible Woman.(2013) Cleavage – do you or don’t you? Gaurdian. Weblog [Online] 16/10. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/oct/16/cleavage-older-women

 Loccisano M./FilmMagic (2013) Goldie Hawn … artfully déshabillée. [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/oct/16/cleavage-older-women [Accessed 08/01/14]

‘The New Look’

Fashion Revivals

             New-Look-Hero.jpg

Left: Figure 1- Dior’s ‘New Look’, Bar suit, 1947 (Vogue.com) Right: Figure 2 – Prada’s A/w’13 collection (Style.com)

As you can see from the two pictures there has been a clear revival of Dior’s New Look in today’s current trends. The shape and essence of the Dior’s look has been captured in Prada’s design but clear development’s have been made to keep the garment’s on trend. For example the fabric choice, the material is a bright coloured tweed a thicker, more vibrant fabric, than that of Dior’s to fit the current trends and season – winter. Prada has altered the fit and has steered away from the corseted tiny waist like Dior’s. It’s kept the focus at the focus at the waist by including a belt. Prada has shortened the length of the jacket and skirt to make sure the garment doesn’t feel outdated or an exact copy but you can still clearly see Prada’s inspiration from the 1940’s silhouettes.

‘His (Dior’s) New Look, as it came to be known, was a “direct, unblushing plan to make women extravagantly, romantically, eyelash-battingly female”.’ (Vogue 1957, cited in Vogue)

 I believe Prada’s collection is still trying to obtain the same female elegance attributes in a current way and the original meaning of Dior’s New Look hasn’t been lost or altered through out the years.

References:

Vogue. (n.d). Photograph by Serge Balkin. Published in Vogue, April 1, 1947 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/New_Look [Accessed on 08/01/14]

Style.com (2013). Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear Prada- Look 15 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/slideshow/F2013RTW-PRADA/#15 [Accessed 08/01/14]

Vogue (n.d) Voguepidia- New Look [Online].Vogue.com. Available from: http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/New_Look [Accessed 08/01/14]

Fashion Marketing and Brands – Superdry

Today I’m going to analyse the marketing 4 P’s of Superdry.

Product:

Superdry has superb branding, the company is renowned for displaying it on every single item , so much so it has become an essential design feature. Superdry has now become a brand who has basic, fashion, classic and fad items on offer. The brand has developed so much over the years and continues to evolve at rapid pace.

Superdry prides itself on creating high quality garments and paying attention to detail (even their shirt buttons have Superdry engraved onto them!?!). That sort of attention isn’t only on their garments it goes into their labeling and packaging too. Their swing tags include that all important feature logo alongside their shopping bags.

A/W’13 Ad Campaign (Superdry blog, 2013)

 ‘Superdry’s unique selling point is that it fuses design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana with the values of British tailoring onto unique urban clothing with incredible branding and an unrivaled level of detailing.’ (About Us. Superdry.com)

Price

Superdry sticks to the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of their garments. They have marginal price points and avoid discounts as much as possible (they don’t even have boxing day sales!?!). Customers can only exchange or receive a store card in Superdry another retaining revenue tactic. I believe prestige pricing is a Superdry marketing ploy relying on the iconic brand name to allow them to price their lower quality products at a higher price in order to give (maintain) the appearance of quality.

Superdry takes a keen interest in consumers buying habits in their stores and replenishes stock every hour, taking note of the purchased items, as they like to keep this shelves full. They also brief staff on the most sold items of the week to keep staff aware of what customers are demanding. 

Place

Superdry is referred to as a Bricks and Clicks company as it can be sourced through their online website, standalone stores and concessions in department stores. It is a massclucivity brand as it aims at the masses who can afford mid to high level apparel.

‘Superdry targets the young fashion market with affordable, premium quality clothing and accessories for both men and women in the 15-25 age bracket, although the brand has become increasingly appealing to a much broader group as it develops its breadth of product ranges.’ (Annual Report 2013 – At A Glance. SuperGroup.Plc) 

Inside view of a new Superdry store in Kalverstraat, Amsterdam (Superdry blog, 2013)

In store you are drawn into Superdry zone with the sounds of the Superdry mix blaring through the speakers, your eyes are drawn to the dynamic visual merchandising. Garments call you to touch and feel the quality fabrics, the lay of the store leads you through style after style. Pick up a few garments to check out in the fitting rooms and then head to the till with your desired purchased…a view into the enchanting Superdry stores.

Promotion

Yulee Foster – winner of our height in hoodies competition (Superdry blog, 2013)

Superdry advertise through the internet, adverts, social marketing, blogs and billboards. It has extremely good public relations with many celebrity supporters, holds events for new collections with the press and competitions for the public to keep their interest. Superdry focuses on visual merchandising constantly changing the lay out and stock in stores to make consumers experience new and eye catching every time. 

Superdry AW13 Campaign Video (SuperdryTV, 2013)

References:

Superdry (2013) A/W’13 Ad Campaign [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.superdry.com/blog/2013/08/12/superdry-autumn-winter-13-collection/ [Accessed 04/01/14]

Superdry (n.d) About Us [Online] Superdry.com Available from: http://www.superdry.com/about-us [Accessed on 04/01/14]

SuperGroup.Plc (2013) Annual Report 2013 – At A Glance [Online] Supergroup.co.uk Available from: http://annualreport2013.supergroup.co.uk/introduction/at-a-glance [Accessed on 04/01/14]

Superdry (2013) Inside view of a new Superdry store in Kalverstraat, Amsterdam [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.superdry.com/blog/ [Accessed on 04/01/14]

Superdry (2013) Yulee Foster – winner of our height in hoodies competition [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.superdry.com/blog/ [Accessed on 04/01/14]

SuperdryTV (2013) Superdry AW13 Campaign Video [Online Video]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWXKVf_2WkA [Accessed 04/01/14]

Fashion Marketing and Semiotics – American Apparel

American Apparel is an innovative brand that stands for 100% sweat-shop free workers as all their garments ‘are made in USA’. 

‘It’s not just about made in the USA. More importantly, it is about designing a business that does not, at its fundamental core, rely on the relentless pursuit of low cost labour to survive.’ (About Us – The New Standards That Others Will Follow. American Apparel. 2012)

(Figure 1: Ad Campaign October 2013 American Apparel)

This was an ad campaign in October 2013 through this advertisement I believe the brand represents young, cool, trendy people who take pride in their appearance whilst it not being at the expense of others (i.e. factory workers).

The advert signifier is a young woman in the park doing a headstand in her underwear with thigh high socks showing off her athletic ability in her athletic designed clothes. She signified the type of a care free consumer who can appreciate and relax in her fashion whilst knowing her style hasn’t affected the environment or exploited other people. She also represents how simple and accessible it is to be healthy, athletic, stylish and help create a new type of apparel business model.

The brand effectively oozes style and coolness and the added spice of sex appeal whilst in the shadows trying to change the way fashion companies are run. Their ad campaigns incite the customer so much so they wouldn’t even realise they were helping a great cause.

Ultimately, the advert shows you that you can support a great cause without breaking the bank or loosing your style. The people who wear their clothes help pioneer the brand and help it create a trend that others could/should follow; that you can run a profitable popular business without outsourcing your manufacture.

‘Everyone benefits – customers, workers, and shareholders alike.’ (About Us – Unlike Our Competitors, We Make Our Own Product. American Apparel. 2012)

References:

Americanapparel.net (2013) Advertising [Online] American Apparel. Available from: https://www.americanapparel.net/advertising/ad/?i=9685&n=48 [Accessed 04/01/2014]

Americanapparel.net (2012) About Us [Online] American Apparel. Available from: http://www.americanapparel.net/aboutus/ [Accessed 04/01/2014]

‘The King Of The Teds’

Figure 1: Thomas (Gino) Charalambous, Steve Golly, Ron Staples, Norman Mascot, Rob and Del outside the Black Raven in Bishopgate in 1974 (The Edwardian Teddy Boy)

Ron Staples-Fahey ‘Sunglasses Ron’ became known as the self appointed ‘King of the Teds’. He originated from Newport, Wales in 1944 just a couple years before the Teddy Boys arose. He moved to London in the early 70’s and soon became one of central London’s most famous Teddy boy. When Ron arrived in London no one believed that this welsh guy would have been a Ted in the 50’s, until he rocked up to the Black Raven in full Teddy boy attire to prove his teddy-boy-ship!

Figure 2: ‘Sunglasses Ron’ posing in full teddy by attire (The Edwardian Teddy Boy)

Black drapes, shirt and drainpipe trousers teddy boy essentials but Ron added his staple sunglasses for the extra flair.

The Teddy Boy subculture was born in the 1940’s early 1950’s following the war. Those postwar youngster had an abundance of money in contrast to the war years of rationing and make do and mend. They chose to spend their money on Edwardian fashion which was currently in trend on Saville Row and make it their own.They were the first group in England to separate themselves from their elders, creating the distinction as teenagers and opening up a youth market.

Figure 3: Teddy Boys admiring the view on Clapham Common in 1954 (The Edwardian Teddy Boy)

There was a revival of the Teddy Boys in the 70’s where Sunglasses Ron’ rose to fame. They revived but this time they were closely linked to Rock ‘n’ Roll music. Their fashion style had evolved with the addition of glam rock influences, bolder coloured suits, brothel creepers and a few other new features. The advances in the Teddy Boy fashion were influenced by Vivenne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop called Let it Rock, on London’s King Road.

Sunglasses Ron was a laid back, cheeky cool guy, who captured the style and the good nature side of the Teddy Boys and the Rock ‘n’ Roll scene making him a great representative for the 1970’s Teddy’s. However he wasn’t involved in the riots and anarchy as the previous Teddy Boys. He was a loyal teddy boy till the day he died…

Figure 5&6: Flyer for the Funeral and Memorial tribute show for ‘Sunglasses Ron’ sent in by Chopper (Teddyboysreunited.co.uk) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S54NANTFZ8I 

This is a clip of TV News footage of the funeral of Sunglasses Ron-King Teddy Boys. (HepCatmobile, 2010)

My blog has been inspired by the article by Claire Maguire’s article in the Men’s Fashion magazine ‘Teddy Boy Style: Sunglasses Ron‘ and ‘Teddy Boys’ from the Subcultureslist.com.

Refernces:

TheEdwardianTeddyBoy (n.d) Figure 1: Thomas (Gino) Charalambous, Steve Golly, Ron Staples, Norman Mascot, Rob and Del outside the Black Raven in Bishopgate in 1974 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.edwardianteddyboy.com/page35.htm [Accessed 03/01/14]

TheEdwardianTeddyBoy (n.d) Figure 2: ‘Sunglasses Ron’ posing in full teddy by attire [Online Image]. Available from:  http://www.edwardianteddyboy.com/page35.htm [Accessed 03/01/14]

TheEdwardianTeddyBoy (n.d) Figure 3: Teddy Boys admiring the view on Clapham Common in 1954 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.edwardianteddyboy.com/index.htm [Accessed 03/01/14]

TheEdwardianTeddyBoy (n.d) Figure 4: Headlines of Newspapers highlighting the death of John Beckley by the Teddy Boys in the 1950’s [Online Image] Available from: http://www.edwardianteddyboy.com/page6.htm  [Accessed 03/01/14]

TheEdwardianTeddyBoy (n.d) Figure 5&6: Flyer for the Funeral and Memorial tribute show for ‘Sunglasses Ron’ sent in by Chopper [Online Image] Available from: http://www.teddyboysreunited.co.uk/MemoryOf/Sunglasses%20Ron/index.htm [Accessed 03/01/14]

SubcultureList (2014) What is a Teddy Boy – Teddy Boy 1950’s [Online] Available from: http://subcultureslist.com/teddy-boys/ [Accessed 03/01/14]

Maguire, C. (n.d) Teddy Boy Style: Sunglasses Ron. [Online] Men’s Fashion Magazine. Available from: http://www.mensfashionmagazine.co.uk/teddy-boy-style-ron-staple [Accessed 03/01/14]