Maia Rowan

Maia Rowan is a Masters of Design Candidate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her thesis is looking at alternative modes of consumption in the fashion industry.

Research Project: Alternative Modes of Consumption in the Fashion Industry

The problem space for this study is three fold. First we, as westerners, have overly consumptive practices as consumers of fashion and clothing. We have an industry that is constantly producing garments, at unprecedented rates. This is leading to harmful ecological impacts, and contributing to the un-sustainability of current human practices.

Secondly we are entrenched in consumption patterns developed for economic recovery post World War II that are struggling to innovate and are incompatible with contemporary lifestyles, where economic prosperity looks significantly different than in previous generations, and ownership has become a burden as density increases and personal property decreases. On top of this younger generations are becoming more mobile. They are using mobile technology, they are shifting jobs and personal directions constantly, and they are moving globally for work, pleasure, and family.

Thirdly we have a fashion industry that is responding quite slowly to the above changes and issues. What response they are undergoing is often to remedy current situations, however these interventions are doing little to envision what the future of garment use, and fashion really could be. How could we reduce the impact of the clothing industry, while providing unique and exciting experiences that will help users transition to less consumptive habits. This is where my thesis is positioned.