Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Jaafar Aksikas

Second Advisor

C. Richard King


In the last decade there has been a noticeable attempt to subvert traditional modes of clothing production. The recent emergence of “ethical consumption” in the fashion industry is a case in point. This project argues that these new formations and practices around ethical consumption are mere appropriations of anti-corporate politics and sentiments for consumers in the West. Signification of ethical consumption through language and cultural capital give more value to individual articles of clothing and branded entities. This reformation of the clothing industry towards an ethical attitude is a rebranding tactic that avoids the source-issue altogether. Through advertising and normalization of globalized labor, it is not the part of the consumer to take responsibility for the harms the fashion industry perpetuates. It is the system itself by which clothing is produced that need to be changed, not brands added. The fashion industry needs less and better, not more.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.