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Globalization

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Globalization Impact on Fashion Industry Globalization is a word that has many different definitions. All together, it is a process of cultural integration, comprising with global labor division, production resources, as well as the removal of borders between cultures of various countries and tariffs. Fashions connection to globalization has significantly expanded within the last decade, with its evolvement several more designers have become universally accepted for their high-end designs soaring into popularity. Global fashion designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Versace, and Roberto Cavalli have in a way united people through clothes: fashion. Each of these designers come from a range of different backgrounds, cultural, and practices helping express several different styles in their clothing lines, appealing to a larger audience than intended. By acknowledging these well renowned designers, we look into deciphering the impacts and effects that fashion takes on the world. For global retailers, it is important to understand globalization affect on the fashion industry and its impact on cultural views and the consumption patterns gathered from different countries (Daye et al., 2008). Clothing is manufactured in nearly every country throughout the globe, mainly in developing nations. Because of globalization the production process has changed entirely with no plans of going back. Its changes include the location of where things are being made, sold and as well as how companies choose to appeal more to an audience than another company creating competition. With a lead of more than thirty-two percent of the world’s clothing exports, Asia is known as a major world supplier to this day. The European market is slowly becoming of importance with supplies ranging from all over Central and Eastern Europe. Over in America their lead supplier of clothing is Mexico, sharing with Canada as well; let it be known that America and Canada are the leading purchasers of clothing in the world. Asia is the main target market for any sort of luxury brand because of the rapid growth in the economy. Since it is not spreading over the eastern side of the globe, Asian buyers now have a stronger desire for luxury brands to flaunt around with. Fashion comes from the expression; not all designers have the same taste, but they all have similar influences. Its what they choose to do with the material they invision that makes their line unique. When a product is produced in one country and consumed in another, we have cross-cultural consumption (Cvetkovich, 1997). In essence, it is highly recommended for designers, in order to achieve success with their clothing lines, to not only, understand but also grasp the concept of the cultural style they are trying to appeal to. By doing so this helps with expansion of the current product and any future buyers. Globalization has made it easier for designers to explore and be inspired by the works of an open market and free trade amongst all countries. Therefore, making fashion more available between a person from Ethiopia and America. If you are rich or poor there is obviously an imaginary line between, high-end fashion and just regular ole clothing wear. But to the middle class that is when there is no shame in having what is known as ‘fake product’ or ‘a total knockoff’, which is usually produced by hired illegal immigrants that can only find a job such as that. When it comes to the question of ‘Who made it?’ it is at times difficult to explain since there is no single place that the object originated from. Fashion is not only viewed as a business but as well as a cultural good. The key defining aspect of globalization in this new era is the production of manufactured components which are sold as inputs for other components and end up as final products; all linked and coordinated globally (Dicken, 1998). When thinking of business in the form of trade a single part of apparel may be produced in country A and later gets exported over to country B. For cultural good the way it is seen, felt, shared and created is viewed differently among societies. Textile producers buy their products from less developed countries for a lower and more affordable cost, apparel firms use a method where they send their products to be made in different locations across the world that has more available labor for lower asking price than it would be in their country. A good sixty-five percent of apparel sold throughout America is manufactured in different countries making the rate of import rise at a rapid pace. In America, globalization has made it possible to purchase clothing closer to where they reside and even online shopping. As fashion images in magazines, music videos, films, the Internet and television speed their way around the world, they create a “global style” across borders and cultures (Kaiser, 1999, p.110). Greatly impacting consumers with desires of merchandise, specifically clothing, from all around the world. With a greater demand for the newest trends and stylish looks in the fashion world comes a growth of globalization. Today, the clothing industry illustrates some issues with relation to globalization. For instance these clothing industries spread their products across borders, linking companies, governments and economies of developed, less developed countries. Many high-end clothing industries have had a rapid growth in offshore production since the early 1970s by reaching out to less developed countries for contribution to their products. These companies would rather have their products produced by low-income employees. With that came the Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) of 1974, which mandated that no country had a right to impose any quota on textiles and clothing imports. Its intention was to prevent competition from poorer countries that may in time excel past rich countries. Two decades later the GATT issued the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) whose objective was to out the MFA. Garment industry warehouses receive their fabrics from overseas textile agencies. From there the fabric is set to ‘relax’ prior to be altered, proceeding to the spreading and cutting area for future processing of fabric defects and so on. The next stop is only applied if the employer is directed to act on, embroidery and screen-printing. Once that is complete the garments are moved over to an assembly line where it is sewn, finishing its completion a little quicker. Search for any faults begin shortly after, seeking for any cosmetic flaws, stains or spotting on the product. Now being sent over to ironing for its final pressing then off to the packaging and shipping process. Apparels method of manufacture involves various phases that originate with a simple design concept that later ends with a finished product of garment wear. Its process involves an aspiration to create an ideal product design, selecting the proper fabric, inspection, grading, spreading, cutting, bundling, sewing, pressing, topping it off with detailing, dyeing, washing, etc., When it comes down to questioning how you may be connected to the people who made the object of clothing you’re wearing, the answer isn’t always easily noticed. Not all who create my clothes are living a life of luxury but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t paid or treated well. Just because our clothing comes from a less developed country doesn’t mean it is all produced in a sweatshop. The connection isn’t in plain sight but it is there, from producer to consumer. It begins with the make up of the workers, factories, unions, and the middle me, importers and exporters. Leading to department store chains and ending with us, the ones who wear and buy the product. Every single one of us holds a share of that product (Timmerman, 2012, p.7). As the world progresses through time, people tend to want new things, better things, and bigger things. With everyone longing for the same thing, the new ‘it’ trends it leads to exports and imports increasing in the global economy. The world as a whole has come a long way with several less developed countries trailing behind. It has now become much simpler to receive and share products overseas. Even products used to create a finishing item of clothing, a T-shirt from American Apparel. Everyday of our lives we find our self in contact with items we wouldn’t normally think are made somewhere other than where we are currently located. Don’t for a second think that what you wear has nothing to do with who you are. What people are not aware of is that a color or pattern on a shirt represents more than just your taste and what looks good on you. It represents millions of dollars and countless amount of hours enforced at a low pay. What we wear is selected for us by the fashion industry prior to even knowing we would purchase it, all originating from a pile of stuff (Weisberger, 2003). Designers know that in order for them to fully comprehend how to express oneself they need to accept the outside world they aren’t usually familiar with. An open mind of designs.

Citations
Cvetkovich, A., & Kellner, D. (Eds). (1997). Articulating the Global and the Local: Globalization and Cultural Studies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Dicken, P. (1998), Global Shift: Transforming the World Economy, Paul Chapman, London
Daye, D., & VanAaken, B. (2008). The Impact of Culture on Branding. The Branding Blog. Retrieved from http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2009/05/the-impact-of-culture-on-branding.html
Kaiser, S. (1999). Identity, Postmodernity, and the Global Apparel Marketplace. New York: Fairchild.
Timmerman, K. (2012). Where am I wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes. (2nd ed., p. 7). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Weisberger, Lauren. The Devil Wears Prada. New York: Broadway Books, 2003. Print.

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