In this episode, Huma Gupta speaks with Rawan Maki about fast fashion and the question of sustainability in Bahrain and beyond. They explore the past, present, and speculative futures of the fashion industry. Maki traces the life-cycle of the clothing we wear every day, mapping its geographies from the crops and petroleum necessary to produce organic and synthetic fibers, the individuals who farm, weave, and sew the garments to shipping, distribution, tailoring, and purchasing networks. Since fast fashion is a leading contributor to pollution, resource depletion, and climate change, this episode evaluates the promise of alternative frameworks like "slow fashion" and the social, psychological, and artistic shifts that it requires. This interview was originally recorded on 22 January 2021.
Huma Gupta is a scholar of environmental planning and the political economy of architecture. Gupta is a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, where she is working on two book projects: "Dwelling and the Architecture of Dispossession" and "Dwelling and the Wealth of Nations." In 2020, she completed her dissertation "Migrant Sarifa Settlements and State-Building in Iraq" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was a fellow in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
- Fletcher, K. (2010) Slow Fashion: An Invitation for Systems Change, Fashion Practice, 2:2, 259-265, DOI: 10.2752/175693810X12774625387594
- Ceschin, F. and Gaziulusoy, I. (2016) ‘Evolution of design for sustainability: From product design to design for system innovations and transitions’, Design Studies, 47, pp. 118–163. doi: 10.1016/j.destud.2016.09.002.
- Maki, R. (2021) ‘Beyond a Western “Sustainability” in Design: Fashion Practice in Bahrain’, in. Sustainable Innovation 2021: Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing, Sportswear & Accessories, University for the Creative Arts Epsom, Surrey, UK, p. 1. <Accessed on: https://cfsd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Day-6-13.45-Ref-26-Web-Abstract.pdf>