Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Ana Velitchkova

Second Advisor

Marcos Mendoza

Third Advisor

Miguel Centellas

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Over the last century, fashion has evolved to become a commodity that is rapidly changing and easily available. The processes that have led to this accessibility of fashion, however, have proven to be harmful to the environment and, most recently, proven to be potentially fatal for the people making the clothing. In 2013, a garment factory in Bangladesh, housing production for major global fashion brands, like Zara and The Children’s Place, collapsed following a series of negligence. The event has sparked years of awareness-raising in the public dialogue of fast fashion. As a part of the newly-developing research in sustainable fashion, the goal of this thesis is to see how fashion companies communicate their sustainability. More specifically, how do the Spanish companies involved in the Rana Plaza collapse communicate their social and environmental sustainability? Through the use of qualitative discourse analysis, I have taken every public document regarding practices and policies for each company and noted where and how they discuss their social and environmental effects. From my research, I find that across the board for each company, environmental sustainability is discussed much more frequently and specifically than social sustainability. Additionally, I find that companies tend to place the responsibility for the safety of factory workers on the manufacturers and suppliers, avoiding responsibility themselves. As a result, I urge that companies be more transparent about the practices they are and are not exercising, so as to prevent further tragedies within the fashion industry.

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