Defining defashion: A manifesto for degrowth | Intellect Skip to content
Decolonizing Fashion as Process
  • ISSN: 2051-7106
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7114


A paradigmatic shift is needed if the Fashion industry is to put the well-being of people, their lifeways and the earth first. Like degrowth, defashion involves a deep reduction in material and energy throughputs in clothing production, but it goes much beyond this standard approach to sustainability. The required shift is comparable to the revolutionary change that must be made to the global economic system in order to achieve degrowth and is encapsulated in the definition of the term ‘defashion’. The neologism is a call to action: to dismantle the current Fashion system and replace it with a pluriverse of clothing systems that are fair, local, decolonial and profoundly respectful and nurturing. The activist group, Fashion Act Now, which is launching the term, proposes the clothing commons as a post-fashion strategy.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anon. ( 2021;), ‘ Insights on the fast fashion global market to 2030: Identify growth segments for investment. ’, GlobalNewswire , 26 May, Accessed 30 June 2022.
  2. Bollier, D.. ( 2014), Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons, Gabriola Island:: New Society Publishers;.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bollier, D., and Helfrich, S.. ( 2019), Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons, Gabriola Island:: New Society Publishers;.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. ‘fashion’ ( n.d.), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary , Accessed 30 June 2022.
  5. Fashion Act Now ( 2022;), ‘ Activists demanding and enabling a radical defashion future. ’, Accessed 30 June 2022.
  6. Fletcher, K., and Tham, M.. ( 2019), Earth Logic: Fashion Action Research Plan, London:: J.J. Charitable Trust;, Accessed 20 June 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Hickel, J.. ( 2020), Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World, London:: William Heinemann;.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. IPCC ( 2022;), ‘ Reports. ’, Accessed 30 June 2022.
  9. Kent, S.. ( 2021;), ‘ The sustainability gap. ’, The Sustainability Index 2021: The Sustainability Gap: How Fashion Measures Up, Business of Fashion;, pp. 811, Accessed 29 June 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Kothari, A.,, Salleh, A.,, Escobar, A.,, Demaria, F., and Acosta, A.. (eds) ( 2019), Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary, New Delhi:: Tulika Books;, Accessed 30 June 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Niessen, S.. ( 2010;), ‘ Interpreting “civilization” through dress. ’, Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion Vol 8: West Europe, Part I: Overview of Dress and Fashion in West Europe, Oxford:: Berg Publishers;.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Niessen, S.. ( 2020;), ‘ Fashion, its sacrifice zone, and sustainability. ’, Fashion Theory, 24:6, pp. 85977.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Sachs, W.. ( 2019;), ‘ Foreword: The development dictionary revisited. ’, in A. Kothari,, A. Salleh,, A. Escobar,, F. Demaria, and A. Acosta. (eds), Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary, New Delhi:: Tulika Books;, pp. xixvi, Accessed 2 July 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Wellbeing Economy Alliance ( 2022;), ‘ WEAll is a collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working towards a wellbeing economy, delivering human and ecological wellbeing. ’, pp. xixvii, Accessed 30 June 2022.
  15. Niessen, Sandra. ( 2022;), ‘ Defining defashion: A manifesto for degrowth. ’, International Journal of Fashion Studies, 9:2, pp. 43944,
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error