The darker side of ‘affordable’ Fast fashion: An exhibition to visit

The most important thing in ‘fast fashion’  is the low price. And this comes with a hidden price tag: The environment and the workers in the supply chain. ‘The Dark Sides of Fashion’ – a new exhibition in Dresden’s Hygine Museum addresses this issue.

“Clothes make the man”

The danish author Hans Christian Andersen commented on the influence clothes had on society in his famous short story ‘ The Emperors New Clothes’. Much later the novella by Gottfried Keller gave us a phrase that has endured through the years “Clothes make the man” where a person can appear to be what he is not simply because of how he is dressed. Fashion is a part of our daily culture, an expression of our individuality, and has to keep up with rapidly changing trends.

What is exactly the darker side?

This overconsumption, and race for cheaper and cheaper fashion comes at a huge cost, especially to the countries where the production is, in terms of environmental and societal damage. Can we really turn a blind eye to these after the incidents, for example in Bangladesh in April 2013? In addition to this, the fashion industry is contributing to today’s sustainability challenge in a number of ways.

A critical look at Fast Fashion

The exhibition that is currently on show in Dresden’s Hygine Museum was intially conceptualized in The Hamburg Museum for Art and Commerce. Called ‘Fast Fashion’, it examines the fashion industry for its impact on environment, economy and ethics. It also takes a critical look at what goes on behind the scenes from the design table to the retail floor. Not all the exhibits, that include photographs, videos and reports are suitable for the sensitive. In fact some of them come with warnings.

Wonderful Alternatives

Despite the bad news, there is hope. ‘Fair Fashion’ or ‘Slow Fashion’ is a feasible alternative and one that is increasingly appealing to many. The exhibition in Dresden ends in a catwalk where Saxon designers showcase feasible and sustainable alternatives.

In addition to this the Hygine Museum also exhibits exciting discoveries from the Berlin Fashion Week that fit the label while being flattering and fashionable. From jeans to evening dresses- the future of fashion can be appealing as well as respectful of people and the environment at every stage of the manufacturing process.


‘Fast Fashion – ‘The Dark Sides of Fashion’, till 3rd Juli 2016

In the Hygiene-Museum Dresden;

open Tuesdays through Sunday and all holidays from 10 am till 6 pm.