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Prosperity Fashion - International Conference

Firenze
Organization: Università degli studi di Firenze
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2025-02-13 to 2025-02-14 Abstract Due: 2024-07-30

The fashion system has been questioning for years how to decrease its negative impact on
the environment and people, trying to improve individual elements: from natural, organic or
recycled materials to zero-waste design methodologies, from slower production processes to
socially responsible actions, from development of local supply chains to inclusive
communication campaigns, from blockchain traceability of products to more reliable trend
forecasts through artificial intelligence, from social engagement to large scale regulation.
Thanks to the contribution of researchers, practitioners, and activists, a new awareness in
civil society about the finite nature of materials and resources has been achieved, and the
definition of standards and certifications regulating fashion processes and products towards
circular and closed ecosystems has been refined and broadly disseminated.
This awareness, however, often conflicts with the need for constant and exponential
economic growth, on which fashion brands base their creative direction, communication,
branding, and sales decisions. The last few decades, marked by climate, humanitarian and
health crises, have prompted debate about the prevailing economic model centred on ‘GDP
Fetishism’ (Stiglitz 2009), which consists of holding Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as
definitive and universal, and thus pursuing it at the cost of dramatically burdening
environmental, human, and social resources. Many researchers have gone back to the
criticisms made by the Club of Rome in 1972 to verify and actualise them, fuelling the need
not only for a new direction for economics and production, but also for new definitions and
terminologies for this urgent change of pace: a-growth and post-development politics
(Latouche 2012), post-growth fashion (Fletcher 2011), regenerative marketing (Kotler,
Foglia, Sarkar 2023), restorative design (Antonelli 2019), sufficiency-based economy
(Bocken et al. 2022) and post-industrial design (Cross 1981), expressions of a new
approach to nature, seen as our ally and subject of an ethic of care (Gambardella et al.
2024).
Underlying all these reflections is the ambitious goal of redefining the concept of prosperity,
hitherto understood almost exclusively in its economic sense, but instead indicating
etymologically what is in keeping with hope, what is preferable for the future. The concept of
prosperity therefore requires a new interpretation consisting of ‘a fundamental revision of the
relationship between the economic and the social’ (Moore 2023), in a non-mercantile but
relational prosperity (Latouche 2012).
The dimension of relationality is a fundamental component of a new conception of
prosperity, conceived as a resource of both economic and human value, generated by a
community within environmental and ethical constraints. This idea of prosperity has as its

objective the ‘common good’ (Sandel 2021) not only of the community, understood as a
group of people, but also of the trans-species, post-phenomnological (van Dongen 2019)
and more-than-human (Wakkary 2021) relationships that coexist in it.
Starting from this premise and adopting the methodologies of prosperity thinking (Vignoli,
Roversi, Jatwani, Tiriduzzi 2021), the conference questions the future of fashion through its
possible relationship with economy, environment and society.
With its complexity, can fashion move beyond its singular profit-driven vision in order to
develop the ideas of multi-faceted shared well-being? Can research into materials,
processes, and fashion products shape new social and cultural models oriented towards
prosperity? Can fashion be an example of this change that is capable of redirecting other
knowledge and disciplines? Can the EU’s legal framework for sustainable development and
the relevant EU legislation for the textile and fashion industries help drive the transition? Can
fashion redirect the relationship between human and non-human, individual and territory,
nature and technology? Can we move from the current ‘Fashion Prosperity’, understood as
fashion’s pursuit of its economic growth, to ‘Prosperity Fashion’, a broad vision of the future
and a transversal and contemporary focus on people, planet, economy, and technologies?
Scholars, researchers, educators, and practitioners in the fields of fashion theory, design,
communication, history, and other social sciences in their many facets and interdisciplinary
contributions — by way of example, economics, politics, sociology, and law — are invited to
send a proposal that contributes to shaping the concept of prosperity fashion, through
transdisciplinary looks and different methodological approaches. Contributions may
investigate theories, ideas, utopias, visions, experiences, projects, both of the present and of
the past, which are considered representative of an idea of prosperity fashion, that is, acts of
change in a fashion system that can lead to shared and widespread well-being. Some
possible, but not exclusive, areas of investigation may concern: materials and fabrics; design
strategies; education; technologies; geopolitics; manufacturing processes; economic and
social models; codes of conduct; labeling and marking norms; sustainability and trademark
protection; communication.
The conference is hosted by Fashion Highlight Journal. 

https://riviste.fupress.net/index.php/fh/prosperity-fashion

prosperityfashion@dida.unifi.it

Prosperity Fashion organizing and technical committee