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Journal Article

Using Design for Upgrading in the Fashion Industry


Aspers,  Patrik
Soziologie des Marktes, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden;

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Aspers, P. (2010). Using Design for Upgrading in the Fashion Industry. Journal of Economic Geography, 10(2), 189-207. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbp030.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-412A-7
The purpose of the article is to analyze upgrading by looking at the design of fashion garments. To that end, I use the theoretical concept of contextual knowledge to understand the problems faced by firms, and their staff, that want to upgrade through design. Contextual knowledge combines a general knowledge of fashion with the lifeworld that actors use for interpretation of fashion. Lifeworld is a notion which refers to what is taken for granted. Producers and consumers in the global fashion industry live in different lifeworlds. The text discusses upgrading strategies of garment manufacturers, drawing on unique empirical material. It provides a theoretical tool for analyzing culturally primed production in a global setting.