I love fashion. Every night before bed I look forward to picking out an outfit that either reflects how I feel in that moment, or what I’ll be doing the next day. But despite how pretty the clothing that I wear makes me feel, I acknowledge that the fashion industry itself is pretty ugly due in large part to something referred to as “fast fashion.” I propose to use the video below for the next major project in our class because I think that the creator of this rhetorical artifact does an excellent job of describing the problem of fast fashion in simple terms, without all of the metaphorical streamers, confetti, and bullhorns that other artifacts use in order to capture viewers’ attention.
The video is created by Justine Leconte, an intelligent french vlogger who has 235,000 subscribers on Youtube and who has recently launched her own clothing line. Because she launched her own clothing line and because she has a decent number of followers, a sense of ethos or credibility is immediately established. In the beginning of the video she states that she created this particular video because she recognized that, “people have a distorted perception about fashion, about how to build up a wardrobe, about how long a new trend stays new, and about how much new clothing should cost…that’s all the influence of fast fashion.” The primary audience is women who are interested in fashion and beauty because a majority of her videos are about building wardrobes, dressing according to your shape, what color you should dye your hair, etc. If you look in the comments section, you see that women are the main gender that responds. However, because this video is about an issue that has environmental and moral implications, I’d say that the secondary audience are people who care about the effect that fast fashion has in our world, and stumble upon the video accidentally (like I did).
Again, this artifact is a video blog (or vlog) on Youtube. Essentially, it is a woman standing in front of a camera and talking to you as though you are her friend and she is trying to inform you about fast fashion. There are various subtitles that appear throughout the video that aid with the transition from topic to topic, but these are the most flashy things about the video; it is highly minimalistic.
I think she chooses to use this medium because there is something very personal about it. Unlike a normal blog, video vlogs allow viewers to see Justine’s expressions and hear her voice. In Justine’s case this is fortunate because she has a cool french accent that keeps people engaged with the content, and because she is beautiful. I once read that studies have shown that beautiful people really are perceived as being more trustworthy and likable. So as vain as it may sound, this is why she might be more successful doing a video blog than she would be if she had a text-only blog. Because they can see her, people may interpret her content more kindly and buy into it more than if they were forced to read an article about fast fashion or listen to her argument via an audio only file. Videos also have the advantage of engaging multiple senses and, in general, the more senses that are engaged, the easier it is for someone to interpret the message that is being conveyed (as long as one engages the senses tastefully). For instance, it takes much less effort to watch a tv show than it does to listen to a radio show because when multiple senses are engaged, it is actually easier for the brain to derive meaning from the content.
As stated earlier, ethos is definitely used in this artifact because right off the bat Justine informed viewers that she has her very own clothing line, and because she has a decent number of followers. Assumably, someone in the fashion industry is more qualified to talk about fast fashion than the thousands of other Youtubers who are not. She also uses a lot of logos or logic throughout her presentation. Although she does not site specific studies or anything, she states facts that make sense according to the common consumer experience that we have; facts that many of us have heard but haven’t discussed in an extraordinarily direct “fireside chat” way shock full of examples. Finally, she pays careful attention to arrangement and delivery. She arranges the presentation in a logical, easy to follow way, and she delivers the information in a minimalist and friendly way.
Wanna check out Justine’s Youtube channel? Click here! There are tons of cool fashion and beauty tips; I personally enjoyed the one about eating like a french woman.
And if you want to learn more about shopping for sustainable fashion, watch the video below which was created in response to Justine’s first video on fast fashion. It highlights some ways you can go about purchasing clothing more responsibly in the future.
Videos are all from Justine Leconte Officiel Blog.
Header image taken by Me.