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Sample Masters Fashion Psychology Dissertation Proposal

Published by at December 12th, 2022 , Revised On March 19, 2024

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Fashion Psychology: The Use of Animal inside the Fashion Industry


Fashion psychology is defined as the study and treatment of how color, appearance, style, and beauty affect human actions while addressing cultural customs and cultural understandings . According to , fashion psychology emerged in the 20th century, but it was founded in the 19th century. Henry James was the first American Psychologist to highlight the importance of the fashion industry in 1841. In his book “The Principle of Psychology,” he talked about fashion psychology and explained its significance.

Psychology plays a vital role in our daily life. We, as humans, face psychological events all the time. Psychologists have been researching how colours and style affect human emotions and how the psychology of clothing works. Studies have shown that what people wear affects their mood, attitude, and overall performance. Fashion doesn’t only shape our perception and self-expression, but it also affects how we are treated by others, which affects our mental health. A brand understands people’s preferences and then produces the items that people desire which is understood as fashion psychology.


Before achieving acknowledgement in the extravagance fashion industry, fur and leather were embellished by the earliest societies to oppose their origins. People living in colder areas of a country often depend on animal hair for existence. In warmer temperatures, leather is often offered as the material for essential dresses and gears .

In the mid-1800s, fashion products of animals started to be bulk manufactured. Around this time, fur enlarged its standard as a luxury good, and as an outcome, fur farming began . By generating fur farmhouses, it was a way that fur manufacturers could assure enough stock. It wasn’t until the 1960s that fur started to have a destructive implication.

In 1977, Bridgette Bardot became the foremost figure to contribute to a movement contrary to animal skins keenly. The activity she was a part of was funded by Greenpeace and struggled for a finish to seals’ bashing for their skin. Regardless of the creations of anti-fur and skin activities, it wasn’t till the mid-1980s that the anti-fur and skin activities started to affect the production.

Primaeval civilizations in Europe, Asia, and North America all established a certain level of leather tanning skills using such materials as smoke, grease, and bark extracts to reserve and soften raw leathers . Due to its robust appearance, leather has been used for clothing and accessories to survive years of wear and tear. Armour, helmets, shoes, bags, and hats have been made from leather .


The fashion business is the most splendid and unappreciated of companies, but just as important as other businesses. The clothing business gives a lot to the international budget. It creates job opportunities for qualified and unqualified, trained, and untrained individuals over the world. Nearly every person is a buyer of fashion, frequently dealers, or purchasing from local markets. The fashion industry comprises merchants, international businesses, manufacturing houses, producers, and more. These firms provide business to further conventionally accepted areas such as law, machinery, or investment .

Individuals of all ages are habituated to new trends in the realm of fashion. There is an incredible amount of competition within the industry and also among buyers. The style is also changed among different cultures and races, and this is why it’s so thrilling when one travels to various parts of the earth to witness immediate how people dress in those nations. The outfits we wear have become more than only a way to cover our plainness; instead, it has also become one of the main ways in which people express themselves .

From a design standpoint, fashion gives you absolute control in conveying any message that you wish. Fashion is more than a pastime or curiosity; for some, it’s a way of life. It’s one of the specific forms of appearance, and you get to choose how you use it and what you want to do with it . Fashion allows you to express your uniqueness, make you feel more assertive, and transform your life and communications with people based on them, identifying you a certain way by the outfit you chose to wear .

But with all these points, fashion is also considered the worst sector as it exploits the environment and human beings. The garment industry affects the people who work within it. Low working environments for the industry’s 75 million workers have been well-documented. Sustainable fashion brands generate fashion in a way that is most respectful of humankind and the environment, reducing the environmental effect wherever possible. The vital aim is to have a system that works without leaving a negative impression .

Human beings have used wool, leather, and pelt for ages, and billions of animals are cruelly killed every day for fashion manufacturing. Bulk manufacture of fur and leather objects has formed a harsh surrounding, deceiving, and paring system and has generated chaos among animal rights protesters.

Nowadays, we have infinite choices regarding attire; qualities of all kinds are mass-produced, but demand for leather, fur, and wool keeps increasing. It is just intolerable. We sure can be stylish without wearing animal skin; many individuals wear them just for wearing them. So it is essential to discuss anima used in the fashion industry as this issue is rising all over the world .

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Issues in the Fashion Industry

With the rise in fashion commerce worldwide, it is also facing sustainability issues. In developing economies, the fashion industry’s labour force issues have gone beyond the unpaid, exploited, or underage employees. Other factors add to a destructive environmental impact as well. Fast fashion factories produce excessive amounts of carbon production and poisonous chemicals with little regard to where they end up. It pollutes air, and water, and affects health .

The concept of sustainability is a concern for the public and the environment and animals. Besides ecological and social issues, over 50 million wildlife undergoes painful decease each year to profit from the fashion business . Every year, billions of animals are injured and killed for apparel and accessories. Skin is torn from them to make leather, birds are held down while handfuls of feathers are shredded out of their delicate skin, and small creatures are detained for life before being butchered for their fuzz.

Different aspects of issues in the Fashion Industry

Ethical aspects

Ethics is about defining the right and wrongdoings of human beings. There are several ethical debates concerning the industries that display the observable self, especially apparel, shoes, accessories, and skincare businesses. The animal used in the fashion industry is an ethical issue as this causes a significant problem in the environment and animal rights violations. Animals’ skin is used for making clothing or other products such as leather, wool, and much other stuff. On the other hand, animals are slaughtered to create products that cause the extinction of animals or cause biodiversity. Animals are also used for testing in the fashion industry, which is against animal rights .

The massive bulk of the billions of animals slew for their skin, feathers, wool, or fleece bear all the industrial unit’s fears. Delicate living beings are forced to stay in constrained, dirty environments, and every bit of liberty and independence is taken away from them.  After a lifespan of suffering, they’re aggressively killed via the ugliest means thinkable, including beating, anal electric shocks, and gassing. Some are even torn limb from limb and peeled alive. They are tortured and kept in bars and beaten by a stick. And this is the cruel reality of the fashion world. .

According to animal equality, dogs and cats are used to make toys and clothes in China. So, if you wear animals, there’s no informal way of knowing whose casing you’re wearing. But you can be assured that they didn’t want to die to become apparel or decorations no matter who they were .

Most leather comes from emerging nations such as India, where animals regularly have their gullets cut, and their skin was torn off even though they are silently breathing. Most of the world’s wool originates from Australia, where sheep experience “maltreating,” horrid damage in which significant portions of skin and flesh are cut from animals’ buttocks without any sedatives .

In the United States, masses of cows and other animals who are slain for their skin undergo the fears of workshop farming, extreme assembling, and deficiency, as well as castration, marking, and dehorning, all without any anaesthetics .

The dispute is that understanding the ethical importance of animals thriving cannot be distinguished from human beings’ thriving. The encounters may be of even more significant distress. Different aspects in a much more complex context seem to form a massive gap between human beings and animals .

Business Aspects

Fashion businesses exploit animals to horrifying levels for their products. Many people think that fashion brands are against animal abuse, but they are unaware that fashion businesses are the source of animal cruelty. The hair and skin of animals are valued supplies. Firms build fur farmhouses, where animals are raised to die .

Around 35 animals are slaughtered to make a particular coat. Imagine how many living things it takes for a firm to store its products. Modern studies have shown that around 75% of minks gathered for their hair are from hair ranches. These indicators demonstrate how many animals are wanted to form fleece coats .

Many countries have objected to or forbidden testing cosmetics on animals, but big companies still use animals in testing cosmetics. Rats, birds, bunnies, monkeys, cats, and dogs are some of the prey used in these brutal tests. Live testing makeup on animals can cause skin burn, infections, poisoning, brain damage, blinding, defacement, and other painful side effects.

Even though many brands have said they are ending fur and wool clothing, we still see woollen clothes on their websites. Many animal rights activists have protested and are seeing slow ending animal cruelty, but it is helping.

Psychological Aspects

Killing animals for fashion products affects not only animals but also the workers who kill them every day. It is discussed less in public or unstated is the mental suffering imposed on slaughterhouse labourers. Not only do the workers face severe physical well-being risks daily, but they also experience, every day, large-scale cruelty and loss that most of the American people will certainly not have to come across.

The vast demand for leather and fur has stimulated slaughterhouses to increase the speed of the slaughter. The numerous stories of slaughterhouse workers imposing pain on animals “just for fun” specify that the slaughterhouse work environment may have caused psychological injury to the workers.

The workers’ activities undoubtedly increase to the level of abnormal brutality that would cause distress among the general population . The cruelty of employees towards animals, including conditions where the animals are skinned alive, can be vindicated by using drugs during working hours. According to the source, in the case of sicknesses, workers would kill the animals by placing them alive in plastic bags, and no health care was ever provided .

The danger also arises from a mixture of many slaughterhouse labour elements, one of which is the stressful atmosphere that killing generates. The most high-risk employees belong to a group that cut the throats of animals, so they bleed out. Nonetheless, the risks of slaughterhouse work are not beyond compare. Many industrial jobs come with threats that add to employee stress.

In their attempt to survive with the work and maintain their efficiency, slaughter floor workers display certain psychological defences and handling mechanisms. Psychological reasons such as emotive disinterest and feeling invulnerable seem to weaken these slayers’ capability to survive. Anxiety and rage attached to guiltiness and disgrace seem to progress into a reaction of emotional detachment .

Solutions for issues in the fashion industry

The necessary and most straightforward choice is to make a mindful choice, whether in a design procedure or a company and to inspect this choice for further explanation. Hence, the first choice to take is whether one is persuaded that animals’ use as a source is ethically acceptable. Then one must look at this choice from the viewpoint of the animals included. It is required to focus on which animals are included; to decide if an alternative material could be used, ask if there are costs for the animal’s life, and consider the costs and environmental effects and those for the humans involved .

Saving animals is as modest as picking fashionable cruelty-free apparel accessible in every price series and at all types of trade channels, from cut-rate shoe stores to high-end outlets. There is no justification for wearing any animal coatings with so many stylish, comfy options accessible today .

Developments in fabric markets make Earth-friendly vegan resources almost indistinguishable from and far more significant than their animal-derived complements. There’s a purpose why many outside apparel firms have discarded animal fur. The vegan resources accessible today are much simpler, and they’re far more long-lasting and useful.

Change starts with us. Bearing animals’ cruelty for us, we all must try to change how we identify fashion because carrying fur or pelt offers no extra gains related to faux leather, which is almost vague from genuine leather today .

Talking about universal laws, some are immensely influential than the US statutes. Today, many nations have firmly forbidden fur farms. UK, Croatia, and Austria have excluded fur farmsteads, whereas New Zealand, Switzerland, and Sweden have strict policies. In Netherland, chinchilla and fox hunting is unlawful. Over 60 nations have banned specific kinds of traps. However, China has nearly no rules to shelter animals .

Interventions should address the psycho-socio significance from an individual and social perspective. The employees suffering from PSTD should be provided medical treatment and education regarding these sufferings and proper facilities for their behaviour. The slaughterhouse’s human resource function should renew its focus on well-being interventions and employees’ psychosocial development. It should apply to workers in the work environment and the broader population in which the slaughterhouse is located and how the workers function because social support and internal psychological resources seem commanding to wellbeing in this setting .

Slaughterhouses and fur processing facilities symbolize suffering and death for animals and mistreatment for employees.

Fortunately, we can select not to fund this manipulation and misery cycle by merely embracing a vegan lifestyle.

Many organizations are working on animal rights violations. The laws made for animal rights are not being appropriately implemented. Organizations like PETA, WSPA, International Animal Rescue, Four Paws, and many more are working with government officials to end animal abuse and the use of animals in any industry.

In the past eras, behavioural economics has become a useful and vital field of economics. Behavioural economics has undoubtedly left its stain on labour economics. It is evident from the rise of articles that apply insights from psychology to analyze worker markets. Behavioural economics can help the psychological issues of workers in slaughterhouses as the behaviour of labour can be studied by the concepts of behavioural economics and can be changed with behavioural economics.

Conclusion and future implications

Fashion psychology is becoming essential in every part of the world, as people are becoming more social and advanced. Fashion psychology is also very necessary for the fashion industry to understand fashion’s behaviour and cultural impacts. Fashion brands are using technology to comprehend consumer behaviour better than ever. Artificial intelligence is the future of the fashion industry. Many firms are using artificial intelligence to design and develop and predict what consumers want to wear .

Public and fashionistas can presume to see less fur and faux as luxury brands shift the future of fur in fashion. Moving forward, fashion designers are starting to follow a fur-free strategy, valuing animal wellbeing. It appears to be the new fashion. As many may know, the following technique is one of the most significant commerce plans in the fashion business, and the latest trend in fashion right now is going fur-free .

With so many artists, firms, and even whole metropolitan parts backing away from fur, what future does it have in fashion? And what are the options? As could be predicted, this anti-fur change has caused the faux fur market to develop. As more and more designers begin to present fake fur products of their own, faux-only brands start to boom and get better. Brands like Shrimps, which was started in 2013, remain the favoured among fashion’s most influential, and new brands, like Maison Atia and House of Fluff, have appeared as competitors to the faux fur authority .

Sustainable and ethical fashion is growing, thanks to the younger customers who treat sustainability as a primary factor to purchase choices. As with the tendency towards purchasing, frequently, females are more Animal-Free with respect to males. Beyond the reproduction of fur, technological developments will soon allow us to grow real hair in labs someday that will favour animals and the environment. Thanks to the massive part of funds from the meat business itself, it is already happening with skin and meat .

There is now cruelty-free silk, or Peace Silk, in the marketplace, and it’s being used by more and more famous and empathetic designers. The moths are permitted to arise from the cocoon before the cocoon is recycled. There are sufficiently beautiful resources out there that are entirely animal-free, which we can purchase and wear .

As fur-free products grow into the practice for brands and traders, towns and nations pass a law prohibiting fur sales, imports, and exports. There is a big chance for faux fur manufacturers, ecologists, fashion brands, animal activists, and even furriers to come together and revolutionize toward sustainable, animal-free materials .


The list of references will be provided upon request.

Freuqntly Asked Questions

The psychological impact of animal usage in the fashion industry can include increased guilt, cognitive dissonance, and desensitization towards animal suffering, leading to potential emotional distress and moral conflicts for individuals.

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