The Dichotomy of Fashion and Sustainability

19 Nov 2020
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Interview withMoez Achour, Creative Director and Fashion Photographer.

Moez is a Tunisian Creative Director and Fashion Photographer based in Dubai. His previous experience includes working as an Art Director in advertising, before moving to the luxury fashion industry to work with regional publications. 

Although Moez works extensively with brands in the luxury fashion industry, much of his personal interests align with climate action and sustainability narratives. His personal project named the ‘Real Issue’ aims to bring awareness to others in the industry of the damaging effects of consumption on people and the planet as well as key socio-political issues. The key topics Moez’ photography addresses include; pollution, water, facial recognition, privacy, safety and refugee crises. 

“As of 2017, 65.6 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. A life jacket becomes a Must Have.”

The Real Issue, Refugee, Moez Achour 2016.

Upon asking Moez what his inspiration for this project included, he interestingly outlined the dichotomy between sustainability and business. He personally believes that these two elements do not go together as ultimately the core goal for all businesses is to generate revenue which often undermines efforts of social and environmental good.

“For instance when a luxury brand claims that they are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint by 30%, if they have a chance to sell 30% more that year, they will do it, undermining the initial set goal and reaching the same level of carbon footprint output.”

This suggests the large challenge with businesses making sustainability claims as ultimately they all want to make more money than they did last year. 

The Real Issue, Pollution, Moez Achour 2016

The Real Issue, Online Privacy and Water, Moez Achour 2016

Moez insightfully claims that due to this dichotomy, the ball lies in the customer’s court. It is up to the customer to “shop smarter” and become more aware of their consumption, forcing brands to rethink their business models based on customer demand. 

Moez is living the same dichotomy – trying to make a living by working for brands that overlook important issues while holding personal values of conscious consumption himself.

“I am like batman and the joker at the same time: by day I am selling consumers the items through my photography, and by night I am telling them they do not really need it (through his personal projects).” 

Therefore, Moez outlines that “guilt” is his inspiration for the series. He acknowledges that he is part of the problem working for brands and an industry where the primary goal is to get people to buy more and consume. 

Discover his work here and on Instagram.