How transboundary processes connect commons in Japan and Thailand: A relational analysis of global commodity chains and East Asian economic integration
2020 | Article
In this paper, with a focus on Japan and Thailand, we outline a relational environmental and economic history of East Asian economic integration (EAEI) and its implication for the commons in both places. We draw attention in particular to global commodity chains as relational processes not only of trade and investment, but also geopolitics and aid, to argue that these transborder processes have connected together commons in distant localities resulting in their simultaneous enclosure, dispossession and (re-)commoning with implications for community vulnerabilities in positive and negative ways. To demonstrate this argument we analyse three periods of EAEI: the late nineteenth century until World War II, when Japan and Thailand both began to modernise and new trade and geopolitical relations emerged in the context of colonialism; the post-World War II recovery until the Plaza Accord in 1986, during which time Japan rapidly industrialised, as did Thailand to a lesser extent and regionalism was largely defined by US hegemony; and the post-Plaza Accord period, when Japan deindustrialised its labour intensive manufacture and heavy industry and Thailand rapidly industrialised and EAEI became defined by new and intensified global commodity chains.
The current fashion design, production, and consumption system, known as ‘fast fashion’, is characterized by the manufacturing of low-quality garments in a short period of time carried out in developing countries. In parallel with the deficits in social responsibility and human rights, the prevailing ‘take-make-dispose’ system in the fashion industry is one of the main causes of environmental pollution that concerns the climate change, scarcity of natural resources and health problems for the living beings. Due to these facts, discussions on Circular Design strategies – for waste reduction, components recycling, and materials reuse – became increasingly relevant throughout the globe. This paper’s aspiration is to outline a perspective towards a Circular Fashion. The concept of the Design for Sustainability requires a holistic view throughout de-signing strategies as well as the establishment of cyclical systems for the production site. Notwithstanding, the efficient integration of social and cultural dimensions are vital for Sustainable Fashion’s triumph.