Cabbage, Tradition and Bunce: Marion Donaldson and the Black Economy of the British Rag Trade in the 1970s

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Abstract

This article explores illicit aspects of the British rag trade in the 1970s through examination of so-called ‘cabbage’, a fundamental but hitherto obscure pillar of the hidden economy in British fashion production. Through analysis of oral, legal, and material sources it examines the ways in which the fashion company Marion Donaldson encountered ‘cabbage’, and how it negotiated with this as an integral part of doing business in the British rag trade. Hidden economies in ‘illegal but bona fide’ cultures of production and consumption are thus highlighted as a way of enriching our understanding of the complexities of the post-war British fashion business.
LanguageEnglish
JournalTextile History
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2019

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Industry
Economy
1970s
Rag
Hidden economy
Legal Sources
Fundamental
Integral

Cite this

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title = "Cabbage, Tradition and Bunce: Marion Donaldson and the Black Economy of the British Rag Trade in the 1970s",
abstract = "This article explores illicit aspects of the British rag trade in the 1970s through examination of so-called ‘cabbage’, a fundamental but hitherto obscure pillar of the hidden economy in British fashion production. Through analysis of oral, legal, and material sources it examines the ways in which the fashion company Marion Donaldson encountered ‘cabbage’, and how it negotiated with this as an integral part of doing business in the British rag trade. Hidden economies in ‘illegal but bona fide’ cultures of production and consumption are thus highlighted as a way of enriching our understanding of the complexities of the post-war British fashion business.",
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