Given the modern interest in resold, repurposed, upcycled, and thrifted goods, the fashion industry was forced to welcome new players into its global market. In turn, these players offer new meaning to the phrase: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” especially in light of post-pandemic consumer relations. Pairing creativity and innovation with existing techniques has allowed many designers, ateliers, and skilled professionals across the world to transform old or mundane goods into vibrant apparel. A worthy example of this practice is Dapper Dan’s transformation of garment bags from a high-fashion brand into upcycled or repurposed, one-of-a-kind products. The origin of Dapper Dan’s initial and very limited creations is evaluated herein as model for codifying reverse engineering in fashion. Reverse engineering is a deconstructive process that permits the extraction of design and functional information from electronics and other technological equipment. In fashion, however, this process exists in the form of deconstructing apparel or other goods to appreciate the skillful methodology and artful techniques that are used in the creative process. A duty drawback program, facilitated by the USCBP, would allow reverse engineering to be possible in fashion. Therefore, this article advocates for the expansion of USCBP’s duty drawback program by highlighting preexisting gaps in the program that currently present issues of sustainability, environmental, and social justice across the country. This article also discusses the feasibility of the duty drawback expansion, which would require congressional action to amend the Tariff Act of 1930, and proposes a legislative amendment—the Donation Alternative Program to Promote Environmental Responsibility in Fashion Act (hereinafter, the “DAPPER Fashion Act”).
Elliot O. Jackson,
From Drawstring to Drawback: A Proposal for the Donation Alternative Program to Promote Environmental Responsibility in Fashion Act,
33 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 475
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/iplj/vol33/iss2/4