New edition of fibre, this edition is focused on China.
Treehugger rounds up the eco fashion scene at New York Fashion Week, here.
An article from The MailOnline talks more about the horrible quality of fast fashion….hey, have you taken the poll from a few weeks back? Don’t tell me your clothes have never malfunctioned!
Greenloop offers a promotional sale up to 75% off (they really just mean an additional 25%).
Now it’s time to move on to much greener pastures: London Fashion Week.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) launches 6th season of estethica today, Feb 20th. Care to read the press release? The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is set to launch a Sustainable Clothing Action Plan off of London Fashion Week. This post from the guardian provided that spoiler alert. Furthermore, it turns out that actor Colin Firth owns an eco shop in London, Eco Age (it’s linked, but the site doesn’t seem to be working). It is launching 12 Degrees pop-up shop, collaboration between Lucy Siegle (the guardian), fashion designer Orsola de Castro (estethica) and Jocelyn Whipple. Exciting stuff.
David Berman asks his reader to understand the ways in which design can impact society, arguing that it has the potential to change the world. Berman successfully establishes and outlines the need for change, and inspires his readers, both designer and design aficionado, to open their minds to the possibilities of a new design industry. What might such an industry look like? For starters, it would hold itself accountable.
With supporting Forwards from Erik Spiekermann (of Spiekermann Partners and Honorary Professor, University of the Arts in Bremen), Min Wang (Dean of Central Academy of Fine Arts School of Design in China and design director of the Beijing Olympics) and Richard Grefé (Executive Director of AIGA), there is no question that Berman’s work is not to be taken lightly.
It is not a book about outlining his own accomplishments as a designer, or his own designs. Rather, it stays focused on qualifying the ways in which design has failed democracy, the environment, the feminist movement, and in fact design itself.
All hope is not lost, as Berman maintains an extremely positive attitude in outlining the ways that design can be used toward creating positive and lasting change. The message is simple: designers have a social responsibility.
I absolutely loved this book, and can’t wait to use it as a guide in my own research.
I wrote earlier on the upcoming Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference: Putting ethics into practice. It is an event that I am really looking forward to, as this year’s theme is well aligned with my research question (thesis due March 31st, Yikes!). There are lots of events going on at this time through both FEI and the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF). Please check out these other three events:
Fashion plus workshops and masterclasses
The Ethical Fashion Forum is running a seminar series called “Spotlight on Sourcing”, as part of their Fashion+ project, focused on how fashion can change lives. The series includes:
Ongoing from 20th January 2009
1. Evening seminars on the 3rd Tuesday of every month (excluding fashion weeks) featuring presentations by leading practitioners and experts, updates from suppliers, and structured networking.
2. Masterclasses for smaller groups, going into more depth on each of the issues raised by seminars. Run by experts and practitioners. Masterclasses allow you to focus and work through sourcing challenges faced by your business.
This event information was taken directly from the FEI Events page, here.
9th March 2009
Open FEI workshops and staff training in Scotland
Staff Training 10.30am – 1.00pm and Student Workshop 2.00 – 4.00pm at Edinburgh College of Art.
Staff Training: This session is a unique opportunity for tutors and support staff at higher or further education instiutions to explore poor working conditions in the garment industry and learn how to integrate ethical issues into course curricula and student’s projects. This session will include presentations from Bangladeshi speakers about their work improving conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh and Liz Parker, FEI project coordinator and a co-editor of ‘Sustainable Fashion: A Handbook for Educators’, discussing different approaches to teaching ethical issues for a wide range of disciplines from design to fashion business and marketing.
Student Workshop: This session will give students the opportunity to hear about working conditions in the garment industry and explore how the lives of workers could be positively transformed by changing the way the fashion industry currently operates.
This event information was taken directly from this FEI Events page, here.
3rd April 2009
Ethical and Eco Fashion Show
Come and see some of the best in ‘eco’ and ‘ethical’ design including Howies, Enamore, Myella, SI:SU and Gringo at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea on the 3rd April 2009 from 6 to 9.30pm. Tickets cost £4.50 for adults and £3.00 for concessions and can be purchased from Swansea Environmental Centre, Pier Street, Swansea, SA1 1RY or call 01792480200. All proceeds from this event will go to Fashioning an Ethical Industry and Swansea Environmental Centre.
I have really been enjoying following Terri Potratz, Kris Krug and Shallom Johnson via The Conveyor Belt share their experience at New York Fashion Week. They are down there representing Vancouver fashion well.
New York Fashion Week will run until the 20th of February. On the 21st, NOW takes over to showcase eco-friendly styles from conscious minded designers:
“NOW is a forum of the newest in progressive, conscious-minded, independent, locally produced fashion design. THE AUTUMN ’09 NOW showcase features a well appointed & intoxicating collective assortment of what is sensational in accessories, womenswear, menswear and eco lingerie. Spring/Summer09 immediate collections also on display.”
Good to know there will be some ethical representation.
Textile artist Courtney Gallant was just one of the many local Vancouver artists featured last night (Saturday Jan. 31, 2009) at an art show held at Box Studios. Courtney silk-screens images of owls (and robots too) on shirts, scarves, bags, sweatshirts, underwear, cards etc. Part of the proceeds collected from her owl shirts goes directly to O.W.L.(Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society)
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released a ‘Hunger Alert’ update today regarding the state of poverty and TB amongst handloom weavers in Varanasi, India. According to the report, the weavers are suffering from lack of medical attention, government neglect and extreme poverty and hunger. You can read the entire alert, as well as view a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and World Health Organisation calling for their intervention here.
What does this have to do with sustainable fashion design?
To say that the textile sector in India is vast would be an understatement. A decline in India’s handloom weaving industry has left these weavers without work to provide for their family, and created a situation where they are too ill to change their circumstance. Human Rights violations against the handloom weavers in Varanasi cannot be ignored. Sustainable solutions must include all aspects of the industry.
On a related note, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion released information this week regarding the Shared Talent: India competition. This competition will showcase sustainable textiles in India. For more information on the competition, see here.
This is a one day conference that will bring together experts in ethical fashion, as well as students and tutors, to discuss the current state of the ethical fashion industry, and ways to put ethics into practice. There is no question this will be an excellent conference.
You can read more about this year’s conference and speakers here.
To read a report on last year’s event click here, or to listen to a podcast, click here.
If you’re interested in sustainable design, check out the Compostmodern 09 conference. The event will be available as a webcast, so you only have to worry about the long commute to your office, living room, kitchen table, or bed to get there.
Nathan Shedroff/MBA Chair, California College of the Arts (CCA)
Michel Gelobter, John Bielenberg and Pam Dorr/Project M and HERO Housing Resource, Alabama
Emily Pilloton/Project H Design
Dawn Danby/Sustainable Design Program Manager, Autodesk
Emcee: Joel Makower/GreenBiz
What does this have to do with sustainable fashion?
Compostmodern is a design conference dedicated to creating a platform for discussion on sustainable design practices. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference has created a network of information sharing that is relevant to discussions in sustainable fashion/textile design practices, as design is interdisciplinary. Last year, Mark Galabraith, discussed the nature of the sustainable filters used to create outdoor clothing company Nau Clothing, Inc. In his presentation, Galabraith discusses the clothing company as wanting to participate in the industry not as a brand, but rather as a cultural movement.
Some of the design questions he mentions as particularly central to the development of Nau Clothing, Inc. are issues surrounding durability, ease of repair, multi-use, raw material (biodegradability and treatment of animals) and impacts within manufacturing processes. He also speaks of the challenges associated with harmonizing urban sensibility with outdoor performance in a way that questions the ‘aesthetic point for sustainability’.
What I found particularly interesting is the company’s warehouse approach (coupled with a showroom boutique) used to hold merchandise. Although customers are able to take their product home immediately, a 10% is available to customers who are willing to have their garment sent to them. The company also boasts a recycle program (end of life strategy) where old products can be reused to be transformed into new ones (polyester used as a post-consumer material)
The key to Nau Clothing, Inc. is flexible design.
Check out Galabraith, and other speakers from last year’s conference here.
Check out more from Nau Clothing, Inc., like this men’s riding jacket, here.
Check out the trailer to Objectified: A DocumentaryFilm by Gary Hustwit…
“Objectified is a feature-length independent documentary about industrial design. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the people who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. It’s about our relationship to mass-produced objects and, by extension, the people who design them.
Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?”