FEI Conference


Clean Clothes Campaign via FEI
A home worker's work bench in Belgrade, Credit: Clean Clothes Campaign via FEI

Fashioning an Ethical Industry: Putting Ethics into Practice March 11th, 2009


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.

Source: FEI

Fast fashion to blame for female consumer complaints in the UK


Consumer complaints in the UK surrounding poorly made clothing increased by 22% in 2008, according to this article by The Independent. The article cites a report by Consumer Direct released today. It claims that the biggest consumer complaint amongst females came from ‘defective goods’, at 34%.


According to the article, “[i]n the past five years, with the rise of “value” retailers, the price of clothing has fallen by as much as 25 per cent, while shoppers have bought almost 40 per cent more garments. This suggests fast fashion may be behind the increase in problem items.”


The article also cites statistics from another report, released by Global Cool, stating that female shoppers spent £11 billion on clothes that were never worn last year.


Fast fashion has created systems that cycle through clothing at a speed impossible for consumers to keep up with, and impossible to produce proper value items.


What an incredible waste.

Compostmodern 09


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.


Feb 21st is the big day/40$ webcast registration


This years scheduled speakers:

Eames Demetrios/Eames Office

Saul Griffith/Makani Power

Allan Chochinov/Core 77

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.


Nau Clothing, Inc. Men's Riding Jacket
Nau Clothing, Inc. Men's Riding Jacket