FIBERcast tweet along

 

The first FIBERcast, featuring Dr. Marsha Dickson and Mr. Doug Cahn, took place today, February 23, 2008. The broadcast was hosted by Dr. Hye-Shin Kim, of the University of Delaware, and focused on “Social Responsibility in the Apparel Industry”.

 

For those not following on Twitter, here are my live tweets of the event: searchable under #fibercast, #csr and #sr

 

·  Dr. Marsha Dickson # fibercast: monitoring become the standard, but often does not provide solutions. new book http://tinyurl.com/aqb85w about 2 hours ago

·  #fibercast problems are complex and widespread/freedom of association/forced labour/discrimination/child labour about 2 hours ago

·  Environmental responsibility does not just have to do with fiber choice. remember the whole life cycle analysis/ #fibercast about 2 hours ago

·  CSR to Mr. Doug Cahn# fibercast is about looking at the impact, to mitigate the negative, and augment the possitive about 2 hours ago

·  Doug Cahn #fibercast http://thecahngroup.com/ about 2 hours ago

·  #csr is not an add-on, its a core issue, supplychain for an apparel company..pay your workers the legal limit, at least make up short fall about 2 hours ago

·  disctinction between compliant and non-compliant/the industry is aflling short. yes there is cost, but also have a business case (save$)#csr about 2 hours ago

·  #csr #fibercast Dr. Marsha Dickson Answers Q. on WRAP factory certification is important but not the answer http://tinyurl.com/bjckwu about 1 hour ago

·  limitations of factory monitoring asks “what?” not “why?” and quality of auditing can be lacking…provides only ‘snapshop’ #csr #fibercast about 1 hour ago

·  # fibercast #csr #recession: Cahn finds opportunity in downturn for better integration/restructuring interdepartmental thinking opportunity about 1 hour ago

·  #csr #fibercast Dickson: consumer difference perceptions from behaviour. no real ‘no sweat’ label, cannot ensure compliance about 1 hour ago

·  #csr #fibercast Dickson believes to look for honest companies working toward real change #nike #adidas (ex) about 1 hour ago

·  # fibercast #csr Cahn: government can play a voluntary role, also use trade agreement..ensure internationally approved standards on imports about 1 hour ago

·  # fibercast #csr Cahn check out fairlabor.org for opperations and http://www.sa-intl.org/ about 1 hour ago

·  # fibercast #csr Cahn, small/med. company: ask questions again and again, collaboration fairfactories.org about 1 hour ago

·  #csr #fibercast Dickson stresses importance of multi-stakeholder initiatives and also ngo’s light the fire under companies about 1 hour ago

·  #csr #fibercast Dickson to students: we need to educate students on #sr in graduate program, but also integrated into undergrad class about 1 hour ago

·  #csr #fibercast #sr Dickson http://tinyurl.com/b3ep9u about 1 hour ago

 

Weekly Round-up…

 

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.

 

Getting Back to Mr. Darcy…

FEI and EFF upcoming events

 

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+
Fashion+

 

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.

 

Garment factory worker in Bangladesh, FEI, Credit Clean Clothes Campaign
Garment factory worker in Bangladesh, FEI, Credit Clean Clothes Campaign

 

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.

Ethical and Eco Fashion Show
Ethical and Eco Fashion Show
 
 
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. 

 

Source: Posters and information from CSF, FEI and FEI, EFF

FIBERcast

 

Register for FIBERcast, taking place on Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 @ 1:30 pm Eastern. Registration is free, but if you miss it live it will be available for download afterwards:

 

“For our first FIBERcast, join Dr. Hye-Shin Kim of the University of Delaware in examining social responsibility’s role in transforming production and sourcing practices in the global apparel trade. Her guests include Marsha Dickson, University of Delaware professor and chairperson of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, board member of the Fair Labor Association, and co-author of the new book Social Resonsibility in the Global Apparel Industry, and Doug Cahn, of the Cahn Group, LLC, who has been a corporate responsibility and public policy executive for the past 30 years, including vice president of human rights programs at Reebok International. Learn why social responsibility is still needed in the apparel industry and how industry practitioners can align social responsibility initiatives with core business, bottom-line goals.”

 

I will be attending and will post notes on this site.

 

Source: fiber

The Conveyor Belt, NYFW and the Conscious Designer

 

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.

Potratz is also the mastermind behind Larry. and Kris Krug is the founder of Static Photography.

You can check out Shallom Johnson at Stylefinds, and Van Fashion Week (just to name a couple)

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.

Source: Eco Fashion World “Now is the Time”

Here comes the ethical bride…

vera-wang-ball-gown-zea-ivory-5
Vera Wang, Ball Gown; Zea-Ivory

 

The current issue of Ethical Style has dedicated itself to brides to be: “Big day, big decisions — how to turn your white wedding green”

 

It offers simple suggestions toward some ethical options on your big day.

The greatest thing about the guide however is the wide range of resources it provides; including the 3D’s: diamonds, dresses and destinations.

A perfect illustration that an ethical choice doesn’t have to be

 

a) ugly

or

b) expensive (actually, in some circles the jury may still be out…)

 

You brides probably have enough on your mind, but you may be surprised at what you find inside this issue….so follow the link.

 

Source: Ethical Style

Photo: Vera Wang at Pre Owned Wedding Dresses

Vivienne Westwood: PVC Debate

  

Lady Dragon
Vivienne Westwood: Lady Dragon

Vivienne Westwood recently teamed up with Melissa to create a new shoe collection. “The Fashion Audit: 02/02/09” in The Independent claims that these shoes are made from recycled rubber. The shoe company offers limited information on the details of the environmental factors associated with the plastic. One thing for sure, the shoes, like all Melissa shoes, are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Now, I am no expert on PVC, that’s for sure, but I seem to recall the material being associated with some pretty serious safety and environmental risks. What’s changed? Apparently, at least one PVC manufacturer (Grendene), has been producing sustainable PVC since 1996?

Vancouver based Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) takes a clear stand against the use of PVC in its products. According to MEC,

“Polyvinyl chloride, known as “PVC” or simply as “vinyl”, is a common compound used in thousands of products. But for us and the planet, it’s bad stuff. During manufacture it produces potent carcinogens and toxins including dioxins, chlorine residue, and heavy-metal pollutants. Over their lifespan, PVC products can off-gas and leak some of their dangerous additives. PVC is difficult to recycle; most of it ends up in landfills. When burned, it releases further dioxins and gases such as hydrogen chloride.”

 

According to Melissa,

 

“Plastic is the chosen medium to communicate technology and renewal”

“Because our products are created from mono-materials they can be easily disassembled and recycled. Solid, liquid and gas residues, left over from our production process, are recycled and dealt with in-house. Nothing leaves the factory without being treated, resulting in practically zero waste.”

 

The company sources its PVC from Grendene, whose site offers no real information on the material. You can read the company’s Code of Conduct here, and a statement on PVC here

 

I have sent in an email to the people at Melissa, Vivienne Westwood, and Grendene requesting more information on PVC and will hopefully hear back and write more on the subject at a later date.

 

You can find “The Fashion Audit: 02/02/09” by Harriet Walker here

You can read more on Melissa’s sustainable plastic dreams, and the designers working with the company here

 

Sweated Labour, Dell, Transparency and this Blog

 

The issue of transparency is an important one. So, here’s a little blogging transparency … I write this ethical fashion blog on my ‘Made in China’ Espresso Brown Dell Inspiron 1525.

 

The National Labour Committee released a report today titled “High Tech Misery in China: The Dehumanization of Young Workers Producing Our Computer Keyboards” Sure enough, Dell is one of the companies manufacturing products in the Meitai Plastics & Electronics factory highlighted in the report in Dongguan City, Guangdong China.

 

According to the report, the base salary at the factory is 64 cents/hour. Minus room and board, workers take home 41cents/hour. Tax all in, my ‘made to order’ laptop set me back $620.48.

 

Other companies producing in the factory include Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM.

 

You can view the NLC report here

AHRC: Call for more attention for handloom weavers suffering from hunger and Tuberculosis in Varanasi‏

 

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.

 

Source:  AHRC and CSF

 

Global Surplus in Organic Cotton Production

 

According to this article by Eco-Textile News, although 2008 saw an increase in demand for organic cotton by 33%, global production was left with an 8% surplus. The article cites information released by non-profit Organic Exchange, who also claim that demand for organic cotton will likely result in a 24% increase in 2009 an worry that inventory will remain too high.

 

The Organic Cotton Market Report will be available in Feb 2009 for review.