Just as I return from visiting garment factories in Myanmar, a stream of press attention focuses on challenges facing this area. Although there are challenges, my trip has only made me believe in the unique opportunity this country represents to change the future of how our clothing is made. Amidst the media headlines there lies potential for real solutions on the ground that can work alongside these challenges and retailers.
This piece is also published on The Crowd.
Some fashion brands are known as daring pioneers in the field of sustainability. From Patagonia with their ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ campaign to Kering and their open source Environmental Profit and Loss methodology. Though what is it that makes fashion a unique draw for those consumers intrigued by sustainability? It could be the creative and fun element it introduces to topics typically branded around science and fear. Or it might be fashion’s intrinsic link to individual expression and a way to display our values, for example about the environment.
As we adapt our wardrobes for more sustainable ways of dressing, you’ll be choosing an item off the hanger with a different looking list of ingredients. Many fashion brands are switching to new types of materials, most recently ethical brand People Tree launched a campaign to introduce a fabric called Tencel® into their line. I wanted to find out more about how these new ingredients lists were coming about, and how soon we as consumers should expect to try and understand what they mean.
It was great to be surrounded by so many ethically minded people from the fashion industry earlier this week at the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Sustainable Fashion Drinks. We met to hear more about the exciting plans ahead for Mysource and share our experiences on what marked a 10 year anniversary for EFF. I left feeling encouraged by the curiosity and drive in the room, and only hope we can continue to foster such meeting points for the ethical fashion community.
On Friday 24th April 2015 we cut over 500 labels from London, in memory of those who died two years ago at the largest industrial disaster in history, at the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. It was inspiring to lead such a project which demonstrated how much impact each one of us can make in this challenge to cut out fashion’s unethical practices.
Is the Chinese fashion consumer rising in unison with sustainable fashion?
Are Chinese consumers most closely connected to the impacts of unethical fashion production?
From the West we can easily see the shocking images behind the ‘Made in China’ label.
But what can the consumer who lives so closely connected see?
What journey have your shoes already taken, before they helped you make your own journey?
What ethical issues could we be stepping into?
This year I was lucky enough to travel to Hanoi, Vietnam.
We found ourselves venturing through the bustling market streets into what was one of the country’s bases for shoe and textile trade.