Sustainable Fashion Doesn’t Have To Be All Or Nothing #ethicalfashion #fashion #sustainability #environment #ecofashion

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Reposted from The Blog in the Huffington Post by Meera Solanki Estrada, Fashion & Culture Expert:

“Just the way we play with new looks and don’t always jump in both feet wet, same goes with eco-fashion.

The fashion industry is notorious for being resource intensive. From water usage, pesticides, sweatshops to textile waste — we are tearing at the seams when it comes to sustainable concerns associated with the world of style. Yet surprisingly, it’s not uncommon to get an eye roll or glazed-over gaze at the mention of eco-fashion. Why?

 

Never mind that we are living in the era of Trump — when political correctness and caring for the environment are suddenly sore points of scorn — but many simply see “sustainability” as yet another buzzword, something too leftie tree-hugger for their liking.

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There’s also this perceived workload in buying sustainable clothing and joining the movement which deters many people away from it — too daunting a task to neatly fit into one’s stylish sensibility. That’s two strikes against the sustainable style movement and we’re barely getting started. Tough sell — literally.

 

Admittedly, I didn’t pay much attention to sustainability in fashion until a couple of years ago when I started forging closer relationships with more Canadian designers and really understanding exactly where and how my clothes were being made. And full disclosure, I still don’t have an exclusively eco-fashion wardrobe, but I am certainly more conscious of my choices, and that’s a start.

According to Myriam Laroche, the founder of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week:

Eco has held a heavy, all-inclusive concept to date but we need to understand there is a spectrum and we don’t have to be ‘completely eco.’ Every little bit helps… Taking action is what we need to do even if we are still trying to figure out how to create a healthy fashion industry, because it is the first time we are challenging the way it’s always been done.

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How you can support sustainable fashion

Just the way we play with new looks and don’t always jump in both feet wet, same goes with eco-fashion. You can make small changes towards sustainable style. Every action has impact.

A few simple ways to work sustainable fashion into your look are:

1. Buy natural fibres: Cotton and bamboo are two examples of natural fibers that make great fabrics and clothes.

2. Upcycle: Re-fashion your apparel. Little Grey Line takes old men’s work shirts and remakes them into adorable dresses for little girls. You can also give it a try at home. Just find a great shirt and create your own custom design for your mini-me.

3.Do some DIY: YouTube lately? Even those that can’t work a needle and thread for the life of them (myself included) have learned some pretty cool hacks and can work magic on old wares with some viral video inspiration

4. Shop and swap your closet: Whether it’s a swishing party with your colleagues or swapping pieces with your sis, a simple closet swap instantly adds new life to your wardrobe. You can also take it to the next level by renting pieces from your closet. East or West, you got options. “Take My Sari is a new app dedicated to renting as well as buying and selling Indian fashions.

5. Do some research: There are so amazing eco-friendly brands out there. Get on Google and find something that suits your style. You may find that even one of your favourite designers, like Stella McCartney, has an eco-chic line.

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Canada’s Sustainable Fashion Awards

There is a steadily growing group of talented eco-friendly designers in Canada, and celebrating them is a step in the right direction. Fashion Takes Action’s Design Forward, a sustainable runway show featuring the top designers in Canada puts them to the test for the first time this year. All of the designers featured beautiful workmanship. The three finalists included Peggy Sue Collection, Triarchy and Omi Woods.

Know who made your clothes

Part of better understanding sustainable style is getting to know the designers behind the brands and what they stand for. Ethics play a key role in many of these brands’ philosophies. From the use of eco-friendly dyes andusing natural, local materials to their fullest extent to working directly with the farmers and artisans involved in making the clothes to ensure fair wages, strong ethics are at the core of many eco brands. Many do not mass produce. They keep a small inventory and only make what is ordered so your product is that much more unique and their manufacturing practices have less of an impact on the earth. Knowing how and where your clothes are made is all part of making you a more conscious consumer.Know who made your clothes”

7 Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Ideas to Embrace Your Fashionable Side, Without a Big Budget #Ethicalfashion #Fashion #Sustainability #Environment #Eco

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Written by Sohini Dey for http://www.thebetterindia.com/

In this blog, the author has written an excellent piece on steps that you and I can take to support a movement towards slow and sustainable fashion:

Full article from: http://www.thebetterindia.com/98881/slow-sustainable-fashion/

“Promoting fair wages and minimal waste, slow and sustainable fashion demands change in the way we perceive clothing”

A friend of this writer once said, “I will just have to reconcile with children in sweatshops making the clothes I wear; after all, who can argue with cheaper prices more affordable.” Needless to say, the listener was horrified. With increasing awareness, more people are now making an effort to live less wasteful lives—yet we sometimes fall woefully short when it comes to clothing choices.

This is the age of fast fashion—trends change every few weeks, or less, and brands keep up by churning out new designs at alarming speed.

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Fashion has, over the years become associated with excess and frivolity but beneath the surface the simple fact is that clothing is essential to our lives. There is much to value about fashion (and that is a subject for an entirely different article) but some of its trends and practices can certainly be changed for the better.

Slow fashion is slowly (pun intended) taking over, and its principles are simple—fair wages, eco-friendly fabrics and practices, and minimal to zero waste. But it does demand change in the way we perceive clothing.

From keeping your shopping habits in control to knowing about the supply chain of your favoured brands, a conscious interest in your clothes—and their makers—not only has a positive impact on the environment but also the communities engaged in the production of clothing. Here is what you can do to be part of the slow and sustainable fashion movement.

1. Reduce your wardrobe to only what you need and love

To begin with, keep your shopping habits in check. Retail therapy may be happiness-inducing, but its long-term effect usually includes a pile of unused clothes in our wardrobes. Instead, shop with discretion and buy only what you need or like enough to wear often.
If an occasion demands an ensemble that you will never wear otherwise, consider borrowing or use clothing rentals, an emerging trend that some suggest will pose a grave threat to fast fashion brands in the future.

2. Your choice of materials makes a difference

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Take cotton for instance, a crop that is both water- and chemical-intensive. In the ongoing drought across numerous states of India, cotton farmers are among the hardest-hit.

However, organic cotton is gaining ground—not only does it require less water but also substantially less chemicals. On the other hand, Ahimsa or vegan silks are becoming popular as conventional silks raise questions about boiling silkworms to produce the threads. Handspun khadi and traditional techniques are being revived and internationally, bamboo, recycled fabrics and hemp are becoming popular over synthetics.

3. Say no to sweatshops, breeding grounds of labour exploitation

Cheap clothing always a welcome addition to wardrobes, but it often comes at great human cost. In 2013, Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed in a heap, killing 1,134 people all of whom were making clothes for international brands under strenuous conditions. And this is not a stray incident—news reports frequently bring the exploitative working conditions in sweatshops to light.

If a brand, no matter how aspirational or abounding in gorgeous clothes, is repeatedly in the news for malpractices, ditch them for fair-trade labels or factories that conform to regulations for workers safety and other standards.

If enough people refuse to invest in such brands, the industry will be compelled to regulate the measures for workers’ welfare.

4. Ask this: Who made my clothes?

The previous point naturally leads to this one. Remember that prices aren’t the overriding factor in determining whether your clothes are sustainable or not — a great deal of luxury products aren’t always ethical and many surprisingly cheap products often are. It is important to check the supply chain of the brand you purchase from and most importantly, pose the question, “Who made my clothes?”

5. Buy local, and support fair-trade and craft clusters that practice sustainable techniques

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Buying local keeps your carbon footprint lower—after all, your clothes haven’t travelled the world to reach your wardrobe. Second, it is a means of sustenance for local weavers and artisans. India is home to countless handlooms and crafts and unfortunately, many of them are dwindling. These karigars need patronage and support for their craft traditions to continue. Many shoppers are ditching big brands for handlooms and old techniques are being revived by designers and organisations to be relevant in contemporary times.

6. How you use your clothes affects your carbon footprint

Washing and drying your clothes might keep them clean, but also increases your carbon footprint and reduces the lifespan of your clothes drastic. Now the solutions: use non-toxic detergent, hand wash as much as possible and remember that air drying is better than the spin tub.
Most of all, wear your clothes more than once before washing. In a tropical country, this can be challenging especially in the heat, but choosing airy fabrics and air drying them can solve the problem to some extent.

7. Finally: recycle, upcycle and donate

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While many of us are increasingly conscious about the immortality of plastic, landfills are also choked by immense quantities of clothing.While organuc fabrics are bio-degradable, synthetics may not be so. There’s also the questions of plastic and other non bio-degradable items that make their way into clothing via buttons, zips and other fixtures.

Instead of tossing old clothes, considering repairing them or donating to someone in need. A number of NGOs and other organisations can make use of old clothes in crafting refurbished products as well.

[Article Round Up] Four Foolproof Sustainable Fashion Tips to Help You Build a More Ethical Wardrobe #ethicalfashion #fashion #sustainability #eco

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Everyone in the fashion supply chain is responsible for its impact on the planet, from designers and manufacturers to retailers and consumers. The Care Label Project, launched by AEG, is a global initiative connecting these players and encouraging them to execute positive changes towards an ethical fashion industry.

Its primary focus is on breaking non-sustainable garment care habits, but as part of its mission, it’s has partnered with Fashion Revolution to examine a garment’s entire lifecycle—from design to aftercare—and understand where key parties can make improvements.

Fashion Revolution Week marks the anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24, 2013. The incident killed over 1,000 people and injured thousands more at a garment factory in Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution challenges people to demand greater transparency in the fashion industry and to question where clothing comes from. Its manifesto is clear cut: “We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.”

But as the Care Label Project rightfully highlights, we as consumers have a big role to play after purchasing clothes too; according to WRAP the way clothing is cared for contributes 25% of its carbon footprint. As well as saving energy and water, better aftercare could extend the life of garments, decrease the demand for new clothing and reduce non-sustainable production rates. So how can you make your clothing last longer and become a more ethical consumer of fashion?

With the Care Label Project and Fashion Revolution’s help, we’ve formulated four foolproof tips to help you on your way to building a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe: investing in quality clothing, rethinking care habits, utilizing modern washing technology, and restoring, reusing and recycling old clothes.

 

Read more: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/04/27/sustainable-fashion-ethical-shopping-tips/

The High Cost of Our Cheap Fashion | Maxine Bédat | TEDxPiscataquaRiver #ethicalfashion #sustainability #environment #eco #fashion

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Do you know where your clothes come from? The apparel industry is one of the biggest violators of both the environment and human rights. In this compelling and information-packed talk, co-founder of Zady Maxine Bédat shows how you can take back the power of your wardrobe, and feel better in (and better about) your clothes.

You are what you wear: Christina Dean at TEDxHKBU #ethicalfashion #sustainability #environment #eco #fashion

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An eye opening talk by Dr. Christina Dean, Founder and CEO of Redress, an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry.

The Wardrobe To Die For | Lucy Siegle | TEDxSalford #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion

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An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist Lucy Siegle, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.

[Article Round up] 6 Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day #Earthday #Sustainability #Environment #Ethicalfashion #Ecolifestyle #Earthmonth

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“It’s Earth Month. Which, to an eco-lifestyle evangelist like myself is pretty much akin to the premiere of Game of Thrones. And while many of us want to make a positive impact on the planet, knowing where to start can be tough. Which steps pack the biggest punch? Which habits are the hardest to change? You may already know why reducing our trash is key to lessening the very real climate change crisis. I say “our” because this is our collective problem, and thankfully, there are things we all can do to right this wrong.

If you’re not familiar with the “why” of these steps, here are some stunning facts: Americans create about 4.3 pounds of trash per person per day (that’s like carrying around a 30+ pound weight each week), a 169% increase from 1960. We can thank many things for this skyrocketing phenomenon: an increased national focus on convenience, busier lives, and the general accessibility of disposable options. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while 75% of our waste is recyclable, only 30% of it actually gets recycled–and recycling requires loads of energy. Fortunately, a few simple shifts can help us reduce the amount of trash we create while still keeping our lives streamlined, efficient, and chic.”

Read more: http://www.glamour.com/sto

 

 

 

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Sustainable Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks #ethicalfashion #sustainability #springcleaning

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That time of year is coming – when the sun comes out a little earlier, the weather gets a little warmer and our closets ache for something fresh. However, turns out our closets don’t quite have the room for new clothes! The solution – spring cleaning sustainably.

To avoid falling into the dark hole of fast fashion, here are some ideas:

1.       Do a swapping party: Get a killer playlist, some good wine and appetizers, and invite a couple friends over. Ask your guests to bring any unwanted wearable clothes they have, in order to share and trade fashions!

2.       Donate: Go through your closet with a mindset of “will I actually ever wear this again?” and if there answer is no – donate any wearable garments to those in need!

3.       Consider reorganizing: If you have no room, perhaps the solution is to create it. Consolidate and use space saving organizers, to build yourself a closet made for Sex in the City worthy scenes!

4.       Sell: It’s as easy as downloading an application and uploading a picture of your unwanted clothing – make some extra money and save some space in your closet!

There is no harm in freshening up and mixing up your styles as the weather changes – as long as it’s done responsibly. Have fun fashionistas!

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Happy Women’s Day! #BeBoldForChange #IWD2017 #womenempowerment #genderparity

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“Women are the real architects of society”

– Cher

Happy International Women’s Day 2017! This year, on International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange. ‘Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world.’

Challenge bias and inequality.

Campaign against violence.

Forge women’s advancement.

Celebrate women’s achievement.

Champion women’s education

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International Women’s Day is a global day that has been observed since the early 1900’s, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Sign the #BeBoldForChange pledge here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Further action you can take

After you’ve socially shared your support as above, consider these further actions.

  1. Visit the IWD Resources page for ideas on what more you can do
  2. Download the IWD #BeBoldForChange selfie cards and visually share your support via social media
  3. Download the #BeBoldForChange posters and ask colleagues to write or add yellow sticky notes for their bold actions
  4. Embed the IWD #BeBoldForChange widget on your own website, intranet or communications and encourage others to take bold action
  5. Publish and promote an IWD event via the IWD website
  6. Publish a page, an article, news, video and more on the IWD website
  7. Be an ambassador and continuously encourage others to #BeBoldForChange and let your own actions lead the way
  8. Live the #BeBoldForChange ethos

She Shall Rise #womenempowerment #internationalwomensday #Girlpower

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In today’s world, she faces many struggles – social taboos, gender expectations, economic hardships, regional conflicts, glass ceilings.

She shall rise.

Her past has been adversities and let downs. Her future is uncertain and possibly, frightening.

She shall rise.

Daughter. Sister. Friend. Wife. Mother. Community member. Breadwinner. Fighter. Leader. Woman.

She shall rise.

She is the wife that was scarred in an acid attack committed by her own husband. She is the child that dreams of going to school, but cannot due to the social expectations of her community. She is the young woman who wants become a leader in her community and world, but struggles to defeat gender stereotypes and glass ceilings.

She shall rise.

As International Women’s Day comes upon us (March 8), let’s celebrate women that are underrepresented, underprivileged or facing adversities, and are still striving to rise above these challenges. Let’s celebrate women that are daughters, sisters, friends, wives, mothers, community members, breadwinners, fighters, leaders, inspirations.

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand

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She shall rise.