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

IWD17.jpg

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

woman-entrepreneur

She shall rise.

 

[Article Round Up]  The Ivanka Trump Brand’s Supply Chain Is Seemingly Untraceable #Fashion #Ethicalfashion #fastfashion

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Read more: http://www.racked.com/2017/2/10/14576282/ivanka-trump-brand-supply-chain-project-just

“On Thursday, non-profit consumer education organization Project Just published a deep-dive investigation into the Ivanka Trump clothing line.

 This wasn’t unusual. The company, which aims to make fashion a more sustainable, ethical, and transparent industry, is built largely on comprehensive investigations into the supply chains of different brands, the results of which they share on their online wiki. Ivanka Trump was an obvious subject in light of boycotts led by GrabYourWallet, which may or may not have caused Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to back away from the line. Plus, community users had specifically requested the investigation. The reason it was unusual — enough to warrant a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation process itself — was that they found nothing.

Project Just discovered no code of ethics, no sustainability reports, no human rights policies.

With five researchers working in six countries over the course of a month, and despite contacting spokespeople, sales reps, and brand employees, Project Just discovered no code of ethics, no sustainability reports, no human rights policies. A shipping list pointed to factories in China and Indonesia, but no factories were at the addresses, and calls to the phone numbers listed went unanswered. The 12-employee business offers paid maternity leave to new mothers, but revealed no policies ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, or health care to the women working at every other level of manufacturing — despite Ivanka Trump’s emphasis on empowering working women. Project Just uncovered no evidence that the brand (whose manufacturing and distribution is handled by licensing group G-III Apparel) knows anything that goes on within its own supply chain — or, at least, is willing to share what it knows.”

[Article Round Up] The Indian Goddess: The Embodiment Of Female Empowerment #womenempowerment #genderequality #Hinduism

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sherina-rathor/the-indian-goddess-the-em_b_14653002.html

“Hilary Clinton recently expressed her feelings that she ‘remain[s] convinced that the future is female.’ Yes, it’s wonderful that Ms. Clinton is hopeful that the twenty-first century and beyond will be female and great, but isn’t this hopefulness a slight dampener as there is still a clear underlying tone that, maybe we’re still living in a society that fails to see the greatness of a woman’s power and intelligence? Are we still, I hasten to say, of the perception that women are not quite there yet to stand side by side with men, and that women have had the wool pulled over their eyes for the last century? Interestingly enough Hinduism has prized women since its inception with numerous female goddesses that embody power to its very core.

The Hindu religion is the oldest living religion today; around five thousand years old. It revered animals and humans respectively and even more so, women. Goddesses were worshipped just as much as gods and they were endowed with some of the most prominent powers and energies. Consider how progressive this really was given the time; a time when it was men that represented the powers of the universe.

Three of the most worshipped female deities of Hinduism are: Lakshmi the goddess of wealth and fortune; Kali the goddess that destroys evil forces and Durga the goddess and mother of the universe. Even today, Hindus around the world carry out powerful pujas (prayers) for all three. I have a strong faith in all three and this faith gives me the confidence and drive to work hard; the positive energies to remove all evils around me and the appreciation of the world around me. It is my admiration of what these three goddesses embody that gives me the strength to take on each day with happiness, ambition, passion, positivity and being proud of being a woman. Even if you’re not a believer, you can appreciate just how amazing these female deities are; they can hold their own in a universe that is unavoidably incomprehensible, they do so much good and wield so much power that you can only be in awe of them. Even if you’re not a believer you can try to identify with their traits and powers and wield these yourself. By us women echoing their very nature, we can ensure that we break those metaphorical glass ceilings and achieve anything and everything.

While Clinton and many prominent females today have rallied women around the globe to project their voices and be heard, remember that the images and scriptures of the Hindu goddesses, have actually been doing this for centuries. We’ve been celebrating the power, intelligence and sanctity of women for so long, it’s only natural and inherent to us. That’s not to say that culturally, things have changed these very ideas and notions, but women are strong enough today as they were centuries ago to demonstrate their extraordinary abilities.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voting with your Dollar #consciousconsumerism #ethicalfashion #fashion

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A common theme we have talked about in this blog is the concept of using purchasing power to make an impact – this is the basis of ethical fashion. Consumers – the ultimate users of fashion goods – have the ability to stand for what they believe in simply by how they spend.

We are witnessing a brilliant example of this concept in the current situation the Ivanka Trump brand finds itself in. With well-known retailers such as Nordstrom and TJ Maxx choosing to drop Ivanka Trump’s line, perhaps the popular vote is finding a new way to express itself. Per an article in The Wall Street Journal, sales of the fashion line declined 32% at Nordstrom in its last fiscal year, despite the fact that the chain’s overall sales rose. It was this sharp decline that resulted in Nordstrom dropping the line. Other stores such as Neiman Marcus, Sears and Kmart have also followed suit.

While the debate rages on in regards to the ethics of White House officials blatantly advocating for the commercial line and the overall motivations behind the decisions to drop the line itself, this is very obviously a conscious consumerism decision.

It is very powerful to see the impact that Tweets, hashtags and the fashionista dollar can have on commerce and society. I, for one, hope that trend continues…

[Article Round Up] Pokémon Go the unlikeliest champion of sustainability at Davos 2017 #sustainability #Mobilegaming

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Read more: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/play/pokemon-go-davos-2017

“Pokémon may not be as popular as it was when it launched last year, but there is no denying it has become an icon in the popularity of mobile gaming, quickly becoming the most downloaded app of all time.

Now in 2017, its developer Niantic is asking users in the Swiss city of Davos to turn their attention from chasing Pokémon to understanding the major inequalities in the world.

s part of a new collaboration between Niantic, The Pokémon Company and the charity Project Everyone, 17 new PokéStops – places where you obtain valuable in-game items – have cropped up around Davos.

These 17 PokéStops coincide with the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development that were agreed upon by 193 world leaders in 2015.

These goals include: no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality and affordable energy.

In addition to these new PokéStops, the Congress Centre – where much of the forum is being held – will be turned into a Pokémon Gym.

At these points in the game, a player would train their creatures to perform or battle it out with other human players. The centre will act as a place to train, in between trying to solve some of the world’s most pressing questions.

Finally, as part of the agreement, from spring of this year, additional in-game content will become available to continue to promote the importance of the Global Goals campaign organised by Project Everyone.”

Davos 2017: Sustainability on the Agenda #sustainability #Davos2017

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From January 20-23, global leaders, CEOS, governments and senior UN officials will gather in a small mountain town in Switzerland for the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF). In Davos, these leaders will debate and address the questions and challenges our world faces.

One area where we are keen to see progress is the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs are a set of 17 aspirational and global goals:

sdgs

Source: World Economic Forum

Ahead of their meeting, the WEF released their global risks report, compiling the views of 750 experts,. Within this report, it is documented that climate change and the potential for extreme weather events are among some of the world’s biggest threats.

Unsurprisingly, there will be a session at Davos that will be focused on how public-private partnerships will be able to push the agenda around the SDGs forward. As global economic growth permanently slows down, the conversation around the global economy will also be a key factor in determining how we will be able to achieve the commitments made through the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.

So while the obvious topics focused around Trump, Brexit and China will dominate the media headlines, we will be eagerly awaiting to hear more about what comes out from this topic at Davos.

 

2017: International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development #Sustainability #Tourism

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“With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people. The potential of tourism for sustainable development is considerable.  As one of the world’s leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive development.”
 United Nations Secretary-General, Banki-moon
  World Tourism Day Message, 2015

The United Nations has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, with the aim of encouraging changes “in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs”. This includes the following 5 areas:

(1)        Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

(2)        Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction

(3)        Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change

(4)        Cultural values, diversity and heritage

(5)        Mutual understanding, peace and security.

This is an exciting step in the direction towards global sustainability, as tourism dollars account for so much of global spending. By supporting local artisans and considering the impact our consumer behaviours have on the areas we visit, we can have a dramatic impact on the world around us.

Do a quick google search on sustainable tourism and you will find tons of good material to help you plan your next trip. As you travel, be sure to take in the local artisanal work and appreciate all that the unique cultures around the world have to offer!

Cheers to 2017 and to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development!

To learn more, go to: http://www2.unwto.org/tourism4development2017

 

Mindfulness: The Art of Being Aware #awareness#mindfulness #fashion #ethicalfashion #environment

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mind·ful·ness (ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/) noun. 1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; Their mindfulness of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment made them think twice about purchasing fast fashion garments.

To be mindful is to be fully aware of what is happening around you – a true challenge in our digital, touch-screen, high-frequency, instant response-based world. Our mind is focused on dozens of things at once, our bodies stressed by the challenges of daily life, our life comprised of multi-tasking and achieving our goals. To counteract this, a common meditation technique is to practice mindfulness – “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (According to mindful.org).

The idea is based on Buddhist philosophy and religion, where mindfulness is an approach to work towards the state of Enlightenment.

Why be mindful? It is said to reduce stress, fight depression (increase positive emotions), increase focus and train our brain in areas that impact learning, memory, emotion regulation, empathy. The impacts of this include making the practitioner able to perform tasks better, while helping them better understand both themselves and those around them. Many studies have even reported physical health benefits (i.e. boosting immune systems), in addition to those related to mental health. It is a simple and often quick way (your meditation need only be a few minutes a day) to give some pause to our constantly fluctuating day.

As LifeHacker.com puts it, “Mindfulness is both a practice and a state of mind (for lack of a better word).” This means it can be practiced anywhere (seated, walking standing, moving, during yoga or other exercise and even lying down) and at any point in the day. Per mindful.org: “Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.

It’s a way of living.” That being said, a quick Google search helps identify many websites with recommended techniques on how to engage in mindfulness. There are even apps that send you reminders, such as Breathe on the Apple Watch that enables users to stop and focus on breathing and mindfulness.

If mindfulness is both a practice AND a state of mind – a way of living – then perhaps it is a mindset we can embed into other aspects of our life, such as how we decide what we wear. “The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” very much applies to the decision that is made when one choose to buy ethical fashion. By being mindful enough to realize the impact that our garments and accessories have on the planet and on the producers of these items, we are applying this concept. This means reading labels, researching companies and methods of production and choosing to care for the well-being of those involved in the making of our fashion.

When we ask “Who made your clothes?” we are being conscious.

This concept is nothing new. Fashion and consciousness have been integrated for millennia –

  • the gradually shortening of skirt hems was women being mindful of what long skirts meant on their place in society,
  • the impeccable discipline around an army uniform is a soldiers method of inspiring focus and awareness,
  • the wearing of a hijab is a conscious way of an individual practicing their religion.

Fashion is closely tied to the collective consciousness of our society and each time society realizes something needs to change or evolve – fashion either leads or closely follows. As Luciana Zegheanu points out in an editorial piece on notjustalabel.com “Fashion itself is a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes. It expresses modernity, symbolising the spirit of the times.”

Therefore, I propose that ethically conscious-fashion is a way to practice mindfulness. It is a chance for us to stop in the moment and understand that what we do – from how we breathe to what we wear – has an impact on ourselves and on those around us. It is a chance for us to emphasize and make decisions that align with our values. As Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), has said “The real meditation is how you live your life.”