The utilization of fur in sustainable fashion

Christine Tsui Fashion Community Group Discussion

The Utilization of Fur in Sustainable Fashion

 

Date:01/05/2018

Time: 8pm to 10pm

Host by Midori-shanghai-designer

Pisces, a post-90s designer with mild obsessive-compulsive disorder, has a strong executive power and a combination of care and patience. Three years local brand designer experience, in the design has its own preference and opinion.

 The outline of discussion:

 

1.  Definition of fur.

1.1What is fur? (10 min)

1.2 Production of genuine fur (20min)

2. The application of fur in the clothing industry.

2.1 What kind of clothes does fur usually make? (20 min)

2.2 How to maintain the clothing of fur? (20 min)

3. The application of fur in society.

3.1 Since the application of dermis involves the killing of animals, how do you think about this problem? 30 (mim)

4. How to get fur into sustainable fashion (30min)

 

Forward

In the fashion industry, the use of animal fur has been controversial. In recent years, many luxury brands have launched calls to reject the use of fur. In addition to the cruelty with which animal fur is used, Will it still have a place in the fashion industry? How to use fur to develop in the field of sustainable fashion?

 

PART ONE: Definition of Fur

 

1. What is fur? 

Fur is the hair covering of non-human (and some human furry) mammals, particularly those mammals with extensive body hair that is soft and thick. The stiffer bristles on animals such as pigs are not generally referred to as fur.

 

The discussion is as follows:

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

What is fur?(10min)

Midori-shanghai-designer

By nature

Midori-shanghai-designer

like this

(pictures come from the web)

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur is also used to refer to animal pelts which has been processed into leather with the hair still attached. The words fur or furry are also used, more casually, to refer to hair-like growths or formations, particularly When the subject is referred to exhibits a dense coat of fine, soft “hairs”.

Midori-shanghai-designer

If layered, rather than grown as a single coat, it may consist of short down hairs, long guard hairs, and in some cases, medium awn hairs.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Ok,that is very complex

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Very detailed

Midori-shanghai-designer

Our topic Fur refers to the use of animal fur made of clothing ,has a warm effect.

Yohanna

Now many brands use artificial fur

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Seems that any fur could be made into cloth?

Midori-shanghai-designer

and now the fur is more beautiful and higher prices are also many consumers. Animals such as foxes, rex rabbits , and sheep are all major sources of raw materials for fur.

 

2. Production of Genuine Fur 

There are many kinds of fur classification methods, which can be divided in to early maturity, middle maturity, late maturity and most advanced maturity according to the mature period of the hair.

 

The discussion is as follows: 

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur clothing was first worn during the fourteenth to seventh and is a symbolic garment in European History

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Means how old the animal is when you kill it?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer  cool

Midori-shanghai-designer

So we’ll sort it out according to the way the hair is treated.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

But I will say human like native Indians, Vikings ,and other wear fur for sake of keeping warm .

Midori-shanghai-designer

What kind of fur do you know ?

Midori-shanghai-designer

The need for warmth.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

How is it with the maturity?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I’m interested

Midori-shanghai-designer

No , we’re not talking about skin removal.

Midori-shanghai-designer

According to the processing methods, they can be classified into the tanned, dyeing and finishing classes, shearing Class.

  • According to the appearance characteristics can be divided into thick fur, represented by fox skin; medium-thick fur, represented by molting; thin fur, represented by Persian lambskin.
  • It is more commonly used by people to classify them by the fur and the cortex of the raw material.
  • Small hairy skins: mainly include purple mink, chinchilla (Chrysanthemum, also known as Chrysanthemum) mink skin, mink skin, sea dragon skin, snow fleas, yellow skin, AI tiger skin, chin rat skin, silver skin, Musk skin, beaver skin, raccoon skin, etc.,
  • hair is thin and soft. Suitable for hair caps, coats and so on. Large capillary class: mainly including foxes, raccoon skins, tanned skins, raccoon skins, and raccoon skins. Larger picture. It is often used to make hats, coats, capes, etc.
  • Rough fur: Commonly used sheepskin, dog skin, wolf skin, leopard skin, marmot skin and so on. The hair length and width are slightly larger. Can be used to make hats, coats, vests, clothes, etc.
  • Miscellaneous fur: including cat skin, rabbit skin, etc., suitable for clothing accessories, the price is lower.

Midori-shanghai-designer

That’s my classification of the leather used in clothing.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Do you have another question of fur?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Do you have some pictures ?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Seadragon skin for example…I can’t really imagine how it looks like

Midori-shanghai-designer

the picture is from sinaweibo

Midori-shanghai-designer

This is Seadragon

 Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

or around the hood  @Alena~Shanghai~AGL damn…how do they hunt these guys down

 Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I guess it is the same like seals

Midori-shanghai-designer

Seadog skin, commonly known as “sea dragon skin”@Alena~Shanghai~AGL

 Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I had no idea they are used for fur to be honest.

 Midori-shanghai-designer

So the use of real leather is cruel.

 

PART TWO: The Application of Fur in Garment Industry 

 

1. What kind of clothes does fur usually make? 

Animal fur is often made into shoes, bags, accessories, coats, sweaters, down jackets, and other clothing. Commonly used are mink hair, rabbit hair, fox hair, wool, hippocampal hair, cattle skin, sheep skin, pig skin, etc.

 

 The discussion is as follows:

 

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

It doesn’t have anything to do with staying warm as they have been other materials invented

Midori-shanghai-designer

Let’s take a look at the history of fur use.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur clothing was first worn during the fourteenth to seventh century and is a symbolic garment in European History. The kings and queens of England ordered proclamations to regulate fur aka “sumptuary legislation”.

  • Sumptuary legislation established the stigmatism of Fur association limited to the higher social statuses and convey the idea of exclusivity.
  • Exotic furs such as fox, marten, grey squirrel and ermine were reserved for aristocratic elites. The middle class were known to wear fox, hare and beaver while the less fortunate wore Goat, wolf and sheepskin. Due to clothing being loose and garments were known to be layered, fur was used for visible linings. Different kinds of fur were worn during seasons and social classes. Animals with fur decreased in West Europe and began to be Imported from the Middle East and Russia

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

So it is a historical issue right

Midori-shanghai-designer

The fur at first was used as clothing for the royal family.

 Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Because of its scarcity?

Midori-shanghai-designer

So only noble people wear fur.

 Sailinli-Beijing-Researcher

In ancient China fur was also graded.

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

Represent the power.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Because of the natural warmth of fur and the complexity of making clothes.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Of course ,in ancient hunting ,the fur of a hunted animal was worn as a symbol of victory.

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ   A little symbol of power.

 Midori-shanghai-designer

As new kinds of fur entered Europe, other uses were made with fur other than clothing. Beaver was most desired but used to make hats which became a popular headpiece particularly during the wartime. Swedish soldier wore broad-brimmed hats made exclusive from beaver felt. Due to the limitations of beaver fur, hat-makers relied heavily on North America for imports as beaver was only available in the Scandinavian peninsula.

Midori-shanghai-designer

this is beaver

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

So Cruel

Midori-shanghai-designer

The twentieth century was the beginning of the fur coats being fashionable in West Europe with full fur coats. With lifestyle changes as a result of developments like indoor heating, the international textile trade Affected how fur was distributed around the world. Europeans focused on using local resources giving fur association with femininity with the increasing use of mink. In 1970, Germany was the world’s largest fur market. The International Fur Trade Federation banned endangering species furs like silk monkey, ocelot, leopard, tiger, and polar bear in 1975. The use of animal skins were brought to light during the 1980s by animal right organizations and the demand for fur decreased. Anti-fur organizations increased awareness of the controversy between animal welfare and fashion. Fur farming became banned in Britain in 1999. During the twenty-first century, fox and mink have been bred in captivity with Denmark, Holland and Finland being leaders of mink production.

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

In addition to the fur applications mentioned above,do you know of other fur applications?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Now there are wool,fox hair are used to make cloth.

Midori-shanghai-designer

These furs are usually used in sweater ,sand down jackets.

 

2. How to maintain the clothing of fur? 

 

When placed indoors, for fur clothes:

a. It is best to hang in a dark, low temperature, well ventilated, dry environment.

b. Fur garments should be hung on special hangers with high-necked, wide-shouldered shoulders, and covered with a silk cover, and stored in a closet with air circulation.

c. There should be at least 6 cm space between the fur and other clothes to allow the fur to “breathe”.

d. Do not contaminate fur with other chemicals.5. In the summer, special attention should be paid to avoid high temperature and humidity and insect ant damage.

 

High-grade fur cleaning (mink skin).

Washing powder: Magnesium oxide powder, talcum powder ratio 1:1

Washing method: Spread the fur on the wash case, evenly rub the quilt with a sponge duster, wipe the special soiled part repeatedly, stand for 24 hours, clean the hair powder with a brush, and then put the fur on the portrait on the air mold, the powder was blown clean with an air spray gun, and the hair was straightened with a fine-tooth comb.

 

Ordinary fur cleaning (sheep skin).

Washing solvent: 95% alcohol Common dose: Alcohol 200-250ml

Washing powder: Talc powder Common dosage: Talc 500-1000g

Washing method: Put the fur on the figure air mold, spray the alcohol solvent evenly onto the blanket with an air spray gun, repeatedly rub the hair quilt with a sponge duster, supplement with a gentle rubbing, sweep the hair with a brush Powder, and then use air spray gun to clean the powder, with a sparse comb to the hair to be straight forward to clear the finishing.

 

White plush yellowing treatment.

Washing solution: hydrogen peroxide, water ratio 1:10

Washing method: Put the fur on the figure air mold, spray the solution evenly onto the blanket with an air spray gun, fully wet for 5 minutes, gently brush with a short-haired brushing solution from top to bottom, and finally use a water spray gun to coat the hair. Rinse thoroughly, place in a cool, dry place, and clean the hair in a straight line.

 

The discussion is as follows:

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

Do you know how to tell a hairy garment?

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

By burning?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Then smell it~

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Just like distinct different fabrics ,does different fur has different smell?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Because there is a lot of wool-like clothing now , it’s not realistic to burn it alone , for the general public.

Midori-shanghai-designer

True wool contains a lot of protein ,and a few fibers are ignited on the clothes . Smell the scent .Look at the ash .If there is a charred scent ,the ash is crushed with a finger ,that is pure wool ;if there is no smell of charred feathers ,Ash pressure is not broken ,ag glomeration , it is chemical fiber fabrics. @Heather-Wuhan-AGL

 

PART THREE: The Application of Fur in Society

1. Since the application of dermis involves the killing of animals, how do you think about this problem? 

Fur used a lot of chemicals in the production process for degreasing and cleaning, such as formaldehyde. Damage to the surrounding water quality and the environment. This is contrary to the current concept of low-carbon environmental protection.

Some people have suggested that “for a piece of clothing, whether or not animals should be given a cruel price,” so-called no-buy, no harm, how consumers should take action?

 

The discussion is as follows:

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people indiscriminately kill wild animals in the drive of their interests, leaving some rare wild animals on the verge of extinction,anyone agree that?

Midori-shanghai-designer

With the increase of human morality and civilization, the concept of environmental protection has received more and more attention. Fur and environmental protection have become the subject of constant controversy. What do you think?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainable sourcing

 Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

can real fur sourcing be ethical and sustainable?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Well I guess everybody agree

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

As long as it means killing a living creature

Midori-shanghai-designer

also,fur used a lot of chemicals in the production process for degreasing and cleaning, such as formaldehyde. Damage to the surrounding water quality and the environment. This is contrary to the current concept of low-carbon environmental protection.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

fur has been part of humanity society since early homo sapiens.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

And there have been so many leaked videos about the conditions of the animals.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

so no real fur will be change of our mindset

Midori-shanghai-designer

Besides, if you don’t have real fur, will you be wearing fur imitation clothes?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes, but back then the fur was used for survival reasons

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

keep warmth

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

fur is excellent on this

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Of course

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

like duck or Goose down

 Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

also wool is a superior fiber

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

But aren’t other materials now very good in keeping us warm as well?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

not as good

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

down is breathable

Midori-shanghai-designer

But will the production of imitation fur also cause pollution to the environment?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes it will

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Now there is a question what is better

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

In terms of protecting the environment

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

all those polyester based padding doesnt breath so well and not easy to have same level of warmth but technology is improving

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people have suggested that “for a piece of clothing, whether or not animals should be given a cruel price,” so-called no-buy, no harm, how consumers should take action.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

It depends much on consumers’ attitude

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

we should focus on low impact on the environment and longevity of the product

 Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

So , whatever we do we impact the environment as little as possible for sustainable living for mankind @Alena~Shanghai~AGL reused

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Can fur be recycled?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

for sure

 Midori-shanghai-designer

So, in recent years, many brands have called for a boycott of fur. Does this work?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer when u boycott . somebody somewhere may Lose their job

 

PART FOUR: How to get fur into sustainable fashion

 

a. Finding new ways to produce textiles 

b. Natural furs from wild hunting and farming are sustainable

 

The discussion is as follows:

 

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

everyone do their part… step by step approach

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

reuse old fur

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

yes,especially farm consumers,every one of us

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

use fur that related to food industry?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

You use the fur of the animals that is used for food industry…

Midori-shanghai-designer

Finding new ways to produce textiles

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Also an option

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL yea that can have lower impact

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

True

 Midori-shanghai-designer

Different ways of producing and processing materials means that they have different effects on the environment. As we all know, there are risks in the production of petroleum compounds, such as the pollution from the chemical refining process to the toxic chemicals emitted during the production of chemical fiber fabrics. However, there are deficiencies in each fabric, including organic fabrics. For example, traditional methods of cotton cultivation use large amounts of water, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides, which also destroy the habitat of wild animals. In the case of agricultural farming, waste treatment also needs to be considered. Another consideration is the environmental impact of raw materials and garments. Clothing entirely produced and sold locally has less impact on the environment than garments produced and sold in multiple locations, such as the production of chemical fiber garments, oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, processing into fabrics in China, sewing in Vietnam, and then selling in Europe.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

But there wouldn’t be sufficient supply

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

price would go up and more pepole would enter

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

And there we go again

Midori-shanghai-designer

sorry,this is too long

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

There should be only a law enforcement

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

and may lead to more animal getting killed

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Viciouscircl

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Circle

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people think that farmed fur is also environmentally friendly

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainable living for mankind and sustainable economic growth

Midori-shanghai-designer

Materials can be divided into two categories: organic materials (plants and animals) and inorganic materials (coal, petroleum, ore, etc.).

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I just wish there weren’t those Russian fur farms where the skin the animals alive and leave them to die

Midori-shanghai-designer

Organic materials are sustainable because they can be regenerated; plants and animals can continue to grow and can be continuously replenished. Common in clothing are cotton, linen, bamboo, wool, natural fur, down and leather. Inorganic materials are not sustainable because they cannot be regenerated; once they are consumed, they really disappear, unless more inorganic materials can be found. Important inorganic materials used in chemical fiber clothing are synthesized from petroleum such as acrylic and polyester.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer goes back to sustainable farming

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

controlled forest

Midori-shanghai-designer

Natural fur farming, like other animal husbandry, is inherently sustainable because farmers can decide on the number of animals to feed based on market conditions

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer u always need to predict

Midori-shanghai-designer

We can indirectly believe that aquaculture is actually conducive to wild hunting because of the high demand for farmed animals while reducing the pressure of wild hunting.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur farming also minimizes the impact on the environment through other means, such as the use of human food residues for animal feeding; the use of manure as agricultural organic fertilizers; and the conversion of carcasses into biofuels.

Midori-shanghai-designer

and what do you think about it?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer is good start

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Hmmm I guess

Midori-shanghai-designer

Natural fur is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. It comes from the sustainable production of natural materials, uses rather gentle production processes, and ultimately makes durable and recyclable garments that provide decades of warmth. After being comfortable, it will eventually be fully biodegraded.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Of course, I know what you are thinking: The truth about natural fur (Truth About Fur website) promotes natural fur, so it is not surprising that we praise it.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

what about the use of artificial fur?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Although artificial leather is considered to be friendly to animals, its production process and non-recyclable and non-degradable properties are also indirectly harmful to the environment .@Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Christine-Shanghai-Group founder

to get fur farm animals is also a solution for ecology system.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL we are getting more and more sustainable which is a good direction

Midori-shanghai-designer

These chemical fiber garments will be sent to landfills when they are abandoned. The resulting tiny plastic particles will then damage our oceans.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

i have a PLA based poly bag is my office and is biodegradable but…getting thinner and thinner every time I show people.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

that’s interesting

Midori-shanghai-designer

But if the clothing material we produce has a high durability of 3-5 years, it may reduce the degradation pressure.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I see

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

PLA is from corn starch and if everything turns into PLA then will compete with our food source…means more farmland?

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Vincent-shanghai-Incubator  interesting

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer so how do brands have a sustainable business model?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainability is not just environmental impact and working condition

Midori-shanghai-designer

Does the brand do the recycling of this part of the sustainable business model like h&m

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer they certainly can

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

i am going send my scrap polyester fabrics to recyclers to make recycled polyester yarns

Midori-shanghai-designer

But not many brands have the same ability to handle these used clothes as they do with H & M.

Midori-shanghai-designer

about the topic How to get fur into sustainable fashion my conclusion is

  1. Natural furs from wild hunting and farming are sustainable
  2. Finding new ways to produce textiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion of the original text:

Midori-shanghai-designer

How to get fur into sustainable fashion(30min)

Midori-shanghai-designer

What is fur?(10min)

Midori-shanghai-designer

By nature

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur is the hair covering of non-human (and some human furry) mammals,

particularly those mammals with extensive body hair that is soft and thick.

The stiffer bristles on animals such as pigs are not generally referred to as fur.

Midori-shanghai-designer

like this

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur is also used to refer to animal pelts which has been processed into leather with the hair still attached. The words fur or furry are also used, more casually, to refer to hair-like growths or formations, particularly When the subject is referred to exhibits a dense coat of fine, soft “hairs”.

Midori-shanghai-designer

If layered, rather than grown as a single coat, it may consist of short down hairs, long guard hairs, and in some cases, medium awn hairs.

 

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Ok,that is very complex

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Very detailed

Midori-shanghai-designer

Our topic Fur refers to the use of animal fur made of clothing ,has a warm effect.

Yohanna

Now many brands use artificial fur

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Seems that any fur could be made into cloth?

Midori-shanghai-designer

and now the fur is more beautiful and higher prices are also many consumers . Animals such as foxes , rex rabbits , and sheep are all major sources of raw materials for fur.

Midori-shanghai-designer

So let’s start the next ~

Midori-shanghai-designer

Production of genuine fur (20min)

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur clothing was first worn during the fourteenth to seventh and is a symbolic garment in European History

Midori-shanghai-designer

There are many kinds of fur classification methods ,which can be divided in to early maturity ,middle maturity ,late maturity and most advanced maturity according to the mature period of the hair.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Means how old the animal is when you kill it?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer  cool

Midori-shanghai-designer

So we’ll sort it out according to the way the hair is treated.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

But I will say human like native Indians , Vikings ,and other wear fur for sake of keeping warm .

Midori-shanghai-designer

What kind of fur do you know ?

Midori-shanghai-designer

The need for warmth.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

How is it with the maturity?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I’m interested

Midori-shanghai-designer

No , we’re not talking about skin removal.

Midori-shanghai-designer

According to the processing methods, they can be classified into the tanned, dyeing and finishing classes, shearing Class.

  • According to the appearance characteristics can be divided into thick fur, represented by fox skin; medium-thick fur, represented by molting; thin fur, represented by Persian lambskin.
  • It is more commonly used by people to classify them by the fur and the cortex of the raw material.
  • Small hairy skins: mainly include purple mink, chinchilla (Chrysanthemum, also known as Chrysanthemum) mink skin, mink skin, sea dragon skin, snow fleas, yellow skin, AI tiger skin, chin rat skin, silver skin, Musk skin, beaver skin, raccoon skin, etc.,
  • hair is thin and soft. Suitable for hair caps, coats and so on. Large capillary class: mainly including foxes, raccoon skins, tanned skins, raccoon skins, and raccoon skins. Larger picture. It is often used to make hats, coats, capes, etc.
  • Rough fur: Commonly used sheepskin, dog skin, wolf skin, leopard skin, marmot skin and so on. The hair length and width are slightly larger. Can be used to make hats, coats, vests, clothes, etc.
  • Miscellaneous fur: including cat skin, rabbit skin, etc., suitable for clothing accessories, the price is lower.

Midori-shanghai-designer

That’s my classification of the leather used in clothing.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Do you have another question of fur?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Do you have some pictures ?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Seadragon skin for example…I can’t really imagine how it looks like

Midori-shanghai-designer

the picture is from sinaweibo

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

Raccoon is popular

Midori-shanghai-designer

This is the Sea dragon skin made for coat

Midori-shanghai-designer

What kind of products do raccoons usually use ? @Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

What animal is it?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer fur collar

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

No way!

Midori-shanghai-designer

This is Seadragon

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

or around the hood  @Alena~Shanghai~AGL damn…how do they hunt these guys down

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I guess it is the same like seals

Midori-shanghai-designer

Seadog skin, commonly known as “sea dragon skin”@Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I had no idea they are used for fur to be honest.

Midori-shanghai-designer

So the use of real leather is cruel.

Midori-shanghai-designer

The next~

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Indeed!

Midori-shanghai-designer

The application of fur in the clothing industry.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Well yes.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

The clothing it is just for greed

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

Oh my god,I really cannot imagine that

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

It doesn’t have anything to do with staying warm as they have been other materials invented

Midori-shanghai-designer

Let’s take a look at the history of fur use.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur clothing was first worn during the fourteenth to seventh century and is a symbolic garment in European History. The kings and queens of England ordered proclamations to regulate fur aka “sumptuary legislation”.

  • Sumptuary legislation established the stigmatism of Fur association limited to the higher social statuses and convey the idea of exclusivity.
  • Exotic furs such as fox, marten, grey squirrel and ermine were reserved for aristocratic elites. The middle class were known to wear fox, hare and beaver while the less fortunate wore Goat, wolf and sheepskin. Due to clothing being loose and garments were known to be layered, fur was used for visible linings. Different kinds of fur were worn during seasons and social classes. Animals with fur decreased in West Europe and began to be Imported from the Middle East and Russia

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

So it is a historical issue right

Midori-shanghai-designer

The fur at first was used as clothing for the royal family.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Because of its scarcity?

Midori-shanghai-designer

So only noble people wear fur.

Sailinli-Beijing-Researcher

In ancient China fur was also graded.

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

Represent the power.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Because of the natural warmth of fur and the complexity of making clothes.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Of course ,in ancient hunting ,the fur of a hunted animal was worn as a symbol of victory.

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ   A little symbol of power.

Midori-shanghai-designer

As new kinds of fur entered Europe, other uses were made with fur other than clothing. Beaver was most desired but used to make hats which became a popular headpiece particularly during the wartime. Swedish soldier wore broad-brimmed hats made exclusive from beaver felt. Due to the limitations of beaver fur, hat-makers relied heavily on North America for imports as beaver was only available in the Scandinavian peninsula.

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

this is beaver

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

So Cruel

Midori-shanghai-designer

The twentieth century was the beginning of the fur coats being fashionable in West Europe with full fur coats. With lifestyle changes as a result of developments like indoor heating, the international textile trade Affected how fur was distributed around the world. Europeans focused on using local resources giving fur association with femininity with the increasing use of mink. In 1970, Germany was the world’s largest fur market. The International Fur Trade Federation banned endangering species furs like silk monkey, ocelot, leopard, tiger, and polar bear in 1975. The use of animal skins were brought to light during the 1980s by animal right organizations and the demand for fur decreased. Anti-fur organizations increased awareness of the controversy between animal welfare and fashion. Fur farming became banned in Britain in 1999. During the twenty-first century, fox and mink have been bred in captivity with Denmark, Holland and Finland being leaders of mink production.

 

Midori-shanghai-designer

In addition to the fur applications mentioned above ,do you know of other fur applications?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Now there are wool ,fox hair are used to make cloth

Midori-shanghai-designer

These furs are usually used in sweater ,sand down jackets

Midori-shanghai-designer

Do you know how to tell a hairy garment?

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

By burning?

Midori-shanghai-designer

right~

Midori-shanghai-designer

Then smell it~

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Just like distinct different fabrics ,does different fur has different smell?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Because there is a lot of wool-like clothing now , it’s not realistic to burn it alone , for the general public.

Midori-shanghai-designer

True wool contains a lot of protein ,and a few fibers are ignited on the clothes . Smell the scent .Look at the ash .If there is a charred scent ,the ash is crushed with a finger ,that is pure wool ;if there is no smell of charred feathers ,Ash pressure is not broken ,ag glomeration , it is chemical fiber fabrics. @Heather-Wuhan-AGL

 

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Thank you.

Midori-shanghai-designer

And I don’t know how to distinguish other furs.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

That’s interesting

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer a lot of recycled wool also in the market

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

And also have recycled duck down

Midori-shanghai-designer

Wow the recycled duck down?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

yep

Midori-shanghai-designer

Use it to make Down jacket ?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

yep

Midori-shanghai-designer

And the duvet quilt?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

yep

Midori-shanghai-designer

How do you recycle and reuse duck down?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Is the way of recycling complicated? @Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

u collect used down jacket

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

i dont know the detail method

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

but i know people who does that

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

and there is also US companies supplied recycled down

Midori-shanghai-designer

Okay .but thank you to tell us that method~

Midori-shanghai-designer

I’ll share some of your common fur care tips.

Enya.Y-Shanghai-PJ

Thank u

Midori-shanghai-designer

When placed indoors, for fur clothes

1.It is best to hang in a dark, low temperature, well ventilated, dry environment.

2.Fur garments should be hung on special hangers with high-necked, wide-shouldered shoulders, and covered with a silk cover, and stored in a closet with air circulation.

3.There should be at least 6 cm space between the fur and other clothes to allow the fur to “breathe”.

4.Do not contaminate fur with other chemicals.5. In the summer, special attention should be paid to avoid high temperature and humidity and insect ant damage.

Midori-shanghai-designer

High-grade fur cleaning (mink skin).

Washing powder: Magnesium oxide powder, talcum powder ratio 1:1

Washing method: Spread the fur on the wash case, evenly rub the quilt with a sponge duster, wipe the special soiled part repeatedly, stand for 24 hours, clean the hair powder with a brush, and then put the fur on the portrait on the air mold, the powder was blown clean with an air spray gun, and the hair was straightened with a fine-tooth comb.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Ordinary fur cleaning (sheep skin).

Washing solvent: 95% alcohol Common dose: Alcohol 200-250ml

Washing powder: Talc powder Common dosage: Talc 500-1000g

Washing method: Put the fur on the figure air mold, spray the alcohol solvent evenly onto the blanket with an air spray gun, repeatedly rub the hair quilt with a sponge duster, supplement with a gentle rubbing, sweep the hair with a brush Powder, and then use air spray gun to clean the powder, with a sparse comb to the hair to be straight forward to clear the finishing.

Midori-shanghai-designer

White plush yellowing treatment.

Washing solution: hydrogen peroxide, water ratio 1:10

Washing method: Put the fur on the figure air mold, spray the solution evenly onto the blanket with an air spray gun, fully wet for 5 minutes, gently brush with a short-haired brushing solution from top to bottom, and finally use a water spray gun to coat the hair. Rinse thoroughly, place in a cool, dry place, and clean the hair in a straight line.

Midori-shanghai-designer

These are the methods of care and washing for the kinds of furs we wear on a daily basis.

Midori-shanghai-designer

If you don’t have any questions about this, let’s move on to the next topic, which may be of interest to you.

Midori-shanghai-designer

The application of fur in society.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Since the application of dermis involves the killing of animals, how do you think about this problem? (30 min)

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people indiscriminately kill wild animals in the drive of their interests, leaving some rare wild animals on the verge of extinction,anyone agree that?

Midori-shanghai-designer

With the increase of human morality and civilization, the concept of environmental protection has received more and more attention. Fur and environmental protection have become the subject of constant controversy. What do you think?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainable sourcing

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

can real fur sourcing be ethical and sustainable?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Well I guess everybody agree

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

That’s what is going on

Midori-shanghai-designer

That’s what’s at issue.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Fur is so unnecessary

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I don’t think so

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

As long as it means killing a living creature

Midori-shanghai-designer

also,fur used a lot of chemicals in the production process for degreasing and cleaning, such as formaldehyde. Damage to the surrounding water quality and the environment. This is contrary to the current concept of low-carbon environmental protection.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

fur has been part of humanity society since early homo sapiens.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

And there have been so many leaked videos about the conditions of the animals.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

so no real fur will be change of our mindset

Midori-shanghai-designer

Besides, if you don’t have real fur, will you be wearing fur imitation clothes?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes, but back then the fur was used for survival reasons

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

keep warmth

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

fur is excellent on this

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Of course

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

like duck or Goose down

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

also wool is a superior fiber

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

But aren’t other materials now very good in keeping us warm as well?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

not as good

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

down is breathable

Midori-shanghai-designer

But will the production of imitation fur also cause pollution to the environment?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Yes it will

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Now there is a question what is better

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

In terms of protecting the environment

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

all those polyester based padding doesnt breath so well and not easy to have same level of warmth but technology is improving

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people have suggested that “for a piece of clothing, whether or not animals should be given a cruel price,” so-called no-buy, no harm, how consumers should take action.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

It depends much on consumers’ attitude

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

we should focus on low impact on the environment and longevity of the product

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

So , whatever we do we impact the environment as little as possible for sustainable living for mankind @Alena~Shanghai~AGL reused

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Can fur be recycled?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

for sure

Midori-shanghai-designer

So,inrecentyears,manybrandshavecalledforaboycottoffur.Doesthiswork So, in recent years, many brands have called for a boycott of fur. Does this work?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer when u boycott . somebody somewhere may Lose their job

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Doesn’t it get bad with age

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL depends on your care

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

just think low impact

Midori-shanghai-designer

yep~~

Midori-shanghai-designer

so,how to get fur into sustainable fashion (30min)

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

everyone do their part… step by step approach

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

reuse old fur

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

yes,especially farm consumers,every one of us

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

use fur that related to food industry?

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

How?

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

You use the fur of the animals that is used for food industry…

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Heather-Wuhan-AGL not sure i am not familiar

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Finding new ways to produce textiles

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Also an option

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL yea that can have lower impact

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

True

Midori-shanghai-designer

Different ways of producing and processing materials means that they have different effects on the environment. As we all know, there are risks in the production of petroleum compounds, such as the pollution from the chemical refining process to the toxic chemicals emitted during the production of chemical fiber fabrics. However, there are deficiencies in each fabric, including organic fabrics. For example, traditional methods of cotton cultivation use large amounts of water, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides, which also destroy the habitat of wild animals. In the case of agricultural farming, waste treatment also needs to be considered. Another consideration is the environmental impact of raw materials and garments. Clothing entirely produced and sold locally has less impact on the environment than garments produced and sold in multiple locations, such as the production of chemical fiber garments, oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, processing into fabrics in China, sewing in Vietnam, and then selling in Europe.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

But there wouldn’t be sufficient supply

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

yeah

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

price would go up and more ppl would enter

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

And there we go again

Midori-shanghai-designer

sorry,this is too long

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

There should be only a law enforcement

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

and may lead to more animal getting killed

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL u know what this leads to hahah

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Haha

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Sure

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Viciouscircl

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Circle

Midori-shanghai-designer

Some people think that farmed fur is also environmentally friendly

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainable living for mankind and sustainable economic growth

Midori-shanghai-designer

Materials can be divided into two categories: organic materials (plants and animals) and inorganic materials (coal, petroleum, ore, etc.).

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I just wish there weren’t those Russian fur farms where the skin the animals alive and leave them to die

Midori-shanghai-designer

Organic materials are sustainable because they can be regenerated; plants and animals can continue to grow and can be continuously replenished. Common in clothing are cotton, linen, bamboo, wool, natural fur, down and leather. Inorganic materials are not sustainable because they cannot be regenerated; once they are consumed, they really disappear, unless more inorganic materials can be found. Important inorganic materials used in chemical fiber clothing are synthesized from petroleum such as acrylic and polyester.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL yeah,that’s the most cruel part

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer goes back to sustainable farming

Midori-shanghai-designer

yep

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

controlled forest

Midori-shanghai-designer

Natural fur farming, like other animal husbandry, is inherently sustainable because farmers can decide on the number of animals to feed based on market conditions

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer u always need to predict

Midori-shanghai-designer

We can indirectly believe that aquaculture is actually conducive to wild hunting because of the high demand for farmed animals while reducing the pressure of wild hunting.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Fur farming also minimizes the impact on the environment through other means, such as the use of human food residues for animal feeding; the use of manure as agricultural organic fertilizers; and the conversion of carcasses into biofuels.

Midori-shanghai-designer

and what do you think about it?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer is good start

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Hmmm I guess

Midori-shanghai-designer

Natural fur is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. It comes from the sustainable production of natural materials, uses rather gentle production processes, and ultimately makes durable and recyclable garments that provide decades of warmth. After being comfortable, it will eventually be fully biodegraded.

Midori-shanghai-designer

Of course, I know what you are thinking: The truth about natural fur (Truth About Fur website) promotes natural fur, so it is not surprising that we praise it.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

what about the use of artificial fur?

Midori-shanghai-designer

Although artificial leather is considered to be friendly to animals, its production process and non-recyclable and non-degradable properties are also indirectly harmful to the environment .@Heather-Wuhan-AGL

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Is there any other solution then getting sustainable!

Christine-Shanghai-Group founder

true. no perfect leather

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer they are making bio based leather

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

like modern meadows

Christine-Shanghai-Group founder

to get fur farm animals is also a solution for ecology system.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Alena~Shanghai~AGL we are getting more and more sustainable which is a good direction

Midori-shanghai-designer

These chemical fiber garments will be sent to landfills when they are abandoned. The resulting tiny plastic particles will then damage our oceans.

Christine-Shanghai-Group founder

yes.

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Vincent-shanghai-Incubator  Is this biodegradable?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer well i dont see this a long term solution

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

people r working towards solving problems by having less landfills

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer not sure how long will take for fully biodegradable

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

compose is not a good solution cause not long lasting

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

i have a PLA based poly bag is my office and is biodegradable but…getting thinner and thinner every time I show people.

Heather-Wuhan-AGL

that’s interesting

Midori-shanghai-designer

But if the clothing material we produce has a high durability of 3-5 years, it may reduce the degradation pressure.

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

I see

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

PLA is from corn starch and if everything turns into PLA then will compete with our food source…means more farmland?

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Vincent-shanghai-Incubator  interesting

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer so how do brands have a sustainable business model?

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

sustainability is not just environmental impact and working condition

Midori-shanghai-designer

Does the brand do the recycling of this part of the sustainable business model like h&m

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer they certainly can

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

i am going send my scrap polyester fabrics to recyclers to make recycled polyester yarns

Midori-shanghai-designer

But not many brands have the same ability to handle these used clothes as they do with H & M.

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer is not that hard

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

if any local brands want to do it i can help

Midori-shanghai-designer

@Vincent-shanghai-Incubator -shanghai-Incubator expect that

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

@Midori-shanghai-designer h&m outsource this to another company I collect

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

as long as u have the mindset to take the initiate step

Midori-shanghai-designer

I learned. Your offer was good .@Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

key is take 1st step and collaborate

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

Wow

Alena~Shanghai~AGL

That’s interesting @Vincent-shanghai-Incubator

Midori-shanghai-designer

about the topic How to get fur into sustainable fashion my conclusion is

  1. Natural furs from wild hunting and farming are sustainable
  2. Finding new ways to produce textiles

thanks to join in the discussion!

 

 

China Power: 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting

Wu Haiyan of China Academy of Art is sharing her thoughts on the relationship between design, art and society on 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting. Forbes China will announce the 2015 winners of the Most Influential Designers and the Most Promising Designers later.

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The meeting is taking place in Liangzhu, a small town in #Hangzhou. Forbes selected the list of the candidates through the recommendation by 40 opinion leaders and experts in each related fields, then assessed the list based on their media exposure and market influence. The finals were eventually selected by a Judge Panel that consisted of 12 professionals. The judges are all guru in the Chinese design field. They included Dean of School of Design and Art, Wu Haiyan; professor of Industrial Design Department at Tsinghua University, Cai Jun; artist Ding Yi; associate dean of School of Urban Design China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Huang Jiancheng; Dean of Institute of Creativity Tongji University, Lou Yongqi; illustration master LuJingren; writer MiaoWei; sculptor QuGuangci, dean of School of Design  CAFA Wang Min; Secretary-general of China Industrial Design Association Ying Fangtian, writer, Yu Qiuyu (I just knew he went to Macau University of Science and Technology to be the dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities), Dean of Peking University School of Architecture and Landscape Design Yu Kongjian.

135460862824951051

The 30 most influential designers according to Forbes Chinese Designers Annual Meeting 2015 include three people in fashion industry. ZhangZhaoda, MaKe and GuoPei. This is a photo of Zhang Zhaoda (second from left) receiving the award.

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ForbesChineseDesignerAnnualMeeting2015. Of the names of 30 Most Promising Designers, there are 5 fashion designers, they are Masha Ma, Ji Cheng, Zhang Chi, Wang Peiyi and Han Lulu. I’m a little surprised two of the most promising Chinese designers Uma Wang and Zhang Huishan are not included. But it’s always difficult for awards to please everyone. Congratulations to Masha Ma and Ji Cheng for winning the finals.

526481053589533583

My most favored talk delivered by one of the most outstanding designers Yang Mingjie. I always feel that China’s design education has been focusing on “how” to do design, but ignoring the definition of design and what is design for. Yang talked about how design can change the society. The speaker talked about her partnership with One Foundation on tent design for China Ya’an’s Earthquake victims. At first he wanted to do some cliché cool design, but later he found that the victims’ desire was “back to home”, so he changed his mind. The house-like tent was his final design. Design is ultimately to serve people, physically and psychologically, rather than simply for visual attraction and self-expression. By the way, Yang also provided design for the interior part of Boeing airplane.

168300700205238777483994464208640214

Walking for Green by China Creative Lab and Xiong Chao is my another favorite design. The designer painted polluted trees on the white canvas, then glued the canvas at the crossroads. They also put a green carpet at where people waiting for traffic lights. People’s shoes are glued with green color when standing on the carpet and later their walking would bring the green color to the ‘polluted trees’. After many people walked by the green carpet and white canvas, the polluted tree became a green tree. This is to tell people that walking can “green” our environment.

 

The True Cost behind the Fashion Industry (part 2): The Solutions

Image

I am not against fashion, rather to invoke how we should design, produce and consume fashion in a more environmental friendly way. Although we have got multiple problems of fashion industry, we should solve them step by step. For example, designers should consider using organic fabric or recycled fabric; manufacturers should take environmental protections and fair trade with labors into consideration. Consumers are supposed to learn about the stories behind the brand besides the price and think about how to deal with remnant clothing, whether you really need to buy the new clothing…

There is already ongoing reformation against social problems caused by the clothing industry. Let’s have a look at what designers from Hong Kong and the West did for this reformation.

@Daniel Silverstein, an independent fashion designer from New York, is doing “zero-waste design”. People outside the industry might not be aware how tremendous waste there is in the textile and clothing industry – on average nearly 30%-40% of the fabrics are wasted (plus the unsold inventory clothing and second-hand clothing, can you imagine how tremendous the waste is? So as someone who is not working in this industry, why should you care? In fact you should! ‘Cos it is related with everyone’s life! First of all, all the wasted materials are counted into the production cost, which eventually will be paid by you – consumers. Don’t blame the factories. It is the nature of business – you count in all your cost and add up mark-up for profit – just like any other industries do. Otherwise no one will make profit. Next, the textile and clothing industry consumes a lot of energy and resources, especially water. Take a simple cotton T-shirt for example. It takes around 1500 liters to plant the cotton needed for one T-shirt. To compare, an average person consumes 30 liters of water every day. Now think about the cotton T-shirts – after consuming so much energy, and a long production cycle, they will either wasted fabrics or unsold inventory. Even if someone purchased them, they might sleep in people’s wardrobe most of the time and eventually be dumped to somewhere of nowhere. This is the whole circulation of our garments today!

20141016_180337

NY independent designer Daniel Silverstein talking about his concept of “zero-waste design” (Photo by the author)

In Hong Kong, @Cirbaf is an enterprise, which focuses on reusing fabrics left over by factories to make baby shoes and accessories. They use organic materials since baby shoes need to be healthy and soft.Baby shoes are designed and manufactured by Cirbaf. Their products are using leftover of organic fabrics from factories. Besides, all products are made by a group of people with disabilities in sheltered workshops run by Po Leung Kuk or St James’ Settlement. They aim to provide employment opportunities for this group of people who are usually ignored by the mainstream job markets. For people with disabilities, they can gain income and realize social values from their own labor input instead of relying on governmental subsidies. It is a tough process to train them to be equipped with manufacturing techniques. So manufacturing procedures cannot be too demanding. However, once they master the technique, each of them will complete each step with their whole heart. Nobody would complain or idle away the time. Many might think that it is hard for people with disabilities to work. There are actually many types of disabilities. As long as one is willing to work, most can qualify for employment.

2015-02 cirbaf

Baby shoes made from unused fabrics by people with disabilities. (Photo by author)

cirbaf2

Denim laptop bags made from unused denim fabrics

More and more designers from the west and Hong Kong start to focus on sustainable fashion. Consumers in the west are also getting more aware of this issue. There are many different approaches to support sustainable fashion, zero-waste is just one of them. Others include the use of organic fabrics, and up-cycling techniques, such as, to re-design or re-make second-hand clothing. Simply speaking, sustainable fashion is to design, manufacture and consume fashion in a sustainable way (benefits to the environment, humanity and also labor force). China, as the world manufacturing factory and also the biggest consumer market, actually needs urgent changes in this aspect. We all care about the issue of poisonous air, but actually we are the one who produce the poisonous air. The unsold inventory clothing and the clothes we discarded in daily life mostly end up in landfills, the waste of which is actually one of the major pollutants to air quality. As for labor practices, objectively speaking, China has already improved a lot. This is also why garment manufacturers have gradually moved to Southeast Asian markets which supply cheaper labor. However, it is still hard to say the problems of labor practices are completely solved in China. Both enterprises and designers should take the responsibility to improve the situation of labor practices.

Textile & clothing enterprises and fashion designers in China mustraise awareness on social problems caused by clothing industry, and strengthen their social responsibilities. Unfortunately in China, we tend to blindly take the fashion mode which has already been rejected in the west. For example, “fast fashion” from @H&M, which we have been greatly worshipped by many Chinese enterprises, is actually criticized by most environmental institutions because this mode produced large amounts of waste. Designers shouldn’t just consider uniqueness, aesthetics or quality, but they need also think about whether the fabric they use would affect the environment, whether the fabric quality is durable and whether the labor practices are fair or not. Because designer brands are not cheap, workers also deserve to share a fairly good treatment.

All in all, the sustainable development of clothing industry is the responsibility of every citizen living on this planet.

The True Cost behind the Fashion Industry (part 1): the cost of life

Regardless which industry you are in, as long as you wear clothes, you should watch this documentary called @“the True Cost” by @Andrew Morgan. For most of people who are not in the fashion industry, what they usually care are the price, quality and style. Even to the people who are within the industry, what we understand is merely the area that we are working on. Sales people only know how the clothes are sold – but very few of them understand how clothes are made. For advertiser, they only know how to mix & match clothes to make them more attractive to consumers. They may not know and even care about the production story behind the clothes. This documentary first time honestly recorded a comprehensive stories happening in the fashion industry and how the fashion industry has impacted the planet that we are living.

20150610_154320

a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

Believe or not, textile and clothing industry is the second largest industry producing the pollution in this world, just next to oil industry. Obviously this is a consequence of conspicuous consumption of clothing. The invention of fast and cheap fashion makes consumers throw away the clothing like garbage. However, the expense of creating such glamorous outlook is conspicuous consumption of energy, environmental pollution and extremely cheap labor.

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

Let us start from the starting point of fashion supply chain –cotton. In the old traditional agriculture community, people planted by hand and nurtured naturally. People and nature lived in harmony. The industrialization and capitalization request everything be produced in a rapid speed and massive scale. As a result, people use chemical fertilizer, pesticide and transgenic technique to boom the output. The worse consequence is – the soil got polluted very badly. People who grow cotton got sick.

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

A more cruel fact is the companies who provide fertilizer and pesticide to these farms are also pharmacy manufacturers. On one side, they sell fertilizer and pesticide to farmers and make money from them; on the other side, they sell the medicines to farmers whose illness was caused by the fertilizer and pesticide.Some of the companies sell the fertilizers and pesticide to farmers on credits, eventually when farmers cannot return the debit these companies collect the farmers’ land to offset their liabilities. This is sadly the true “supply chain” of this industry.

The cotton will be then collected from the field and sent to the textile factories, where cotton will be further spun into yarn then into cloth. Textile production requires a huge volume of water particularly for cotton. Moreover the dyeing and finishing processing produce huge pollution because most of dyeing materials are made of chemistry. The polluted water eventually flows into the river or sea.

Cheap labor is another notorious problem of fashion industry. In 2013, nearly thousands of garment workers died from an accidental collapse of the factory building in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is taking the place of China and becoming the garment manufacturing center for the world. When you hear that these workers only get less than 3 USD per day, you might want to blame the factories owners. However, the owners of the factories responded “[the brand told me] the consumers only want to pay 5 USD for a T-shirt. How much shall I pay to my workers?” Most people think the brands and factories made lots of money from the clothing – in fact as far as I know the net income after tax of most fashion companies are less than 5%. Fashion industry is not as profitable as many people expect, particularly today. As a reader, your first response would be “How am I related to all of this? As a consumer of fashion, what role do I play in it?”

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

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Cambodia is garment manufacturing center because of their cheap labor. The above picture shows a demonstration by a group of garment workers in Cambodia. Their appealing was simple but also touching: “We are not asking for higher salary but a decent salary, a salary can give us dignity”. Unfortunately, the demonstration was finally turned into bloodshed because of violent interference from the police.

In the fashion industry, we have seen various problems such as the pollution problem, the labor issue etc, what exactly caused the problem? The greed of capitalists, the conspicuous consumption of consumers, or what else? What do you think? How does it relate to me?

Most people consider that it is the greed of capitalists and those social problems of fashion industry, such as, environmental pollution, resources waste or labor issue. The truth is, as long as you wear clothes, you are the cause of those problems. When you are criticizing the low wages of those factories, were you actually also happy about buying beautiful clothes at low prices? When you are always ready to follow the trend led by celebrities, did you realize the money you paid actually goes to the celebrities instead of the workers who made the clothes? So it is not just industrial people’s mission – but yours too!

My Tour to Urban Farm and Its Triple-Win Mode

I went to an urban farm in NYC. It is next to an office building, in which there is a high-end restaurant. The farm receives leftovers from the restaurant everyday, which would be processed into fertilizer. This process happens at the site behind the building, to which costumers have no access. As along as the ingredients of the trash are balanced and the temperature is moderate, there would be no smell coming out.

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The farm locates across the restaurant, filled with vegetables and fruits. Leftovers from tables are processed and then used in the farm as fertilizer. Consumers get chance to eat the fresh organic food while enjoying the green garden and harbor view. The restaurant saves logistics fees and time cost while reducing the pollution caused by motor transportation. The farm owner receives profits from this process. The consumers, the restaurant and the farm, this is a great triple-win model that yields both of commercial profits as well as social significance.

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There are many nicely designed benches in the halls and corridors of office buildings and schools in NYC, which endow the buildings an aesthetic taste as well as a warm feeling.

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Documentary “The True Cost” Reveals the True Cost behind Fashion Industry

Regardless which industry you are in, as long as you wear clothes, you should watch this documentary called “the True Cost”. For most of people who are not in the fashion industry, what they usually care are the price, quality and style. Even to the people who are within the industry, what we understand is merely the area that we are working on. Sales people only know how the clothes are sold – but very few of them understand how clothes are made. For advertiser, they only know how to mix & match clothes to make them more attractive to consumers. They may not know and even care about the production story behind the clothes. This documentary first time honestly recorded a comprehensive stories happening in the fashion industry and how the fashion industry has impacted the planet that we are living. Again, this article does not mean to anti-fashion, rather to invoke how we should design, produce and consume fashion in a more environmental friendly way.

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Believe or not, textile and clothing industry is the second largest industry producing the pollution in this world, just next to oil industry. Obviously this is a consequence of conspicuous consumption of clothing. The invention of fast and cheap fashion makes consumers throw away the clothing like garbage. However, the expense of creating such glamorous outlook is conspicuous consumption of energy, environmental pollution and extremely cheap labor.

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Let us start from the starting point of fashion supply chain –cotton. In the old traditional agriculture community, people planted by hand and nurtured naturally. People and nature lived in harmony. The industrialization and capitalization request everything be produced in a rapid speed and massive scale. As a result, people use chemical fertilizer, pesticide and transgenic technique to boom the output. The worse consequence is – the soil got polluted very badly. People who grow cotton got sick. The woman in the picture is a cotton farmer in Texas. Her husband died of cancer at the age of 50 due to the contamination of chemical materials. She is planting organic cotton now.

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A more cruel fact is the companies who provide fertilizer and pesticide to these farms are also pharmacy manufacturers. On one side, they sell fertilizer and pesticide to farmers and make money from them; on the other side, they sell the medicines to farmers whose illness was caused by the fertilizer and pesticide.

Some of the companies sell the fertilizers and pesticide to farmers on credits, eventually when farmers cannot return the debit these companies collect the farmers’ land to offset their liabilities. In India, over 250 K farmers have suicide because of this type of issue (according to the documentary). In the pictures it is a small town in India that planting cotton. Due to the soil pollution, the birth rate of deformed children is extremely high and large amount of people die of cancer every year.

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The cotton will be then collected from the field and sent to the textile factories, where cotton will be further spun into yarn then into cloth. Textile production requires a huge volume of water particularly for cotton. Moreover the dyeing and finishing processing produce huge pollution because most of dyeing materials are made of chemistry. The polluted water eventually flows into the river or sea.

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The following pictures demonstrate the scene several years ago in Bangladesh where nearly thousand of garment workers died from an accidental collapse of the factory building. Bangladesh is taking the place of China and becoming the garment manufacturing center for the world. When you hear that these workers only get less than 3 USD per day, you might want to blame the factories owners. However, the owners of the factories responded “[the brand told me] the consumers only want to pay 5 USD for a T-shirt. How much shall I pay to my workers?” Most people think the brands and factories made lots of money from the clothing – in fact as far as I know the net income after tax of most fashion companies are less than 5%. Fashion industry is not as profitable as many people expect, particularly today. So where does the money go? Will the problems be solved if consumers pay more?

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This worker is from a garment factory in Bangladesh and she said, “Sometimes I hope people don’t wear clothing, in this way my fellow workers would not get hurt or killed…the clothing is made of blood of my fellow workers…”

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The following pictures show a demonstration by a group of garment workers in Cambodia. Their appealing was simple but also touching: “We are not asking for higher salary but a decent salary, a salary can give us dignity”. Unfortunately, the demonstration was finally turned into bloodshed because of violent interference from the police.

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In the fashion industry, we have seen various problems such as the pollution problem, the labor issue etc, what exactly caused the problem? The greed of capitalists, the conspicuous consumption of consumers, or what else? What do you think?

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EFM – Fashion News Express

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Angelina Jolie’s new jewelry line to fund girls’ school in Afghanistan

Jolie partnered up with Procop after meeting him when he designed the engagement ring given to her by Brad Pitt last April. Together, the two have designed a line of jewelry partially inspired by jewels that the actress has worn herself, including a black and gold necklace she donned at the premier of “Salt.” Style of Jolie will also include other fine jewelry such as a cushion cut black necklace, an oversized pear shaped citrine necklace and other rings, earrings and bracelets and will kick off sales on April 4th.

Profits from the collaboration will benefit Education Partnership for Children in Conflict, a charity founded by Jolie in 2010. Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has already opened two schools for girls in Afghanistan, in areas with high refugee populations.

Jolie and Procop’s altruistic and elegant line will be available first at Kansas City retailer, Tivol, starting this Thursday.

Uber-activist Angelina Jolie plans to open another girls school in Afghanistan, funded by a new jewelry line that will be available this week. Called “Style of Jolie,” Angelina herself had a hand in designing the wares, along with jewelry designer Robert Procop. Sales from the anticipated line will help educate the 200-300 Afghani girls that are enrolled in the school that opened last November, with plans to open more schools in the near future.

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6 Celebrities Who Wore Eco-Fashion to the 2013 Oscars

Who says that glamour and sustainability are mutually exclusive? As Tinseltown’s biggest night unfurled on Sunday, any doubt that the two could coexist was put to bed faster than one of Seth McFarlane’s razor-barbed quips. From a doe-eyed triple threat who “dreamed a dream” to a Bond Girl who shook and stirred, here are the marquee names who turned the red carpet green at the 2013 Oscars.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Reigning Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway paired her inordinately…um…“perky” Prada dress with custom cruelty-free pumps from Giuseppe Zanotti. Requesting faux-leather kicks from leading footwear designers is becoming an M.O. for the newly vegan actress. Hathaway made her rounds at earlier awards in “veganized” Tom Ford gladiator boots and Jimmy Choo peep-toe heels.

HELEN HUNT

Helen Hunt hit the red carpet not in an overblown confection by Georgio Armani or Dior, but rather an unfussy midnight-blue silk-satin gown from H&M. The Best Supporting Actress nominee didn’t make that decision on a lark. H&M recently named Global Green U.S.A., the American affiliate of Green Cross International and a cause Hunt supports, as the U.S. beneficiary of the retailer’s newly launchedclothing-recycling program. Another connection? Hunt was on the host committee of the nonprofit’s annual pre-Oscar bash, which doubled on Wednesday as a celebration of the partnership.

NAOMIE HARRIS

Skyfall actress Naomie Harris opted for a daringly slit gown by Ghanian designer Michael Badger, winner of this year’s “Red Carpet Green Dress” challenge. Brought to life by Vivienne Westwood’s atelier and the Royal School of Needlework (the same folks who created the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown, by the by), the Cradle-to-Cradle-certified number featured Global Organic Textile Standard-certified silk crepe de chine, recycled zippers, vintage glass beads, hand-embroidered chocolate-candy-wrapper embellishments, and a pale mustard hue derived from a natural—and supposedly therapeutic—dye bath of goldenrod and chamomile seeds.

LIANNE SPIDERBABY

Writer-actress Lianne Spiderbaby,, who saw her date, director Quentin Tarantino, go on to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained, wore a hand-beaded, American-madeMara Hoffman gown.

MICHELLE OBAMA

First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise cameo at theOscars when she appeared via satellite on to announce the nominees for Best Picture. (Argo won, for those keeping score at home.) FLOTUS wore a custom, Art Deco-inspired silver sheath by Indian-born American designer Naeem Khan, whose designs are chiefly manufactured in the United States. If the dress looks familiar, your eyes don’t deceive you. Obama wore the same outfit to the governors’ dinner at the White House earlier that evening—all the better to multitask, of course.

LIVIA FIRTH

Livia Firth had a relatively mellow Oscars night. The Eco Age creative director, who co-founded the“Green Carpet Challenge” in 2010 to raise sustainable fashion’s profile on the Hollywood red carpet, skipped the bright lights of The Dolby Theatre for the 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in West Hollywood Park. Mrs. Colin Firth, whose husband was away shooting a movie, appeared in a Grace Kelly-inspired dress by New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead, who used fully traceable GOTS-certified silk organza.

 

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H&M still worlds no.1 buyer of organic cotton

As the biggest global user of certified-organic cotton for the second year running, H&M has plenty to crow about. The revelation comes courtesy of Textile Exchange, a nonprofit organization whose Organic Cotton Market Report looks back on 2011 as a “year of contradictions” filled with peaks and valleys. Among the high points? H&M, which not only maintained its position as the No. 1 buyer of certified-organic cotton but also increased its use of the white stuff by nearly 100 percent in 2011.

The Swedish fast-fashion retailer began using organic cotton in earnest in 2004. Three years later, it offered its first 100 percent organic-cotton garments, followed by the semi-regular Conscious Collection in 2011. Organic cotton, according to Textile Exchange, now represents 7.6 percent of H&M’s total cotton use. Combined with expected future growth in the use of “Better Cotton”, the company says it’s on track to sourcing 100 percent of its cotton from “more sustainable” sources by 2020.
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“We congratulate H&M for again leading the list of the biggest users of certified organic cotton in the world,” says LaRhea Pepper, managing director of Textile Exchange. “H&M’s ambitious program continues to drive demand for organic cotton and other more sustainable fibres. This supports farmers, encourages innovation and with its fashion-forward Conscious Collections, H&M lifts more sustainable fashion to scale. This strategic work serves as a model for adopting and expanding the use of greener materials in the fashion industry.”

As a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, an initiative whose partners include the World Wildlife Fund and Solidaridad, H&M has invested more than €2 million in helping hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers grow their crops with less water, fewer chemicals, and greater dignity.

The road to healthier cotton hasn’t hasn’t always been easy, but H&M says it wants to make the environmentally friendly option an accessible alternative. “We plan to further increase our use of organic cotton in the future, beside making strong investments in Better Cotton and gradually increasing our use of recycled cotton,” says Henrik Lampa, sustainability manager product at H&M. “Cotton is the raw material we use the most and our good progress against our goal means major improvements for people and the environment in cotton-producing communities.”

 

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Healthy Food in Fashion: Gala Raises Funds to Feed NYC Schoolchildren

The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food held a fundraiser on Wednesday at the New York Academy of Medicine, a magnificent old medical library with engraved wood details, shelves of handsome book spines up to the ceiling, warm wood furniture, and moody lighting. Situated throughout the space, models glowed under spotlights, styled by designers in cutting-edgesustainable fashion. The crowd mingled, enjoying the fashion presentation, a silent auction, as well as delectable plant-based food and cocktails crafted by sponsoring restaurants and student chefs from Food and Finance High School. “Healthy Food in Fashion” was hosted by the infamous radio personality Robin Quivers, and by the end of the event, crucial funds were raised for their groundbreaking work on behalf of New York schoolchildren.

Besides feting vegan treats from 24 vendors, the evening also showcased designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Heather Mills, VPL by Victoria Bartlett, John Bartlett, Novacas for Brave GentleMan, Thieves by Sonja den Elzen, Olsenhaus, Angelrox, Cri de Coeur,DLC Brooklyn, Vaute Couture, GUNAS, and Study NY by Tara St. James. The models were all gracious volunteers, cast by model agent and activist Valerie Oula, with hair and makeup by a team of Aveda students under the direction of Eden Di Bianco, a cruelty-free hair and makeup artist and stylist.

Healthy food for school kids in New York (and everywhere) is as much a no-brainer as an ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Both of these things seem like common sense, and even from the most selfish and purely economic perspective, these goals are about maximizing longevity, minimizing enormous expenses, and preventing major problems down the road.

From a compassionate and revolutionary perspective, these ideals represent a cultural shift from one that prioritizes the cheapest and easiest profits at any cost to one of intelligent, careful, thorough, and compassionate planning that maximizes long-term well-being without compromising taste or pleasure.

The NYCHSF is revolutionizing the way schools feed children. Traditionally, children are fed a highly processed, meat- and cheese-based diet that strongly resembles fast food. The NYCHSF is changing that by not only developing and introducing healthy homemade vegetarian entrees, but also by training cafeteria staff and management, school officials, parents, teachers, and children to focus on healthier, delicious plant-based food. Healthy food truly was in fashion at this amazing event!

 

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Stewart Brown: Does “Made in China” Clothing Get an Unfairly Bad Rap?

To answer bluntly, yes, China does get an unfair rap due to various health, human-rights, and environmental issues that have surfaced over the years, along with recent anti-fast-fashionsentiment. This is also a question we asked ourselves before Stewart + Brown, which is produced mostly in the United States, embarked on working with Chinese production facilities for some of our knits. Through our research, as well as personal experience, we discovered that with the bad also comes the good.

DIFFERENT STROKES

The best advice we can give regarding the ethics of buying clothing manufactured in China is for customers to do some due diligence on what goes on behind the “Made in China” label on their would-be purchase. Every company operates differently.

At Stewart + Brown, we value our Chinese vendors for their centuries-old wisdom, expertise, andpride in craftsmanship. We’ve visited and continue to check in with the factories we work with in China on a regular basis. Our partners are family-run businesses that follow very stringent regulations and labor practices, while maintaining the cleanest working conditions.

BRASS TACKS

Minimizing our impact on the environment and treating people with dignity are two of our brand’s precepts. Our factories in China operate according to fair-trade guidelines, just like the ones we work with in the United States and Mongolia. This means that all factories are required to:

1. Create a safe, non-hazardous, and productive environment for all workers, including access to first aid and the eschewal of toxic carcinogens.

2. Treat labor in a fair way, which includes providing clean working environments, restrooms, regular breaks, fair and regulated wages, and overtime pay. And absolutely no underage labor.

3. Adhere to environmental regulations including treating and purifying all waste water, recycling raw materials when possible, and no illegal waste dumping.

FACTORY CONDITIONS

One of our factories in China is the very same one that Patagonia uses for its production. Patagonia probably has one of the most stringent environmental and fair-labor rules in the entire apparel industry.

Another interesting piece of info is that this facility is actually one of China’s first-ever “green” factories. The owner, who is also a personal friend, worked with the Chinese government to establish a new protocol for eco-friendly apparel-factory conditions. This particular factory, not only adheres toCSCC standards, but it also uses solar power, as well.

In short, for good or for ill, there is no one-size-fits-all box for made-in-China manufacturing. It’s up to us to be educated consumers, to make mindful purchases, and to support companies that are operating in an ethical and conscious manner, no matter where that may be.

 

Source: http://www.ecouterre.com

EFM – Sustainable Fashion

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Translated/ Edited by Sherry Chen

 

A Final Embrace

Many powerful photographs have been made in the aftermath of the devastating collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. But one photo, by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, has emerged as the most heart wrenching, capturing an entire country’s grief in a single image.

“I have been asked many questions about the photograph of the couple embracing in the aftermath of the [Rana Plaza building] collapse [in Bangladesh]. I have tried desperately, but have yet to find any clues about them…Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable—it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number—not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious, too.

They are witnesses in this cruel history of workers being killed. The death toll is now more than [1,127]. What a harsh situation we are in, where human beings are treated only as numbers.

This photo is haunting me all the time. If the people responsible don’t receive the highest level of punishment, we will see this type of tragedy again. There will be no relief from these horrific feelings. I’ve felt a tremendous pressure and pain over the past two weeks surrounded by dead bodies. As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen.”

Shahidul Alam, Bangladeshi photographer, writer and founder of Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, said of the photo: “This image, while deeply disturbing, is also hauntingly beautiful. An embrace in death, its tenderness rises above the rubble to touch us where we are most vulnerable. By making it personal, it refuses to let go. This is a photograph that will torment us in our dreams. Quietly it tells us. Never again.”

 

 

The Shadow Unseen

It’s not saying that we should never buy new clothes because we certainly do. Some people still buy well-made dresses and tailored jackets but more and more we should be conscious of where the clothes are from and the impact they have had both sociologically and environmentally on the planet.

Jo Wood, activist and promoter of ethical fashion, said, “I am a total organic, live a strict an organic lifestyle and am passionate about being aware of where food, cosmetics, and clothes have come from. The more I have explored the path that consumables have taken to reach their buyers, the more concerned I have become about the ethical state we find ourselves in.”

Over 90 million items of clothing are thrown away each year in UK alone. It seems to have become a habitual pleasure to throw something away and go straight back to the shops for more. Part of the cause of this problem is with the major distributors battling to provide the cheapest possible price for their consumer.

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Garment workers throughout the globe are traditionally paid the minimum wage and work long hours in substandard, environmentally hostile conditions in order to produce the clothes that we take for granted. In the developing world, countries such as Indonesia and China mass-produce enough clothes to reach to the moon and back every day. This routine production and exploitation in the name of fashion means we can buy a new T-shirt for 50p while retailers reap huge profits from these suffering workers.

Over two thirds of the world’s cotton is grown in developing countries and the former Soviet Union. Valued at over $32 billion every year, global cotton production should be improving lives. But this “white gold” too often brings misery. Along with the poverty and appalling working conditions created, the impact environmentally is enormously detrimental due to the chemicals used and the vast distances these items have to travel to get to the future buyers.

The problems don’t stop there.

Discarded clothing and shoes are typically sent to landfill. There, textiles present particular problems. Synthetic products do not decompose. Woollen garments do, but in doing so they produce methane, which contributes to global warming and climate change.

At a time when the issue of global waste is on the political lips of leaders all over the world it is time to decide how we can do our bit. In a very basic sense it means that we take into account worker’s rights, social justice and environmental issues. Ethical fashion is about being creative and embracing eclectic style. It’s about cutting up an old T-shirt, some old jeans or a dress that’s been hiding for years to give it new life. Dusting off those belts and hats. It’s about being cautious about what you throw away; it’s about wearing fashion that respects our planet; it’s about creating a demand for ethical products so big fashion houses rethink their strategy. Ethical fashion is about buying garments from suppliers you can trust. Ethical fashion has cool scribbled all over it.

The chance to make a big change is here; we just need to take it.

 

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Green Fashion Is More Than a Passing Trend

In a society obsessed with instant gratification, novelty, and conspicuous consumption, it’s easy to dismiss fashion design as frivolous. Skirt lengths and platform heights appear inconsequential when juxtaposed with real-world concerns like climate change, economic strife, water shortages, and hunger and malnutrition. But if you consider the fact that clothing is something we envelope our bodies in every single day, to ignore the apparel industry’s environmental and social impact would be negligent, not to mention foolhardy.

$2 billion of hazardous pesticides are used every year to grow cotton—more than any other agricultural crop.

Clothing uses more water than any other industry besides agriculture. Conventional cotton, which is grown in more than 70 countries and comprises almost 50 percent of textiles worldwide, also happens to be the most toxic crop in the world. Roughly $2 billion of hazardous chemical pesticides are released into the air every year, accounting for 16 percent of global insecticides—more than any other agricultural crop. (To put this in context, it takes about a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow enough cotton for a T-shirt.) The World Health Organization estimates that at least 3 million people are poisoned by pesticides every year, resulting in 220,000 deaths worldwide annually. In rural communities, where poverty prevents farm workers from taking the necessary precautions, miscarriages, premature births, and sickly children are ubiquitous.

Like any good product design, clothing production can be accomplished in a better, smarter, and more socially and environmentally sustainable way.

We seek to change people’s minds about what “fashion” design entails beyond fleeting fads and mindless consumerism. Like any good product design, clothing production can be accomplished in a better, smarter, and more socially and environmentally sustainable way. And we’re not the only ones who think so. Organic clothing, produced without toxic pesticides and dipped in low-impact dyes, is gaining popularity across the globe. In 2006, retail sales of organic cotton products reached $1.1 billion globally—85 percent higher than the year before, according to the Organic Exchange. Organic cotton is by no means alone on the playing field. With improved technology, other strange and wonderful eco-fabrics have entered the fray, from salmon leather to fiber derived from milk.

We’re excited about the future of fashion design and think that it’s time for hardcore fashionistas and hardcore greenies alike to start paying attention to eco-fashion—and, more important, start engaging in dialogue with one other. We hope that we will provide that forum, paving the way to a smarter, more sustainable future.

 

Eco Fashion

Eco fashion is a generic term that can mean many things. To us, eco fashion is a holistic concept that refers to all fashion products that have been created in such a way as to contribute to a healthier and more equal world. On this website we use several criteria to differentiate products in our guide. For a more in-depth look at these concepts, check out our Glossary section.

Vegan: Products that have been made without the use of leather or animal tissue products. Examples are shoes and bags made from “vegetal leather” using Amazonian rubber instead of animal skins or other recycled or man-made materials.

Ethically Produced: Ethical fashion is fashion that has been produced with respect for people and the environment. Although there are existing certifications for Organic and Fair Trade, we want to encourage companies who are taking significant action but don’t qualify for certification. This might include companies producing locally or on small scales in developed countries, who might not qualify for Fair Trade certification or companies working with farmers to transition to sustainable crops but who might not yet qualify as Organic (which takes a few years). The “Ethic Chic” section of each brand profile should have details on the specific steps of the brand’s ethical production.

Craft/Artisan: Products that have been crafted using artisan skills such as embroidery, which preserve the perpetuation of ancestral traditions.

Custom: Also called demi-couture or made-to-order. This is a way of encouraging quality and “slow fashion” over mass-produced disposable fashion.

Fair Trade Certified: An organized movement that promotes standards for international labor (such as reasonable work hours, no child labor, the right to unionize, a fair living wage), environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to production of goods. Fair Trade focuses on exports from developing countries to developed countries. Some Fair Trade certification organizations include: FLO www.fairtrade.net, IFAT www.ifat.org, TransFair (Canada and US) www.transfairusa.org andwww.transfair.ca.

Organic: Natural fibers that have been grown without any pesticides and other toxic materials, preserving the health of humans and the environment. The process of organic growth can be certified by various organizations.

Recycled: Anything that has been made from already existing materials, fabrics, metals or fibers. These are often reclaimed from previously made clothing and accessories and reworked into new ones. Fibers can also be re-purposed from pre-existing fabric, re-spun and reused for new garments.

Vintage/Second-Hand: Vintage is a generic term for new or second-hand garments created in the period from the 1920’s to 1975. However, the term is often used more generally for second-hand clothes or up-cycled clothes (second-hand clothes that have been given a new life through some sort of customization).

 

Supporting Ethical Fashion on a Tight Budget

Many of us want to make a difference but can’t afford a $200 sweater to wear with $185 jeans. Here are some ideas to help you make the most ethical choices with your budget. It can be easy to use money as an excuse for making unethical purchases, but with creativity and planning you can use our purchase power to help make the world better.

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Buy less. This simple truth is that we all have more clothes than we need. By committing to buy one ethical shirt instead of two cheaper ones, for example, we can make a positive impact on the supply chain and reign in our consumption. If you’re really ready to rethink your consumption, you can look over your whole budget for places to cut or redirect your spending.

Shop thrift. It takes a little work and a bit of commitment, but you can find fashionable, very affordable clothes at thrift stores. Even if your thrift store treasures were made by exploited people, you’ve saved them from the trash and reduced the consumer demand for new clothes.

Try your hand at homemade. This is for the really adventurous. It may be a challenge to find ethically sourced fabrics, but if you sew your own clothes, you always know exactly how the seamstress was treated. Plus, your stuff will be one of a kind.

While ethical products will always be a bit more expensive than less ethical ones, increased demand will help lower the costs. You likely won’t be able to totally revamp your spending all at once, but that’s okay. Positive progress is a process. Do what you can and don’t be discouraged.

 

 

Final Remarks

 

Being the first magazine in Asia that focuses on sustainable fashion, we hope to eventually promote fashion ethics and keep you updated with the latest news on ethical fashion.

Let us start with small steps, and take our responsiblity for our planet and our own lives.

 

Source:

http://www.ecouterre.com/a-haunting-embrace-amid-the-rubble-of-the-bangladesh-building-collapse/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/22/jowood#ixzz2UhUxzZDJ

National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers (SFD)