Views│What’s the uniqueness of the post-90s designers?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel

 

Recently I have interviewed some post-90s designers in the Shanghai Fashion Week, so I would like to write this essay about my feelings of them.

In my book China Fashion, I only interviewed a group of post-60 to 80 designers. But I have been observing the emerging designers of the post-90 generations for a long time. The eldest post-90s should be at their 27, newly maturing. To interview them in the Shanghai Fashion Week, I did some observation and research in depth.

Compared with the designs of the previous generations, the 20s-year-old designers share some obvious uniqueness. The most distinct point is their overseas background. Many of them graduated from Central Saint Martins College and Parsons School of Design, with apparent signs of their alma maters, especially the ones from Saint Martins. They feature the spirits of revolt and subversion, which is evident no matter what path they follow respectively.

Meanwhile, the era they were brought up in is an Internet one, a westernized one, and an abundant one, which makes them different from their predecessors.

Above all, they are bolder, or as mentioned above, feature the spirits of revolt and subversion, which can be seen from the themes of their designs. They would pay more attention to the social events, such as the equality of labor and the gender issue, as their designs, models and advertisements tends to obscure the genders. The clothes they design could suit both the male and female, which indeed partially from the trends. The model they choose are also with vague gender features, girls without obvious breasts and boys in slim shapes, and even the makeup on the models’ faces could not distinct the gender. All of them could be a kind of discussion on their gender values.

The politics and social issues are the realms that the elder designers would not engage in for the sake of many concerns. So, I would like to say, the youngsters are brave.

In addition, they care little about judgements.

The designers of the post-90s have a kind of self-admiration, and they usually would not be bothered with whether others like their works or not, as long as there is a group of fan, no matter a great pack or a small group, support them. This attitude may be shaped by the customers at the same age.

Specifically, the customers at their 30s to 50s would like to suppose the judgements from others when they are in something new, when the 20s do not take it much seriously at all. The youngsters now only focus on their own style, nothing to do with others. As a result, the combination of brave designers and the brave customers inspires a diverse fashion world for the young.

In this Shanghai Fashion Week, I was an audience of several designer brands, all for young ladies. But the styles are utterly diverse. Some are cute and adorable, and some are neutral, like SHUSHU/TONG, with exquisite sweet style. I also take an interview for MUKZIN, a brand I admire a lot, whose style can be a melting pot for all kinds of cultures, deconstructing many cultural elements. Just like the theme they launched out, “Mountains-Seas Book and the Jurassic Park”, combining the ancient orient legend with the western film. They break the edge of cultures and rebuild them as a mixture, which surprised me a lot. That a brand for ladies could goes like MUKZIN is such a unique style other than the typical lady garment.

In a word, courage and variety should be the best inclusion of the designs of the post-90s designers. They involve all kinds of theme in their designs and chase to be exclusive themselves. They are unique, but how far on earth they could go in the future, I think, may also rely on opportunities.

A Fashion Night In Shanghai

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The party of specialty boutique BLANK. Shanghai is becoming another NYC – the same fashionable people, the same sophisticated lifestyle and endless parties.

 

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The owner of @BLANK @JiJi is also one of the interviewed designers in my book #China Fashion #Conversations With Designers#. I had the honor of meeting some of the most outstanding designers in China. JiJi was chosen because he is the one who has the best business acumen. Starting from offering design service to @Nike and @Coca Cola, he later created his own brand @Hipanda and now BLANK.

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Lifestyle store is also in trend in cosmopolitan city like Shanghai now.

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Uooyaa store in Xintiandi @Shanghai. I think this is going to be one of the most successful Chinese designers’ brands in the coming ten years. Uooyaa is a very earthy brand, featured with bright color and graphic design. The creator used to be the chief designer of @Meters Bonwe, the largest casual brands in China. After graduating from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, he joined Meters Bonwe when it was started from zero, until the company was listed on the stock market.

Dong Liang One Day at Shanghai Fashion Week

 

I spent less time in Shanghai in recent years. Having not gone shopping for a long time, I went to K11 at Huaihai Zhong Road and saw the Shanghai Fashion Week. K11 seems operating quite successful now – attracts most young people here.

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Dong Liang One Day, presentation of Shanghai Fashion Week  is very similar to the fashion activities I attended in New York and London now – except for majority of the participants are Chinese. If China never opens its immigration policy and welcomes talents from other countries, Shanghai will never become a real international city.

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Design of Deepmoss – take a look the latest Chinese designer’s work.

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Designs of several independent designers on ‘Dong Liang One Day’ @ Shanghai Fashion Week. Specialty store is developing rapidly in China in recent 5 years. Dongliang is one of the best in China now. This kind of retail form is very hot now in China – though I personally suspect how many of them will still survive 5 to 10 years later. The problem of doing business in China is – once a model (or a product) turns to be successful, everyone follows/copies it. Particularly I don’t think we have enough good Chinese fashion designers who can support the rapid expansion of the specialty stores. Overseas fashion designers shall explore more opportunities in China!

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It is very clever for Babyghost to fuse the West and East in this way. The style seems very suitable for Asian girls, though it seems that only people with a slim and flat figure like me can wear their clothes.

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The Exhibition of “The Best Teen Art and Writing from Across the Country” in 2014

The Exhibition of “The Best Teen Art and Writing from Across the Country” in 2014.

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Gold Metal Award – Market Street. All the award winners are teenagers.

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This painting is very interesting. Please check how many people are there in the painting?

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This painting, “Watch Your Step”, is an optical art.

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Look at these amazing body paintings.

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Human body

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Installation

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This is my favorite painting. However, it is hung too high to be shot from a nice angle.

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Grandma

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Look at the old lady’s arms in this painting. The title is “She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve”. It is fantastic, isn’t it?

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This chain-dress is done by a fifteen-year-old student.

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This dress is made of ropes and dried flowers.

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Final Thesis Panel Presentation of BFA Fashion Design-Parsons 2014

This is the Final Thesis Panel Presentation of BFA Fashion Design of Parsons in 2014. Students would display their works first and then receive individual comments. Every student would do his or her individual presentation. I like this series very much. But it has a high requirement of the body – only tall people could wear it. So this one suits European market fine.

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This series of dresses is made up of wooden chips. The studio starts to use warm light so the shooting effect seems not so good.

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This series of red dresses is very pretty, especially the one on the right up corner. It uses laser cutting.

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The theme of this series is dream. Designer painted her dreams down and then printed them on cloth. The scenes are mainly about ocean and wave.

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This design is inspired by sound wave. Every piece would reflect the designer’s personality. This designer is very outgoing and is a huge fan of pop music.

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I find that most Asian designers are inspired by either dreams or fairy tales, which feel very romantic and has strong Asian features. I hear at least five designers use such way to create their story. All of them are Asian – Chinese, Japanese and Korean. This series is inspired by rabbit in animation. If you check the last one closely, it does feel like a little rabbit.

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This series is inspired by nightmare. Ho ho, there are indeed so many dreams. But this series is quite different from the previous sweet Asian style.

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This designer is mixed blood. Her mother is Japanese so she adopts kimono into her story. Her works are also in hybridity. The French sociologist Pierre Boudieu’s habitus theory could be used everywhere. Everyone is influenced by his or her living environment and then he or she would influence social development.

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This girl seems small but her works are very grand.

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I am very optimistic of the future of this boy. He adopts the way cutting male suits into making female clothes. This might not be innovative but the proportion is very accurate. When some female garments use more cloth and cutting of male suits features, they would look like male suits – lacking necessary femininity. Also he makes a good match of geometry shapes, patterns as well as fabrics.

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The dress in the right bottom is made of pvc and felting. The shape is simple but color and pattern are very attractive.

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The creativity in Parson means creativity under commercial value. This is totally different from the iconoclasm and complete wild creativity in Saint Martin. All judges come from fashion industry – buyers, designers, curators and media. The most frequent questions raised by judges are where your personal identity is shown, where you plan to sell the series, with what brands you will place your works. The most suggestions offered are that these are good concepts, but you include too many different elements and you need to be simpler. But generally speaking, the comments are very good. I think these works are pretty good. They achieve a quite nice balance between commercial value and creativity. At least 5o% of the products could be sold in shops directly after slight changes.

Horse riding collections, including hammer, belt, bags and shoes. The presentation form testifies students’ presentation skills, merchandise planning and mix and match skills. Give attention to the set up of the table, the visual display is part of the exam. Again, creative in details and marketable, excellent craftsmanship. All students are requested to make products by themselves.

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My one favor collection. Made of fish skin. Natural but energetic color, eco~friendly. Again, good combination of merchandise and color story.

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Another my favoured collection. The designer used wood mould and compressed air to press the sculpture look of surface. The graphics are also interesting, keys, glasses, coins…all the stuff you place in your bags normally. This is about being creativity but still marketable. Smart, fun and functional. Would you buy one of them? I will.

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This collection was inspired by ocean. Well you can tell by the color and the texture. The designer dip the leather into water than use hand to create and mould the wave texture. The ocean blue color looks better than it is on picture. The pale orange decoration just brightens the whole collection.

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Every one loves this oversized jacket. Again exaggerated in details but still wearable and marketable. Noticed the oversized pocket and hem, plus the oversized loops on shoulder and back.

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Follow the previous oversized cardigan, these were designed by the same student. Two layered skirt with an oversized pocket.

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Inspired by body movement. Used tone on tone red color story plus the mix of the wool and silk to show the richness of the texture, informative but not complicated.

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Sporty but still girlish. Nice color coordination.

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It is not very easy to do children’s wear. Very often the design is a miniature of adults collection. But Parsons students demonstrated some talents in this area. This jacket is my favor too, simple clean cut but not boring. Good for teenager girl for schools in any formal event.

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Another wonderful boy’s collection. First, the models are so cute to cettain degree they distract some of the attentions…the color patterns look great on these little boys. All clean cut, color and pattern form a good story here.

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Paying Tribute to the Legend: Louise Wilson

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(The photo is from the Internet)

 

I am deeply shocked by this news. The leading professor in Saint Martin, Louise Wilson passed away last night, at the age of 51. She has mentored several top designers, among which the most famous one is McQueen. This is a huge blow to Saint Martin. I have planned to interview her before and I really should have done this during my last trip to London. How unpredictable life is!

 

What a sad and shocking news! I guess there must be many people sharing similar feeling with me in fashion industry. When I read the news, I was shocked at first sight. If you have never met her in person before, it might be hard for you to imagine her charisma. Extremely talented and special woman. She might not be a ‘good’ teacher in the sense of traditional Chinese values. 9 out of 10 of her comments to students carry somewhat dirty words. “This is totally a rubbish. This damn thing should be thrown out of the fucking window”. But every one still loves her and admires her! She has a pair of sharp eyes to identify genius. Top teachers know who is genius. She is well aware of how to enlighten a designer with simple words and how to transform an ordinary design into a magnificent one. She is the most unique woman I have ever met. Honestly speaking, if central Saint Martin cannot find a teacher like her quickly, the destiny of this school might be very veered.
 

Fashion II

I arrive in Philadelphia today.

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The weather in east coast changes like this. I felt like I needed to wear a feathered coat yesterday but I am wearing a T-shirt today. Spring is so short and summer finally comes.

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The new trend now is riding a bike instead of driving a car, which is both healthy and environmental friendly.

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I come to Philly to attend a luxury management conference. One advantage academic study has over doing business is that doing academic study allows me to travel around the world and make friends with people from different institutions as long as your thesis or topic is attractive enough. Big companies can also make you travel around the world for free but most people you meet are those working in the same industry. Compared to this, doing academic study is more multiple. Another feature of international fashion study is that people of this subject are still focusing on clothes in China while here you can meet scholars doing laws, sociology, anthropology, management, engineering and even psychology besides fashion. The feature of interdisciplinary study is more obvious.

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Philly University also has department of fashion. I come across students from Dong Hua. Their university has exchange programs here. According to the teachers, students from Dong Hua are very hardworking and careful in their working. Basically those I met coming abroad to study fashion are all excellent. Well done.

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Sustainable fashion is getting more and more popular in the United States. This series of textiles are made from handmade organic cotton. Almost all people in this industry I met are working on products in similar area. And  my electronic magazine Ethical and Fashion will also launch the English version with the of several foreign friends. Thank my Lord for all your guidance.

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The designer for this series is a professor from Medical School in Harvard. Interesting, right? His interest in textiles dates back to the time when he went to Africa for field study on infectious diseases. He discovered that there were many interesting local handmade textiles and then he started to learn by himself. I find the wider one’s interdisciplinary study is, the more innovative it is.

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Zara is the biggest garment retailing store in the world. Its inditex CEO’s management strategy is to promote internal competitiveness continuously. Its several brands all work on their own without sharing spending on management and administration. Traditional companies would share spending if belong to one host company, like sharing office. warehouse and administration. But inditex requires complete independence and even competence.

There are several tendency of the development of luxury market. The first is individualized products – especially with the development of 3D technology which enables individualized products. The second is the use of high technology, especially the quick development of internet. The third is the balance between heritage and innovation.

According to one survey, Americans have regarded LV, Chanel, Hermes as aspirational luxury brands, almost the best one could own. Then comes Gucci and Coach, which are considered as affordable luxury. But what is affordable luxury? If it is affordable is it still luxury? Poor Gucci has been so different from its glorious past.

Luxury industry now has a tendency to become too accessible. Some brands which is not regarded as luxury by classical brands now also claim to be luxury. This makes those classical brands very annoyed. For real luxuries, there are several requirements which are necessary. The first is the culture and value accumulated through history and tradition. This is nothing like a simple slogan on magazines and Internet. However, at the same time, luxury brands have to adapt itself to the development of market. This is why many old European brands die out over years. They stick to their so-called value too rigidly. Second is the rarity of the material and technique. Luxury brands all have their special material supply chain. Now they also require unique manufacturing skills and the combination with high technology. The last part is high-end customer service. Designing is obviously very important but now designing has become so irreplaceable in every aspect of the society that it is no longer exclusive to luxury.

From my point of view, in 20 years, competitiveness only depends on two parts – creativity and execution. Many big companies stop when developed to certain stage. Part of the reason is that their success in the past restricts their mind – too dependent on past successful experience. For example, when the industry changes from traditional retailing mode to Internet retailing service, many traditional companies would be left behind. This is not the problem of changing method but rather changing settled notion and ways of thinking. But the most difficult thing for one to change is how to think. In addition, when one company reaches certain scale, the execution will inevitably slow down. As a consequence, there are few big companies surviving for a long time. Most foreign companies lasting for a long time are those medium size controlled by one family. But such companies in China are also hard to survive. People do not have enough tolerance. Brothers, relatives and even couples could turn against each other for money. If so, who else can tolerate and trust. Also Chinese are in lack of security and goal for future development.

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)

Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania (2)

Amish people also hang their laundry outside the door, haha! It’s quite similar to Chinese families but not American families. When Amish girls reach 16 – 18, and boys 20 – 22, they will decide whether or not they will receive sacrament. In addition to traditional Christian ceremonies, they must also vow to a series of principles, including the prohibition of premarital sex. Amish people can choose whether or to they will receive the sacrament, but once they do, they must live up to their vows. In circumstances when Amish people break the vows, they will receive punishments such as being isolated by everyone else. Do you think such punishment works?

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Amish people can also choose to live a urban life. When Amish people reach adulthood, their parents will ask about their life choice. In a survey conducted more than 10 years ago, about 2 in every 10 Amish people wish to live in the city. According to a recent survey…… guess how the situation has changed?

 

Amish girls’ and boys’ clothing. There are not many varieties in styles because Amish people believe in simplicity. Boys all wear black trousers with braces and shirts. They wear western suits with ties when they go to Church on Sunday, as to show their respect to God. Amish dressing styles resist any kind of modern element, for example, they only use bottoms but not zips, and only monochromatic clothing but never chromatic ones. All girls wear dresses with aprons, fixed by pins. It looks kind of dogmatic to me; after all, pins are not so safe especially for girls’ clothing.

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Amish people live up to the principle of simplicity even when they decorate their houses. There is only basic furniture, but no television. Fully decorated curtains show that the house owner is not married. Having no television doesn’t mean they receive no information from the outside world; everyday Amish people listen to the radio to learn about the world.

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Amish people rely on kerosene lamp rather than electricity. They invented this “mobile gas holder” to ensure safety as well as energy saving.

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They travel by carriage rather than car. I saw quite a few carriages on the road. Felt like they were living a medieval rural life.

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Night acitivity with local community. The performance was achieved by innovative representatives from every country. In the end, those of us from China sang the song “Jasmine Flower”, accompanied by a gorgeous young man playing piano. I didn’t really remember any other lyrics except the first line……Oooops

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These two aged lady and gentleman welcomed us into the community. Out of their love for God, they voluntarily received guests from around the world. They could have just stayed at home and enjoyed their life, but they chose to spend five tiring days with a group of people from diverse backgrounds, making sure everyone was safe and happy. They only wish that God’s Gospel travelled to more people!

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This guy is from Taiwan, and the girl from Mainland China. Before the performance started we invited him to join us in performance since they were such a small group, but he rejected the invitation without any hesitation. Surprisingly, he introduced himself on stage by saying “I’m from Taiwan and this girl is from Mainland China. You guys all know how complicated the situation is between us, so I’d like to invite this lady to perform with me.”

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This girl is from Saudi Arabia. She tried hard to change the general stereotype that women in Arabic world have an extremely low social status. She said that in her country, women’s life is just the same as women in any other country – they receive equal opportunity in education and career development; they can also hang out with their friends on the street and drive a car. Even the clothing aren’t so different, except that they must cover the head with a scarf.

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Fellows from Japan introduced the Japanese “Toilet Culture”. According to them, it would be a complete enjoyment to use a Japanese toilet: you will be welcomed by music as you enter the toilet, more music as you sit down, and you will be washed with warm water when you finish. Haha!

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A Pakistani man who lived in Israel. I asked him about the their relationship with Jewish people, and he said there was no problem at all living with Jewish people. Politicians and the media retorted their real relationship, maximizing the negative influence while neglecting the positive news. Although I knew that they shared a common ancestor Abraham, I only learned today that their languages, Hebrew and Arabic, are kind of closely related too.

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Egyptian girl talking about current situation in Egypt. Unfortunately my mind was wandering for a few minutes and I didn’t remember anything……

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Linguistic teacher from Russia. He read Pushkin’s poems in Russian. “I loved you one day.”

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Mountain Joy, three hours away from New York by train. A villa in that area costs around 150 – 200 grands. The price is so attractive, compared with that in China. No wonder so many Chinese people are buying estates here. My landlady bought a mobile house for only 70 grands — and it’s permanent property rights! The small town looks like a great place for vocation and retirement!

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