Category Archives: Garment Care

Green Carpet Challenge

We can’t celebrate good intentions, we have to celebrate beauty(Dilys Williams, London College of Fashion)

We’ve really been enjoying watching Mr. Darcy actor Colin Firth’s wife Livia Firth challenge herself to take on ethical fashion this award season. Livia is no stranger to ethical style, however, considering she’s the owner of ethical shop Eco Age in London.

She’s been blogging about the Green Carpet Challenge over at Vogue UK, so that we can follow along with her on this incredible journey. Along the way, she’s been interviewing ethical fashion gurus like London College of Fashion Dilys Williams and ethical designer Christopher Raeburn.

Be sure to follow her as she takes on this challenge!


“As part of SHIFT from 29 January – 1 February the Centre for Sustainable Fashion will present:

The first ever graduate showcase from London College of Fashion’s MA Fashion & the Environment
The work on display will explore a range of opportunities and design challenges where ingenuity and resourcefulness are inspired through living within nature’s limits, putting human wellbeing at the heart of creativity and questioning the current status quo.
On Monday 1 February we are inviting industry representatives, press and prospective students to hear presentations from the students on their work. Contact us if you would like to attend.
More on MA Fashion & the Environment

Highlights from Fashioning the Future 2009 – The international student awards for sustainability in fashion
Fashioning the Future brings together a global community of creative thinkers and doers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs with many different skills, locations and perspectives on the many facets of fashion. The winners of the 2009 awards will be profiled alongside information on how to apply for the 2010 awards.
More on Fashioning the Future

Local Wisdom by Kate Fletcher
Local Wisdom seeks to recognise and honour sustainability activities in fashion that exist at the level of the user. This project captures and celebrates personal stories relating to garments, giving fashion a platform to flourish and inspire. Reader in Sustainable Fashion Kate Fletcher will be leading a live session on 30 January from 12.00 – 17.00 where members of the public are invited to share the story of their clothes with the project team and be photographed wearing them.
More on Local Wisdom” (CSF)

Title: SHIFT
Location: London
Link out: Click here

Friday 29 January 17.00 – 22.30
Saturday 30 January 12.00 – 22.30
Sunday 31 January 12.00 – 22.30
Monday 1 February 12.00 – 17.00

Start Date: 2010-01-29
End Date: 2010-02-01

EcoChic Geneva


The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity and the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.

UN Secretary General Welcome Message for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity from CBD on Vimeo.

EcoChic Geneva is an event that strives to redefine both sustainability and fashion in this context:

Title: EcoChic Geneva
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Link out: Click here

As the 2009 International Year for Natural Fibres draws to a close and the focus begins to shift to 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, Green2greener is delighted to announce its collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on a series of activities that will highlight the importance of natural fibres and biodiversity in sustainable development strategies.

EcoChic Geneva will take place on January 20-21, 2010 at the Palais des Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva. The event will commence with a 1.5 day seminar which will look at “Redefining Sustainability in the International Agenda” from the perspective of the fashion and cosmetics industries.

[EcoChic Fashions Documentary, Hong Kong 2008]

The seminar will be followed by a high-profile gala evening on Thursday 21 January. Highlights include the launch of a Sustainable Fashion Exhibition and dramatic EcoChic Fashion Show featuring sustainable and ethical ready-to-wear and couture looks by fashion designers from around the globe. The Exhibition will be subsequently opened to the public free of charge until February 4, 2010.

This series of activities will bring together senior representatives from the private sector with key decision-makers from government, civil society and other public sector organisations. For more information or to find out how you can get involved, please contact us at” (EcoChic Geneva)

Start Date: 2010-01-20
End Date: 2010-01-21

Ethical Fashion Symposium, Scotland

Title: Ethical Fashion Symposium, Scotland
Location: Scotland
Link out: Click here

Edinburgh College of Art, in collaboration with Fashioning an Ethical Industry and the Scottish Academy, are hosting a two day symposium for students and tutors on fashion related courses in Scotland on ethics in fashion.

Day 1
The fashion cycle: Interactive introduction to the symposium and to the social and environmental issues in the fashion industry
Liz Parker, Fashioning an Ethical Industry

Communicating sustainability
Helen Spoor from sustainability communications company Futerra.

Sustainable Design
Jessica Hemmings, Associate Director, Centre for Visual & Cultural Studies

Bringing responsiblity into fashion business
Speaker to be confirmed

Fashion Future: What can you do at university, as consumers and once in business?
Liz Parker, Fashioning an Ethical IndustrySpeakers include

Day 2 – putting ideas into practice
Students and tutors will work together in multi-disciplinary, multi-university teams on the brief: ‘Universities and colleges in Scotland are working together to promote ethics and sustainability in fashion. In teams, develop a product, idea or strategy for engaging students with fashion ethics and sustainability’.

Students will present their work in a format of their choice, for example, a poster, visualisation board, campaign idea, presentation or garment design.

The event will take place on Monday 18th January and Tuesday 19th January 2010 from 10.00am – 4.00 in Lecture Theatre E22 at Edinburgh College of Art.

18th and 19th January 2010: 10.00am – 4.00pm

For more information and to register please click here.
Start Date: 2010-01-18
End Date: 2010-01-19

Fast Forward: Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference

Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference_Fast Forward

Title: Fast Forward: Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference
Location: London
Link out: Click here

“In a time when we are increasingly concerned with the impact of the fashion industry on people and the planet students need to be equipped to design the way we make and consume fashion differently.

This two day international conference will bring together educators, industry experts, academics and selected students to explore how fashion can be taught to inspire responsibility for the rights of workers making our clothes.” (FEI)

SPEAKERS confirmed include:
Otto Von Busch – Haute-Couture Heretic
Alex Mcintosh – Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Nieves Ruiz Ramos – Bibico
Sophie Koers – Fair Wear Foundation
Academics and students will present papers peer reviewed by a panel
chaired by Doug Miller Professor in Ethical
Fashion at Northumbria University

Local Wisdom by Kate Fletcher, Reader in Sustainable Fashion at London
College of Fashion

This event is by invitation only. Invites have now been sent out by
post. If you have received at invite please RSVP by 13th January. If you have not received an invitation but would like to join us at this event please register your interest online.
Start Date: 2010-03-02
End Date: 2010-03-03

Battle of the Care Tags: Gap 1969 versus Levi’s 501

Prediction: 2010 will be the year of the care tags. That is, responsible care tags, among mainstream retailers.

You may remember SA highlighting Gap Inc.’s short-sightedness when we took a closer look into their Clean Water Campaign. Although we commended the company for an effective goal implementation strategy, it was hard to ignore the areas in which the company’s analysis fell (and continues to fall) short.

For starters, they seem to have conveniently ignored the impact of their product user, the consumer. Gap Inc.’s impact assessment stops at the retailer! As a result, they have washed their hands of any social or environmental impact of any Gap Inc. product once it has been purchased by the consumer. An oversight as large as this, by a company as large as the Gap, is…well, very bad! For more details on the problems with this incomplete lifecycle analysis check out our earlier post.  

levis care tagsThankfully, Levi Strauss & Co. has recently extended its corporate footprint to include the impact of the user, and launched a new care tag campaign as a result.

To determine where even greater environmental improvements could be made, the company studied every stage in the life cycle of a typical pair of 501 jeans. The findings indicated that one of the greatest opportunities for reducing climate change and water impact happens after consumers take their jeans home. That’s why, in addition to asking consumers to donate used clothing to keep it out of landfills, Levi’s is encouraging consumers to wash less, wash in cold water and line dry when possible— all of which together reduces your climate impact from washing and drying your Levi’s jeans by more than 50 percent.” (Levi Strauss & Co

They have also gone ahead and acknowledged the impact of the end of life of their products in their analysis, through a partnership with Goodwill, and have even included a  new logo on the care take to symbolize encouragement for product donation.

Unfortunately, one huge social and environmental impact consideration that was missing from Gap Inc. care tags is also missing by Levi Strauss: information on best practices with respect to cleaning detergents!

According to William McDonough & Michael Braungart, in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, laundry detergent is a classic example of design for the worst-case scenario. What does this mean? Well, it means that a universal strategy has been put in place to make sure that in every scenario the end result on the product is the same. Essentially, they argue that systems of universal design assume “a worst-case scenario; they design a product for the worst possible circumstance, so that it will always operate with the same efficacy.” (Braungart and McDonough, 30) In this case, “[c]leaning detergents lather up, remove dirt, and kill germs efficiently the same way anywhere in the world―in hard, soft, urban, or spring water, in water that flows into fish-filled streams and water channelled to sewage treatment plants” (29-30). The authors go on to argue that “[u]nder the existing paradigm of manufacturing and development, diversity―an integral element of the natural world―is typically treated as a hostile force and a threat to design goals.” (32) Although “the economic payoff immediately rises, the overall quality of every aspect of this system is actually in decline.” (35) Your laundry detergent is hostile!

Commenting on the Levi care tags, Michael Kobori, vice president of social and environmental sustainability at Levi Strauss, has stated that “[t]his is the first major step to begin to engage consumers in their environmental impact and what they can do reduce it” (Ecotextile News) We are hoping the next steps will reflect on solutions for consumer education in the detergent department.

It’s so unfortunate that Gap Inc. dropped the ball on this consumer education initiative. The Gap’s Clean Water Campaign only included the 1969 jean. Why isn’t the company doing more to promote best practices on the rest of its denim products? Rather, in the rest of all of its products! They likely will be doing so now.

You can look for the new Levi’s tags in the U.S. by Jan. 2010, and globally by Fall 2010. But wait! That’s not all…“[t]he Levi’s ® brand and Goodwill® will also spread the word to consumers through online viral campaigns and in retail store communications.”

Did you hear that Gap Inc.? You still have time to catch-up! Why not start your own online viral campaign and in store consumer education campaign? If you need any help, we’d be happy to walk you through the actual stages of your garments’ footprint…..

Reminder! The abstract submission date on the call for papers for Social Labelling in the Global Fashion Industry is November 15th. Click here for more info.

Source: Levi Strauss & Co and Ecotextile News

Work Cited: Braungart, Michael and William McDonough. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York, NY: North Point Press, 2002.

Beyond Green


Title: Beyond Green
Location: Am­s­ter­dam
Link out: Click here

Designer Winde Rien­stra will be exhibiting in the Green Gallery

Designer Winde Rien­stra will be exhibiting in the Green Gallery

“This year the sym­po­sium again in­cludes a Be­yond Green Gallery with pre­sen­ta­tions on in­no­va­tive pro­jects by young de­sign­ers and grass-roots or­ga­ni­za­tions, and ex­hi­bi­tion stands manned by nu­mer­ous com­pa­nies con­nect­ed with fash­ion, tex­tiles and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. A swap­shop will al­so take place where vis­i­tors can ex­change (closed purse) vin­tage items. The Be­yond Green Gallery will be co­or­di­nat­ed by I&A, In­grid Hors­se­len­berg & An­nouk Post.

The sym­po­sium will be held in English, and is aimed prin­ci­pal­ly at the stu­dents and staff of Dutch fash­ion and de­sign in­sti­tutes. It will be held from 10am to 5pm on 9 Novem­ber 2009 in the World Fash­ion Cen­tre (Koning­in Wil­helmi­naplein 13, 1062 HH) in Am­s­ter­dam.

Press can reg­is­ter via the AM­FI-Am­s­ter­dam Fash­ion In­sti­tute:­ (al­so for more in­for­ma­tion about Be­yond Green)” (Beyong Green)

Here is the line-up of speakers:

Kate Fletcher, author of Sustainable Textiles: Design Journeys (2008), will be speaking on the topic of “Fashion and Sustainability,” Adri­aan Beuk­ers, a full-time Pro­fes­sor on Com­pos­ite Ma­te­ri­als & Struc­tures at the Fac­ul­ty of Aerospace Engi­neer­ing at Delft Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy and a part-time pro­fes­sor for Engi­neer­ing with Com­pos­ites at the Ma­te­ri­als De­part­ment of the Leu­ven Uni­ver­si­ty, as well as co-au­thor of the books Light­ness (1998) and Fly­ing Light­ness (2005) will be speaking on “Light Weight,” Fashion Designer Mark Liu on “Zero Waste,” and Carolyn Strauss of slowLab will be speaking on “Slow-Design-Slow Fashion.”  

There will also be a “Green Gallery,” divided into four parts, the Information Space, the Showroom, the Exhibition, and the Swap Store.

Here is the list of designers who will be presenting their innovative work in the Exhibition:

  • Marie Ilse Bourlanges
  • Wi­eteke Op­meer
  • Mar­i­an­ne Kemp
  • Nan­na van Blaaderen
  • Re­fin­i­ty by Fioen van Bal­go­oi
  • Mari­na Toeters en Jesse As­jes
  • Malouse­bas­ti­aan
  • Con­ny Groe­newe­gen
  • Malu Ber­bers
  • Winde Rien­stra
  • Jeroen Wand
  • Woes­van Haaften
  • Am­ber Dekker

Start Time: 10:00am
Date: 2009-11-09

Source: Hiphonest and Behond Green

The Case for Sustainable Fashion: Organic and Sustainable Textile Seminar for Brands and Retailers

21st Century supply chain management calls for innovative mindsets and specialized methodologies. Escalating oil prices, climate change, consumer awareness, water shortages, child labor, biodiversity, landscape management, transparency, pesticide management – all these elements impact on sourcing decisions, the supply chain and how we deliver product to the consumer.” (OE-MB Sustainable Fashion Seminars)

oe-mb_logo_seminar_the case for sustainable fashion

The Seminar is a unique 2 day intensive aimed to bring textile and apparel professionals working within the industry up to speed on opportunities to create responsible change within their supply chain.

Title: The Case for Sustainable Fashion: Organic and Sustainable Textile Seminar for Brands and Retailers
Location: London
Link out: Click here
Description :

Some of the important topics covered include:

  • Environmentally Friendly Fabrics – Understand the Definition, Sourcing and Production Issues,
  • A discussion on Recycled Polyester and Climate Neutral Clothing,
  • Responsible Processing – The Good The Bad & The Ugly of Dyeing and Finishing Industry,
  • Product Integrity – Certification, Labeling, Transparency and Traceability,
  • Social Compliance – Understand the Different Systems and Learn The Actual Work Done,
  • Setting Sustainability Strategy – Learn from the Perspective of Leading Brands, Their Pitfalls, Triumphs and Lessons Learned,
  • Communication Strategy – How Sustainability and Branding Strengthen Each Other?
  • Fashion and Consumer Trends Towards Sustainability in Europe.

Participants will be encouraged to be critical, ask questions and share experiences during discussions. It would be an excellent place to actively share knowledge and information and to network at every possible level.

It is of our main intention that you will leave this event with:

  • Practical and in-depth sustainability strategies that can be used by your business,
  • A roadmap of action – a clear idea of what needs to be done, and how,
  • A new set of meaningful contacts.

Who would benefit most from this seminar?

If you are involved in supply chain management, buying, designing, fabric sourcing, marketing, CSR or are a professional and manager of a clothing brand or retailer, this seminar will assist you to initiate and develop your sustainable textile and apparel programme.
By attending, you will provide your company with an excellent return on investment as you meet with your peers, expand your knowledge of sustainable textiles, and find new opportunities for innovation, risk reduction/brand protection, and cost savings.

Please contact Nany Trivita Kusuma for additional details or questions” (event description directly sourced through OE-MB Sustainable Fashion Seminars)

Start Date: 2009-11-19
End Date: 2009-11-20

Source: CSF and OE-MB Sustainable Fashion Seminars

An October to Remember// Upcoming Events

October will have you wishing you could be in more than one city at the same time.

If you find yourself in Paris, Chicago, Providence, Portland, Hong Kong, London or Seattle this October, be sure to check out these amazing events. Click on the event you are interested in on the Events Calendar and we should link you straight into the events homepage.


Also, if you are near London in Oct. Nov. or Dec., be sure to stay tuned into the London College of Fashion, for Clash! Creative Collisions in Fashion and Science.

Clash! Creative Collisions in Fashion & Science


Last but not least, if you have an upcoming event you think are readers would be interested in, be sure to drop us a line.

New Again Coalition- Change Clothing Care Regulations

New Again Coalition

Project Laundry List, Permacouture Institute and Make Do & Mend have joined forced for an exciting new partnership: The New Again Coalition.

“We want to make the clothesline and some time-tested ways of doing laundry new again. We want to make natural dyes and some traditional fabrics and fashions new again. We want to start a trend of patching clothes and upcycling that will make our wardrobes new again.”

First order of business?  A petition to change clothing care regulations:

“Our first letter is a push for manufacturers and importers to provide consumers with a label that encourages optimal green behavior in the cleaning and care of an article of clothing. This could be as simple as “cold water, hang dry” or more complex with specific conscious care instructions. We know that many manufacturers currently print the minimum requirements for garment care, not realizing the environmental consequences of these vague instructions.

Social Alterations has signed the petition, and encourages you to get involved and spread the word on this important matter. Click here to sign.

The New Again Coalition will be celebrating with a Mixer, and everyone is welcome. Here are the details:

When: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where: Orchard Garden Hotel, 466 Bush St, Arrabal de San Francisco, Spain.

Tel: 4157868510



For more info on this event, click here.