Category Archives: Slow Fashion

UPDATE III // The NICE Consumer Project & the Copenhagen Fashion Summit

The initial stage of the NICE consumer project comes to an end this week and the NICE  Framework for Achieving Sustainable Fashion Consumption through Collaboration will receive its final revisions during the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. The framework is designed to inspire action from government, industry and civil society, it also highlights areas where more discussion is needed; for example, how can we create a transparent value chain, or an environment which fosters sustainable business models and supports sustainable behaviors?

Since my last update I have attended a workshop in London, and taken part in the final webinar, Stress Testing the NICE Consumer Framework on Sustainable Consumption of Fashion. At this event there were presentations from Puma, Levi Strauss & Co., Futerra, and Vanessa Friedman from the Financial Times. The session also included a summary of the progress midway through the consultation process. Cody Sisco [BSR] spoke about the major priorities raised by participants and other important areas including supply chain transparency, and the need for increased education, understanding and collaboration. For design students out there, he also mentioned the important role designers can play in moving things forward! A full recording of the webinar is available to download at BSR.


The Copenhagen Fashion Summit

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit starts today and promises to be an exciting event, which will bring together around 900 stakeholders to discuss sustainability and CSR in the fashion industry. Organisers have been keen to include young people in these discussions and a number of student representatives from around Europe will gather today for a Youth Summit, and present the results of their discussions at the main event tomorrow. The Summit will also launch an industry specific code of conduct, a joint initiative by the UN Global Compact and NICE.

“As an industry facing serious and widely publicized social and environmental challenges, the fashion and textile industry is uniquely positioned to launch a sectoral initiative under the umbrella of the UN Global Compact.”

George Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact

If you can’t get to Copenhagen but want to keep up with the event then I know that @katetfletcher and the @NICEconsumer have already been tweeting live from the summit!

Further reading//

Press release: United Nations Global Compact joins forces with the fashion industry to launch first sector specific initiative

BSR: NICE Consumer Project Summary

BSR: NICE Consumer Research Summary




ATTEND // The Slow Summit

The Textile Arts Research Centre at the University of the Arts London along with Craftspace are running the fourth in a series of open lectures this year. This particular lecture entitled Slow Summit, features Professor Alastair Fuad-Luke and Professor Helen Carnac who is also co-curating this event along with Becky Earley.

“The event examines the emergence of the Slow Movement, within a context of design, making and art practice. The two guest speakers will map out the ground that this new creative thinking occupies, both addressing the theory and the practice, as well as the local/global economics and politics that fuel the movement.”

This is a great opportunity to learn more about Slow Fashion!

To know more about Professor Alastair Fuad-Luke check out his website and for more on Professor Helen Carnac check out her blog.

Special thanks to Clara Vuletich from Love & Thrift for letting us know about this event!

Suzanne Lee’s BioCouture grows clothes

Suzanne Lee, Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and author of Fashioning The Future: tomorrow’s wardrobe, is brilliantly combining fashion and biology in search of alternative fibre/material.

BioCouture is currently on display:

Trash Fashion: designing out waste

Antenna Gallery, The Science Museum London, until June 2011


The Future That Never Was: Alter Nature

ModeMuseum Hasselt, Belgium, until June 2011

Listen in on her recent TED talk:

Special Focus // Slow Fashion Forward, strategically mobilizing a responsible fashion industry

We consider the Slow Fashion movement as a viable alternative for achieving sustainability in the fashion industry.” (Slow Fashion Forward)

Carlotta Cataldi, Maureen Dickson and Crystal Grover of Slow Fashion Forward have recently published an important industry report—Slow Fashion: Tailoring a Strategic Industry Approach towards Sustainability.

Through conceptual frameworks and systems thinking, the report outlines key insights and strategic recommendations, such as Basic Principles for Sustainability and 10 Slow Fashion Values.

Click here to download the final industry report.

We ask that you follow and support their continued work and research here, on their main site.

New Fashion Activism DIY Courses// re-dress, Ireland


Check out these amazing upcoming DIY courses from re-dress, held at their new HQ: 4 Hatch Street Lower, Dublin 2
The one day fashion skills crash course for beginners.
Sat Nov 20th / / Re-dress HQ 
Cost : €90 (includes light lunch) Read more here
This one day crash course will teach you how to upcycle waste materials into amazing accessories using skills such as embellishment, embroidery and pattern drafting culminating in the creation of a unique collars , broaches and more.

Instruction by: Sinead Kane / Jane Kelleher Designer Makers
Sat 27th November, 10am -5pm, Re-dress HQ
Cost : €90 (includes light lunch) Read more here
This 8 week course will explore upcycling to it’s fullest and teach you the techniques needed to create a new wardrobe from last seasons seconds. This is a make and take course so you will leave with a finished and photographed piece in week 8. Instruction by: Deirdre Harte, Upcycling Designer
Duration: 8-weeks, beginning Monday 1st November / / Re-dress HQ
Cost : €150  Read more here
In this half day workshop will create one of the the most seasonal fashion accessory ; the bow tie … We had to finish this one with a Bellini !  Instruction by: Sinead Kane (Bellinis made by the re-dress ladies!)
Duration: Duration: 1/2 Day, Sunday November 14th / 2pm-5pm /  Re-dress HQ
Cost : €40  Read more here
This 2 hour evening sewing session will allow you finish , start or alter any garments you are having trouble completing and all under the helpful hand of the skilled designer Maria Tapper..
Runs every last Thursday of the month beginning Thursday September 30th / 7pm-9pm
To pre book your place in the next class email
This 4 week morning class is especially programmed for mums to be and we will take you through basic embroidery techniques for children’s clothes…. Tea and cakes a must for this one!  Instruction by: Maria Tapper, Fashion Designer
Duration: 4 weeks beginning Tuesday November 2nd / 10am- 12pm / Re-dress HQ
Cost : €80  Read more here
This 2 day course will take you through the construction of a skirt block to the design of a skirt and through the cutting and finishing process. Duration: 2-Days / December 4th & 5th / 10am – 5pm , Re-dress HQ Cost : €150  Read more here 
This 2 hour class will take you step by step through the construction of your own pair of frilly briefs and all while sipping a cocktail !
Duration: December 7th / 7pm – 9pm / Re-dress HQ
Cost : €30  Read more here


There are two events in particular that we were sorry to have missed recently: IXEL MODA (Colombia) and the Ethical Fashion Source Expo (UK), held in conjunction with the RITE Conference

The congress in Colombia, founded by Danilo Cañizares and Erika Rohenes Weber, is unique in its integration of international runways and professional presentations. College of William & Mary Professor, and author of Couture and Consensus, Regina Root serves as President Ad Honorem of Ixel Moda and oversees the academic vision of the congress along with fellow scientific committee members Kathia Castillo (Brazil) and Alex Blanch (Spain). Root’s keynote speech, invited by the founders and the sponsors which included among others the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce, the Colombian Ministry of Education and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, focused on Latin American heritage in world fashion.

The announced theme for next year’s congress is “Origins of Latin American Fashion”.

The conference also featured speakers such as Marsha Dickson of University of Delaware, author of Social Responsibility in the Global Apparel Industry and editor of Sustainable Fashion- a Handbook for Educators as well as Francesca Granata, editor of Fashion Projects, among other fantastic presenters.   

Lucky for us (and you!) Fashion Projects and TED have posts up on their sites to sum up some of the great research and work presented.

Jen Ballie and Matilda Aspinall, two of TED’s PhD students, checked out the EFF Expo, and attended the ‘Innovation’ seminar. If you too missed out on these events, pop on over to TED and Fashion Projects to learn more.

READ // ECO Fashion, Sass Brown

Well, a new semester is underway! What better way to pump your fashion design/marketing students up on responsible practices in the apparel industry than with a new resource? Check out ECO Fashion by Sass Brown, Resident Director for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s study abroad program in Florence.

Here is the abstract and contents, via Laurence King Publishing:

One of the strongest trends in fashion is the expression of ecological, social and community consciousness through for-profit fashion design corporations, which most recently have moved upscale from organic cotton T-shirts and hippy-ish drawstring pants to high fashion. There is now a wide range of companies offering well designed merchandise, from one-off art, recycled and redesigned clothing, organic and sustainable textiles and garment production, to a range of community and indigenous support cooperatives bridging the gap between traditional craft and high fashion.

This book shows the range of companies making a difference in the area of sustainable design in fashion, exploding the myth that sustainable design is bad design, or at best basic design, by highlighting the range of companies producing desirable and well-designed apparel and accessories with a conscience. It not only demonstrates the range of products available around the globe, but explains the stories behind them and the communities they support, as well as showing how and where they make a difference.


1 Community and Fair Trade
Alabama Chanin / Amana / El Naturalista / Elena Garcia / Leila Hafzi / Les Fees de Bengale / ModaFusion / Mona Mohanna / Noir / Royah / sense-organics / Shoto Banerji / Taller Flora / Van Markoviec

2 Ecological and Slow Design
Alexandra Faro / Camila Norrback / Celine Faizant / Christine Birkle / Ciel / Emily Katz / Enamore / FIN / Francoise Hoffmann / Linda Loudermilk / Magdalena Schaffrin / RoyalBLUSH / Samant Chauhan / U Roads / YOJ

3 Recycle Reuse
Angela Johnson / Costumisee par Liza / Demano / E2 / Frau Wagner / From Somewhere / Geoffrey B Small / Josh Jakus / Preloved / Rebound Designs / Riedizioni / Stephan Hann / Suitcase / TRAIDremade

4 New Models
aforest-design / Andrea Zittel / Bless / Collection of Hope / Holly McQuillan / Mark Liu
Nau / Rebecca Earley & Kate Goldsworthy / Redesign the World

5 Design Initiatives
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada / Barney’s New York / H&M and DAA – Designers Against Aids / Katharine Hamnett / Zara / Miguel Adrover / Philippe Starck / Salvatore Ferragamo / Vivienne Westwood / Yeohlee Teng / Yves Saint Laurent

Source: Laurence King Publishing

WATCH// Otto von Busch Hacking Design

Earlier this year, the SA team had the chance to watch Otto von Busch speak at the FEI conference in London.  We were so inspired by him and his passion.  Mary wrote about his presentation that same night saying that it “was absolutely fabulous, and when it came time for Otto to close his presentation, nobody wanted it to end!”

Today, I came across a video of his presentation at the RSA.  Enjoy!

Wash Less // Emma Rigby transforms taboo through ‘Energy Water Fashion’

Wearing unclean clothes is a social taboo. Yet behind this everyday routine there are some major resource, pollution and social problems.” (Designer Emma Rigby, Energy Water Fashion)

Emma Rigby investigates the nature of behaviours and rituals surrounding fashion and clothing, allowing a cross-disciplinary approach to best practices in design to help mitigate the negative impact of excessive laundering, in her work Energy Water Fashion.

Rigby has used her transdisciplinary approach toward design to create a line of projects that reduce environmental impact: “[e]ach garment incorporates a unique design feature to encourage the wearer to wash the garment less often.” (Emma Rigby)

Brilliantly, Rigby has incorporated careful washing instructions into the very essence of each garment, noting that the user must wear the item for a minimum number of times (10-30 wears per wash, depending on the item) before it can be laundered. This is encouraged to optimize the nature of the garment itself.

I encourage you to visit Energy Water Fashion and explore Rigby’s methods for inspiration for your own designs and/or personal garment care.


Our friends over at Re-dress in Ireland have been BUSY!

In less than one month, Re-dress will present FASHION EVOLUTION, Ireland’s 3rd ethical fashion week:

“Fashion Evolution aims to re-vitalise the spirit of the Irish fashion industry, with a schedule of exciting events catering for consumers, producers, retailers and supporters of fashion alike.” (Re-dress)

Our mission is to provide the Irish fashion sector with the tools needed to make more sustainable fashion choices.” (Re-dress)

We don’t think they’ll have any trouble accomplishing this goal–just take a look at what they have planned!

When: Tuesday 4th April
Where: Online
Cost: Free

When: Wednesday 5th 6-8pm
Where: Sugar Club, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin
Cost: 15 Euros BOOK NOW!

When: Wednesday 5th 8.30-10pm
Where: Sugar Club, Upper Leeson Street, Dubin
Cost: 10 Euros BOOK NOW!

When: Thursday 6th 9am-2pm
Where: Fallon and Byrne
Cost: 40 Euros (students and unemployed 20 euros) BOOK NOW!!

When: Thursday 6th Time TBC
Where: TBC

When: Friday 7th 7pm
Where: Smock Alley Café

What: EJF Cotton T-shirt exhibit
When: Tuesday 4th-Saturday 8th 10am-5pm daily
Where: The Greenhouse
Cost: FREE

Location: Ireland
Link out: Click here
Start Date: 2010-05-04
End Date: 2010-05-08