Category Archives: Fashion Shows

ATTEND // Eco Fashion Week, Oct. 6-10: Vancouver

EFWV07 - Website Image

For the first time in 7 seasons, SA won’t be in Vancouver to support our friends at Eco Fashion Week. As a result, we’re really counting on our Vancouver readers to represent and support the event conference sessions! This season will see Mountain Equipment Co-op, Bluesign Technologies, OEKO-TEX® and Ford Motor Company speak on various topics relating to responsible fashion (session times to be confirmed).

If you missed our talk at EFWV 06, you can still watch it – all of the sessions were livestreamed.

I’ve uploaded the PowerPoint to our SlideShare account, and included the transcript below, along with a link to the sessions (click on the image)

Sorry we’ll be missing the event this time around, but we’ll be there in spirit!


Presentation Slide Notes:

Slide 1 // Myriam Laroche, and the Vancouver ECO Fashion Week team, thank you for inviting me to speak today. Guests in attendance, thank you for your attention. And to the online audience joining us via livestream, welcome.

Social Alterations is an online education lab that myself and Nadira Lamrad developed almost four years ago.

Slide 2 // We are a free industry recourse, offering study guides, lesson plans, and learning modules, with independent research, case studies and reports for responsible fashion education.

Side 3 // We work to create comprehensive programming in creative ways. Our SAGE module, for example, uses Google Earth to take learners on a virtual tour of an example lifecycle of a hypothetical conventional cotton t-shirt, by embedding the interactive curricula directly into the program.

Slide 4 // We’re exposed to so many negative events and imagery…

Slide 5 // Social Alterations is not innocent here… we’ve covered many stories showing such imagery, such as factory fires in South East Asia, or forced child labour in cotton production, for example.

Slide 6 // Do not let the issues overwhelm you to the point that you are paralyzed and unable to take action.

Slide 7 // It becomes easy to lose sight of what’s important and the positive steps being taken. This year, we want to highlight positive action that we can take to move beyond that paralyzing negativity.

Slide 8 // There are a lot of exciting campaigning groups that you can join to showcase individual actions. There are countless petitions for you to sign against a whole host of issues: child labour, animal cruelty, clean water, the list goes on. Or you can take personal actions that demonstrate your values to your own network and community.

Slide 9 // Last year, Nadira and I took Labour Behind the Label’s 6 Items Challenge.

Slide 10 // We had to wear the same 6 items of clothing for 4 weeks to raise awareness on the importance of decent work for garment workers. People still approach us to talk about this challenge. It helped us bring the conversation home.

Slide 11 // These individual actions count within the movement, they play an important role, but we need to expand the circle and create that critical mass. Unfortunately, responsible fashion is still a niche industry within the business.

There is a lot of interesting work being done within this niche market. Like the work that Wes Baker and colleagues are doing at debrand, and the Canadian Textile Recovery Effort. The work that ecofashion week is doing, along with other groups, like member based Fashion Takes Action, that are working to make responsible fashion consumption become the norm in Canada. And of course the work that all of you are doing every day. But to achieve systemic change, we need to organize.

Slide 12 // Let’s start now. We’ve got a pop-up photo booth here today, where we are challenging you to share what you stand for and articulate your values clearly. We’ll compile the images and share them online so that you can see the diversity of values that fit under the sustainability umbrella, and learn what matters most to you, Canadian sustainable fashion leaders….But then what?

Slide 13 // More and more we are seeing global industry players come together to formalize sustainability networks. These networks can be global, like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, for example. Or localized, like the Hong Kong based Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium (SFBC).

As I have mentioned, we already have groups working tirelessly on various pieces of the sustainability puzzle – waste recovery, responsible consumption practices, responsible education – we need to formalize a network where we come together to create and manage our own best practices to achieve the systemic change we looking for..

We need viable alternatives to the system we have in place right now. And we can’t wait for the government to take up these issues. We have to be active as a community to make sure that responsible fashion has a seat at the table, when our government finally addresses sustainable systems in Canada.

In the end, the whole point of coming together for events like this, industry conferences or academic lectures….is to learn and share ideas on how to create that systemic change, but it’s not going to happen if we don’t carry the conversation outside of these meetings to start building a roadmap for that systemic change, to transform the industry from the inside out. Let’s be clear that by industry I mean the entire fashion industry.

These are important values in Canada – Human Rights, labor rights, sustainable communities, environmental stewardship, cultural diversity – all issues that fit under the sustainability umbrella. It’s time that Canada leads the way.

Slide 14 // There is power in numbers, so let’s make it happen.

While you’re at the popup photobooth, talk to us if you’re interested in being involved in the first meeting to discuss what a “Canadian Responsible Fashion Consortium” would look like. We promise to facilitate that first meeting and we can move forward from there.

New York Fashion Week vs. the Ready Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh: whose interests are protected when ‘special’ police hit the streets for fashion?

The fashion industry is often seen as a complicated paradox. So much so that many professionals working in the field of worker rights and environmental security frequently shy away from using the word ‘fashion’ itself. In its place, they vote for ‘garment,’ ‘apparel,’ ‘textile,’ etc. While it’s natural for industry jargon to vary—different circles will have their own set of terminology—it is important to recognize that in the end we are all talking about the same thing: fashion.

Fashion, after all, designs the stage and sets the pace for the performance. For our part, if we cannot connect human and environmental security issues taking place within the industry’s supply chain to the fashion runway, we haven’t dug deep enough.

We were reminded further of this truth this week with a recent Ethical Style post on the special NYPD ‘fashion’ police slated for New York Fashion Week. According to the article, the plain clothed officers are placed amongst the crowd (positioned on either side of the runway), to keep the peace from anti-fur activist protesters.

Continuing our coverage on Bangladesh, we’ve been meaning to write a story on the government’s reported consideration of a special “industrial police,” dedicated to keeping workers in the ready made garment (RMG) sector in line with an “iron hand,” according to a newspaper in Bangladesh (Clean Clothes Campaign).

So, on either side of the supply chain, the industry flexes its muscles against unrest. But, when it comes to the systemic oppression of basic human rights, coupled with unchecked environmental degradation, whose interests are being protected?

The truth is, when it comes to security there is no real paradox—the violations may be clear as mud, but we know where there are and how they got there.

Image Source: Anna Wintour targeted by PETA via Ethical Style and Bangladeshi garment workers via Fashioning an Ethical Industry

ECO Fashion Week Vancouver // Seminars, Sept. 29-30

We mentioned a while back that SA is a supporting partner of ECO Fashion Week Vancouver, coordinating the conference to promote education. Well, the conference schedule is set, and we are so excited!

Here are the details, plus some abstracts, session learning objectives and recommended reading!

Carly Stojsic // ECO as Movement, not Trend

2:00 pm — Tuesday, September 28th

Join industry expert Carly Stojsic at EFW as she presents key insights and research into ecofashion, forecasting trends for 2011-2012. Ecofashion has grown to encompass a movement within the fashion industry; emphasising the importance of environmental consideration, ecofashion supports a shift in conventional practice. Stojsic is Canada’s Market Editor at Worth Global Style Network (WGSN), and at EFW, she will showcase ecofashion as you’ve never seen it before. Eco as Movement, not Trend will secure the place of ecofashion within the industry

Click here for tickets!

Dr. Andrew Weaver // Global Warming: The Scale of the Problem, the Path to the Solution

10:00 am — Wednesday, September 29th

The foundations of the science of global warming will be presented and a discussion of our present climate will be framed within a historical perspective of the Earth’s climate over the last 800,000 years. The range of projections of climate change over the next century will be summarized and the public confusion arising from the media portrayal of the science and its entry into the political arena will be discussed.  Finally, how various international policy options fit within the framework of necessary actions required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be reviewed.

This talk will be based on the book: Keeping our Cool: Canada in a Warming World.

Learning Objectives:

1) How the media affects public perception of global warming science.

2) Future greenhouse gas emissions need to reduce to zero if we wish to deal with global warming.

3) Dealing with global warming is empowering. Everyone is part of the problem; everyone is part of the solution.

Recommended reading

Keeping our Cool: Canada in a Warming World, Andrew Weaver

Click here for tickets!

Mark Trotzuk and Paul Raybin // Lifecycles in Fashion

12:00 pm — Wednesday, September 29th

            1. Mark Trotzuk: Apparel Lifecycle Impacts & Mitigation of Impacts

The Lifecycle Stages are discreet intervals along the life of a finished product—and the materials which make up the product—where environmental impacts are realized. These stages include the processes of raw materials, manufacturing, delivering, using and managing the end of life for products. It is important to consider different ways of mitigating these impacts.

Learning Objectives:

1) Stages of the lifecycle of an apparel item

2) Impacts of the lifecycle of an apparel item

3) Mitigating the impacts during the lifecycle of an apparel item.

            2. Paul Raybin: Lifecycle Assessments   – Water & Textiles

Discussion on water use in the textile industry: creating awareness and helping people understand impact of the textile industry on water use and pollution. Paul will explain the various points where water use and pollution are factors in the lifecycle of a garment and opportunities for water-saving technologies and practices.

Learning Objectives:

1) Further the understanding of life cycled assessment with particular assessment of water use in the textile industry.

2) Provide designer options on how to reduce water use into their choices of textile, dye, and decoration.

Recommended reading

When the Rivers Run Dry: Water–The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century, Fred Pearce

No Impact Man, Colin Beavan

Click here for tickets!

Summer Rayne Oakes // Eco-Trends: The Art & Science of Sourcing Sustainably

10:00 am — Thursday, September 30th

Eco-Trends: The Art & Science of Sourcing Sustainably

A bird’s eye view on defining sustainability; international industry metrics; and the latest technologies to help designers and retail sourcing specialists source more sustainably. Talk includes a look into the, a new B2B online marketplace that allows designers and retail sourcing specialists to search, compare and purchase more sustainable materials and services from a network of global suppliers – as well as some of the exciting sustainable trends that are surfacing.

Learning Objectives:

1) How to locate and source more sustainable materials for your collections

2) What current industry metrics are available to aid designers and brands in assessing their environmental and social impact

3) What we can learn and predict from crowdsourcing a sustainable sourcing community

4) Upcoming trends in sustainable materials, sourcing and style.

Recommended reading

Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty, Summer Rayne Oakes

Click here for tickets!

PANEL DISCUSSION [ @Tradeshow] // Digging Deeper: Audience Q&A

3:00 pm — Thursday, September 30th

Digging Deeper is an opportunity for tradeshow attendees to speak directly with key panel members and address any questions or concerns they might have coming out of the conference. Panel members will take questions from the audience to expand upon ideas presented throughout the conference and continue the conversation, investigating how these ideas are translated on the ground.

  • Myriam Laroche, President, ECO Fashion Week Vancouver
  • Summer Rayne Oakes, Source4Style
  • Jeff Garner, Prophetik
  • Paul Raybin, AirDye®
  • Mark Trotzuk, Boardroom Eco Apparel
  • Lindsay Coulter, David Suzuki’s Queen of Green

Visit ECO Fashion Week Vancouver for ticket information, and to learn more.

Aware of What We Wear

Aware of What We Wear: an Ethical Fashion Initiative

by Samantha Reichman,

Secretary of the Student Ethical Fashion Organization,

The College of William and Mary

How can fashion, a multibillion dollar flashy, frivolous, fickle industry, created to appeal to the whims of the consumer possibly be ETHICAL? Students of “Ethical Fashion” have discovered the answer to this question over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year.

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program at The College of William and Mary originated a service-learning, seminar-style course called “Ethical Fashion”, taught by Professor Regina Root.  Designed for students interested in combining their concern about issues in the fashion industry with their desire for social justice, we signed up to engage the topic for an entire academic year.  During the fall semester, we were challenged to discuss and research topics related to the global apparel industry: issues in production and distribution as well as workers’ rights and sweatshop labor. This semester, our focus has shifted to the creation and execution of a campus-wide project. We successfully hosted an ethical fashion show on April 10 to raise awareness on campus about this aspect of the worldwide fashion industry.  On April 28, our classmates produced Josefina López’s “Real Women Have Curves” – a play about near-sweatshop-labor conditions in East Los Angeles to raise awareness of what is exactly going on in an industry that touches our lives every single day.

“Ethical Fashion” students are taking the next step in making this more than just a yearlong freshman seminar project.  We are starting a movement. It began with an Ethical Fashion Report for the provost of the college, who understands the growing, changing nature of this issue around the world. Next, a constitution was written, resulting in the formation of an Ethical Fashion club. At our weekly meetings, we agreed the organization would be called SEFO: Student Ethical Fashion Organization.  Blaise Springfield was elected the new president, along with an executive board on which I serve as secretary. This new student organization already seeks to partner with organizations as varied as Goodwill Industries, EDUN Live On Campus and Raíz Diseño, a transnational network of sustainable designers in Latin America.

At the first annual Ethical Fashion Show at William and Mary, we created a line of outfits from recyclable materials, utilizing one-of-a-kind pieces featured by our local Student Environmental Action Coalition for a fashion display on America Recycles Day.  Students also worked with Goodwill, which donated clothing that was reused or upcycled for the fashion show.  All in all, we showcased the possibilities of using recyclable materials to create functional, fun outfits. Yet other students designed and modeled their own creations made of plastic bottle caps, plastic bags, and corrugated cardboard.

In the theater of our Campus Center, the fashion show proved a great success and planted the seed for further community awareness and involvement in the burgeoning field of “Ethical Fashion”.  With a little consciousness and some recycling, we can easily find ways to feel really good about what we wear!

During the fall semester, we were challenged to discuss and research […] issues in production and distribution as well as workers’ rights and sweatshop labor.” (Samantha Reichman, Secretary of the Student Ethical Fashion Organization, The College of William and Mary)

“Real Women Have Curves” by Josefina López – a play about near-sweatshop-labor conditions in East Los Angeles

Samantha Reichman collected the plastic bottle caps that topped the various drinks consumed by her family. She used this dress as a kind of intervention -- to bring awareness of the waste produced through the consumption of bottled water.

Student modeling a dress recycled by Goodwill Industries, an organization with which the Student Ethical Fashion Organization partnered for the first annual ethical fashion show that featured a great deal of recycled apparel.

Group Photo: The first annual Ethical Fashion Show at College of William and Mary

Find more photos like this on Social Alterations// NING Network

Gallatin Eco-Fashion Week

“Save the dates for a dynamic line-up of informative lectures and panels, roundtable discussions, educational workshops, presentations, art installations, and fashion shows that will uncover the trends emerging throughout the world of eco-fashion. The majority of ideas featured at Gallatin Eco-Fashion Week 2010 will highlight the unique, original research of Gallatin community members.

Gallatin Eco-Fashion Week not only recognizes environmentally and socially responsible fashion, but also critically examines what the terms “eco” and “green” really mean within the fashion world. The event is organized by a diverse committee comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and administrators.” (NYU, Gallatin Eco-Fashion Week)

Here is the Schedule:

Monday, January 25

Opening Night
“Eco Chic: Art Representation & Green Living” panel discussion
5:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, January 26

Gallatin Galleries Exhibit
Eco-inspired works by the Gallatin community
9 a.m.–7 p.m.

“Shades of Green”
Eco Talks
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Shades of Green” lunchtime roundtable discussions
12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Fashion Workshop
“Working with Sustainable Materials”
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Please RSVP

Wednesday, January 27

Fashion Workshop
“Fashion Sketching for the Aspiring Designer”
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Please RSVP

“Up-cycling for Accessories”
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Please RSVP

“Haute Eco-uture” Fashion Show
Featuring designs by Gallatin students and alumni
6:30 p.m.

All events will be held at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study / 1 Washington Place, New York, NY, 10003 (valid ID required toenter building).

For more information: contact Jessica Lee.

Title: Gallatin Eco-Fashion Week
Location: New York
Link out: Click here
Start Date: 2010-01-25
End Date: 2010-01-27

Source:  NYU and Ecouterre

People & Planet: Student Competition

Looking for ways to get your students more involved with the ethical fashion movement?

Check out People & Planet’s Wear Fair fashion show competition:

“People and Planet are holding a national competition for student groups who put on a Fairtrade Cotton fashion show to launch the Wear Fair campaign at their school or college. The group who organise the best show will win a bundle of clothes by cutting edge ethical designer Annie Greenabelle. They will also have the opportunity to meet a Fairtrade producer so they can hear first hand about the positive impact of their campaigning in their school or college.

Each Fair Trade fashion show entered into the competition will be judged by how well it succeeds in three areas:

  • How inspiring and creative the show is
  • How well the show describes Fairtrade cotton
  • How successfully the show is used to gain support for the Wear Fair campaign

For further information and to enter please see the People and Planet website.” (FEI)

Click here to get started and here to enter the competition! Good Luck!

**Deadline for Application is April 20th, 2010**

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

The GreenShows, Eco Fashion Week


Title: The GreenShows, Eco Fashion Week
Location: New York, NY
Link out: Click here

“The GreenShows is the only premiere fashion event exclusively committed to ecofriendly, ethically-sound, fair-trade fashion in New York City.

The GreenShows will produce a comprehensive canvas for full-length runway shows that feature an edited selection of 11 designers. Each designer will be given the opportunity to show their entire Fall 2010 collection before an audience of influential editors, buyers, and VIPs.

The GreenShows will host an opening night runway show and event on Febuary 15, 2010 followed by two days of shows. An entirely green venue will house this eco extravaganza in downtown Manhattan. The GreenShows will coincide with New York City’s world-renowned Fashion Week and beyond the shows, Eco Fashion Week will be an immersive green experience for all attendees.

We believe beautiful fashion can be considerate of the earth, animals and mankind. The mission of The GreenShows is to share this vision.” (GreenShows, Media Kit)

Start Date: 2010-02-15
End Date: 2010-02-17