In it, Anvil tries to get across the dangers of pesticide use in conventional farming. They also remind us that we, as consumers, have a choice to make: we can be part of a negative cycle of degradation or part of a positive cycle of growth.
Organic Exchange is presenting this year’s Sustainable Textiles conference in New York on October 27th-28th. Check out the plenary speakers!
The workshops and discussions include:
- Recycled Textiles, Bio-Based Textiles, and Natural Textiles
- Environmental Impacts of Dyeing and Finishing
- Carbon Footprinting In the Textile Industry
- Product and Materials Indexing
- Ensuring Product Integrity Claims
- Understanding the Regulatory Landscape
- Energy and Water Conservation and Waste Minimization
- Cotton + Sustainability
The list of companies attending:
- Anvil Knitwear
- Bergman Rivera
- C&A Buying
- Chico’s FAS
- Control Union Certification
- Deckers Outdoor Corporation/Simple Shoes
- Disney Consumer Products
- Egedeniz Tekstil
- Eileen Fisher
- Fountain Set, Ltd.
- Gap, Inc.
- Green Textile
- H&M Hennes & Maurtitz AB
- Hemp Fortex
- Hermann Buhler AG
- Kowa, Inc
- L.L. Bean
- Li & Fung
- Mountain Equipment Co-op
- Orta Anadolu
- Portico Home + Spa
- Pratibha Syntex
- PT Indorama
- Remei AG/bioRe
- Shell Foundation
- Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative
- Thai Alliance Textile Co., Ltd.
- Vertical Knits SA DE CV
- Walmart Stores, Inc.
Clearly, this is a major industry event! There is a registration fee for this conference. To learn more click here!
Check out this Wind Knitting Factory by RCA grad Merel Karhof.
But don’t just stop there—also check out Karhof’s Energy Harvesters: broaches that are worn to illustrate the amount of personal wind power harvested as you walk around!
“The knitted material is harvested from time to time and rounded-off in individually packaged scarves. Each scarf has its own label which tells you in how much time it has been knitted and on which date.” (Merel Karhof)
Click here to visit Core77, where Lisa Smith has more details. According to Smith, this is “quite a smart way to think about all the ways we can harvest the potential around us. especially if applied at the scale of a factory.”
We agree! This is a brilliant project–and the images and videos are wonderful!
As I had mentioned in a previous post, I emailed Hare+Hart some interview questions which they promptly answered. Company founders, Jennie Engelhardt and Emily Harrison, are doing some very inspiring work in the leather business and have taken the time out of their busy schedule (including moving and preparing for a two month trip to Argentina to work on their upcoming line) to answer our questions. Thank you Hare+Hart.
“The most important thing that we want people to learn is that small efforts can make a big difference.”
Who’s your favourite responsible Canadian designer?
Fashion Takes Action (FTA) has officially launched Canada’s 1st annual eco design award, Design Forward.
I had the pleasure of working on this project, and I am so excited that Social Alterations could support this important initiative in Canada, and I will explain the extent of our participation in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!
Here are the nominees:
- Paper People Clothing
- Laura Chenoweth
- Revolve Clothing Co.
- Nicole Bridger
- Salts Organic
- Lav & Kush
- deux fm
- We3 (twigg&hottie)
All the information you need has been made available to you, the public, and you are invited to vote online for the designer you believe best represents ‘eco design’ in Canada. Once you have cast your vote, the decision will be left in the hands of the jury, who will select their winning choice from the top three finalists.
The criterion for voting is based on production, material, design, and special features. Take your time getting to know each designer: you only get one vote, so make it count!
Check out the prize, valued at approximately $50,000!
- A free membership in Fashion Takes Action
- A three-month national PR campaign, provided by Third Eye Media
- Feature in EcoSalon – the number one green fashion blog!
- Participation at Nolcha Fashion Week’s Ethical Fashion Preview in NYC in September 2010
- Travel and accommodations for two, provided by Air Miles Reward Program
- 75 meters of eco-friendly fabric, supplied by Telio (to make a sample collection to show in NYC)
- Look book photo shoot with full creative team including photographer, models, hair & makeup and stylist
- Look book graphic design by pencil design
- $1,000 towards Fair trade and Organic certification, provided by Ecocert.
The voting will close @ midnight on Friday, April 16th.
To all the designers, we wish you luck!
March 22nd is World Water Day. Here are just a handful of stats out of the UN report World Water Day 2010: Clean Water for a Healthy World, “Water quality facts and statistics”:
- Worldwide, infectious diseases such as waterborne diseases are the number one killer of children under five years old. More people die from unsafe water annually than from all forms of violence, including war. (WHO 2002)
- Unsafe water causes 4 billion cases of diarrhoea each year, and results in 2.2 million deaths, mostly of children under five. This means that 15% of child deaths each year are attributable to diarrhoea – a child dying every 15 seconds. In India alone, the single largest cause of ill health and death among children is diarrhoea, which kills nearly half a million children each year. (WHO and UNICEF 2000)
- Freshwater species have faced an estimated extinction rate five times greater than that of terrestrial species. (Ricciardi and Rasmussen 1999)
- Point-of- use drinking water treatment through chlorine and safe storage of water could result in 122.2 million avoided DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years, a measure of morbidity), at a total cost of US$ 11.4 billion. (UN WWAP 2003)
- 70% of untreated industrial wastes in developing countries are disposed into water where they contaminate existing water supplies. (UN-Water 2009)
For more stats and facts, and to download the full report click here.
Here is a video form charity: water, “a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects” on their campaign for Haiti.
Within the context of responsible fashion design, water consumption, pollution and contamination are endemic within the industry, make no mistake.
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has done the math on cotton and water:
10,000-17,000 litres of water = 1 kg of cotton lint
6 pints of water = 1cotton bud
Global cotton consumption has been estimated to be responsible for 2.6 per cent of the global water use, however, much of the impact is not felt in the country where the cotton is consumed, but where it has been produced. As a global average, 44 per cent of the water use for cotton growth and processing is not for serving the domestic market but for export.
As a result it has been estimated that nearly half of the water problems in the world related to cotton growth and processing can be attributed to foreign demand for cotton products. In this respect, it has been calculated that 84% of EU’s cotton-related water footprint lies outside the EU, with major impacts particularly in India and Uzbekistan.
Cotton production has a high impact on freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity through activities such as excessive water withdrawal for irrigation, runoff from fields, drainage, pesticide application, dam construction and land reclamation. The activities result in a range of impacts from salinisation, pollution to loss of soil and biodiversity.
The issue of bottled water is yet another side of the story. The Story of Stuff has launched a new campaign, and added a new video to the popular Story of Stuff series “The Story of Bottled Water: How “manufactured demand” pushes what we don’t need and destroys what we need most”. Click here for more information.
UN Water has a TON of interactive campaign materials available online, so be sure to check them out and help spread the word and get involved.
To learn more about the potential social and environmental impacts of cotton in this context, check out the SA Fibre Analysis.
Is there such a product? According to Hare+Hart, there is and they’re using it to make beautifully designed pieces. Company founders, Jennie Engelhardt and Emily Harrison, tell us on their website:
“we believe that the materials and production process are just as important as the aesthetics. We produce our collection in Argentina so that all of our cow leather is sourced from grass-fed, free roaming Argentine cows, providing a better life for the cow as well as preventing marring of the hide. We choose hides from cows that are also being used for beef so that no part of the animal is wasted.”
They then go on to address labour conditions in the production process saying that “we ensure that all of the craftsmen working on our items receive fair wages and benefits.”
Over at GretaGuide, the video below was posted showing Jennie and Emily talking about their company, its values and their vision for the future.
It’s no secret that Mary and I are fans of their designs. Mary has even become a fan on facebook! Still, SA is a website dedicated to responsible design and it’s clear that Hare+Hart have the design bit covered, but we want to know more about the responsible part of their business. So, I emailed Hare+Hart yesterday asking them for an interview and they have graciously accepted (thanks guys!).
If you have any questions that you would like me to ask, please let me know by email or on our facebook fanpage. I plan to email the interview questions on Monday. Stay tuned for an update to this story!!
Here are just two of the videos we took at the conference. We have more videos to come, so stay tuned for those.
The first video is of my Pecha Kucha talk. I’ll be posting the slides and my notes a little later on. Please contact us if you have any questions on the works cited in the presentation.
So here we are in London for the Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference: Fast Forward. Today, Nadira and I will both be presenting at the conference, and with Katrine in attendance, this will mark the first time the SA team is all together in the same place at the same time!
We will be doing lots of blogging and twitter (ing?) from the event, and will have our presentations uploaded later tonight for you to check out, so be sure to tune in.
Follow on twitter via @maryhanlon for that feed.
Wish us luck!
With the current spotlight on ‘green’ fashion over at Vogue U.K. via Livia Firth and the Green Carpet Challenge, we were surprised to see bamboo as designer Linda Loudermilk’s fibre of choice for Colin Firth’s suit at the premier of Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” in Paris.
Despite the comments out of Loudermilk’s office, we’re not quite convinced it was a responsible choice. Even if we were to believe that this bamboo was in fact not rayon, meaning that it was mechanically processed, not chemically processed, and that such mechanical processing was done without violating any human rights, we still think it’s an inappropriate fibre to showcase due to the global misconceptions on the use of bamboo as a responsible fibre both within and outside of the ecofashion movement.
Why not utilize the opportunity to showcase this design in linen, hemp or peace silk?
Here is a refresher on the potential social and environmental (not to mention cultural and economic) consequences of the use of Bamboo fibre, taken from our Fibre Analysis:
What do you think readers? When will the bamboo rayon train leave the ecofashion station?!?!