Tag Archives: Responsibility

Fashion Summit: Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical – NICE

In preparation for the Fashion Summit, Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE) is currently conducting hearings in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark to discuss the implementation of a new 10-year plan as well as a Nordic Code of Conduct- for best practices among fashion companies in Nordic countries. This 10-year plan will be unveiled at the Fashion Summit.

Fashion Summit

Title: Fashion Summit: Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical – NICE
Location: Copenhagen
Link out: Click here
Description: “Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE) is a joint Nordic project with the main purpose of motivating and assisting companies in integrating sustainability and social responsibility in their business processes and practices for the better of society. NICE is an educational project and process created for, and in collaboration with the Nordic fashion industry.”

Date: 2009-12-09

Source: Nordic Fashion Association

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: m.m.van.de.beek@h­va.nl (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

AccesSoireé: The Uniform Project Celebrates 6 Months


On Nov.7th The Uniform Project will be celebrating its 6 month anniversary!

Here are the details:

This unique event is a celebration of style and sensibility, fashion and frugality, glamour and consciousness. Fabulously contradictory and really just another excuse to throw a  party, guests will be treated to a guilt free night of class and decadence. Upping the ante in ethical fashion the face of the project, Sheena Matheiken, will be dressed head to toe by the rapidly rising star and young designer Raffaele Ascione. Ascione shows us how to do couture with a conscience like no other. 

Hosted at Blowup Location  in Williamsburg on Saturday, November 7th, with a private rooftop view of Manhattan and  DJ sets by fashion darling Judi Rosen, The Juan MacLean’s Nancy Wang, Holy Ghost and  more from New York’s finest DFA crew.

This is a strictly private party with a limited amount of tickets available for fans at uniformprojectparty.eventbrite.com   

If you are interested in attending as press please contact Mary Nally at uniformprojectparty@gmail.com  or on 646 255 6066.

As always, all proceeds will go to The Akanksha Foundation.

 Here are some helpful links!

Get Tickets Today

Party Venue

Raffaele Ascione

Official U.P Website 

Watch the U.P Trailer   

Update: Fashioning the Future

 Fashioning the Future

Fashioning the Future brings together a global community of creative thinkers and doers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs ready to offer the fashion industry opportunities for the future.  

Save the Date:
The winners of the 2009 awards will be announced at a reception at London’s City Hall, with thanks to the London Sustainable Development Commission.

(By invitation only)

Awards Reception
25 November, 7–9pm

Highlights of the 2009 awards will be exhibited, with thanks to the London Sustainable Development Commission.

Open to the public, free of charge:

19 – 30 November

Greater London Authority
City Hall, The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA

Highlights of the 2009 awards will also be showcased at London College of Fashion.

Open to the public, free of charge:

16 November – 11 December

Fashion Space Gallery
London College of Fashion
20 John Princes Street
London W1G 0BJ

Fashioning the Future is an annual venture from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, and is supported by the London Sustainable Development Commission’s London Leaders programme.


Chasing Sustainability Conference

Upcoming Event

Chasing Sustainability Conference

Liu Institute for Global Issues
November 6, 2009, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

In today’s evolving economy, business leaders are faced with the challenge of what it means to be truly sustainable. Similarly, students are aware that in order for them to stay at the forefront of this transformation, it is critical that they understand responsible business practices. CUS Sustainability seeks to intertwine business education and sustainability through interactive activities, dynamic speakers, and enlightened discussion at our annual conference, Chasing Sustainability, taking place November 6th, 2009.

In this effort to educate and stimulate, the CUS Sustainability team invites business professionals, environmental leaders, and university faculty to share their expertise with respect to this broad subject. The Chasing Sustainability conference provides an intimate and discussion-oriented setting for engaged and globally-minded students to learn how business can remain competitive economically while simultaneously bettering their environmental and social interactions.

Come register at David Lam Library in the UBC Henry Angus Building.

To download the poster, please click here.

For more information, please visit: http://cussustainability.com/ 


Ethical & Profitable

One of the arguments against fair trade or ethical fashion I hear consistently is that it is not a profitable model.  Is this true?  Maybe the fashion business needs to reconsider their assumptions.  People Tree is just one example of a fashionable, profitable and fair trade fashion label:

Inside Fairtrade fashion – a day in the life of People Tree

Thanks to New Consumer TV for the clip.

Global Sourcing Marketplace


GLOBAL_SOURCING_MARKETPLACE_LOGO2As a culmination of 2009’s Spotlight on Sourcing event series, the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) will be holding a two-day Ethical Sourcing Marketplace in London. The marketplace will bring together representatives of brands and retailers with manufacturers, suppliers and cooperatives working to high ethical standards.

Invitations to attend and exhibit are extended internationally. The event will include a series of short seminars during the day introducing specific suppliers and products.


To promote sustainable fashion practices, and facilitate sustainable sourcing amongst fashion professionals. This event aims to create a platform and opportunities for suppliers with exemplary practices. Ultimately, its goal is to reduce the environmental impact of the industry, support fair and equitable trade, and reduce poverty.

This is a not for profit initiative and all income from participant fees is dedicated towards these goals.


The Global Sourcing Marketplace is run in partnership with some of the most established global networks of suppliers and experts in the ethical, eco and fairtrade fashion fields, including the Fairtrade Foundation, the World Fair Trade Organisation, and the Textiles Environment Design project at Chelsea College.


The event will showcase suppliers both small and large and is designed for fashion industry professionals across the sector- from new entrepreneurs to representatives from large retailers and brands.

Students and graduates are welcomed on the saturday morning between 10.30 and 1pm, for which time discounted student tickets are available.


The Global Sourcing Marketplace is the first and only international sourcing marketplace dedicated to ethical fashion. Exhibitors are drawn from several of the largest international ethical supplier networks, through the Ethical Fashion Forum, the World Fair Trade Organisation and the Fairtrade Foundation.

Title: Global Sourcing Marketplace
Location: London
Link out:
Click here
Start Date: 2009-11-20
End Date: 2009-11-21

Event description directly sourced through EFF