Blog Action Day! See Through Fashion

Today’s the day: bloggers and consumers alike are chiming in for ethical fashion.

SeeThroughFashion (3)The Global Poverty Project is inviting consumers to join forces on their latest campaign, See Through Fashion. In an effort to pressure high-street retailers to publish their supply chains, the campaign encourages consumers to become Global Citizens. Thanks to the Global Poverty Project, I was able to learn about how to get involved in cyber space and join in “catalyzing the movement to end extreme poverty” for offline action.

Global Citizen is an innovative online platform and mobile application that tracks and rewards activist actions through a point-scoring system. While I was unable to attend the Global Citizen festival in Central Park, NYC, I was able to sign several petitions and watch informative videos through the Global Citizen concept. At times one can feel hopeless after the 1,100+ peolpe who died in the Rena Plaza tragedy, but this small step of getting involved and staying informed is one way to remember the lives lost and demand transparency so that fashion can have a different future.

“Trade should lift people out of extreme poverty rather than keep them in it”

Check out this cool STF infographic to learn more! stf-one-pager-with-refs-final.pdf

How do you say “good” in Bengali?

ভাল

Tinkona Silk Scarf - long

Tinkona Silk Scarf – Long

bhalo

^ The Bangla word for good, excellent, proper, fair, helpful, honest (according to Google Translate) is a hopeful response to the familiar “How are you?” greeting of Kaemon Achen; it’s aptly used for this refreshingly simple style of design.

Tinkona Silk Scarf - square

Tinkona Silk Scarf – Square

I came across the brand on Twitter under the left-hand panel or ‘Who to follow’ section and quickly followed suit, finding new silhouettes and funky prints on the site.

The product is a balanced mix of dramatic, tailored pieces and fun, vibrant creations.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The first shot is so inviting, but I prefer the print in the second photo.

Jora Shorts - pink/purple

Jora Shorts – Pink/Purple

Jora Shorts - Grapefruit/Lilac

Jora Shorts – Grapefruit/Lilac

 

 

MAPLE TROUSER

Maple Trouser

Cloudgazer Skirt

Cloudgazer Skirt

From there, it was easy to access the brand’s website from it’s Twitter handle. On the homepage, I could shop and learn about the fair trade sustainable fashion mission and its development partner Thanapara Swallows.

I also love the construction (with paneling made from comfy fabric) of this dress in Tangerine with Violet…

Panels&Pockets Dress - Tangerine/Claret

Panels&Pockets Dress – Tangerine/Violet

…or Claret (*ahem* yes, those are pockets).

Panels&Pockets Dress - Tangerine/Claret

Panels&Pockets Dress – Tangerine/Claret

Now, on to the Lookbook

Daring Designers – Pioneers of Sustainable Styling

^ special thanks to guest writer Eve for her take on how to be ‘fashainable’

For many who choose to take a more sustainable outlook on style, their choices at the mall can become a little limited. Synthetic fabrics in bright hues will be shunned by eco-friendly and energy efficient converts thanks to the effects toxins and waste have on the environment, while vegans will shun anything with a hint of animal by-product in the vicinity – bye bye leather shoes and purse! However, there are a growing number of designers out there “cottoning” on (geddit?) to the sustainable fashion trend, and not all products which are earth-friendly will break the bank. Many, in fact, are hitting hot trend blogs across America thanks to a combination of their sassy style and bargain prices.

Just like wider fashion, choosing a sustainable style which works for you is all about checking out the portfolios of various designers and then picking pieces which suit you. Mix, match, cut, sew, whatever you like – your sustainable style could well become the hottest look this Spring/Summer.

Picking your Pieces
Before committing to any purchase it is important to question whether it fits with your sustainable plan – not all stores and websites come with Modavanti.com’s badge system to tell you which categories a piece falls under! For example, while a pair of shoes may be organic and vegan, they will not necessarily fall under the USA-made umbrella, while a reclaimed leather clutch is a prime example of recycled materials which will still not sit well with vegan ethics. Therefore, clueing yourself up about the fortes of certain designers is probably the most logical first step.
For an organic shoe lover, Mink Shoes can certainly be recommended. Cork soles and organic canvas make up the vegan-friendly design, with owner Rebecca Mink’s location in Southern California doing it for those who love their all-American apparel. Levi’s Brand Denim is more of a household name which is doing its bit for the environment rather than a bespoke eco designer, but with large fashion houses being encouraged to cut down on waste and quit using toxic dyes, simply being a big name in fashion is no longer a guarantee that the designer is sacrificing Mother Earth for a pastel shade. Yet while traditionalists looking for a mass produced eco item will be tripping over themselves for these trendy pants, fans of handmade or ethnic pieces may wish to search elsewhere.

Organic Organizations
Increasing numbers of bodies within the fashion industry have recognized a very public swing towards sustainability, with the result that a number of groups have sprung up to promote this eco-friendly move. Most do not deal solely with the fashion industry and cover all areas of retail needing a gentle reminder of our planet’s plight, including electronics and food.

The Fair Labor Association, for example, has worked since 1999 to improve the lives of millions of workers, and is made up of various socially responsible companies, colleges and civil society organizations. As well as campaigning with fashion brands to provide better working conditions and fair wages for all workers regardless of background or country, it provides educational materials for students wishing to become more eco-friendly. Similarly, the Sustainable Fashion Apparel aims to educate and convert existing brands, but rather than focusing on workers it measures the environmental and social performance of apparel using the Higg Index.

Remember your Rights
It can be all too easy to fall into the trap of believing businesses supporting eco fashion are warriors of the people who will treat every customer like gods. Unfortunately, while these businesses may be a little more focused on saving the planet than others, they are still businesses and as such need to make a profit – meaning that returning items and getting a refund will be no different than in the usual mall stores. While retailers will usually refund or exchange faulty goods, the waters of fashion can be murky as there is no guarantee you didn’t rip or damage clothing between taking it from the store and returning it. Checking the Consumer Action Handbook for advice if you are in any doubt as to your rights is recommended – after all, what’s hotter than an eco-conscious shopper who knows the law of the land, right?! Eco fashion is all about being educated, style smart and streetwise. So keep on-trend today by hitting up the hottest new designers and getting your foot in fashion’s edgiest door.

Cityblis launches first of its kind online fashion pressroom

 

 

Cityblis logo

Cityblis logo

 

San Francisco, CA. – Today Cityblis.com launched the Cityblis Media Center – an online pressroom combining ecommerce and digital publishing. This first-of-its kind online service gives reporters and journalists front row access to thousands of the world’s best independent designers. Consolidating all digital content from high-resolution images to press releases into one central hub, the Media Center expands the international fashion platform to a whole new sector.

The idea is a combination of Reuters and Glam Media specifically developed for the fashion industry. “Cityblis is not just a fashion platform anymore. With the launch of the Cityblis Media Center it is now also a full featured digital media hub”, said Christopher Price, Chief Operating Officer. “We are no longer just enabling our designers to sell more products; we are enabling them to brand their companies. And therein lies the value of the Media Center. No other company out there is offering this capability on such an international scale”.

The Cityblis Media Center was developed in close collaboration with designers, journalists, bloggers and other media professionals. The goal is twofold – Firstly, give every designer a voice in a much crowded space. And secondly, enable journalists to filter the noise to discover content that is relevant to them. Featuring advanced categories and filters the Media Center is divided up into six different sections to best deliver not only exclusive press releases but deliver the full story behind each brand. From high-resolution images, videos, live feeds, product launches, event invitations, samples and trending topics the Cityblis Media Center is the first place to go to get the best independent fashion news directly from the runway.

With designers like Sacha London and LASVIII Paris, the majority of Cityblis’ invitation only community are already well-known brands in their own countries. Through Cityblis they have been able to reach new international customers. And with the introduction of the Media Center and over 20,000 invited media professionals, these brands will now be able to start branding themselves globally.

The Cityblis Media Center is not only a powerful tool for designers. Journalists, bloggers and media professionals are able to publish links to their articles on the Cityblis Press Page to give readers another dimension to their Cityblis experience. All articles are curated by reporters and readers, not by Cityblis ensuring an unbiased reporting of news.

“Imagine having a front row seat to New York Fashion Week – but instead of seeing it twice a year, we are bringing you new designers, new collections and new content daily”, said Christopher Price. “Our vision is for every Cityblis designer to be a global brand and we will continue to build technology that enables our community to do exactly that”.

Through great fashion find unique people, unique moments, unique stories and share them with the world.

 

Cityblis – Be Unique

 

Princeton Fashion Week: Sustainable Fashion Initiative

SFI organizers and designers

SFI organizers and designers

“It’s like Studio 54 in there” says the security guard as he closes the door, “I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get in.” My coworker and I share a perplexed look; we R.S.V.P.-ed! We arrived early, mingled, and were waiting anxiously, pleasantly surprised to see the large turnout. Luckily, we were able to get into the evening’s exclusive event: the Sustainable Fashion Initiative’s (SFI) Fashion Show. After being counted by the museum staff, we were ushered in and directed to our seats just as the lights dimmed. There might not have been a disco ball in sight, but the evident energy certainly felt like we were at a famous hot spot. The audience hushed and prepared for the show to begin as Co-Founder Jenna Rodrigues took to the podium.

Princeton Fashion Week could not have had a more appropriate ending to the seven-days-long series of events and panels—the show was spectacular and ignited inspiration with every model’s pose. Set against preserved paintings and sculpted statues, one could not help but study the revolutionary art form. Fashion has long been wearable art and an extremely personal expression of one’s self, but until recently, one’s values would often times have to be compromised. Now, with designers like Tabii Just—a brand grounded in a “0% waste” philosophy, even incorporating this mindset into the garments’ designs with beautiful draping and flattering construction (see our Tasha Skirt below, available online at Modavanti.com) and REBORN by Soham Dave—a brand that uses natural dyes and partners with artisans, we as consumers and more importantly, as people, have access to an amazing variety of brands that fit our values without compromising on style.

Seated a few rows behind the action, I was able to take in the scene as a true spectator. How exciting it was to see young, educated, stylish college students point out their favorite pieces as they strolled down the runway or to hear whispering among friends as they exchanged validating eyebrow-raises, confirming “CUTE!” while nodding their heads in agreement.

the Tasha Skirt by Tabii Just takes its final twirl on the runway

the Tasha Skirt by Tabii Just takes its final twirl on the runway

Models, designers, and participants alike were decked out in the latest sustainable fashion. “This is from A Peace Treaty!” SFI Co-founder Meg Partidge exclaimed with pride, flashing her jeweled finger. Is it true? Are we finally returning to a place in history where fashion can be regarded as valuable and desirable? We have come a long way since 1954. Perhaps we’ve even entered the future?

Want to learn more about the Sustainable Fashion Initiative at Princeton University? DIY: Be fashainable and check out the SFI’s first edition of VERTE magazine, the new e-zine publication for sustainable fashion.

showcase

Be sure to view more photos like the one above from the Brand Showcase (held before the fashion show) to find products from A Peace Treaty, Indego Africa, and more!

Sustainable Style – Choose Eco-Friendly Fashion

^ special thanks to writer Eve for her take on how to be ‘fashainable’ in this guest post:

Anyone with an ear to the fashion grapevine will know that sustainability is totally on-trend right now. Medical advancements mean that infant mortality rates have dropped hugely and we are now living longer than ever before – with the result that our clothing consumption has hit an all-time high. This means higher production rates, an increase in the number of designers wanting to break into this tough industry and, above all, a need for more and more materials.

Sustainable fashion, also known as eco fashion, has begun to infiltrate local chain stores as well as the catwalks, with designers from the top down using fair trade workers and non-toxic dyes in order to make a sustainable statement.

Understanding Eco Fashion

Many people assume that eco fashion is all about recycled fabrics and clothes made from leaves, but this is not true at all. There are a number of different ways you can make a difference to the way you shop without changing your style at all – in fact, you could already be eco-shopping without knowing it!

For example, if you choose faux fur over the genuine article or avoid leather like the plague, you are already following a vegan fashion pattern. Vegans will not wear (or eat) any animal by-product, therefore keeping fur and leather well away from their wardrobes. Or maybe you prefer your fashion one of a kind and therefore buy handmade items? In doing this, you are helping to cut down on waste which is created by mass manufacturing, whilst also ensuring you are buying a quality product which is created to last for years. This cuts down the need to constantly replace worn or damaged clothing, and thus saves the planet. Easy, huh?

There are plenty of resources out there which provide information on sustainable fashion, and once you understand how many ways there are to adopt a sustainable wardrobe, making the switch is a piece of cake.

How You Can Help

So you’ve already decided to cross-check every label for toxic dyes and sworn off anything which isn’t made from organic materials – excellent! You’ve taken a huge step forward and are definitely doing your bit for sustainable shopping. Yet the part many people forget is what to do with the clothes once you’ve finished with them. Shockingly many people forget that clothing and textiles are just as recyclable as plastics, cardboard and glass, and as a result tons of unwanted clothes end up on landfill sites every year. However, it is estimated that up to 95 per cent of these items could be re-worn, re-used or recycled. In that case – why not get creative?

Donating an unwanted sweater to charity or shredding up and old shirt to use as a cleaning cloth is a good place to start, but hardly the most inventive use of the materials at hand. An old pair of jeans with a hole in the knee could be turned into a cute pair of Daisy Dukes or a new purse, while the unused bottom half could be cut up, dyed or redesigned and turned into patches to customise other items. Sometimes, of course, things are too damaged to be saved or re-used, but this is where the true meaning of recycling comes in. Textile fibres or insulating materials can be created from these garments in an ideal example of preventing waste.

Smart Stores

Fortunately, fashion chain stores are now beginning to realise the impact our massive demand for new clothes is having on our planet. Last year, Zara announced its commitment to going toxic-free by reducing the number of hazardous chemicals used in its garment production, while H&M has recently launched an ethical fashion range called Conscious. As well as cutting down on the amount of water used in denim production and committing to using only organic cotton, the retailer is also rewarding customers for dropping off bags of recyclable clothing by giving them money off vouchers for each bag donated. It is very clear that the fashion world is embracing sustainability in a way few other industries are – while clothing manufacturers are making an attempt to use non-toxic dyes in clearing our waterways, the pharmaceutical industry continues to dump harmful materials in the system, for example.

As consumers, we dictate the trends, the styles and the way things are produced; or to put it more simply, if we don’t buy it they won’t make it. By raising awareness of the need for sustainability in all industries, we truly can change the world.