Meet the Invisible Women Who Stitch Your Shoes

by , 03/08/16   filed under: Features, Worker Rights

Labour Behind the Label, Clean Clothes Campaign, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, sweatshops, sweatshop workers, sweatshop labor, forced labor, eco-friendly shoes, sustainable shoes, Ilana Winterstein

Photos by Heather Stilwell

The phrase “sweatshop labor” conjures up images of factory settings in faraway lands with row upon row of machines operated by young women, all working long hours for poverty pay to earn profits in the millions for the Western garment and shoe companies they stitch for. You might think of factory disasters, such as the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, in which over 1,130 workers were killed, or the 2012 Ali Enterprises factory fire, where 254 workers lost their lives. But you probably won’t think of a woman, whom we’ll call Jyoti (all names have been changed to protect workers’ identities), sitting bent double on the floor of her home, hand-stitching leather uppers for shoes to be sold on U.K. high streets.

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31 Bits: Exquisite Recycled Paper Jewelry, Made by Ugandan Artisans

by , 03/07/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Friendly Jewelry, Fair Trade, Retrend Alert, Reused / Recycled Eco-Fashion, Women's Eco-Fashion

 

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At This Tokyo Café, Customers Spin Cotton While They Wait

by , 03/04/16   filed under: DIY Eco-Fashion, Eco-Fashion News

Tokyo Cotton Village, Orgabits, cotton, organic cotton, cotton spinning, DIY fashion, DIY projects, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Japan, Tokyo

Fancy a snack with a side of raw organic cotton? If you dropped by Tokyo Cotton Village’s café in Kōenji this past January, that’s precisely what you got. From January 23 to 31, the pop-up establishment offered coffee, tea, and pound cake, plus a brief lesson in spinning roving into yarn for ¥1,500 ($13)—extra if you planned on taking the wooden drop spindle home. If the experience had you piqued, the café also meted out more advanced workshops, such loom weaving and indigo dyeing. As far as Tokyo Cotton Village founder Takuya Tomizawa is concerned, spinning just might be the new yoga.

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"Grimm" Actress Claire Coffee, Looptworks Create Upcycled Backpack

by , 03/03/16   filed under: Eco-Celebrities, Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Friendly Bags, Retrend Alert, Reused / Recycled Eco-Fashion, Women's Eco-Fashion

 

The Craftivist Collective Wants to Change the World, One Stitch at a Time

by , 03/03/16   filed under: DIY Eco-Fashion, Features, Interviews, Q&A, Worker Rights

Craftivist Collective, fashion activism, Sarah Corbett, knitting, crocheting, sewing, eco-fashion, crafting, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, DIY projects, DIY fashion, interviews, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop workers, sweatshop labor, forced labor

For as long as she can remember, Sarah Corbett has been fighting for social justice. Growing up in an activist family, she experienced firsthand how energy-intensive, frustrating, and ineffective conventional campaigning and protesting can be. In her search to engage the public more respectfully, she founded the Craftivist Collective to channel the meditative crafts of embroidery and cross-stitch into vehicles for change. What started out with a few miniature protest banners, earnestly rendered with messages such as “Now’s the time to act for justice” and “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” has since exploded into a global movement more than 1,000 members strong. It’s easy to “pick up the thread,” as Corbett describes it. Would-be “craftivists” can even purchase ready-to-stitch kits at the group’s online store. Ecouterre caught up with Corbett to learn about this new form of “gentle protest,” how crafting can lead to a more mindful approach to activism, and the role craftivism can play in promoting a more ethical fashion industry.

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How Yarn Bombing Grew From Fringe Activity to Global Movement

by , 03/03/16   filed under: DIY Eco-Fashion, Eco-Art, Video

How did “yarn bombing,” a form of street graffiti that turns everyday objects into colorful knitted or crocheted displays, grow from a quirky personal statement into an international movement? Perhaps it has to do with our desire for human connections in our urban milieus, suggests Magda Sayeg, otherwise known as the “mother of yarn bombing.” “I think we’ve all become desensitized by our overdeveloped cities that we live in, and billboards and advertisements, and giant parking lots, and we don’t even complain about that stuff anymore,” she said in a TED talk. “So when you stumble upon a stop sign pole that’s wrapped in knitting and it seems so out of place and then gradually—weirdly—you find a connection to it, that is the moment. That is the moment I love and that is the moment I love to share with others.” Today, a fire hydrant; tomorrow the world.

+ TED

 

Technology is Key to Driving a More Sustainable Fashion Industry

by , 03/02/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion News

WGSN, WGSN Futures, Lauretta Roberts, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

Photo by Amberjack

It’s a refrain we’ve heard repeated so many times before: In a world where networks are no longer constrained by borders and communication is practically instantaneous, designers are struggling to keep pace with a speed of fashion best described as “brand new today, discount rack tomorrow.” In fact, nowhere among the creative sectors is the pressure to deliver “felt more keenly” than in fashion, according to Lauretta Roberts, director of WGSN Futures, which released on Monday a white paper on technology’s role in boosting fashion’s sustainability and success. “Yes,” she wrote in the introduction to the report, “the very thing has helped speed the industry up to its current break-neck speed, holds the answer to restructuring the industry for a more sustainable and successful future.”

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Uniqlo Just Launched "Made in the U.S.A." Jeans

by , 03/01/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Men's Eco-Fashion, Organic Denim, Women's Eco-Fashion

Uniqlo, made in the U.S.A., eco-friendly denim, sustainable denim, eco-friendly jeans, sustainable jeans, Cone Denim, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Los Angeles

Whatever The North Face is doing, it might be catching. Just last week, Uniqlo debuted a line of American-made jeans for men and women (small print: with imported parts). The Japanese apparel brand, which was linked to sweatshop conditions in China as late as 2015, produced the capsule line in Los Angeles in collaboration with Cone Denim, owner of one of the few denim mills still operating in the United States. Retailing from $69.90 a pop, the slim- to skinny-fit jeans comprise the latter company’s “VaraBlue” fabrics, which Cone Denim says require less water and fewer chemicals than traditional denim.

+ Made in the U.S.A. Jeans $69.90-$79.90

+ Uniqlo

 

The North Face Brings Back "Backyard" Hoodie, Expands Made in U.S.A.

by , 03/01/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Fashion News, Men's Eco-Fashion, Women's Eco-Fashion

 

Your $8 Shirt is a Problem—This Video Explains Why

Your $8 Shirt is a Problem—This Video Explains Why

In the video primer above, Eve Andrews from Grist explains why bargain clothing is the root of fashion’s social and environmental ills. An $8 shirt may seem like chump change to…

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Juvenile Ostriches "Butchered" for Hermès, Prada Bags, Says PETA

Juvenile Ostriches "Butchered" for Hermès, Prada Bags, Says PETA

The secret side of luxury ostrich handbags has been revealed in a haunting new video by PETA. Shot in South African slaughterhouses, the film shows the grim lives of newly hatched…

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3 Celebrities Who Wore Eco-Fashion to the 2016 Oscars

3 Celebrities Who Wore Eco-Fashion to the 2016 Oscars

Photo by Aaron Poole/A.M.P.A.S. GREEN CARPET “As sustainable fashion becomes more urgent, Red Carpet Green Dress is honored to partner with two rising stars, Sophie Turner and…

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Minan Wong Brings Recycled Fabrics, Feminine Designs to NY Fashion Week

Minan Wong Brings Recycled Fabrics, Feminine Designs to NY Fashion Week

During a snowy, bitter-cold New York Fashion Week, the Nolcha Shows “Ones to Watch” heated up the runway, spotlighting a selection of Made in the USA fashion brands and student work…

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Rebecca Minkoff: Tech Can Reduce Fashion's Environmental Impact

Rebecca Minkoff: Tech Can Reduce Fashion's Environmental Impact

Photo by K2 images/Shutterstock “I hope that with our new model #seebuywear, we will have less guesswork and waste going in to the process as we are making things that are…

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This is the World's Oldest-Known Garment Still in Existence

This is the World's Oldest-Known Garment Still in Existence

There’s vintage and then there’s vintage. The so-called “Tarkhan Dress,” a V-neck linen shirt currently on show at University College London’s Petrie…

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Clothing Rental Could Become the Norm on British High Street, Says Report

Clothing Rental Could Become the Norm on British High Street, Says Report

Photo by Shutterstock As clothing trends change as quickly as the seasons, British high street stores are considering going the way of Netflix- offering up high end clothing for rent to…

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Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $72 Mil in Suit Claiming Baby Powder Caused Cancer

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $72 Mil in Suit Claiming Baby Powder Caused Cancer

Photo by Shutterstock A Missouri jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who claimed to have developed ovarian cancer after using…

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Bureo Debuts Sunglasses Made From 100 Percent Recycled Fishing Nets

Bureo Debuts Sunglasses Made From 100 Percent Recycled Fishing Nets

SEA CHANGE Designed in collaboration with Karun, an eyewear company based in Chile, all three styles in the “Ocean Collection” comprise 100 percent traceable and recycled…

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