Fashion Revolution Ranks 40 Apparel Brands by Supply-Chain Transparency

Fashion Transparency Index, Fashion Revolution, Ethical Consumer, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, transparency, supply chains, sweatshops, sweatshop workers

When the eight-story Rana Plaza building fell apart at its seams on the morning of April 24, 2013, it took but a moment for the disaster to seal its place as one of worst in Bangladesh’s history. It would be weeks, however, before some of the world’s biggest apparel retailers and brands could determine their relationship, if any, to one or more of the garment factories housed there. The problem, it turned out, was transparency, or rather, the fashion industry’s lack thereof. Clothing supply chains, according to Fashion Revolution, a grassroots movement that rose from the tragedy’s aftermath, are notoriously complex, to the point of being opaque. Contrary to what you might expect, most fashion companies don’t own the factories where their clothes are produced, making it difficult to direct or monitor labor conditions. Complicating matters, a brand can place an order with a single supplier, only to ave parts of it meted out among a number of small, unregulated “shadow” facilities, frequently without its knowledge.

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Is This the Most Sustainable T-Shirt on the Planet?

 

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"Smart" Tampon System Could Help Women Monitor Health, Fertility

by , 04/18/16   filed under: Wearable Technology

NextGen Jane, wearable technology, tampons, design for health, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Harvard University, Ridhi Tariyal, Stephen Gire

Photo by Getty Images

Few women enjoy getting a visit from Aunt Flo. But what if your period could prove more help than hindrance? A pair of Harvard-trained researchers are working on a “smart” tampon system that uses “that time of month” as a diagnostic tool for determining everything from fertility to conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and even cancer. By starting up NextGen Jane, scientist-entrepreneurs Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire say they want to help women proactively track their health in a way that is easy, non-invasive, and discreet. “I was trying to develop a way for women to monitor their own fertility at home,” Tariyal told the New York Times earlier this month. “Those kinds of diagnostic tests require a lot of blood. So I was thinking about women and blood. When you put those words together, it becomes obvious. We have an opportunity every single month to collect blood from women, without needles.”

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Americans Prefer Cheap Goods Over "Made in U.S.A."

by , 04/15/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, The Big Idea

made in the U.S.A., consumerism, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, AP-GfK Poll, Associated Press, GfK

Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Can’t pass up a bargain? You’re not alone. Most Americans say they’d rather buy a lower-price product than shell out a premium for something labeled “made in the U.S.A,” even if it meant that the cheaper item was made overseas, according to a new study by AP-GfK Poll. In a survey of 1,076 adults conducted online from March 31 to April 4, nearly three out of four cited high prices as a barrier to buying goods manufactured in the United States. Just 9 percent of respondents, in fact, said they only buy American. As it turns out, the haves are no less likely than the have-nots to pass up an offer.

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Two Dutch Designers Are Hacking "Fast Fashion" Brands Like H&M, Zara

Hacked by Van Slobbe Van Benthum, Temporary Fashion Museum, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Zara, H&M, fast fashion, recycled fashion, recycled clothing, upcycled fashion, upcycled clothing, the Netherlands, Alexander van Slobbe, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Francisco van Benthum

Photos by Johannes Schwartz

A pair of Dutch designers are turning the tables on “fast fashion.” Tired of playing the role of “unpaid vendors of ideas” for high-street retailers, which have largely built their billion-dollar empires on cheap and trendy knockoffs, Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum are taking production remnants from the likes of H&M, Mango, and Zara and making them their own. The result is Hacked, a project currently on display at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam as part of its “Temporary Fashion Museum” initiative. An indictment of the fast-fashion phenomenon and its nebulous relationship with the laws of man, nature, and economics, Hacked offers, in the words of the designers, a “radical alternative to the growing range of fast-fashion chains,” while serving as a springboard for discussions about intellectual property, consumerism, and waste.

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Demestiks New York is Sticking to Manhattan's Garment District

 

American Apparel May Not Stay "American" Much Longer

by , 04/14/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Fashion News

American Apparel, made in the U.S.A., Los Angeles, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Dov Charney

After a turbulent couple of years that saw the ouster of founder Dov Charney, bankruptcy filings, multiple store closures, and at least 500 layoffs, American Apparel may start outsourcing the production of some of its clothing to other parts of the United States, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. In a letter to employees last week, CEO Paula Schneider blamed workforce cuts on a “redesign of our production process” that will include making fewer garments throughout the year to reduce overstock. Although the embattled retailer currently operates the largest apparel-manufacturing facility in North America, Schneider also hinted that a third-party company could take on the production of “more complicated” garments, such as denim, but “if we do decide to produce some pieces out-of-house they will still be American-made.”

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Slow Factory's Key Necklace Supports Training for Refugees in Lebanon

Slow Factory, Lebanon, Anera, Beirut, Céline Semaan Vernon, fashion philanthropy, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly necklaces, sustainable necklaces, refugees

Viewed from space, the Earth is a glistening, opalescent marble flecked with highlights of white, ultramarine, emerald, and gold. Unmarked by visible borders or ideological boundaries, it’s the sole planet in the universe known to support life. To put it another way, it’s home, and the only one we’ve got. It’s in that spirit that Slow Factory, a New York City firm that turns public-domain NASA satellite and telescope images into statement-making scarves, created its “We Are Home” line. Inspired by the worst refugee crisis since World War II, Slow Factory founder Celine Semaan Vernon designed a necklace based on a mold of her family’s house key, one of many the itinerant clan would possess over the years. Each pendant is crafted from white gold in Vernon’s native Beirut in Lebanon, where millions of asylum seekers have arrived on the wings of war, poverty, and famine.

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The Fashion Revolution Will Be Hashtagged on Social Media

by , 04/12/16   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Worker Rights

 

Amber Valletta: Sustainable Fashion Needs to Expand Toward "Responsibly Made"

Amber Valletta: Sustainable Fashion Needs to Expand Toward "Responsibly Made"

“I believe it’s time for the sustainable fashion movement to expand and move toward ‘responsibly made’ fashion. “Sustainability has focused on the…

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5 Myths About Sustainable Fashion Debunked

5 Myths About Sustainable Fashion Debunked

Photo by Kris Atomic/Unsplash One of the biggest misconceptions about living a greener life is that you need a lot of time and money—two luxuries not a lot of people have. Case in…

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Learn to Knit with Quince & Co.'s Gorgeous Beginner's Kit

Learn to Knit with Quince & Co.'s Gorgeous Beginner's Kit

Want to learn how to knit but don’t know where to begin? Quince & Co.’s gorgeous starter kit will help you master everything from winding a skein to casting off. The…

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Kirrin Finch: Ethical Menswear-Inspired Apparel for Gender Outlaws

Kirrin Finch: Ethical Menswear-Inspired Apparel for Gender Outlaws

Fashion label Kirrin Finch responds to the demand for conscientious apparel designed to fit a range of bodies of all genders. Brooklyn, New York based founders and partners Laura Moffat…

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VIDEO: Five Children From Berlin Ask Fashion Companies for a Job

VIDEO: Five Children From Berlin Ask Fashion Companies for a Job

The same folks who brought us the €2 T-shirt vending machine are back with a new hidden-camera project that exposes the double standards endemic to the fashion industry, specifically,…

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Actor Bill Nighy: Fashion Industry Needs to Treat Workers As Human Beings

Actor Bill Nighy: Fashion Industry Needs to Treat Workers As Human Beings

“Take a look at how the fashion industry works. … It is a global industry that has pioneered driving down costs, putting huge pressure on suppliers and workers, whilst…

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Levi's is Making Jeans From Discarded Fishing Nets, Used Carpets

Levi's is Making Jeans From Discarded Fishing Nets, Used Carpets

Levi’s and Aquafil, an Italian company that recycles waste materials into good-as-virgin nylon fiber, are making beautiful jeans together. First up: A version of Levi’s 522…

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H&M's Anna Gedda: Fair Wages Are Something the Whole Industry Must Drive

H&M's Anna Gedda: Fair Wages Are Something the Whole Industry Must Drive

Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M H&M CONSCIOUS? Together with Hendrik Alpen, sustainability business expert, stakeholder engagement, at H&M, Gedda addressed some…

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MIT's New Manufacturing Hub to Lead U.S. in Textile Innovation

MIT's New Manufacturing Hub to Lead U.S. in Textile Innovation

Photos by M. Scott Brauer for MIT The U.S. Department of Defense has tapped a broad coalition of manufacturers, universities, and nonprofits to spearhead an ambitious new project to…

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