Ask a Designer

How Can We Create a More Transparent Fashion Industry?

Transparency enables brands and retailers to know their supply chain, engage with their suppliers, and improve the environmental and social impacts associated with the production of…

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ASK PATAGONIA: When Did Repair Become a Radical Act?

This holiday season, I have an early New Year’s resolution for the sake of Planet Earth: let’s all become radical environmentalists. This sounds like a big leap—but it’s not.…

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How Can We Make Sure Our Clothes Weren't Produced in a Sweatshop?

Photo by A. M. Ahad for Associated Press The structural collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, which has claimed the lives of over 300 people, is a horrific tragedy that raises…

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Can Designers Afford to Ignore the Traditional Fashion Calendar?

Photos by Graeme Mitchell You know you have a good idea when you start telling people about it and they nod their heads giving you the sense they’ve had the same idea. Admittedly,…

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Does Transparency in the Clothing Supply Chain Matter?

Last January, we celebrated one year of Honest By. Twelve months have passed and Honest By is ticking over nicely with enough buyers to ensure that the collections are selling out.…

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Why Are Fashion Brands Committing to Detoxing in 2020 and Not Earlier?

Sometimes the longest struggles can be the most rewarding. After 10 months of #PeoplePowered activities and behind-the-scenes haggling, G-Star Raw finally committed to eliminate all…

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Is New York City's Garment Center Worth Saving?

At this very moment, thousands of people in Midtown Manhattan are designing and manufacturing apparel all within a 10-block radius in New York City’s Garment Center. The innovation,…

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14 American Designers Tell Us What "Made in the U.S.A." Means to Them

BRITT HOWARD (PORTLAND GARMENT FACTORY) Made in America means considering the entire creative process from concept to production. Being conscience of the true impact manufacturing has…

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Why Does Fair-Trade Fashion Matter?

The following is an excerpt from Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution (2012, New Internationalist) by Safia Minney. It seems like a very small thing to us, choosing a…

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How Can We Educate Our Youth About Fast Fashion's Harmful Effects?

Photo by Shutterstock Thanks to a combination of technological innovation and developing global economies, “fast fashion” is now ubiquitous on the high street. A one-two…

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What is "Slow Fashion" and Why Does It Matter?

“Slow fashion” is a sustainable and ethical alternative that is fundamentally reconstructing the contemporary fast-fashion system. Slow-fashion principles guide my…

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What's the Easiest Way to Reduce the Environmental Impact of My Clothes?

Garment care is an enormous environmental issue, but it’s also a personal one. We each use incredible amounts of water, cleaning products and energy on our clothes. Reducing that…

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How Can Eco-Designers Stay Profitable While Advocating Slow Fashion?

It may be tough for green designers to stay profitable while discouraging consumerism, but it’s not impossible. The key is this: When it comes to developing your business model,…

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Why Does End-of-Life Management Matter in Fashion Design?

Simple is as simple does. We live in a world that our ancestors—even our grandparents—would barely recognize. For example, my mother was born and raised on a small dairy farm north…

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Is Textile Waste the Next Frontier of Eco-Fashion?

It’s tough to say if textile waste will be the next frontier in eco-fashion. It’s definitely a necessary step in closing the loop on textile manufacturing. Humans are the only…

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How Can We Teach Sustainability to the Next Generation of Designers?

Francesca Granata, sustainability educator, editor, and co-curator of Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion Incorporating sustainability in fashion demands a radical rethinking of…

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What is Zero-Waste Fashion (and Why Does It Matter)?

Zero-waste design isn’t a new technology or material. Instead, it’s a new way of thinking—a philosophy that forces you to challenge existing techniques and become a…

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How Eco-Friendly is Bamboo Fabric, Really?

Photo by strollers Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world, capable of growing up to four feet a day. Most of it is grown organically (though very little is certified…

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