Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review: The True Cost - A Revolutionary and Thought-Provoking Documentary

It's not often you watch a film that really makes you stand back and question everything about your life - your place in the world, your values, and your responsibilities as a fellow human being. A film that asks questions no-one else will; that challenges the status quo of established political, economic and social systems; that dares to draw back the curtain on the otherwise hidden side of an enormously powerful global industry. A film that tells a story about "greed and fear, power and poverty", where profit is king and a price can be placed on anything, be that an Indian cotton farmer, a Bangladeshi garment worker or local eco-systems struggling to cope with the effects of man-made change. A film, that at its very core, asks, "What is the true cost of the developed world's constant need for consumption"?

Monday, 25 May 2015

DIY: the vintage 90s denim trend

Clockwise, from top left: Drew Barrymore, Reformation jeans, Topshop shirt via Ebay, Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, Ragged Priest shorts via Vinted

It's not easy for the ethically-conscious consumer to keep up with the demands of fast fashion and it's ever-changing conveyor belt of trends - especially as being 'truly' ethical almost always involves creating your own individual style and making the best of what you already have, rather than buying something new. So it makes a interesting change when a trend comes along that's easy to put a sustainable spin on, as well as one that looks like it's going to stick around for a while in various forms. I'm talking of course about vintage denim, which has seen a boost in popularity since the emergence of the Phoebe Philo-led 'Normcore' look a couple of years ago, and is now a key component of both the 90s grunge and 70s boho trends.


Friday, 22 May 2015

NEW: 'Fast Fashion' exhibition in Hamburg - 20th March-20th September 2015

If you're in Germany any time soon, I would definitely recommend a trip to see 'Fast Fashion: The Dark Side of Fashion', a new exhibition which has recently opened at the Museum for Art and Industry in Hamburg (Das Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) and runs until the 20th September. According to the museum's website, the exhibition "casts a critical glimpse behind the scenes of glamorous fashion" through the differing lenses of consumerism, economic interests and ecological issues. The topics it touches are on diverse, ranging from industry oriented subjects such as wages and profits, to the wider social impact on fashion's 'victims', to current attempts to future-proof the fashion industry through new fibre technologies.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

WHO WHAT WEAR'S 5-Step Guide To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe

The concept of sustainable fashion is finally breaking into the mainstream, if Who What Wear's "5-step Guide To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe" is anything to go by. If the world of ethical and sustainable fashion still seems confusing, the article offers some great bite-sized pieces of advice - here's a summary of the main points below, along with some of my thoughts on each.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Could you live a 'zero waste' lifestyle?

A few days ago I came across an article on Stylist's website about 23-year old New Yorker Lauren Singer, who lives a 'zero waste' lifestyle - to the point where she can fit all the waste she's produced over the last two years into a single mason jar!

Her decision to change her lifestyle was made during her final two years studying for her degree in Environmental Studies at New York University, when she looked in her fridge one night and realised that everything was wrapped in plastic. "I felt like such a hypocrite," she writes on "Everyone thought of me as the sustainability girl, so that meant that I was totally doing my share for the earth, right? Wrong."


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The True Cost preview screening: have you bought your ticket?

Just a heads up that there are still tickets left for the preview screening of The True Cost, a groundbreaking documentary about the consequences of fast fashion, which asks the uncomfortable question "who really pays the price for our clothes?" The documentary follows the fashion trail "from the brightest runways to the darkest slums", and also features interviews with world famous designers and eco-ambassadors including Stella McCartney, Vandana Shiva and Livia Firth.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Make do and mend...

Until I started my job last year and my free time slowly began to slip away, I used to make a lot of my own clothes. One of the things I enjoyed most was going shopping and finding a bargain that just needed a small tweak here or there – maybe the hem shortening, or the sleeves taken off – to make it fit properly and look just that bit different from what everyone else was wearing. The best compliments always came from friends who would ask ‘Where did you get that?’ and then be shocked when I said I made it myself, as if customising a top or skirt was some mysterious form of witchcraft they would never be able to master. 


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Booking my trip to the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin

I'm really excited about travelling to the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin this July (poster above is from the launch), which is a brilliant showcase for ethical fashion brands alongside the main Berlin Fashion Week 2015. Berlin has carved out a reputation as a hub for sustainable style, and this year over 130 brands are exhibiting, including People Tree, Helly Hansen and Komodo as well as a host of emerging new designers. I'm hoping to meet a lot of interesting people and hear about their opinions on the future of ethical fashion, as well as learning about developments in the industry and the ways in which larger companies as well as smaller, independent brands are making a difference.


Friday, 8 May 2015

Shopping ethically - an easy how-to guide

Over the past few weeks I've been discovering more and more fellow eco fashion writers (list to come!). One that really stood out was Sasstainable by Angela Wallace, who started her blog a few years ago after completing an MSc in Environmental Management at the University of London. Rather than just a stream of outfit posts, her blog combines great photography with professional, informed opinions and pieces about emerging eco design talent. One Pinterest post that caught my eye was a simple but effective graphic about how to shop ethically, buying only the things we truly need and buying second hand or sustainably to impact the environment in the smallest way possible.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Where to buy (sustainable) summer sandals

Recently I’ve been finding it really hard to find a pair of fashionable summer sandals that have not only been produced in a fair and ethical way, but also with the environment in mind. Because of the range of manufacturing techniques and different materials that go into producing a pair of shoes (such as leather, PVC, canvas, cotton, polyester, rubber, plastic and often-toxic glues to name a few!), they are much more difficult than clothing to reuse and recycle, and therefore much more likely to end up in landfill at the end of their lifecycle.

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