Thursday, 5 May 2016

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: March/April Edition

Whilst time has been scarce since moving into our new apartment (read my tips for a greener home here), now that summer is just around the corner I'm back into the swing of things and excited to see what the next big developments in sustainable fashion will be! The last couple of months have been really important for raising awareness of key issues - from H&M's World Recycle Week through to Fashion Revolution and some beautiful Green Carpet Challenge gowns at this year's Met Gala - read on for my summary, plus more highlights from the blog and other interesting articles.

H&M's World Recycle Week

Stepping up their in-store clothing donation scheme and hot on the heels of Levi's new recycling initiative, H&M launched their first World Recycle Week last month, aiming to raise awareness  of the planet's limited resources and the need to close the loop in clothing production. The campaign came under criticism from Lucy Siegle, amongst others, for running at the same time as Fashion Revolution (more below), which led to many protests against H&M's "broken promises" of introducing the living wage in their factories. I would really recommend reading EcoCult's interview with Henrik Lampa, H&M’s Development Sustainability Manager, which is an incredibly interesting insight into how the chain balances their commercial priorities with a desire to innovate in the fashion industry.

Fashion Revolution Day

Sunday 24th April is Fashion Revolution Day - the day that we remember the 1,134 victims of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, and call on all brands for more transparency and better workers' rights through the hashtag #whomademyclothes. This worldwide event is gathering pace every year, with press features around the world and thousands of people tweeting brands to ask #whomademyclothes, although there has also been criticism of how little has actually been achieved by the industry. Reading about Fashion Revolution last year was one of the things that inspired me to start this blog,  and it was a good chance to reflect on how far I've come, both personally and professionally. A year ago I definitely didn't think I'd be back in Berlin attending a Fashion Revolution clothes swap party, having taken a big step forward towards making sustainable fashion my career. Who knows what next year will bring?!

Green Carpet Challenge at The Met Gala
It was only a couple of months ago that Lily Cole, Sophie Turner and Liberty Ross stunned in Green Carpet Challenge gowns at the Oscars, and last week Emma Watson, Lupita Nyong’o and Margot Robbie followed suite for the 2016 Met Gala, all wearing Calvin Klein Collection. Every element of Emma's outfit was considered from an ethical perspective - even the zips which were made from recycled plastic, whilst Margot Robbie’s strapless dress was made from a silk fabric woven in Italy and lined in organic silk, and Lupita’s jade sequin dress was assembled entirely in Calvin Klein’s New York atelier.

In blog news:
I had loads of fun at the Green Market Berlin, a "vegan lifestyle market" which takes place once a season in the middle of a repurposed industrial estate, now full of clubs, bars, and even a swimming pool! It was filled to the brim with handmade products, art, sustainable fashion and vegan treats, and I'll definitely be back for the summer edition to see what new brands and products are on offer.

If you missed my last couple of DIYs, you can read them here: a quick tutorial on how to repair jeans and the perfect transitional piece for the Spring/Summer season - the sleeveless jacket (also featured on the Oxfam Fashion Blog).

And more...
Of course, there's always too much going on in the sustainable fashion world to fit into one update! Here's a list of great articles over the past couple of months that are worth a read:

- Growing concern over Syrian refugees in the fast fashion supply chain via Quartz
30 Ethical Fashion Brands You Need To Know via INTO MIND (check the comments for more tips)
- The Fashion Industry - Sustainable or Superficial? by Lucy Siegle for Business of Fashion
- Can Corporations Care? via The Business of Fashion
-More eco-friendly technological advances:


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