The Ethical Fashion Show

 

A few weekends ago I visited the annual Ethical Fashion Show, an event hosted in the heart of Paris at the Tapis Rouge (one of Paris’ oldest department stores). Whilst there I attended a workshop facilitated by Fashioning an Ethical Industry.

The workshop invited a series of speakers to explore ethics within fashion, the presentations alternated between French and English (headsets were given out to tune into translations). The workshop was action packed and covered a range of topics for example:

Social responsibility  – highlighting the role of the consumer and what alternatives are available. How do we engage with industry to promote ethical production strategies? 

Student awareness – what is the role of Universities and students? 

The workshop was designed to promote ethical literacy and practice and the audience was comprised of students, tutors, designers and industry. The speakers introduced a variety of past and present projects tailored to address these issues. 

The Univeristy of Delamore ran a practical workshop connecting their students directly to industry. Their objective was to demonstrate considerations for the design and development of “sustainable garments”. The students were divided into groups focusing on different areas such as social, use and concept. The students were linked directly to IPC, a Factory School in Honduras and worked collaboratively to deliver end outputs which was a series of garments. Visit their blog for further information. Ethicalfashionproject.wordpress.com

I liked that their project was a tangible example of design interventions that were both functional and deliverable… there was also end outputs so the theories were met with practice.

IFM in Paris were also working directly with industry through a global collaboration project linking Paris, FIT New York and China. This live one year project allowed the students to meet at each location once and work to experience every aspect of the supply chain. This offers the students a real time perspective through a hands on learning strategy. It looked like this really informed their decision making process and promoted a sustainable actions.
Fashioning an Ethical Industry delivered an inspirational presentation with an introduction to what they do and their resources . Visit FEI website to access these resources there is an educational handbook available and lots of papers and pod casts available to download.

They advised delegates to engage with others via social networks this can help build a dialogue around “sustainable fashion” but also link up institutions, students, designers and industry. I think identifying opportunities to connect and promote global conversations which can lead to exciting collaborations through thinking and practice.
The Ethical Fashion show itself was a fantastic showcase of ethical fashion that was both functional and desirable. The designers were on hand to introduce the thinking behind their collections, explain the production process and answer any questions. 

 

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The EVER Manifesto & Cittadellarte Fashion: Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend

During Milan Fashion Week at the Cittadellarte Fashion: Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend event Princess Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Prince Caroline of Monaco, introduced the Ever Manifesto. A new publication she is producing which aims to explore sustainability through fashion, art, education, politics and ecology.

Ms Casiraghi describes the publication as a “communications think tank” inviting designers, artists and experts to come together to focus on the idea of sustainability and how they can combine skills to transform society. The publication will be distributed free at Corso Como, Milan Fashion week and will then available from Colette in Paris.

The Cittadellarte Fashion Event invited eleven designers (selected by Italian Vogue) to explore ecological materials and processes within their work. The designers included Marco de Vincenzo, Silvio Betterelli, and Marta Forghieri, all from Italy; Osman Yousefzada and Mark Fast, Britain; Siri Johansen, Norway; Mary Katrantzou, Greece; José M. Nunes da Silva Giralt, Spain, Matthew Ames, United States; and Sandra Backlund, Sweden.

Event organiser Mr Pistoletto, 76 said he organised the event because he felt fashion needed an Eco boost as it was under explored within the Milan fashion industry. He claimed it was about “unifying aesthetics with ethics…” I think the relationship between the ethics and aesthetics is an interesting and valid point, for sustainable fashion to be truly desirable and demanded for by consumers it needs to be really beautiful and functional as well as ecological. There has been huge developments of late and as more designers explore ecological materials and processes it pushes the boundaries creating new and exciting outputs for the fashion industry. The Cittadellarte Fashion: Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend will be showcased in Milan from 23 September 2009- Feb 2010.

Fashioning an Ethical Industry Annual Conference 2010

Call for Academic/Research Papers and Student Projects Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference: Fast Forward Supported by the Northumbria University School of Design 2nd and 3rd March 2010 London Fashion both reflects and influences social change.In a time when we are increasingly concerned with the impact of the industry on people and the planet, students need to be equipped with the tools to design the way we make and consume fashion differently.

Fashioning an Ethical Industry (an EU funded project taking place in the UK, Netherlands, Austria and Poland) is part of a growing global movement within fashion education that is addressing how the business of fashion impacts on garment workers. This two day international conference will build upon the success of previous national events and the publication of the Sustainable Fashion: A Handbook for Educators. It will bring together educators, industry experts, academics and selected students to explore how fashion can be taught to inspire responsibility for the rights of the workers making our clothes.

Alongside their set programme of speakers with expertise in the industry, they will provide the opportunity for the presentation of academic research papers and for students to present their project or dissertation work at the conference. Each paper will be presented in a 30 minute session. Double sessions of one hour are available. All of the papers and projects will be presented in a workshop setting and the presenter should allow time for participants to comment and contribute to the session.

Academic/Research Papers: Papers are welcomed that address the following or related themes: Social responsibility in the garment industry (with an emphasis on garment workers’ rights) Teaching ethics within fashion education Approaches to education for sustainable development relevant to fashion education Student Presentations: Students are invited to apply for the opportunity to showcase their project, design or dissertation work which addresses social responsibility in the garment industry. If you are a tutor please encourage your students to make a submission. Procedure: Academics and students interested in participating in this event should submit an abstract by 30th October 2009 of 500‐700 words to liz@fashioninganethicalindustry.org. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by a committee chaired by Doug Miller Inditex/ITGLWF Professor in Ethical Fashion at University of Northumbria. Final papers should be 5-6000 words long. The papers will be published online on the Fashioning an Ethical Industry website under a creative commons license and may be published more formally. Important Dates: Abstract submission deadline: 30th October 2009 Feedback on submissions: 29th November 2009 Final paper/project submission deadline: 30th January 2010 Final Conference: 2nd/3rd March 2010 For more information visit their website.

2012 Imperative Teach In

The Victoria and Albert Musuem will host the 2012 IMPERATIVE TEACH-IN on the 12th October followed by participating institutions on the 13th October. This event will broadcast live online and speakers include Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, John Thackara of the Doors of Perception, Richard Hawkins and Christian Hunt from the PIRC, Ben Gill from BioRegional, designers Jonathan Crinion (Crinion Associates) and Stephanie Hankey (Tactical Technology Collective).

The 2012 Imperative aims to embed ecological and sustainability literacy in design education by 2012. There is a social network to support new connections and conversations. Visit their website for further information on booking tickets or where to watch the broadcast live.

Grass Roots Event

 

Grass Roots was an event organised for postgraduate students from Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon. The two day site specific project was based at Crystal Palace on subjects around being and making. 
I attended with Clara from TED and several Chelsea MA students. We organised a fashion workshop called “Closet Confidential”. Our workshop introduced the concept of emotionally durable design to the participants. We then asked each to select a piece of clothing that they were wearing and answer three questions:
1. Where did they acquire it?
2. What do they like about it?
3. How do they care for it?
The workshop was really engaging and I loved hearing every ones fashion stories. Some pieces of clothing were mended, some were found and reclaimed, others represented special memories… Everyone really cared about each item they talked about and would seek ways to “make do and mend” if they had the know how.
The event hosted a whole range of workshops and activities around climate change through being and making. We picked herbs and flowers within Crystal Palace and then brewed our own tea with a little help and guidance from the Tea Bike… The day closed with a chat from a speaker from Climate Camp who talked about lots of different ways to get involved. 

Grass Roots was an event organised for postgraduate students from Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon. The two day site specific project was based at Crystal Palace on subjects around being and making. 

grass roots  I attended with Clara from TED and several Chelsea MA students. We organised a      fashion workshop called “Closet Confidential”. Our workshop introduced the concept of  emotionally durable design to the participants. We then asked each to select a piece of  clothing that they were wearing and answer three questions:

 1. Where did they acquire it?

 2. What do they like about it?

 3. How do they care for it?

 The workshop was really engaging and I loved hearing every ones fashion stories. Some  pieces of clothing were mended, some were found and reclaimed, others represented  special memories… Everyone really cared about each item they talked about and would  seek ways to “make do and mend” if they had the know how.

 

 

grass roots   The event hosted a whole range of workshops and activities around      climate change through being and making. We picked herbs and flowers  within Crystal Palace and then brewed our own tea with a little help and  guidance from the Tea Bike… The day closed with a chat from a speaker  from Climate Camp who talked about lots of different ways to get  involved.

Slow Textile Workshop


I recently attended a “Slow Textiles” workshop by Dr Emma Neuberg.

I arrived with an embroidery hoop in hand at a lovely studio space in West London. Emma introduced Chinese Floral Embroidery and showed us some images to introduce the theme and provide inspiration.

An intro to the historical context gave me a greater sense of purpose and I began to associate a deeper symbolic association with the craft and process. After being introduced to satin stitch I attempted to apply the technique to upcycle some fabric. It was great being in a nurturedenvironment to sew collectively. There was lots of discussion around slow textiles, symbolism and sustainable thinking.

All participants were encouraged to bring a garment or piece of cloth with them for discussion and I really enjoyed this part. Some vintage clothing was used and each piece had a story or detail which reflected something special. 

I left feeling inspired and continued to sew all weekend. I loved working within a shared space and it sparks all kinds of conversations. I think this is a great way to share knowledge, skills and expertise in an interactive way.

Dr Neuger will be hosted a series of new workshops and forming “The Slow Textiles Group” visit her blog for more info.

 

 

 will be continuing a series of workshops and forming the slow textile group, visit her blog for more information.

Design In Alternative Futures

design council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This free event was hosted by the Public Services team within the Design Council, London. Designers were invited to participate in a discussion about the future of the economy, society and government. As 2009 will be remembered as the year of global economic durntown – what does this mean to our future?

Dr Alex King, project leader in the governments Horizon Scanning Centre – presented “Economy and Society 2030”

He used scenario mapping to present 4 possible future scenarios to illustrate portraits of the future of Britain. All scenarios were speculative and addressed themes such as social values, behaviour, technology, community, resources, innovation, economics…

Dr King talked about 4 different worlds, these scenarios projected people uniting together and regarding collaboration more important than competition, with a strong sense of community. Or a different competitive society where people become isolated with lots of small closed communities…

Discussion was gauged around the scenario methods and I found the discussion as interesting as the presentation. The method of scenario mapping could be used to engage people, prompting discussion and debate. But, there are lots of variables that could impact each scenario differently and this creates a lot of complexity around the method.

Some interested points were highlighted throughout the discussion such as using designers to create visual scenarios/ storyboards to communicate to participants and multiple stakeholders. Therefore could we create roles for designers when creating government policy?

I found this event was really interesting and thought provoking and think it’s a create platform to bring designers together.