Global Sourcing

 

THE ANNUAL INDUSTRY MARKETPLACE FOR SUPPLIERS OF SUSTAINABLE FABRICS, COMPONENTS AND MANUFACTURERS TO THE FASHION INDUSTRY
20th-21st NOVEMBER, CHELSEA COLLEGE, LONDON
As a culmination of 2009’s Spotlight on Sourcing event series, the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) will be holding a two-day Ethical Sourcing Marketplace in London. The marketplace will bring together representatives of brands and retailers with manufacturers, suppliers and cooperatives working to high ethical standards.
At the event you can:
Meet a range of suppliers, see and feel products and discuss your needs face to face
Gain access to detailed information on exhibitors through the Supplier Directory -quickly identify exhibitors compatible with your work
Attend the series of short seminars during both days, introducing new products and exemplary supply systems
Access one to one advice from leading ethical fashion support organisations and initiatives
Network with other visitors and learn from others experience, share ideas and make key contacts
Tickets are available on site and student discount is available for £10 access saturday 21st between 1030 – 1300 … bring your student ID with you.
visitor information

 

North Circular

 

The North Circular is a knitting company who’s products are supported by supermodels and knitted by grannies. All of their products are produced using rescued Wensleydale wool which is dyed and spun locally (within 120 miles of North Circular route of Yorkshire).
A brand to emerge from an idea shared between friends (Katherine and Lilly) has sustainability as it’s core. The knitwear is handmade by skilled artisans (a team of highly skilled grannies), the materials are sourced from local sheep rescued from slaughter, the locality of their production process is kinder to the environment and the products are beautifully made to last…
5% of every sale and all of Lily Cole’s profits are forwarded to the Ethical Justice Foundation.
Visit their website for further information…

 

 

Co-Everything

I have uploaded a snippet from my presentation last Friday… Thank you so much to everyone who came along. It was a valuable exercise and I feel it really pushed me forward. 
Thank you for the questions and feedback… it gave me lots to think about and was a great opportunity to see my research from the viewpoint of others. I have lots to consider and look forward to developing the workshops and moving forward.
I will doing a series of presentations as the research develops… I will post updates and also advertise the workshops as they come into practice.

Co-Everything: Defining Co-Design for fashion and textiles

Friday 6th November ‘09
3.30pm – 5pm
Lecture Theatre, Chelsea Millbank
 
TFRG / PhD Student Jen Ballie presents:‘Co-Everything: Defining Co-design for Fashion and Textiles’
Co-design is an all-encompassing term to describe participatory action, but how does it fit fashion? This presentation will explore a series of co-design terms and define them within a fashion context, to offer a series of solutions for designers for discussion with the audience.
If you are a undergraduate/ postgraduate student from the University of the Arts, London and have an interest in this area please come along or contact me or more info.

 

Mortiz Waldemeyer

I have been meaning to do a blog entry about Mortiz Waldemeyer’s work for some time. I first heard him present his work during a keynote at the ISEA09 event in Belfast this summer… I was lucky enough to hear him present again at Central Saint Martins a few weeks ago, which was even more engaging and inspiring!

Mortiz trained as an engineer at Kings College in London and began his journey working for Philips at their Innovation Lab… 
He is the technical “know how” behind many high end fashion and interior collaborative projects that can truly be defined as “cutting edge”.  The projects were introduced with an explanation of the original concept, the methods of production and a concluded with reflection of how the end outcome performed and was received. I thought this was a really inspiring and insightful way to present such unique creations.

For example an interactive LED chandelier embellished with swarovski crystals, designed to display text messages.

High end fashion collaborations  working with the likes of Hussein Chalayan  to produce the 20 years of fashion collection and a following project invited him to make a video dress) concept reality…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A project with Zaha Hadid (pictured above) to design LED technology into Zaha’s futuristic kitchen interiors. 

 

He has received commissions from the music industry to integrate laser technology into clothing for Mika’s music video and was recently invited to design a laser jacket for Bono’s stage performance. 

A lot of his project’s have been heavily financed and supported by the likes of swarovski without which it would have been impossible to produce as the level of manpower, technical skill and material cost exceeds traditional production processes above and beyond!

The projects were introduced with an explanation of the original concept, the methods of production and a concluded with reflection of how the end outcome performed and was received. I thought this was a really inspiring and insightful way to present such unique creations. 

I was blown away by the level of skill, technical ability, methodical thinking and innovation invested in each of these projects… He uses LED technology is alternative ways and really pushes the boundaries to help others realise a concept and make it a reality.
For further explorations check out his blog or follow his tweets.

SHOWstudio Taking Liberties

 

SHOWstudio have collaborated with Liberty to capture fashion street style via a store window, live thread and you the public.
This project is part of the SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution Exhibition. The photographs will be uploaded to the SHOWstudio website and catalogued for your viewing pleasure. Fashion designer Gareth Pugh will judge the overall winning street fashion look representational of ” a unique sense of personal style”. The chosen winner will be awarded £500 of Liberty vouchers.
To participate get yourself down to the Carnaby Street windows of Liberty. The SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution exhibition is showing at Somerset House until 20Th Dec 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOWstudio have collaborated with Liberty to capture fashion street style via a store window, live thread and you the public.
This project is part of the SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution Exhibition. The photographs will be uploaded to the SHOWstudio website and catalogued for your viewing pleasure. Fashion designer Gareth Pugh will judge the overall winning street fashion look representational of ” a unique sense of personal style”. The chosen winner will be awarded £500 of Liberty vouchers.
To participate get yourself down to the Carnaby Street windows of Liberty. The SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution exhibition is showing at Somerset House until 20Th Dec 2009.

 

Build Your Own Dress

Studio 28 Couture offers a bespoke dress service allowing customers to co-create their own clothing via a “build your own application”.
This easy to use application allows the user to select dress shape, fit and apply colour or pattern via swatches provided, the fabric swatches change seasonally. The options presented provide lots of variations regardless of opting for either cotton or jersey fabrics.
Their service is marketed to provide affordable clothing that is unique and invites the consumer to participate in the design process. All dresses are made by hand in NYC and take approx 3 weeks to arrive.
I think it would be interesting if there were more fashion experiences presented this way. Studio 28 Couture are offering a similar solution to style|shake another bespoke dress creator website which I blogged about a while back…
A Style|Shake Creation
Style|Shake are evolving rapidly and have integrated a wedding service into their service! They offer affordable personalised fashion and their dresses retail between £35-65.
I have uploaded a youtube video of the Style|Shake process:
Both are a fantastic add on to traditional online shopping and a great way to personalise your wardrobe or even create that dress you have wanted for a long time but haven’t been able to find or don’t feel confident or skilled enough to produce independently.
But, how could these services be expanded upon to allow consumers to participate further in the design process? Can such services support upskilling or integrate upcycling into their business models?
I think it’s fantastic that both solutions are affordable and easy to use and cant wait to see how they evolve.

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. 

 

Hacking Design


The RSA will be hosting an event exploring the notion of “design-hacking” a term used to offer alternatives to traditional design, production and partcipation. This event will be chaired byScott Burnham (author of the RSA Design & Society pamphlet on design-hacking) and invites Dr Otto von Busch “haute-couture heretic and DIY- demangogue”.

Dr Otto Von Busch
 recently completed a PhD which combined a series of projects and experiments to explore fashion activism. His approach invites participants to actively engage in the fashion system and he has created a digital platform called >self_passage< which offers open source projects and proposed solutions. This is an excellent resource for designerspractitioners, researchers and fashion DIY enthusiast’s.

Event Description
As brave designers embrace this new frontier spirit. Design jam sessions of professional and amateur in cities and festivals all over the developed world unlock a creative energy that has, in fact, been ever-present in favelas and rural villages where necessity has always been the mother of invention.

Is design-hacking merely another post-modern phase in the history of design, or does it reveal a civic ingenuity and resourcefulness that a century and a half of industrially-fed consumerism has masked?

I have just booked tickets and really look forward to attending this event. I will update a new posting to summarise the proceedings.

Book Tickets or Further Information

Sandra Backlund – Slow Stitches in Time

I have been observing and admiring the work of fashion knitwear designer Sandra Backlund for some time and I think its a good representation of what it means to combine the words ‘slow’ and ‘fashion’ together in the same sentence. I have been thinking a lot lately about about the word ‘slow’ and its relationship to fashion.

Sandra Backlund studied at Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm and she formed her own label in 2004 immediately after graduating. Her knits are all produced by hand and she constructs the sculptural forms as she works, allowing herself the freedom to improvise as and when she likes. She begins her process with the same patterns blocks and then builds upon this structure to create new 3-Dimensional forms. Each piece takes hours upon hours of hand knitting skills, she is said to spend up to 20 hours per day locked away in her studio knitting and produces two amazing ten piece collections per year!

Her work is constantly changing, shifting and re-forming and I am truly inspired that each piece is crafted by hand. She stated in an interview with BLEND that she was taught to knit as a child by her grandmother and often gets her mother to help out when pressed towards deadlines.

I love the idea of skills being handed down between generations and re-interpreted. Backlund says “my work is very personal to me… I am fascinated by all the ways you can highlight, distort and transform the natural silhouette of the body with clothes and accessories… The handicraft process and the handmade feeling is also significant. I do experiment a lot with different materials and techniques… but its through my heavy wool collage knitting that I have found the ultimate way to express myself. ” The time, precision and quality invested in each piece can make it very difficult to categories her collections – are they truly fashion wearables or art forms? And how do you market or put a price tag on such a high level of innovation and craftsmanship? She could be labeled as a knitting visionary as she pushes the boundaries between traditional hand craft by creating fashion forward garments that are truly iconic and cutting edge. When asked to explain her thought process she explains there is no formula to it… she just experiments through the stitches. Once the panels are formed she pins and constructs them in front of a mirror to shape and form. It’s an interesting discussions as sometimes designers find it difficult to explain their method behind the process, it is an intrinsic part of the design process that is unexplainable and can not be taught.

I think investing lots of time and energy allows us to perfect and reflect a technique but I think there is also a little magic behind the new thoughts or concepts that emerge. I love Sandra’s work. I have linked to her website to view the 2009 collections. If only we could all use hand knitting in such an inspiring way we would have the answers to slow fashion at our fingertips!