Monday, 28 February 2011

Bangladesh Needs Fair Trade Clothing!

If you have tried buying clothes at a Bebe or Topshop shop, you have probably worn the handiwork of a Bangladeshi woman. Bangladesh is one of the major exporters of apparel to international labels in the U.S. and London. It is also one of the places where garment factories, and there are about 4,500 of them there, are more concerned about profit as opposed to worker’s welfare.
Bangladesh’s clothing production industry centers around the urban areas of Dhaka and Chittagong and the emerging Nirsingdi district. Factories there have been a constant target of workers rights and fair trade activists because of their substandard working conditions, below-living wages and absence of standard workers’ benefits. Just recently, a United States rights advocacy group criticized a jeans factory that supplied products to German label Metro Group for allegedly “overworking to death” an 18-year-old woman.
Casualties of Bangladesh’s criticism-laden garment industry are not limited to occasional deaths like this. In 2001, around 52 workers at sweatshop factory,  Choudhury Knitwears in Narsingdi died when a fire razed the structure to the ground. It was night, and the factory owner had locked the gates to make sure the workers stayed put. Of the 52 victims, most were young women while ten of them were children.
A similar incident happened in February, 2010 when a sweater factory which supplied garments to such labels as H&M went up in flames. A total of 21 workers were killed when they were trapped on the third and seventh floors. As in Choudhury Knitwear, the workers could not escape to safety because they were locked in, apparently for their own “security.”
In Bangladesh, over 2 million of its 114-million population work in the garment industry. According to the local media,  only 40 percent of its garment factories have actually invested in proper fire safety equipment. If the industry does not even invest in proper equipment to protect their factories, how can we expect them to invest in the livelihood of their workers?
Unfortunately, while many global labels project themselves as socially responsible and environmentally friendly, Bangladesh, to them, remains to be a deal that is too sweet to pass up. Corporate tax rates are extremely low, labor costs are rock bottom, and production is high. The next time you see a $5 price tag on a shirt in some big box store, look to see where it was made. Perhaps then you will understand why that price can be so cheap.
But we can make a difference for places like Bangladesh. The reality is that the garment industry is extremely important to third world countries such as Bangladesh, India, China, Turkey and Pakistan. The industry creates millions of jobs for people in these countries who would otherwise have few employment options. And that’s not a bad thing. It is their exploitation for the benefit corporate profit that must stop.
By saying yes to eco friendly clothing that is fair trade we really do help bring change to this industry, one shirt at a time.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Drive Wisely: Helpful Habits to Reduce Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has prepared this fact sheet to answer some of the most common questions about reducing emissions from private vehicles.

This is an important concern, as cars are a major source of air pollution in the United States. Vehicle emissions contribute to health and environmental problems such as urban smog, air toxics, and global warming.

Yet individual driving habits make a big difference in the amount of pollution a car produces.

Three easy things you can do to help keep emissions as low as possible are:

• Avoid unnecessary driving
• Maintain your car properly
• Drive your car wisely

By combining these strategies, you can very effectively reduce the amount your car pollutes. And there are additional benefits — your car will last longer and you will save money.

Even a perfectly maintained car will pollute more than necessary if it is driven carelessly.

Your car’s emissions will be lower if you apply common sense to your driving and follow basic rules of the road. Driving situations likely to increase pollution include:

IDLING: You will save gas by turning the engine off and restarting it again if you expect to idle for more than 30 seconds. You will also prevent pollution by avoiding
long idles. Try parking your car and going into restaurants, banks, and the like instead of idling in drive-up lanes.

STOP-and-GO DRIVING: Driving in traffic is not always avoidable. But whenever possible, plan trips outside rush hour and peak traffic periods. Try to “smooth” your driving by accelerating and decelerating gradually, anticipating stops and starts for
traffic lights, changing traffic speeds, and so on.

AIR CONDITIONING: Use of a vehicle air conditioner increases load on the engine. This can increase emissions and decrease fuel economy. Try opening the window or the fresh air vent to cool the inside of your vehicle. Also, park in the shade if you can to prevent the car from heating up in the sun. Besides keeping the interior temperature of your car more comfortable, you will lessen the pollution and waste that occurs
when gasoline evaporates from the engine and gas tank.

HIGH ENGINE LOADS: Your car burns more gas and emits more pollution when the engine is operating under high load; that is, when it is working especially hard. Extra load is created by running the air conditioner, quick accelerations, high-speed driving, climbing grades, revving the engine, and carrying extra weight.

COLD TEMPERATURES: Emission control systems take longer to warm up and become fully operational in cold weather. However, idling will not help. Modern vehicles need little warmup; they’re most efficient when being driven. Idling for long periods in cold weather can actually cause excessive engine wear.

REFUELING: Spilled gasoline pollutes the air when it evaporates. Watch what you do at the gas station to prevent spills and overfills. It’s best to avoid “topping off,” especially in hot weather. Apply the same precautions against sloppy handling when refueling outdoor power equipment such as lawnmowers and outboard motors.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Dry cleaning is hazardous to health, the environment and personal budget!

It may seem hard to believe that the first dry cleaning operation opened in France in 1845; today dry cleaning services seem to be everywhere. When many people buy clothing, they don't give much thought to the "dry clean only" tag; many business clothes, uniforms, and outerwear require this type of cleaning. But people should be aware of why this type of cleaning is hazardous--it's dangerous not only to one's health, but also to the environment and even to one's personal budget.

Dry cleaners use harsh chemicals, solvents, and detergents to clean clothing. In fact, the chemicals used today are not the same chemicals used when dry cleaning was first invented. Today, the worst chemicals used are percholorethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and tetrachloroethene (known collectively as PERC), but there are other solvents used as well.

Dry cleaning dangers to health

Most people read the word chemical and immediately know that they want no part of the process. Others believe that particular chemicals wouldn't be used if they weren't safe. Unfortunately, PERC is not safe--it's not safe for consumers having their clothing cleaned, and it's not safe for workers either.

In 1996, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a study to determine the hazards of PERC to dry cleaning workers. They determined that long-term exposure to PERC increased risk of cancers and other diseases. But what about consumers who simply want their clothing dry cleaned? Environment, Health and Safety Online reports that repeated exposure to high levels of PERC (and possibly even lower levels) can cause adverse effects. Many people note when they take their dry cleaning out of the bag, they smell a sweet, sharp scent: that's PERC, and that smell means they have been exposed.

Dry cleaning dangers to the environment

It might seem obvious that if a chemical is bad for a person, it's bad for the environment. However, the EPA states that PERC is "is not likely to cause environmental harm" because it evaporates quickly from air, water, and soil. But many people know that this declaration isn't necessarily reassuring--DDT was once regarded as safe, even with scientists speaking up about the hazards of the chemical early on.

That said, the dangers of PERC in the air are well-known. It can contribute to smog, but it's most dangerous in indoor air, where people, house plants, and pets can be exposed. However, others contest that PERC is a danger in any quantity, no matter where it's found.

Dry cleaning dangers to one's budget

Any time a person has to shell over his hard-earned money for a service, it takes away from something else in his life he could have spent those dollars on. When people can buy clothing that doesn't need to be dry cleaned and can, in fact, be cleaned at home with green cleaning products, it will save them money. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American family (consisting of 2.5 people) in 2008 spent over $1800 a year on "apparel and services." How much of that cost was for purchasing clothing, and how much was for cleaning? Even "inexpensive" services that charge around $3.00 per garment cost more than cleaning an entire load of laundry at home.

When the price of dry cleaning to a person's budget is also considered along with the costs to one's health and environment, many people will realize that this price is just too high. It's best to either avoid purchasing clothing with the "dry clean only" label or to try hand washing these garments at home.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Book Review: The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget

From Sustainable SeanBeing the Lifestyle Ambassador & Co-founder of SSF and all, I thought Josh Dorfman had written the perfect book when he penned his first opus, The Lazy Environmentalist back in 2007. Many authors have attempted to write the next big guide to going green, but none quite compared to Josh’s first ‘guide to easy, stylish, green living’. As it turns out…Josh himself has written the next big guide to going green…and it works! Once again, Josh is able to make going green totally down to earth and accessible. When Joe the Plumber decides to go green, I’m pretty sure he’ll read The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. In his new book, Josh once again runs down the list of the best products and resources for green living, but this time he’s on an even higher mission…going green while saving both time and money. Clearly, given the economic situation we’re all in, his new book is timely but it is also a resource that will serve as a guide in any era as it is essentially a road map for how to make affordable and sustainable lifestyle choices whether you’re a college senior living on student loans or a hard-working soccer (or hockey) Mom. Recently laid off or just getting out of school but still want to get your green on? Don’t fret, Josh even has a section on the booming green job market. Once you’ve dog-eared your dozens of pages, hit the computer and surf over to Josh’s website The Lazy Environmentalist to get new tidbits and pointers.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Eco Fashion is booming!

The economy may be in the red, but our appetite for all things "green" is booming. The most recent Ethical Consumerism Report - which monitors expenditure on all products deemed to be Fairtrade, organic, sustainable and energy-efficient - shows that eco spending jumped from £29 million in 2008 to £52 million in 2010.
And fashion buyers making considered purchases are playing a large part. The desire to make even a small contribution towards the environment is a trend which has been embraced by everyone, from the small specialist stores to big high-street chains. Debenhams, Monsoon and Marks & Spencer, for instance, all now stock Fairtrade cotton items.
Another example is Jane Shepherdson, the retail guru who catapulted Topshop to star status. She is now chief executive of the Whistles chain, but is also non-executive director of People Tree ( ) - one of the first eco-chic brands - and is transforming Oxfam's dowdy shops into fashion destinations. Shepherdson is bringing the message to Whistles, too. The first collections under her watch, which arrive in the shops this month, are made in smaller factories where conditions are monitored. She is also promoting Fairtrade by selling jewellery by Made, which is handcrafted by small collectives in Nairobi.
Shepherdson forecasts an even bigger growth in "green" clothing - as long as it continues to shake off its Earth Mother image. "People need to be tempted," she says. "It's not enough any more simply to be eco; there has to be a design element, a shape that is relevant to the season. We're not selling hair shirts."
Her thoughts are borne out by the huge diversity of talents involved globally - from architect Zaha Hadid to actresses such as Angelina Jolie, who has been buying eco-chic babywear for her new twins.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Eco Makeup!

Your skin is a living tissue. It can absorb chemicals and products that are applied to it and can sometimes transfer these chemicals to your bloodstream. There has been new concern over the chemicals used in cosmetics. Several of the common chemicals used in many of the cosmetics today are known to be cancer causing. Because many of these chemicals are synthetic there is reason for concern. That is where organic makeup comes in. As more people are becoming aware and conscious of the health hazards of being exposed to certain chemicals.
Organic makeup is a safer, healthier way to still look beautiful. The products are made up of natural ingredients that are either completely free or have very minimal amounts of chemicals in them. Organic makeup can be made from plants only or from plant materials. It can also be made from natural compounds and minerals. By using the word organic, it means that it has not been exposed to pesticides. Pesticides have been known to be cancer causing. You have to be careful about what you buy. Just because it says organic doesn’t really mean that it doesn’t contain pesticides. It has to be “certified organic” to be able truly say it is pesticide free.
Many people would like to believe that if something is labeled organic then it is organic. But that is not the case. There is no governing body on how a manufacturer can use the term “organic.”  To help consumers understand what they are buying there is a term called “certified organic.” Organic makeup that is certified means that it has met a strict standard in its development and manufacturing. These standards regulate everything from the beginning from how the seed is grown and harvested, to how it is stored, transported and processed into organic makeup.
Using organic makeup can help eliminate many of the allergic reactions you are experiencing. Many people experience an allergic reaction to a certain brand of makeup. Their natural reaction is to stop using that brand and switch to another. What they do not realize is the chemicals used in both brands could be exactly the same. By using organic makeup, you are assured that you are not being exposed to pesticides and that the ingredients are naturals. If you really want to start living a healthy lifestyle, you might want to look at what kind of makeup you are using. Changing to organic makeup can make you healthier and is beneficial to the environment as well.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Why Green is the New Wedding White: Eco-Friendly Weddings

One way to truly make a positive impression with your wedding is to hold a green wedding. More and more couples are making this decision as a way to honour the planet on their wedding day. Increasingly, companies that supply items for weddings are switching over to offering green alternatives. As a result, you can hold a green wedding these days without increasing your budget. There are many amazing and varied choices as far as catering, invitations, flowers and decorations go.

There is no better time to make this statement than on your wedding day. Because of the fact that more and more companies are supporting eco-friendly practices, it is increasingly easy to make your wedding a green one.

If you can plan out the details ahead of time, it really is very easy to make all the planning stages of your wedding eco-friendly from start to finish. Take the wedding ring, for example. In 2004, Oxfam and EARTHWORKS launched The No Dirty Gold campaign. This campaign seeks to end irresponsible mining products. Already 25 different jewellery retailers have agreed to and endorsed the Golden Rules, which are a set of conditions for responsible mining. It is now also possible to buy conflict-free diamonds. Selecting an eco-friendly wedding ring is a huge step in the right direction. When you and your spouse look at this ring for years to come, you will know you made a decision that did not harm the planet.

Here is another question to ask yourself. Do you really want your wedding invitations to contribute to trees getting cut down? An alternative to traditional wedding invitations is to use recycled paper invitations. These are easy to find through a quick search online. Eco-friendly wedding invitations also use earth friendly printing methods. You can now find beautiful paper that is from a source other than trees, for example, invitations made from bamboo or hemp.

Invitations are an easy way to go eco-friendly as well. There are now so many beautiful invitations are made of 100% recycled paper. Some couples have also found paper that contains wildflower seeds. This paper can actually be planted in a garden. This is a great way to give your invitations a secondary way to be useful as opposed to just being thrown away.

Most people assume flowers are eco-friendly, but in actuality they usually aren't. Even though flowers look natural, they are commonly sprayed with pesticides. The fertilizers used to grow flowers pollute the groundwater. The best way to get eco-friendly flowers at your wedding is to use locally grown flowers. It is also possible to have potted plants at a wedding, which are replanted after the festivities. There are now a wide variety of caterers who specialize in organic, local catering. By providing organic food to your guests, you are giving your guests food free of pesticides and chemicals. A vegan or vegetarian meal is also a good choice for an eco-friendly wedding.

Couples who have thrown green weddings have found the experience to be extremely rewarding. Not only are you saying 'I Do' to one another, you are also saying 'I Do' to the planet. Keeping your carbon footprint light on your wedding day will contribute to you and your spouse having a healthy planet in which to live together.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Eco Organic Bamboo!

Bamboo Sunglasses by Unitdot on The Junction Boutique:

There are so many benefits to using green bamboo products. Companies that apply the green, sustainable construction concept to their products and services are doing their part to protect the globe, reduce carbon emissions and expand the use of sustainable materials. Proven sustainable construction ideas work and the companies that use them should be supported. After all, in the long run, we all benefit from going green.

Bamboo is well known for its durable strength, its natural elegance and its natural beauty. The facts are that bamboo has a higher tensile strength than many steel alloys and a higher compressive strength than many concrete mixtures. Those characteristics explain why bamboo has been used by builders for thousands of years.

The regenerative qualities of bamboo make it a perfect building solution for today's sustainable, green building trends. Whereas more commonly used woods are taken from trees that can take up to 40 years to reproduce, bamboo can be re-harvested in about three years. The re-harvesting of bamboo is actually beneficial to the planet and as the roots stay in tact, no erosion of existing soil conditions takes place. Yes, bamboo is a healthy, sturdy and quickly regenerated plant that accomplishes all the sustainable goals.

The bamboo fabric is produced from weaving the silky threads that come from pulping the plant's stalks. Bamboo cloth is 100% biodegradable. When bamboo is discarded, there is no harm to the environment. Surprisingly the strong bamboo fibers are porous. The increased airflow makes bamboo four times more absorbent than cotton.

Bamboo is so diverse and contains so many health benefits that scientists at the University of Hawaii's Medical School recently performed tests on the extract from Moso bamboo leaves. These scientists found that the extract contained anti-oxidants, proteins, micro-nutrients, trace minerals, amino acids, carotenoids and soluble and insoluble fiber that may help inhibit breast cancer. Moso bamboo is the variety, which provides the strong, thick poles used in many bamboo construction projects.

In an era when so many traditional building concepts have proven to take a large measure of the planet's environmental health, it is refreshing to identify products that really work to the planet's advantage. Like solar power and wind energy, bamboo is one of those positive products. 

Recently scientists have suggested that mass plantings of bamboo may reverse the effects of global warming. While this proposition remain under review, it does lend credence to the concept that bamboo is our greenest woody building product.

Green bamboo flooring uses strips that are cut from whole bamboo canes. These strips are then boiled in water to remove sugars and preserve the wood. After the boiling process, the premium strips are selected for manufacturing. 

The selected boards are treated and dried for 15 days. When a moisture content of 6% is achieved, the strips are considered stable and ready for use. The bamboo floorboards can be nailed, glued or floated. Green bamboo floorboards that use a tongue and groove interlocking system are the most highly rated by green advocates.

Bamboo floors do it all. They are distinctively elegant, strong and durable and environmentally responsible, just the way you want them.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Renewable Energy Is Picking Up In France!

In these challenging and turbulent times renewable energy is becoming very popular all over the world and there are several reasons for this. One of them is that this energy is generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain and tides, thus this kind of energy is naturally and constantly replenished. By using it we do not risk depleting the natural resources. For instance wind power is renewable and produces no greenhouse gases during operation, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

A few words about grants

In France, renewable energy has become one of the hottest topics. The government is interested in renewable energy projects and encouraging people to install different means to ensure that this kind of energy is used as far as possible. 

Can it be a good solution for people living in rural areas?

While most renewable energy projects and production is large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to reduce your home running costs. Renewable energy consumption will help you to save a fortune. Amongst these are solar, wind and hydro devices. They can be indispensable sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. A small wind farm may be a good solution for people living in rural areas who have enough land for installation. Speaking about solar power one could notice that it can be available to most if not all households in France and although the initial outlay of money you have to spend can be high, you should more than cover these costs over the following few years.

Energy in water can be harnessed and used. Since water is about 800 times denser than air even a slow flowing stream of water, or moderate sea swell, can provide considerable amounts of energy. For those people who live on the banks of a stream or river then hydro electric power may be an option if you have legal rights to use the source. These are cogent and underlying reasons why consumption of renewable energy continues to grow very rapidly.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number X!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 10 – Talk about it

The future of fashion lies in the hands of the next generation of industry players. Influence the habits of others by talking about ethical choices with your children and friends – introduce them to concepts such as using lower temperatures when washing clothes, air drying instead of tumble drying, recycling and re-using will ensure that the future of fashion is an ecological one.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number IX!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 9 – Paint the world with eco-love!

Don't let your eco-conscience stop at clothing. If you've given your home a makeover but been left with excess paint, don't leave it to gather dust in the garage and instead donate it to someone else's living space or community walls. Visit Community RePaint to find out more.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number VIII!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 8 – Choose companies who care

There has been a surge in concern for fair-trade and ethically aware products - The Ecologist reported recently that the market for organic textiles in the UK is growing at 50% a year. Benefit people and planet by making informed choices about your purchases. Buy your basics from companies that care - Marks and Spencer was amongst the first retailers to introduce organic cotton ranges and policies against particular materials and treating or go on According to Oliver Horton at Drapers: "Consumers will become more knowledgeable and more interested in what they are buying. Easy access to information via the internet will give shoppers a greater insight into the products they buy, including their production process and history."

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number VII!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 7 – It’s cool to care

By pushing the boundaries of conventional fashion and proving that it's cool to care, eco-pioneer Katherine Hamnett was in 2007 named as one of Drapers great British Fashion Icons. According to the magazine: "Hamnetts impact extends beyond slogans into her utility-based, youth driven designs that are now helping to gentrify the fashion credentials of organic cotton, and she remains outspoken and hugely active in her campaigning for a greener world." We heart eco-chic!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number VI!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 6 - Upcycle

With The 'Primark Effect' having a huge impact on the world of consumerism, we now recycle only a fraction of our wardrobes. Go one step further than recycling an old T-shirt into a dust rag, by following new initiative 'upcycling' which promotes transforming disposable items into things of greater use and value. Make use of your unwanted pieces and refashion them into other garment.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number V!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 5 - Recycle

As much as two million tonnes of consumer clothing waste is generated in the UK each year; two thirds of that is sent to landfill sites whilst a mere 16% is recovered and recycled. By becoming more aware and educating others of our throwaway culture we can make an effort to reduce waste and send unwanted clothes to well receiving charities.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number IV!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 4 - Buy classic pieces that last

According to the Ecologist, the average woman spends £13,000 over a lifetime on clothes she doesn't wear. Martin Hearson from Labour Behind the Label says: "We don't want you to stop buying clothes, but if you buy them cheaply on the high street you are buying clothes made by workers whose rights are not respected. You are a stakeholder in the companies you buy from, and you should challenge them to do more to protect workers rights." Buy classic pieces that last and you'll provide less support for the sub-standard working conditions.

Eco Fashion tips! Number III!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 3 - Stop supporting sweatshop fashion

It's no secret that those made to pay the price for our fast fashion fixes are at the bottom of the clothing supply chain; a report by War on Want found workers in Bangladesh working 80 hours a week for 5p an hour. Make more ecological choices when it comes to fast fashion: "Fast isn't free - someone somewhere is paying. Fast fashion is disconnected from everything, from poverty wages to climate change. Slow fashion is not time based; it's about producing, designing and consuming better." Make a bid to stop sweatshop fashion at

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number II!

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time.

Tip Number 2 - Go slow

So you've heard of fast fashion, but these days it's all about slow fashion, which promotes making responsible consumer choices by purchasing fewer; better quality clothes. The head of the London College of Fashion, Dr Frances Corner says: "We have to think more carefully before we buy, we have to buy fewer clothes anyway, and pay more for them - and not subsidise people who're living sometimes on 15p a week so we can change our image all the time." To join green brigade members such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett check The Soil Association.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Eco Fashion tips! Number I

Eco fashion has moved from a trend to a full scale movement; key voices within the industry are starting to call for a rethink on our extraordinary levels of clothes consumption. Lets be honest, we're all guilty of side stepping our eco-fashion conscience sometimes; it doesn't seem easy to be an eco goddess 100% of the time. So how you can do your bit and be an eco-angel?

Tip number one - Re-think your relationship with clothes

Although women's clothing prices have fallen by a third in 10 years, the level of clothes we purchase is also up by a third. As clothes get cheaper the market for cheap, fast, disposable fashion is fueled. Jane Shepherdson, the woman behind Top Shop, believes we have become a nation that's gone crazy for throwaway clothes: "People are addicted to shopping and consuming and having new things all the time. Things are so accessible, you can look like a celebrity immediately and for a fiver," she says. Develop a new relationship with your clothes and think about your own style – customizing and exchanging clothes can be far more fulfilling and is more eco-friendly.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Eco Fashion with Sass Brown

One of the strongest trends in fashion is the expression of ecological, social and community consciousness through for-profit fashion design corporations, which most recently have moved upscale from organic cotton T-shirts and hippy-ish drawstring pants to high fashion. There is now a wide range of companies offering well designed merchandise, from one-off art, recycled and redesigned clothing, organic and sustainable textiles and garment production, to a range of community and indigenous support cooperatives bridging the gap between traditional craft and high fashion. 

This book shows the range of companies making a difference in the area of sustainable design in fashion, exploding the myth that sustainable design is bad design, or at best basic design, by highlighting the range of companies producing desirable and well-designed apparel and accessories with a conscience. It not only demonstrates the range of products available around the globe, but explains the stories behind them and the communities they support, as well as showing how and where they make a difference.

Sass Brown is a full-time professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and lives in Florence, Italy, where she is Resident Director for its overseas programme. She has created collections for myriad manufacturers, from urban clothing for London’s trend conscious teenagers, to her own signature collection of women’s designer sportswear. She specializes in ethical design practices in the fashion industry and has worked with many women’s cooperatives, most notably in Latin America.