Tag Archives: Clothing

Tom Ford Goes Vegan And The Fashion World Gets Better

We are no strangers to veganism – from our colourful Instagram feeds, to the trendy cafés popping up all over the place, even to our close friends ditching meat and animal by-products, one thing is clear: veganism has taken the world by storm. Celebrities and ambassadors alike have advocated for the positive health and environmental benefits of this plant-based diet. But how has this movement changed the fashion industry?

Tom Ford, founder of the eponymous multi-million fashion label, is one example of how this trend is influencing the way high fashion is being produced. Always mindful of his health, Ford says he was inspired to take the leap and become vegan after watching the documentary What The Health. “I’ve been vegan for about the last year. When you look at how most of our meat, our animal products, are raised, from a health standpoint, I didn’t feel that I should eat those things anymore.”

Image: Landon Nordeman

Although initially health-related, Ford says that since going vegan, he has become more conscious of the unethical use of animal products in fashion. It goes without mention that the fur controversy is heading this debate, and Ford is proud to be limiting the use of fur in his collections, embracing faux fur and clothing pieces made from food by-products instead. “That means cowhide, it means shearling, it means not doing fur that is raised purely for its pelt…whether I’m consuming meat or not, other people are, so these are things that are collected.”

Image: Alessandro Garofalo

But is using faux fur instead of real fur a change for the better? The production of faux fur itself is an unsustainable practice, as most fake fur is produced with petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Creating synthetic fibres to imitate fur also requires chemical reactions which release toxic substances into the environment, and so many designers are torn between the unethical practice of using real fur, and the unsustainability of faux fur. Ford himself is ambivalent regarding this topic, “I’m also very torn about this because fake fur is terrible for the environment. People think of fake fur as a disposable thing. They buy it, they wear it a few seasons, they throw it away, it doesn’t biodegrade. It’s a petroleum product. It is highly toxic. And then, you could argue that tanning leather is a highly toxic process. A fur coat gets recycled. People wear them for 30 years, they give them to their kids, then they turn them into throw pillows. So I don’t know the answer to that.”

Image: Landon Nordeman

This uncertainty in which course to take is by no means a harmless one. Ford recounts the time when a woman at an event was so distraught by the use of fur in his collections that she poured tomato juice over him in protest. Although a frightening experience, it did not convince him to ban fur from his label. He goes on to explain how many customers are loyal to the brand because of its fur and leather pieces, and how it is ultimately a difficult decision to make for the business.

Image: Yannis Vlamos

So, has veganism saved the day? We don’t know for sure, but it has definitely made heads turn and minds think about the future of the fashion industry. Even though progress is slow, we are for sure heading towards a more sustainable future. Let’s hope we will soon be saying goodbye to fur and leather, for good!

 

Written by: Tiffany Ko

Sources:
http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-wwd-vegan-tom-ford-20180206-story.html
https://www.wmagazine.com/story/tom-ford-vegan-fur
http://www.truthaboutfur.com/en/questions-answers-about-fur

Sweatshops: The Changes Being Made

Sweatshops are a concept well known to the world of fast-fashion; clothes that are affordable, and the wages of those who made them, even more so. The reality of bargain prices trace back to countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, where manual workers are employed at minimum wage inside a factory or workshop for long hours and under poor conditions.

After the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, a building which housed clothing factories among other shops, the transparency of fashion companies’ supply chains are being called into question as change is slowly taking shape around the operation of sweatshops. A pop-up sweatshop by the Clean Clothing Campaign in Amsterdam challenged consumers to sit behind a sewing machine and make as many garments as they possibly could in an hour, encouraging onlookers to question their fashion retailers about their manufacturing conditions.

Photo: Anko Stoffels

Closer to home, the Australian government is making moves toward a Modern Slavery Act, an act that Britain introduced in 2015. Such an act would might force companies to prove that they are not exploiting foreign workers. Companies with an annual turnover of $50 million would be reporting on their suppliers’ use of overseas labour. The result of the act is not to dole out fines, but to keep transparency between companies, consumers and shareholders.

 

Perhaps the example needed in this industry to help curb this problem is Nike. The early 1990s saw the brand exposed and shamed relentlessly for its employment of workers in Indonesia and Vietnam for less than minimum wage. The company was protested and criticized until 1998 when then-CEO Phil Knight announced a raise of the minimum age of its workers and increased monitoring in all factories producing Nike’s goods. In the year following, Nike began creating the Fair Labour Association to enforce codes of conduct including a set 60-hour work week and a minimum age to be employed. The company became the first to publish a complete list of all factories they dealt with in 2005 and continues to take corporate social responsibility in auditing data and upholding their commitments to its workers and consumers.

Photo: Getty

Consumers have a right to know how their goods are being made. Shopping ethically is made easier with Ethical Clothing Accreditation. Ethical Clothing Australia is a program designed to verify that all workers are receiving their legal entitlements. Upon accreditation, retailers appeal to a growing market of consumers and ensure transparency between themselves and consumers.

The change that must occur to better conditions in sweatshops and eradicate slave labour must first come from the consumer. Think about how your money is being spent and whose pocket it’s going into. Brands and retailers must be responsible for their actions. So must we.

 

Written by: Celina Foong

Feature Image: Kay Nietfeld / Picture-alliance

Shopping With a Conscious: Baby Peppers!

Baby Peppers
Featured Bag by Baby Peppers
Baby Peppers

In a world saturated in technology to the point of undeniable dependence, an Eco friendly, ‘Baby Peppers’, are bringing back the old school authenticity of playtime and products made with one of a kind love.

Based in Bendigo, Victoria and made (inspired) in India, Baby Peppers sole ethos is to provide ethical shopping of ‘slow’ inimitable fashion. That is fundamentally socially conscious.

Products include handwoven baskets, totes, wooden toys, cotton quilts and bedding sets. All organic items are sourced from fair trade and artisan communities, aiding in sustainable income.

Staying true to ethical fashion, Baby Peppers are notably the first Australian store to partner with Kateson, an American brand that redefines the meaning of ‘pure organics’. Kateson organic garments are hand dyed in plant botanicals and Ayurveda herbs, with coconut husks for buttons, every final detail is completely artificial/chemical free. Perfect for the curious little ones, the all-organic products quite literally make them safe enough to to eat.

One of Baby Peppers most popular items is the Multicolour Sivankan tote, salutes to the vibrant colours of India, featuring deep sea blues and the hues of a summer sun. The baskets and totes are handwoven from recycled polyethylene and ethically sourced from a world renowned fair trade organisation called Baladarshan. Helping single mums living in the slums of Chennai, India. Celebrating not only the arresting colours of Indian culture, but the empowerment of women through supporting their financial independence.

Unlike flashy toys will all the bells and whistles, Baby Peppers traditional wooden stackers, rattles and race cars encourage creativity due to their simplicity. According to Temple University developmental psychologist, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, electronic toys make your child a consumer not a creator.

Your child gets to build his or her imagination around simpler toys, they don’t command what your child does, but your child commands what they do.

Electronic toys that boast brain development not only inhibit your child’s natural problem solving abilities but the chemical compounds and production process cause great harm to human health and the environment

Baby Peppers wooden toys are friendly on the earth and on your health. Every piece is handcrafted from sustainable hale wood, lacquered in vegetable dye and coated in natural shellac. All spare parts measuring bigger than 35mm ensuring they won’t lodge into your child’s throat.

Class favourites include the retro race car, cheeky monkey bowling set and the turtle train family. Drenched in lavishly tactile qualities the turtles are coloured in complementary swirls of lemon, circling the smooth spherical domes of their shells. The cheeky monkeys also come with 6 black capped, polka dot bottomed rascals and two candy coloured bowling bowls.

The charm lying not only in their artisanship but their gloriously, glossy aesthetic – deeming them bookshelf worthy. Where a child’s mess is now a designer décor dream!

All products embody one of a kind appeal. With laborious processes of block printing, hand carving, quilting and creating natural dyes, no two pieces will ever be alike. Their appeal lies not only in their aesthetic, but their ethical production, creating a positive impact on broader communities. Every item tells an honest and ethical story.

Baby Peppers offer free shipping Australia wide plus delivery world wide.

To find out more about their products, visit www.babypeppers.com.au

Words by Bridget McDonnell

Is ‘Healthy’ the New Black?

North West (Image Source: Pintrest)
Gigi Hadid (Image Source: Pintrest)
Rihanna (Image Source: WhoWhatWear)

The gym junkie generation is here and it’s taking the runways by sporty storm!

With the rise of high end designers collaborating with the fitness apparel industry, it might be time to say goodbye to your regular gym gear. The glossy black, mesh tights and candy coloured sneakers are taking over not just our gyms but our regular street garb. The generation of healthy living where coconut cures all bring you the boom of designer ‘athleisure’: Athletic wear that women of all ages can wear in non athletic setting.

“It’s a trend. People of all ages are wearing their work outwear all day now, whether it’s leggings with a longer coat and scarf, or…..with a denim jacket and some high heeled boots.” Says Soul Cycle Co founder Julie rice whose clients include Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Khloe Kardashian just to name a few.

Whilst this fashion trend allows us to rock our comfy work out gear without a sweat bead in sight; is an undeniable blessing, not all of us are game enough to rock the tights in a club. However one shall not fear as the baseball hat is back and it looks even better with a cocktail dress or if you’re into a bit of a North West style she was recently spotted on the streets of Beverly Hills donning hers with a $3500 fur coat. Not only will you never have to have a bad hair day again but this ‘Norm corm’ trend of reviving the baseball cap pure genius lies in the fact it doesn’t need to match, in fact it shouldn’t match. So whilst we may not be Gigi-Hadid-ready for tights and tank tops, one can still jump on the sporty fashion movement with the humble baseball hat day and night all day everyday with no sun in sight.

Leggings are the new denim – CEO of Nike, Mark Parker, proclaimed at the Women’s Innovation Summit in New York City

This couldn’t be more true as the Nike-Air Yeezy project was undeniably one of the most sought after collaborations in Pop Culture. Since leaving Nike due to creative differences, Kanye West staged an unprecedented fashion show combining the third season of his Yeezy Adidas Spring collaboration with the debut of his new album, ‘The Life of Pablo’. Showcasing a vast array of models mostly African or of a mixed race in variations of neutral bodysuits, hoodies and hooker heels. Offering a modern day all purpose uniform.

West was notably the first non-athlete to collaborate with the brand, leading the way for a plethora of celebrities, such as Kate Hudson’s ‘Fabletics’ fitness line and Rihanna for Puma, along with the good old ‘KingKylie’ [Jenner].

“Wearing high end sports clothes has become a new status symbol”, says Sally Dixon, a former fashion editor and founder of a premium sportswear company. With this rise of the fashion parlance athleisure tapping into the current wellness craze it’s now ultimately cool to be healthy. According to figures from the global summit last year the healthy living industry is now worth $3.4 trillion globally, almost three and a half times larger than the worldwide pharmaceutical company – meaning drugs are out and Qinuoa is in!  Girls rejoice trackies are no longer a sin!

Words by Bridget McDonnell