Tag Archives: Eco Fashion

Fashion of Condoms and Candy Wrapper – Eco Fashion 2011

Trashion. If you’re green and fashionable, you’ve no doubt noticed it’s everywhere you look these days. And this “creative reuse” in fashion may have finally gone too far. It’s time to question, for the sake of eco fashion’s future viability, the plethora of “trash to treasure”initiatives touted as sustainable fashion genius.

It is time to do more with less, and this includes reducing our predilection for “trash to treasure” designs and stories that glorify less than marketable fashion.

The thing that concerns me as someone who also observes how trash is now utilized in eco-art and gallery installations is the message suggesting that we can increasingly find a tidy place for the trash in our lives. Creative reuse needs to move beyond the glorification of trashion and recycled art projects in order to address long term solutions for waste reduction and sustainable economic development. Our primary focus should be on managing this toxic bloom via critically important economic, environmental, and health initiatives.

For sure, timeless design has a transcendent and culturally revealing quality, particularly when it comes to the innovative reuse of materials and cast-off bits. Are we currently aiding or hindering the sustainable fashion movement if we do not make a distinction between designs that measure up as genuine fashion innovation and those that are clever, eye-catching creations that make “trashion” seem fashionable?

Junky Styling‘s recycled men’s suit coats: an empowering approach

Creative reuse projects can be large or small. In the case of fashion, several bold designer initiatives have genuinely overhauled the industry’s patterns of waste and excess via the resourceful recycling of textile surplus and unsold stock. Standout labels like From SomewhereJunky StylingGoodone, and Reet Aus, to name a few, effectively take yesterday’s unwanted goods and artfully re-shape them into tomorrow’s covetable items. This design strategy is genuinely empowering for the fashion lover who is investing in environmentally sound and fashion-forward design.

From Somewhere‘s upcycling of Speedo’s LZR Racer designs

The recent collaboration of From Somewhere with Speedo to create a capsule collection upcycled from unsold and obsolete Speedo LZR Racer designs might seem like an odd pairing to some. However, an industrial fabric challenge like this clearly demonstrates how unwanted waste can be transformed into eco-luxe couture.

Recycling should and must be an engaging activity, particularly when it comes to labor-intensive DIY projects. Some of the most rewarding fashion moments are definitely those where something useless or outdated takes on new life with imaginative tinkering and whimsy. As Kate Black of Magnifeco recently shared with us:

“When it comes to recycling, we have obviously been doing it for years, in all cultures. Textiles that can no longer be used as garments are incorporated into household items like quilts and pillows and now it’s not just recycled textiles making the news in eco-fashion: candy wrapper handbags, pull-tab accessories are front and center, too.  When recycling or upcycling in fashion falls short, though, I generally find that it is from a taste perspective, not necessarily a design perspective.”

I wholeheartedly support projects that provide fair-trade jobs to artisans who create one-of-a-kind accessories and art-objects out of dumpster and landfill pickings, so I am certainly not attacking these folks for the honest craft and handwork that they do.

Ecoist ‘Botero’ handbag crafted out of candywrappers

I do think, however, that we should exercise caution regarding what is an increasing inclination to sanitize and incorporate trash into art, fashion, and design projects for our own aesthetic amusement. Let’s not forget that this everyday refuse should not exist in the first place, at least not in the volume that we are now grappling with. We need to ensure that we do not become de-sensitized to just how out of control our garbage epidemic is. It is one thing to source from surplus textile stock, recycle trash in the waste stream, and get one’s hands dirty with some gritty DIY projects, but not at the expense of garbage becoming a part of our ongoing design lexicon, much less the focus of our attention.

Via Trendhunter: A condom hat may be great for ginning up clicks, but it’s bad for eco fashion progress.

‘Trash to treasure’ is a dangerous term, and one that might soon need to be upgraded or upcycled within the sustainable fashion glossary. Our long term efforts should continue to be focused on cradle-to-cradle design initiatives, zero-waste garment production, acknowledgment of indigenous technologies and crafts that actually aid specific regions, and sustainable economic development that improves the lives of people everywhere so that they can move beyond having to rely on garbage as a means of livelihood.

Chris Jordan photography

The ready-made object is a surrealist phenomenon. Fashion is about personal expression and the ability to be transported to new layers and states of being. Let’s not allow ourselves to get swept up by “quirky” design projects that demonstrate how clever we can be with Coke tabs, Barbie doll heads, condoms, or heaps of televisions and computer monitors, all in the name of recycling – but in reality only keep our movement one step further from legitimate entree into mainstream fashion or, worse, from being taken seriously by leaders in the fashion world.

‘Household goods’… deceased Estate by Claire Healey and Shaun Cordelro

This is not meant as an attack on the resourceful re-purposing of waste materials for home, fashion, and personal use. Recycling is definitely a significant part of the sustainable fashion story, but recycling without an ability to edit is doing us no good.

There is a time and a place for trashion and art of this nature, but we have a responsibility to shift away from scenes that mimic the dying “portraits of global mass culture” (a la work of photographer Chris Jordan) as we look to a greener future.

Lead image courtesy of Goodone; Household goods images via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Source: Ecosalon.com by 

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Creating a Green Fashion Label

When consumers shop for groceries, they tend to review the nutrition label and ingredients list on the food package to obtain dietary information. This food label system helps people make an informed decision and lead healthier lifestyles. Shouldn’t consumers have resources for making similar choices when shopping for apparel products? According to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (TFPIA), all apparel products should have a label that includes: fiber content, country of origin, manufacturer identification, and care instructions.

 

However, the clothing label may not be informative enough to educate consumers regarding what processes were used to make the product and what environmental impacts those processes may have. One of the common myths consumers may believe regarding apparel products is that natural fiber products are more environmentally friendly than synthetic fiber products. Considering the fact that the textile and apparel industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation, it is important to provide more informative, easy-to-read labels for apparel products, responding to consumers’ growing concerns about environmental issues related to their consumable products.

From interviews with five apparel design personnel in two companies (although these opinions cannot represent all designers’ and merchandisers’ opinions), our research team found that they were aware of the environmental problems associated with dyeing and textile processing. However, interestingly, they did not regard themselves as responsible for correcting these problems.

They also indicated that the biggest determining factor for apparel designers and merchandisers when deciding where to obtain materials for production is the availability of materials from suppliers who have had a long–term relationship with the company. It seems that environmentally friendly materials were not their main concern. They added that if they were sure that their target consumers would be willing to purchase environmentally friendly products, they would practice sustainability. Without certainty, they did not want to take the risk because using green materials costs more. The industry personnel felt that there was nothing they could do as designers or merchandisers to address environmental issues, believing that environmentally friendly production was beyond their ability.

Do consumers agree with these opinions? To explore consumer opinions about green apparel products and purchasing behaviors, a serious of focus group discussions were conducted with 32 consumers. Although organic fibers and other green apparel options are already available in the market, participants demonstrated a lack of knowledge about these products. Interestingly, several respondents knew of organic clothing only in terms of simple items, such as T–shirts, while others did not even know that organic or green apparel was an available option.

In addition, the respondents agreed that if there were more information about green apparel products available, they would be more prone to buy them. They felt skeptical about current eco–claims because labeling of green apparel is voluntary and no general rules have been implemented for apparel product labeling. They added that current labels on green clothing did not offer an adequate amount of information to consumers. They were unsure of exactly what “environmentally friendly” meant and how the products they had seen were environmentally friendly. Additionally, most of the participants agreed that a well–established eco–label for apparel products would increase consumers’ knowledge of environmental impacts from apparel production and foster consumers’ green apparel purchasing behaviors.

Regarding willingness to buy green apparel products, they mentioned that they would be more likely to purchase green apparel products if they were cheaper and more readily available. Respondents indicated that they would not buy a less attractive environmentally friendly garment with the label attached to it over a more attractive conventional product. Therefore, before emphasizing green aspects, products should meet the quality expectations of consumers.

Based on these two investigations, the research team suggested that a labeling system could be used to reduce the information gap between producers and consumers. Green labels for textile and apparel products can facilitate choices for consumers making environmentally responsible purchasing decisions by motivating and/or educating them (D’Souza, et al., 2006).

As mentioned earlier, just as the nutritional facts and ingredients are listed on food packages, the apparel label can include customized information on how the content of a specific product and its production processes impact the environment. Our research team identified six sustainability aspects of apparel products as the key information that would be beneficial for consumers to know from the green apparel label: organic, biodegradable, safely dyed, fair trade, carbon footprint, and recycled. Creating eye–catching symbols accompanied by brief explanations for clarification, which convey the key aspects of sustainability within the apparel industry, will be necessary. This design will make the labels easy to read and serve as a convenient reference for consumers.

If the standardized and easy–to–read label is commonly used in the textile and apparel industry in the future, it will educate consumers about green products and their effects on our surrounding environment. By becoming more knowledgeable about green products, consumers will be able to make more informed purchases of environmentally responsible products. In addition, educated consumers will drive businesses to practice more sustainability. Adopting the easy–to–read, informative green label will help retailers promote their eco–friendly strategies. As people continue to show interest in green products through purchases, the availability of various green products will increase, resulting in growing diversity in the retailing industry.

This educational research brief is from the University of Delaware (Fiber Online Journal).
Creating a Green Label for Reducing the Gap

Authors:
Dr. Hae Jin Gam is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University. She was a fashion designer in South Korea until 2001. Her doctoral research was in the area of sustainable apparel design and production development and was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. Her current research interests include sustainability in the apparel and textile industry, apparel product development, consumers’ eco–friendly purchasing behavior, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Dr. Yoon Jin Ma is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University. Her research interests include social responsibility in apparel consumption, manufacturing, and retailing; consumer behavior; services marketing; and scale development. She received the Student Best Paper Award at the doctoral level from the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) in 2008, the Best Track Paper Award in the textile and apparel/international track from ITAA in 2009, and the Paper of Distinction Award in the consumer behavior track from ITAA in 2010

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Dressing with Sense and Simplicity: Organic Fabric and Clothing

No one would like to eat a bowl of pesticides drenched food. Then why wear clothing doused in chemicals?

Centuries before people use to live in harmony with nature and believed in giving even better environment for their coming generations. Now, people have crossed all limits dominated by the voracity of luxuries, benefits and money. This is taking a serious toll on the environment, and on the lives of all living beings in the planet.

The ‘Chemical Cocktail’ of Clothing:

When considering a healthy lifestyle, fabric is the first thing that comes to mind. Synthetic fabrics’ teeming with chemicals and dyes pose severe health threats. Synthetic fibers makes the skin uncomfortable due to the presence of toxins in them. From towels to bed linens, and clothes they are all-pervading in our everyday life. Apart from the potential health hazards to humans, these synthetic fibers also leach into the environment causing serious damages to soil, air, ground water, and other living beings around us.

The Environment Shield Organization of US has declared that seven out of the top fifteen pesticides are used for growing conventional cotton, and are regarded as the most environment polluting pesticides. On the contrary, organic cotton is cultivated using untreated GMO seeds, and by adopting biological based growing practices. A beneficial habitat planting method is adopted which prevents pests, thereby eliminating the usage of toxic chemicals.

stewartbrown 02 Room101 | Organic Fashion Design Pioneer Howard Brown

Natural Dyes Vs Synthetic Dyes:

Synthetic dyes involve many carcinogenic chemicals and effluents that are discharged into the river or atmosphere causing pollution. Chemicals used on fabrics can contain allergens, carcinogens and mutagens. Dyes that are used for special effects on textiles such as flame retardant, stain resistant etc., are likely to create health problems. Natural dyes are obtained from renewable sources, and are good to skin. They are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. Natural dyes are enriched with medicinal and curative properties, and impart healing qualities to the wearer of the fabric dyed with them. They save energy as they are not made from petroleum products. Furthermore, they provide rural employment, and also preserve traditional craftsmanship.

Life with natural fibers’:

Acrylic, polyester, nylon, rayon, triacetate, acetate and other fabrics labeled as stain & wrinkle resistant, and moth repellent will have ample amount of chemicals in their making. These fabrics can be avoided, and replaced with natural fabrics like wool, silk, cotton, linen, cashmere, and hemp. Organic and herbal clothing is more preferable for people who are very sensitive to chemicals. Researches on people with multiple chemical sensitivities reveal that organic clothing is essential in reducing their exposure to toxic chemicals.

 

Source: fibre2fashion.com

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Banned Speedo’s Recycled into Green Fashion

When FINA banned swimmers from competing in these Speedo LZR Racers, the swimwear manufacturerSpeedo had to find new ways to reuse these expensive suits. Well, it seems that they found a way with the help of British fashion students and British sustainable-fashion label ‘From Somewhere‘ to create some super-cool looking fashion swimwear.

Speedo LZR Racer Student Collaboration Behind the scene video :

‘From Somewhere’ dress collaboration (below)

from-somewhere-speedo-collection-2

More info at www.speedo.comTreehugger / Ecouterre

Source: Trendland.net By Cyril Style

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Stripes for Summer: Women’s 2011 Fashion Trend

2010’s infatuation with military fashion was heavily influenced by army and air force styling, meaning naval influenced pieces hardy got a look in. As the military trend winds down for spring 2011, we turn to new influences – but that doesn’t mean the nautical shall be overlooked entirely. For those fashionisers who are nautically inclined, Spring 2011 still has something in store. Don’t think of it strictly as a nautical military trend, however. Rather, in 2011, it’s the classic navy and white colour palette, worn as dominant stripes.

navy stripe clothing
Striped summer dress at Jil Sander SS11

The Style

Note that I didn’t say bold stripes, but dominant stripes. While navy and white stripes are a must for the look (though black and white can also work in 2011), the real key to Summer’s take on nautical stripes is that they dominate the outfit. While they do so in the below look easily (though the plum Doc Martens still seem somewhat heavy), in other outfits it’s about drawing attention to the stripes above all else in the outfit.

navy stripe clothing
Striped summer dress snapped in Sydney by Vanessa Jacman.

As an illustration of the point be sure to look at the inspiration picture below; while most looks rely on bold stripes, you’ll see that the trend is just as effective when the stripes are thin. Hence for Summer 2010 look for dominant stripes, not necessarily bold ones.

The Pieces To Wear in 2011

Don’t think of this Summer stripes just as a clothing trend: you can work them into any part of an outfit (just not all at once, please). As you’ll see in the inspiration gallery stripes can dominate an outfit in everything from hats to killer mini-dresses.

striped hat
Striped summer hat snapped byJak and Jil.

2011’s return of bell bottoms – a style which originated with the sailor pants of the US navy – also presents the perfect opportunity for creating nautical ensembles. And of course a striped top with flares is a combination that also lends itself to a perfectly 70s inspired look.

stripes with flares
Striped top and flared jeans at Fidelity Denim SS11

To Nautical Or Not To Nautical?

While Summer’s navy and white striped fashion trend isn’t a true take on navy inspired fashion, it’s likely to appeal to those who are in to the nautical aesthetic. If that’s you and you’re after some inspiration look to Anja Rubik’s sailor inspiration from the June 2010 issue of Vogue Korea. The shoot utilises the season’s stripe trend in the form of a dominant blazer, but takes the nautical motifs to far less subtle proportions.

anja rubik navy

Layering

The natural inclination for layering nautical pieces in an outfit is to do so with complimentary colours (read ‘navy and white’). And I can’t fault that logic. It’s the easy option. But may I offer up one piece of inspiration that differs from the safe? Clashes of stripes with other patterns or prints, for example this shot of Nataliya Piro in Cosmopolitan magazine mixing (admittedly non-dominant) stripes with florals. The stripes don’t dominate, but in a crowded room the look certainly will.

stripes with florals
Nautical stripes with floral print.

Source: Fashionising.com by Daniel P Dykes

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Spring / Summer 2011 Fashionable Themes

Interfiliere: Spring / Summer 2011 trend motifs

Interfiliere, a fashion industry body dedicated to lingerie and beachwear correctly peg Spring 2011’s fashion trends as an evolution of several recent fashion trends; key amongst them is the continued reinterpretation of classic styles along all heavily influenced by the ‘lingerie as outerwear’ trend that Fashionising.com has been touting for some time now.

Key look: loungerie

For the latter, they’ve coined a new term: loungerie. With the elements of lingerie, be it girly or overtly sexual, so prominent in street fashion, Interfiliere see Spring 2011’s key street wear trends as a mixture between lingerie, swimwear and streetwear (which they group as loungewear), and lingerie. Hence the portmanteau.

In their own words:

The new Loungerie takes a leaf out of, and gets the best of, lingerie for an alternative, parallel wardrobe; [one that is] light, intimate, and impossible to “classify.”

loungerie

Over-all themes

Lingerie as street wear aside, there are four themes that Interfiliere believe will be key to Spring / Summer 2011 fashion trends:

Tendresse (fondness)

spring 2011 fondness

An atmosphere heavily loaded with, memories but reinvented by using, technical innovations. To maintain the feeling of softness and a nostalgia of charm, there are sophisticated constructions, digital prints, placed jacquards, audacious accents, and subtle featherweight effects, silks, fine cottons, blends.

Then there are the refined, luxury lines of coordinates made to last: it’s the triumphant return of the camisole, bodices, teddies: all expressions of an eternal seduction.

spring 2011 fondness

Antidote

spring 2011 antidote

Happiness lies in non conformity. It’s not a question of being good or reasonable, but the passion colours evoke, the explosions of prints, geometrical accents, Indian flowers, folk music kitsch, cartoon influences and the naive primitives that all mix create a wild patchwork of fashion.

A liberated celebration of all that everyday life is about. Amusing creativity, beachwear influences, mixes of ethnic and otherworld, ardour and femininity, the whole trend being based on strong lines.

spring 2011 antidote

Oasis

spring 2011 oasis

Pleasure gorged on the sun and freshness you’ll want from Spring / Summer 2011.

On the one hand, the exotic: exuberant nature inspired by Gauguin, luxuriant foliage and cat-like beachwear motifs. On the other hand, the desert: a landscape of sand, primitive embroideries, Berber stripes, beautiful laces patinated by the years, ikats and metal accents.

For ample shapes such as caftans or djellabahs, dry knits, charming linens and cottons for the loungerie trend.

spring 2011 oasis

Sublime

spring 2011 sublime

The essence of a new luxury, ostentatious and astonishing with a hint of theatrical and urban roughness.

Haute couture meets high-tech. The scene is ostentatious, emphatically astonishing, and unique. In the corridors of this new theatricality surface effects, contrasts of opaque and transparency. Think transfer prints, graphics and bondageaccents.

This is the essence of the new luxury, exceptional beauty ready to conquer the land of modernity.

spring 2011 sublime

Source: Fashionising.com by Daniel P Dykes

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Nike Eco Fashion Trend; release January 2011

For Nike Sportswear’s latest project, they hit a double whammy in the hype department with their Nike Premium Print Pack. With references to eco-trends and the rapidly dissolving print world, this series is sure to launch with a bang in the beginning of January 2011.

Source:  Trendland.net By Mini Boss 27

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