Posts Tagged ‘clothing’

Responsible Education

July 19, 2010

We’re happy to feature the following guest post from Mary Hanlon, Founder of Social Alterations, an education lab for responsible fashion design.

It is no secret that human rights violations run rampant behind the seams of the mainstream apparel industry, while environmental destruction remains unchecked (alongside unchecked environmental degradation). Seeing responsible education as the first point of intervention, at Social Alterations (SA) we’ve set out to design interdisciplinary learning resources and tools that strive to mitigate these wrongs; SA is a transdisciplinary, service-based learning organization, an education lab for responsible fashion design.

SA Co-Founder, Nadira Lamrad, on what organic cotton means to her at the 2010 Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference in London, England

We deliver key insights into the social, cultural, environmental and economic impact (both positive and/or negative) of fashion products and systems. At SA, we argue that designers and design educators have a responsibility to consider the social, cultural, environmental, and economic consequence and impact (positive or negative) of fashion products and systems. They can do this during the design process by understanding the way in which their product interacts with each of these categories through every phase of that products life. This is arguably the toughest design brief out there, (more…)

The high cost of cheap T-shirts

January 19, 2010

Photo: Johnnie Utah/Flickr

This post by Siel Ju originally appeared on the Mother Nature Network.

Learn how that $3 T-shirt could be creating water shortages, trade imbalances and environmental pollution.

In his book Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman argues that even organic cotton T-shirts aren’t necessarily very eco-friendly, since they can still be shipped all around the world to be sewn together in sweatshop conditions before being chemically dyed in a polluting facility. Of course, conventionally grown cotton T-shirts still fare much worse under eco-scrutiny, especially those grown and made in China.

Just how ecologically damaging those “all-natural” T-shirts are has been laid bare, thanks to a feature article in the latest issue of Miller-McCune magazine. In “Can China Turn Cotton Green?” Chris Wood takes a close look at a study conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, Canada, that drew from an international network of experts to look at the cotton T-shirt manufacturing process.

Read the rest of this article on Mother Nature Network >

Re-use is Cool

November 16, 2009

clorox_box_rs

photo by M.A. Enriquez

In a world obsessed with new stuff, it’s refreshing to see a re-birth of re-use.

I stumbled upon an alter universe of crafters recently after a couple of tweets with Jeffrey Scwartz (CEO of Timberland) on up-cycling old denim. I was pitching taking old inventory and seconds and re-fabricating them into new products when I Googled recycled denim to see what was out there. OMG. It was like a vast world I’d never known before – thousands of pages of DIY crafters making everything from slippers to skirts to quilts from old jeans.

Ikea Hacker

In it’s hippest  form re-use’s cool factor is exemplified by ventures like Ikea Hacker a site devoted to the many permutations possible from Ikea furniture parts and creativity. My personal favorite is the plastic storage box come chicken feeder. (more…)


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