By Kathleen Elie, Founder Editor in Chief, Conscious N Chic
So you’ve read the headline, clicked on the link and here you are. You are either looking for new ethical threads or wondering if ethical fashion is for you. You are wondering whether fair trade pieces can provide the same dose of style and function you are accustomed to without breaking the bank. I understand where you are coming from. There is a widespread misconception, which has led many to believe that fair trade fashion is synonymous with bohemian style. As you will discover below, I am far from being a hippie, although my inner flower child likes to come out and play every once in awhile.
In a world obsessed with doing everything bigger and faster decelerating our fashion choices from fast to slow can be challenging. I’ve managed to build a closet to match my busy city lifestyle - edgy, modern and yes, ethical. You can do it too!
In these next few paragraphs, I’ll attempt to show you that ethical fashion is not only for hippies. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Here are 5 of my favorite flower-power-free ethical fashion brands.
Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is often considered a stop-over on the way to Antigua and other textile and culture rich cities. However, the industrial and notoriously polluted center of the country is now experiencing a revival in creativity, as well as a textile revolution, thanks to The New Denim Project by Iris Textiles. On a private tour of the facility, Creative Director Arianne Engelberg, explained the process in which fabrics and materials made for wholesale and private label manufacturing are now being upcycled from denim waste. Let’s check it out!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about stuff. Instagrammable outfits and a pinterest worthy home. The stuff I want, the stuff other people have. At the end of the day it’s just stuff, and I know that, but working in fashion, living in NYC, or maybe just simply being on social media, it sometimes feels like getting more is all I can think about, even when I don’t want it. Do you ever just stop and think, how do I make this stop!?
It’s really hard to live in these social media driven times and not be constantly wanting more. There are many great things about social media- the ability to have a voice, a creative outlet, and connect with your tribe. However, a major side effect plaguing our generation is the FOMO disease, and this constant state of “not enough” is killing us. The anecdote to FOMO is gratitude so here is how to exchange greed for gratitude and choose a more life-giving look at life. For best results, repeat daily as often as needed.
As a do-gooder group we often get caught up in the hustle of help. But if we’re not careful we pigeonhole the most valuable asset of our supply chain into a small confined box they can’t get out of. We have to redefine our view of garment workers and the value they bring to the table. Here are the 3 most common misconceptions made about garment workers, that we’ve even been guilty of ourselves at times.
It’s no secret that cold-weather clothes make my heart beat a little bit faster. I love the depth of warm colors, the versatility and interest of layers, and the creativity that goes into putting together a cold-weather outfit. Although Summer has it’s perks, after a few months of “shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops, repeat” I get a little bit bored. Fall and Winter, though, bring endless potential and seem to give my wardrobe a much needed boost in motivation once October rolls around.
In 2014, I attended a textiles expo in New York City. The 18th floor of Hotel Pennsylvania was host to dozens of fabric suppliers, as well as a series of seminars for designer entrepreneurs. I went to network with suppliers and potential Factory45’ers and get an insider’s view of the “non” sustainable fashion world (it looks a lot different).
While there was a limited number of vendors selling organic cotton or recycled fabrics, I did attend a seminar that explored the future of textiles. Below is a nod to the newest wave of innovation coming out of the textile industry with a focus on sustainability:
Since May, zero waste enthusiasts Lauren Singer & Daniel Silverstein have been helping New Yorkers transition to a low waste lifestyle with a pop up shop and now they are here to stay! So we wanted to make sure you knew about it and the 5 things we think you’ll love.
I have always loved fashion. I love how it can make people feel. When you survey the pieces in your closet you find you’re very rarely apathetic to any of them. Each piece is tied to a memory, a feeling, good or bad. As I gained experience in the industry, and ultimately fell down the rabbit hole into ethical fashion, I loved experiencing the other side of the industry and the global impact of fashion. Not only does fashion impact us as consumers, but it impacts hundreds of thousands of people as workers. It led me to believe that fashion can truly change the world and here’s why.