Why do NGOs matter in Fashion: Vol 1

Why do NGOs matter in Fashion: Vol 1

3 trillion dollars is the value of the global fashion industry, it’s the equivalent of 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic (GDP).

1 in 6 people on the planet work in the fashion industry and only 2% receive a living wage, according to the Fair Fashion Center of NYC. Fashion industry is one of the largest in the world, but it’s also the 2nd more polluting after the oil industry.

Thanks to documentaries like The True Cost and the work of institutions and NGO’s dedicated to the subject (The Ellen Macarthur foundation, The Circle, Fashion Revolution, Fashion take action, Clean clothes campaign etc.) we start to collect more data about the environmental and human impact of the fashion industry.

From those studies we learned that the clothing and textile industry has an ecological footprint, which is far from sustainable. For example the Copenhagen Fashion Summit report (Pulse of the Fashion industry 2017 report) told us that the industry emits 1.7 billion tones of CO2 annually, it’s responsible for extensive water use and pollution, and produces 2.1 billion tones of waste annually, just to give some examples.

Cara Smyth, founding director of the Fair Fashion Center, explain, in an interview for Devex, how the change is slowly happening. Rana Plaza Collapse, the adoption of the UNSDG, the Paris Climate agreement, all of those events was capital moment to raise the awareness of the public on those issues.

That is one reason why the work of NGOs is essential for a more sustainable industry in fashion. They are collecting data to demonstrate the accurate risk and negative impact, but they also constitute a strong voice to educate people on the subject. It’s what happened in April 2018 with the Fashion Revolution’s “Who made my clothes” campaign, which commemorate the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 in Dhaka, a disaster that killed 1138 people and injured many more.

Garments Workers participating in the Who made my Clothes campaign to raise awareness about work conditions in fashion factory. Credit: Fashion Revolution

Since the tragedy, Fashion Revolution dedicates his work to improve work conditions for garment workers and to push brands to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.

In the same time, millennial consumption habits are different from their elder and are shaping a new market. The Digital Branding Institute found that 91% of millennial would switch their brands to ones that are associated with a good cause. They also observed a rise in «purpose-driven marketing», which is way for brands to connect with consumers on an emotional level.

If it is not the dramatic observation about the work condition that will motivate big companies to adopt better practice, environmental impacts should furthermore be a financial concern to brands. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group indicates that brands’ profit margins could fall by at least 3 percentage points by 2030 due to rising costs for labor, raw materials and energy, if companies continue with business as usual. This would add up to approximately €45 billion per year of lost profits for the industry according to WWF in its Environmental rating and innovation report 2017.

For instance, Nike case shows how the evolution of the market is forcing brands to adopt CSR policies. 20 years ago, Nike consumers were aware of Nikes workers condition in Thailand, and then the brand was associated to sweatshops and unethical work environment, this had huge consequences on the brand reputation and sales. That’s when, in 1998, the then-CEO Phil Knight started to make changes within the company by being more honest and transparent about the labor issues it faced. Nike also raised the minimum wage, improved oversight of labor practices, and made sure factories had clean air. After this Nike was able to seduce again teenagers and become the undisputed leader of athletic brand. It has since become an example of how worker satisfaction not only mitigates risk but also drives business success. As Hannah Jones, chief sustainability officer at Nike declare it: « Protecting worker rights is not just about corporate social responsibility, but productivity and profitability », even if actually Nike is still far from being the most transparent and sustainable fashion brand.

The role of NGOs in improving the fashion industry is not limited to research and awareness, but it can also transform the production and sales process.

Here 3 cases of how humanitarian action are impacting fashion:

1st: BlueBen: the innovative Brand/NGO who save water and help communities

BlueBen is a remarkable brand for many reasons; they are tackling water over consumption issue in fashion. They succeed to save up to 90% water by designing their sweatshirt in hemp and modal fiber, which need more slittle water than cotton. Also their sweatshirts are made in Europe and are compostable. Finally they give 10% of their turnover for compensation purposes to countries

that have suffered due to textile industry, like Bangladesh for instance.

But what makes BlueBen especially more unique is its mixed team composed of people who work for fashion and people who are specialized in humanitarian work. This combination is the illustration of emerging business model for a slower and more sustainable fashion.

BlueBen instagram campaign 2018. Credit: ChooseBlueBen

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd: When shopping experience becomes a social action

Numbers of ethical brands are now associating purchase act with a good action. This is the case of the sustainable sneakers Wado

Wado is designing 80s inspiration sustainable sneaker, their factory in Portugal guarantee good work conditions and quality process. They also choose to not use chromium to tan their shoes in order to have a cleaner fabrication process. But that’s not all, when you’re buying a pair of Wado, you also contribute to a reforestation project in Asia. The company collaborates with he NGO We Forest that work alongside natives to restore areas of forest.

Collaboration with humanitarian project is a way to offer a useful shopping experience to the consumer and besides it participates to improve the brand identity and gives the key to fit with the millennial market. Doing good start to feel good and trendy!

Wado instagram campaign 2018. Credit: Wearewado

3rd: Sourcing fair-trade fabrics and empowering garment workers

Up to 80 percent of a garment’s environmental impact is defined by choices made in the design process, consequently designer’s choices and methodology have a significant impact on improving sustainable fashion practices.

Therefore, ethical brands have the possibility to source their fabrics and material through Faire trade labels. Initiatives like Ecota-National Fair Trade Network of Bangladesh or the Word Fair trade Organizations confer a better profit redistribution to workers.

My aim with this blog is to show the utility of non-profit organization in the transformation of the fashion industry into a more sustainable and ethical industry.

Even if fashion professionals and consumers show more awareness about the dangerous impact of fashion process on communities, we still have too little data about the environmental and human cost of fashion process. For that reason, improving traceability and transparency in the fashion process is crucial. Thanks to tools like the fashion transparency index, it is easier for NGO’s and academics to collect data for their studies. Another interesting tool is the MODE tracker by Made by. Made by is a non-profit who developed a transparent and verified progress-tracking tool in order to support fashion brands and retailers in improving their sustainability performances.

However all those efforts are not enough to shape a better industry. Consumers habits and designers methodology constitute the strongest weapon to build a responsible fashion industry. As a first step you can follow the Slow Fashion World community to discover and support ethical and sustainable designers.

Improving traceability will also provide data for impact measurement of slow fashion designers and brands. Showing the good impact of sustainable brands will allow to enhance them and could be use as marketing asset to target the millennial market, with the prospect to eventually transform the fashion market.

After asking ourselves about the role of NGOs and Non-profit in the fashion sector, we could believe that many brands are improving their business by taking engagements or collaborating with labeled products. Yet it’s important to separate “greenwashing” to concrete impact projects, and it’s also necessary to know more about what’s behind a label, what is the real impact of labels. We will discuss more in detail in an upcoming blogpost !

 

 

 

Victoire Maureau

Victoire Maureau

Sustainable Development Advisor & SFW Change-Maker

Hi I’m Victoire and I joined the Slow Fashion World Community as Switzerland #SFWChangeMaker. I’m a 27 years old Parisian living in Switzerland. I studied law and political science and recently graduated in international development at la Sorbonne. Passionate about how innovation and technology can improve communities and help people, I joined Techfugees, a tech community that respond refugees needs. Beside this, I worked as a green investment and sustainable innovation consultant.

 

 

Why do NGOs matter in Fashion: Vol 1

3 trillion dollars is the value of the global fashion industry, it’s the equivalent of 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic (GDP). 1 in 6 people on the planet work in the fashion industry and only 2% receive a living wage, according to the Fair Fashion Center of...

BLOCKCHAIN AND SUSTAINABILITY

Innovation has been a key point for Slow Fashion World before the platform was even funded officially in 2017. While SFW sets the accent in the slow philosophy, diversity and cultural identity, unifying a conscious community of change-makers, in Slow Fashion World, we...

A Conscious Closet Guide

Your free download I love fashion. I really do. But I also love mother earth a lot. Equally as much as dressing up for a night out or even everyday occasions. When I started my slow journey in 2015 I felt like the lonely wolf, tapping into unexplored lands. Slow...

Madrid Fashion Week- Slow Heart 2018

Madrid Fashion Week- Slow Heart 2018

Slow Heart – Fashion Week Madrid 2018 is here!
Once again Madrid highlights sustainability, environmental commitment, eco design and local initiatives with an incredible event called Slow Heart – Slow Fashion, Strong Heart.
Connecting bridges thanks to the collaboration between change-maker Paloma García founder of The Circular Project and Mariel Jumpa founder of Slow Fashion World. Both have been working together with a creative team and mentors to dedicate all year initiatives that includes sustainability at the top of the fashion agenda in their corresponding markets.Now with the addition and commitment to the founding team Susana Nakatani, Slow Fashion World is bringing the design and innovation back to the roots of the seamstress and fashion technology.
During Madrid Fashion Week ( from 5 to 15 July)  sustainable fashion will be on the loop showcasing  the magnificent work of dressmakers, designers, brands and create a diverse and inclusive scenery of talents committed to planet, people and animal protection!
Let us introduce you to our selected 5 diverse and conscious creative brands and designers showcasing in Madrid with their latest collections;
Greathical (Paraguay-Germany) – http://greathical.net/
Las Polleras de Agus (Peru) – http://laspollerasdeagus.com/

 

Maco Calderon – http://www.macocalderon.com/
Ek Katha – Ekkathastoryunfolds/
Conferences Slow Heart – Slow Fashion, Strong Heart  (Get your tickets and enter a giveaway when registering)

July 12-13 – Auditorio de La Casa del Reloj – Arganzuela. See the full program:

JULY 12, 2018

10 - 10.15 Inauguration Slow Heart 2018

Paloma G. López, Founder of The Circular Project, President of the Madrid Sustainable Fashion Association
10.15 - 11.30 MADRID ENTRE COSTURAS  - Moderator: Paloma G. López


Laura Escribano, bridal dressmaker
Susana Nakatani, dressmaker
Laura Grazier, founder of Altrapo Lab
Sylvia Calvo, expert designer in Circular Economy
Fouzia Graich, Soo Mee












12 - 14 WORKSHOPS AND PRODUCTION - Moderator: Susana Nakatani

María Zapata, Customizing
Silvia Gómez Cisneros, They embroider it
Teresa Gutiérrez, Claudina Romero,
Inés Rodríguez, Rir and Co. Textile Design
Griela Pérez, Las Polleras de Agus












14 - 15.45 Break


16 - 17.15 TECHNIQUES AND SKILLS - Moderator: Yunaira Méndez

Elisabeth Lorenzi, Power Textile
Alexandra Moldovan, Parallel Dimensions
Madhumita Nath, Ek Katha 
Maco Calderón, Maco Calderón 


17.30 - 18.45 INNOVATION - Moderator: Mariel Jumpa


Iñigo Molero, El Libro Blockchain
Miguel Otaudy, Desilico
Patricia Astrain, Recircular
Josefin Liljeqvist, Josefin Liljeqvist (SFW)











JULY 13, 2018

11 - 14 ACADEMIC APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE FASHION - Moderators: Paloma G. López - Sylvia Calvo


Sonia Lázaro, University of Nebrija, Madrid, Spain
Téti Sánches, UEL - State University of Londrina, Brazil
Kim Gerlach, Kim Goes Eko
Lourdes Delgado, Center of Studies for Sustainable Luxury
Amparo Pardo, Polytechnic University of Valencia
Image rights: (c) Viktor Holm
July 13th. What time? 19.00 Runway Let it Slow! 2018 – Pasillo Primavera – Madrid Río  (Urban runway – FREE ENTRANCE)
July 14th – Showroom The Circular Project:
Meet and greet the brands where you will be able to buy the designs right off the runway! Address: Calle Ventura Rodríguez 22, esquina con Juan Álvarez Mendizabal, 28008 Madrid, Spanien
We want to highlight the collaboration of Asociación de Moda Sostenible Madrid, ACME (Asociación de Creadores de Moda España), with the Swedish Embassy in Madrid support for the press conference, Madrid Capital de Moda and Madrid city low Fashion World and the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain, with the support of the Embassy of Sweden, the Sustainable Fashion Association of Madrid and Madrid Fashion Capital, Ayuntamiento Madrid.
Get inspired! Connect with them in Madrid and get involved asking questions. Welcome to Madrid es Moda Sostenible!
A Conscious Closet Guide

A Conscious Closet Guide

Your free download

I love fashion. I really do. But I also love mother earth a lot. Equally as much as dressing up for a night out or even everyday occasions.

When I started my slow journey in 2015 I felt like the lonely wolf, tapping into unexplored lands. Slow fashion has never been a thing to me. I may have heard of the slow food movement, but how can a textile be tied to a pace? How is fashion fast or slow?

When getting started, a great amount of knowledge has rushed into my life. I literally had no clue of green, eco, fair and sustainable when I started some years ago. Terms like GOTS, tencel and planned obsolescence were equally confusing.

To make your journey easier than mine, I teamed up with some of the coolest and smartest bloggers in the hood.

To present you the ultimate beginners’ guide. The Conscious Closet Guide.

We united some nerds of the field who shop consciously, are in love with fair fashion and know their stuff. We spend a lot of time in front of our computers geeking about materials, certifications and labels. And that is exactly the part we want to make easier for you. You won’t have to face the initial confusion.

The Conscious Closet Guide is a free downloadable eBook right here.

***Image by ©Lykke Södin

It’s the collective knowledge of 15 slow fashion brains representing more than 10 nationalities, who share simple information about the cooler kind of fashion. The one that does take mother earth into consideration.

It’s a simple guide, written for those who just started being curious or those who want to refresh some basics.  

We help you understand materials like cotton, linen and wool better; think about second hand and the impact it has on the world and how you can rent clothes. There are also lists of inspiring movies and documentaries, as well as book recommendations you shouldn’t miss out on. And we are also critical. Let’s together explore new trends like mushroom leather, vegan fashion and feminism. And did you know, that slow fashion is super excluding? Hear Emmi’s story about plus size slow fashion and end the easy read with an open reflection.

I hope I did not scare you away now. Just download it. For a Sunday read, your upcoming vacation or procrastination purposes!

I would like to thank my partner in crime Sylvie; she did the amazing layout. And all contributors, Mary, Johanne, Justine, Mariel, Franzi, Julia, Verena, Nora, Corinna, Cherie and Emmi. I would have wished for a more gender-diverse bunch of contributors, which seemed unfortunately very difficult, due to the fact that most slow fashion brains/influencers/bloggers are females. That may simply show that sustainability has not yet arrived where it should: with everyone.

Kim Gerlach

Kim Gerlach

Fempreneur and Sustainability Activist blogs at www.kimgoeseko.com

As a startup coach and mentor she focuses on the business aspect of sustainability. Her expertise lies with social impact and gender equality.

On her blog and Instagram she doesn’t fear to write about feminist porn, green-washing or fake news on sustainability. But sometimes she tackles lighter topics and inspires with her second hand style to shop greener. Kim is a believer in the collective good and thus wants you to take action, – even if it’s just a tiny step.

Profile image: Copyright (c) Viktor Holm

Why do NGOs matter in Fashion: Vol 1

3 trillion dollars is the value of the global fashion industry, it’s the equivalent of 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic (GDP). 1 in 6 people on the planet work in the fashion industry and only 2% receive a living wage, according to the Fair Fashion Center of...

BLOCKCHAIN AND SUSTAINABILITY

Innovation has been a key point for Slow Fashion World before the platform was even funded officially in 2017. While SFW sets the accent in the slow philosophy, diversity and cultural identity, unifying a conscious community of change-makers, in Slow Fashion World, we...

A Conscious Closet Guide

Your free download I love fashion. I really do. But I also love mother earth a lot. Equally as much as dressing up for a night out or even everyday occasions. When I started my slow journey in 2015 I felt like the lonely wolf, tapping into unexplored lands. Slow...

Connecting Threads: Artisan’s journey to slow fashion / Fashion Revolution

Connecting Threads: Artisan’s journey to slow fashion / Fashion Revolution

Welcome to a multicultural journey taking you to a 2 day event of Pop Up shop & fashion talks.

Hosted by:

#SlowFashionWorld international platform gathering a growing collaborative community of brands, designers, industry professionals and advocates joining forces to “Get Inspired, Connect with change-makers and get involved” and slow down the fashion industry.

#Bohetnika Berlin based label that came about in 2016 with the dream of trading with local Mexican artisans and designers from small villages in the south of Mexico. Their goal is to have a fair trade partnership, spread the word about fair trade, handmade items, and the way of life for an artisan

Committed to #FashionRevolutionWeek we welcome you to awaken your senses and experience an energetic, positive and exchange experiences. Learn and meet the global artisan communities collaborating with brands to bring long lasting pieces of their culture, history and heritage.

What happens during these days?

The 2 days event aim to highlight fashion with identity, the art and traditions of artisan communities. To celebrate them, empower and recognize the artisans behind the label.

Events will include fair trade talks, fashion and tech for transparency, 20
min 1-1 session on how to grow your ethical brand.

We will be connecting with guest speakers from India, Spain and Peru together with the introduction of sustainable styling platform #TheRebirthProject

PROGRAM

LOCATION: 7 Mares – The cozy winery space converted to a creative Pop Up event space introducing 10 curated brands from the Slow Fashion World community for PoP UP Special! Meet the brands.

  • Las polleras de Agus
  • Ek Katha
  • Qaytu
  • Makua
  • Chicabal
  • UnikBlends
  • Isa Luna
  • SAKÉ
  • Herdentier

Together with #TheRebirthProject #Bohetnika #SusanaNakatani will guide you to from a conscious wardrobe to experiencing the Mexican culture to how technology can bring transparency for social innovation. We are ready to connect you with change-makers from the fashion industry willing to share business and lifestyle tips!

AFTERNOON EVENTS – PROGRAM

April 27 – CONNECTING THREADS: LATIN AMERICA

2:00pm “Slow Fashion Meets Diversity” – Mariel Jumpa SFW founder & Moda Doc. América Latina film executive producer. A film directed by Brazilian change-maker Rodrigo Müller on the discovery to highlight and empower the stories behind the Latin America sustainable fashion actors and craft communities.

4:00pm “The creative Legacy of Indigenous tribes” – Yunaira Mendez Venezuelan Biotechnologist & sustainable fashion advocate bringing her roots through textile history and the connection to todays’ fashion.

5:00pm “Empollerando al mundo” – Griela Perez Peruvian Las Polleras de Agus a social entrepreneur working closely with a community of artisans, empowering andean women and men to bring back the art of the embroidery alive from the Peruvian andes.

6:00pm Panel discussion with Lizeth Soto from Bohetnika Cultural appropriation or appreciation? Inviting the audience for discussion.

April 28th – CONNECTING THREADS: Fashion +Technology

2:00pm “Conscious Fashion and the power of change” – Upasana founder Uma Prajapati working on various projects to promote artisan weavers, sourcing from farmers growing indigenous cotton, using organic and plant based dyes and developing skills and talent in villages in and around Auroville as well as other cities in India.

3:00pm “Blockchain technology and Sustainable Fashion” –Susana Nakatani founder of Susana Nakatani, a Swedish fashion label that cares about timeless style, solid handmade construction and that has a passion for sewing tradition. Susana has also a strong interest in Blockchain technology and works for KYC-Chain and Selfkey which have developed blockchain-based distributed ledger technology and a series of cryptographic protocols to encourage consumers to entirely own and manage their own identities and data (“Self-Sovereign Identity.” ).

5:00pm “ReBirtH your style” with Elsa Boutaric founder of The Rebirth Project, a sustainable styling platform that helps optimize a wardrobe through a virtual styling session. With ReBirtH, she hopes to help women use more of their clothes and be more creative with their clothing choices to enhance their look and style. ReBirtH has got you covered with the best tips and tricks to keep your style efficient and ethical.

7:00pm Slow Wine sessions (15 min) with the founders of Bohetnika, SFW and ReBirtH. Do you want to grow your ethical business/brand? Ready to exhibit or want to learn on how to create visibility online? (We will be doing give away sessions during the event with 3 entrepreneurs).

Free Entry / We suggest to do a donation for the organization and location. 10% will be donated to Fashion Revolution.

Slow Fashion London

Slow Fashion London

Join us for a networking afternoon!
Let’s meet and share insights about the slow fashion movement and tips about conscious living. We want to connect and hear all about your projects this year.
 
You will have the chance to get mentored by serial entrepreneur, digital nomad and slow fashion designer Susana Nakatani.
 
Susana Nakatani will be sharing all about her experiences with the Slow Fashion World community, upcoming events and talks in Paris, Stockholm, Madrid and more.
 
If you are in London do not miss this chance to connect and get involved with our community!

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