Fashion with a Focus Eco-Ethical-Organic-Sustainable-Enviromental

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by Hanne, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Not Plain Jane

    Not Plain Jane Well-Known Member

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    fashionista-ta and Benn98 like this.
  2. fashionista-ta

    fashionista-ta Well-Known Member

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    ^ It makes me really angry to see plastic bags blowing around on the highway, headed straight for our waterways, where they will harm wildlife and possibly become part of the huge ocean gyres.

    It's definitely important to consider our purchasing decisions seriously. We should revive that thread about eco-friendly actions we are taking :)
     
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  3. Not Plain Jane

    Not Plain Jane Well-Known Member

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    sure: i am all for that. this is just the first related thread i found. :flower:
     
  4. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    Bridget Foley’s Diary: Rooney Mara’s Other Gig

    The Oscar-nominated actress' vegan fashion line Hiraeth, launched with Chrys Wong and Sara Schloat, is in market in Paris this week.

    By Bridget Foley on September 27, 2019
    [​IMG]
    Chrys Wong, Sara Schloat and Rooney Mara, all in Hiraeth.

    Sometimes, life doesn’t work out as planned. When Rooney Mara was a little girl, she wanted to be a pet shop lady. Instead, she grew up to be an Oscar-nominated movie star.

    The love of animals stuck. So much so that it led her to a second career, as a principal with partners Chrys Wong and Sara Schloat of the vegan fashion line Hiraeth. (Hiraeth is a difficult-to-translate Welsh word meaning something along the lines of a longing or wistfulness for home that can’t be recaptured and perhaps never existed.) Wong and Schloat are in Paris through Oct. 1, showing the Los Angeles-based collection at Le 31 showroom in the Marais.

    After an informal meeting with Mara and Wong in New York during fashion week, the women agreed to interviews. Wong and Schloat spoke on conference from Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, and Mara, in a separate conversation, from Kathmandu.

    Hiraeth was Mara’s idea, sprung from her lifelong passion for animal welfare. After a failed attempt to go vegan as a child, she succeeded about eight years ago. That led her to a broader embrace of vegan practices. “I wanted to also transition the other parts of my life to being vegan, especially my wardrobe,” she says. But she’s a fashion lover and, except for Stella McCartney, whom she considers a trailblazer and hero, she found scant options that suited her sartorial standards. Thus, the wheels got rolling about launching a collection. “It came from a selfish need of not wanting to give up wearing my favorite things, but also not being able to find an alternative for them that was high quality,” Mara says.

    If selfishness sounds antithetical to the concept of cruelty-free fashion, Mara comes across as refreshingly self-aware: “I don’t need to wear combat boots. I can wear Converse every day. It’s more of a desire.”

    [​IMG]
    A look from Hiraeth. Courtesy Photo

    The desire turned into a business idea for which Schloat made a natural sounding board; the two women grew up nearby each other in tony Bedford, N.Y., and have been best friends forever. They both love clothes and share a similar aesthetic, so brainstorming happened organically. But loving clothes doesn’t prepare you for the fashion industry. Enter Wong, an established fashion professional whom Mara knew as a personal shopper at Barneys New York in Los Angeles, and first approached to “pick her brain.” Soon, Wong was in on the project. “I mean, thank God, because without her none of it would have been possible,” Mara says. “She’s the only one of us that has any experience.”

    In addition to her job at Barneys, Wong and her sister Linda had helmed an eco-friendly brand, The Battalion, from 2005 to 2011. “I think Rooney knew that I will bring some experience to the table. And she knew that I’d had an eco-friendly line and I would understand where she’s coming from and where she wanted to go,” Wong says.

    Where Mara, Schloat and Wong wanted to go was toward a fully vegan, fashion-forward look. Originally, they planned to start with footwear, the category with the fewest high-quality options. But in conversations with suppliers and contractors, the women soon adopted a broader view, one informed by Mara’s style that contrasts artful gentleness with a penchant for sturdy footwear. “In developing the first collection we had this beautiful clothing based on these vintage pieces [from Mara’s collection] and then the juxtaposition of really cool, current motorcycle boots and combat boots,” Schloat says.





    Mara calls the mood “artful and special,” based on what she wears when she digresses from her everyday wardrobe of T-shirt and jeans. “I’ve always really liked a romantic, Gothic aesthetic, but then I also have a minimalist side to me, so it’s kind of trying to marry those two together,” she explains. Pieces retail starting at $395 with most less than $1,000, though evening looks run as high as $3,000.

    For Hiraeth, the women adhere to strict vegan parameters. That means no wool, silk, cashmere, the last of which makes developing knitwear particularly challenging, although, says Wong, “it’s happening. Those products are becoming available.”

    Of great import to all three women is Hiraeth’s positioning as a fashion brand, and that its founding ethos should not compromise the quality, design or feel of the clothes. Hiraeth sources most fabrics and its vegan leather from Italy; organic cottons come from Switzerland, and some of the more technical fabrics, from Japan. To ensure transparency, Hiraeth buys directly from mills.

    The line is produced in Los Angeles where Mara and Wong live. They keep a studio there, the site of “very condensed sessions, just like four hours straight, no water, no break, just go for it,” according to Wong. Still, the partners most often work remotely, talking constantly and communicating via shared folders. Only Wong works at the brand full-time, “24/7,” she says. She manages the business day-to-day and has oversight of the development and production process.

    Schloat “chimes in” from San Francisco on sales and marketing approaches. She also manages the brand’s social media, to which she has admittedly so far taken an “organic approach.” Otherwise, she works in the film industry, producing educational videos for grades kindergarten through 12.

    As for Mara’s other career, she will end a three-year break from acting this January when she starts shooting “Nightmare Alley” with director Guillermo Del Toro, also starring Bradley Cooper and, reportedly, Cate Blanchett. When posed the question of how she will juggle two time-consuming creative careers, she admits to uncertainty. “I honestly don’t know,” she says. “I am pretty single-minded. I have an extraordinary ability to focus on something, but I’m not really good at splitting my attention very well. So I don’t really know.”

    Time-management doubts aside, Hiraeth’s founders are excited about the fledgling brand’s trajectory while taking a conservative approach to growth plans. “We do this at our own pace,” Wong says. Keeping production in Los Angeles, where they work with four small factories facilitates complete transparency of process, another founding pillar of the company. It also allows for essential scheduling flexibility. Hiraeth produces two seasons a year, typically on the spring/fall schedule, but can shift easily “if the American market people want things earlier or to coincide with the holidays,” Wong says.

    As for the business model, the partners are focused on developing an e-commerce direct-to-consumer base bolstered by strategic retail partners. Barneys was the first store to buy the collection, for fall 2018, and the Hiraeth partners remain loyal to the retailer. To Mara’s delight, Dover Street Market recently bought the collection for New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore. She calls DS her “dream goal” and “favorite store since the first time I walked in there.” In addition, some looks are available on Goop. Though the company is self-financed, Mara would like to bring on “a strategic partner because the other thing is, I am not a businessperson and I don’t want to be.”

    Nor does she see herself in the role of creative director long-term; she has no delusions vis-à-vis her design talents. “I want to hire a real designer because I am not a real designer and have no plans to be one,” Mara says. In fact, she credits someone else for helping to expertly execute the creative concept. Lily Rasnack came to Hiraeth from Central Saint Martins as an intern, a designation at which Mara scoffs. “I don’t think of her as an intern,” she muses. “It was such a godsend that she reached out to us because she is so talented. It was so fun to get to watch someone do what they’re good at and what they love. It made it so much easier to be able to bring the ideas that I had in my mind to life in a way that is more fully realized.”

    Mara’s generous insistence on credit-sharing parallels what seems to be an innate pragmatic streak — she calls it as she sees it. For example, her take on going vegan. Passionate as she is about animals, she thinks people should go easy on themselves, and suggests that for most, gradual transition is probably the most viable path. “Change is so hard,” she says. “I think a problem for a lot of people is that they try to do it all at once and it’s so overwhelming that they just give up. But every little bit that people can do will make a difference.”

    At that point, I mention that she sounds passionate yet not at all dogmatic. We say our goodbyes.

    The next day, Mara sends a follow-up e-mail; she wants to clarify her views relative to my assessment, which I’d intended as a compliment. “For myself, I am pretty dogmatic about it,” she writes. “And of course, a part of me wants to yell and scream about it because I feel so strongly about animal welfare and the impact that eating and wearing animals is having on the environment. But I’m not sure that’s the most effective way of getting through to people.”

    At the same time, Mara is keenly aware that the life of privilege to which she was born, (her parents are a Pittsburgh Steelers Rooney and a New York Giants Mara) and which she has furthered on her own via her success as an actress, affords her the opportunity to focus on issues such as animal welfare. “I try not to be preachy because it’s very easy for me to be vegan and do all of these things from the place of privilege that I live in,” Mara offers. “But what about all of the people living in poverty who can’t afford to think about these things and shouldn’t have to? People who don’t even have access to clean water.…All I’m doing is making expensive clothes that don’t use animal products. So nothing really there I feel at liberty to preach about.”

    WWD
     
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  5. SophiaVB

    SophiaVB Active Member

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    ^^ Saw this at Dover Street last month. Unfortunately they look ill-fitting on the body. She should hire a real designer soon rather than later - it's a nice concept : )
     
  6. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame to hear that. Because most of us would really like to invest in these brands but there is always a big drawback with most sustainable start-ups - functionality and design. And it applies to everything from bamboo toothbrushes (the bristles just doesn't match those electric toothbrushes) to this collection, which I'll take your word for. If only the people behind these brands would apply the same degree of rigorous to their products as a normal commercial brand.
     
  7. SophiaVB

    SophiaVB Active Member

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    I am a really big advocate for resale if you're concerned about sustainability issues. Probably 90%+ of my wardrobe has been purchased secondhand and it's easier than ever to find things current season or like new.
     
  8. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    Right, that's a move which I wish more people would adopt. I mean, I suppose that should be rule of thumb for those who insist on changing their wardrobe drastically each season? Sell it off as opposed to letting it gather moths in some storage.

    The bigger concern is still fast fashion because truthfully speaking, is it even worth the effort to sell your old Zara wares because the quality isn't the best to begin with? Doubt it.
     
  9. Phuel

    Phuel Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what the percentage is when it comes to fastfashion vs designer consumption for the various age brackets?

    Frankly, I don’t know if I could resist the likes of Zara and even H&M if I were an impressionable 15yo in 2019. Teens in the mid-90s didn’t have the kind of choices that are so abundantly available now: For a young high fashion-addict, it was either designer, streetwear like Stussy/XLarge/BAPE, and thriftshop— and oftentimes a combination of all three, or whatever cheap fake-fashion was out there. I didn’t wear fakefashion/fastfashion more out of a sense of snobbery and lack of decent options rather than a sense of environmental/social conscience. And even fakefashion then weren’t as cheap as it is now (and still look decent on first impression).

    Recently attended this fashion event, and some of the nominated individuals were wearing Zara LOL So it’s not just teens and younger people that are shopping there, it’s even individuals that know about the importance of sustainability and quality and can design their own pieces-- though still young, that are going to Zara.

    Weening people off of fastfashion is so much easier in theory and principle than in practice.
     
  10. fashionista-ta

    fashionista-ta Well-Known Member

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    ^ Nominees wearing Zara instead of their own designs ... I just can't. :wacko:
     
  11. SophiaVB

    SophiaVB Active Member

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    I am biased as I work in luxury resale currently ; ) But I started doing majority secondhand when I was about 15-16. Genuinely haven't bought fast fashion ever since. I think a lot of teens are more aware of it than most 30+ I talk to as they have access to Depop, etc.
     
    #31 SophiaVB, Sep 30, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  12. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    In my neck of the woods, the hype seems to be around vintage fashion, but that's only in terms of aesthetic. Because the Guccis and the Zaras have since latched onto the idea to sell wares which 'look' vintage. And so the crux of the movement, which was more of a sustainable effort, ent right out of the window. The good part is that smaller shops have started to repurpose vintage items through dying or pulling it apart and restitch it, to give it a more 'one-of-a-kind' twist. That's also quite successful here, and the price point isn't much higher than fast fashion.

    I reckon most young people are still the biggest demographic of fast fashion. Not necessarily from head to toe, but enough for those brands to stay afloat. When I look around me I often see fast fashion mixed with statement luxury pieces such as Triple S or Supreme or the like (or maybe it is fakes? I dunno, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.) You have to understand that the majority of young people can't afford luxury pieces from head to toe, especially since you can probably get a lot more bang for your buck from Zara.
     
  13. Phuel

    Phuel Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ Fakes are absolutely a staple of many kids’ wardrobe in 2019— especially amongst Asians ( never with the Japanese). Fakes can be hard to spot since the quality of these wares will vary from region to region, with Korean knockoffs being the most “high quality”. So would fakes be considered fastfashion…??? Fakes add an interesting twist Benn, since the fakes’ profits will never be documented in any way. And it’s not just the very cheap fakes that are being sold at market stalls in Asia when I think “fakes", the “quality” fakes coming from Korea that costs several hundred dollars (in comparison to their several thousand dollar authentic counterparts) must make a decent profit, otherwise why would their manufacturers bother to invest so much effort in their production?

    It’s Canada, babe… We're a frugal bunch (the Zara suit cost less than making the suit...)
     
  14. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    IS YOUR GRETA THUNBERG T-SHIRT CONTRIBUTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

    The teen climate activist is a powerful figure to rally behind — but it's worth thinking twice before buying merch with her face on it.

    JASMIN MALIK CHUA
    UPDATED: OCT 24, 2019
    ORIGINAL: OCT 24, 2019

    Greta Thunberg acts like someone who has no time to lose, it's because she doesn't. Already, the world is feeling the effects of the climate crisis, which is raising sea levels, fueling extreme temperatures and increasing the frequency of flooding and drought. And so in the span of a year, the 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl has gone from "striking" from classes every Friday to demand stronger climate action from her government to shaming the United Nations General Assembly for its "betrayal" of young people.

    Hailed as a 21st century Joan of Arc, a real-world Katniss Everdeen and "one of our planet's greatest advocates," the young activist has inspired worldwide youth walkouts and the largest climate protest in history. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has appeared on the cover of Time. In May, Vice made a 30-minute documentary called "Make the World Greta Again." Such has been the "Greta effect," in fact, that at times she almost transcends personhood, becoming a symbol, a movement, a zeitgeist and an attitude rolled into one. Or — occasionally — a T-shirt.

    Type "Greta Thunberg T-shirt" into any search engine and you'll instantly turn up thousands of results, many of them directed to user-submitted, print-on-demand merchandise sites such as Spreadshirt, where designers can set prices and receive a cut of the sales. (A Spreadshirt representative says the number of items tagged "Greta" on the marketplace have doubled between August and September.)

    Shirts can vary in terms of effort, sophistication, or wit. Redbubble, for instance, has given Greta a David Bowie "Rebel Rebel" makeover; TeePublic has a shirt with an illustrated portrait of Greta looking thoughtful above her quote, "Asperger's is my superpower." If you're a minimalist, Design by Humans will sell you a plain white T-shirt with the words "How Dare You" — another Greta bon mot — typed in a black capital letters. It costs $25, shipping not included.

    Woody Harrelson wore a Greta Thunberg T-shirt at the close of the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, which the actor hosted on Sept. 29. The garment looks handmade, but Harrelson's publicist didn't respond to requests for comment, so we can't be sure. You can, however, snap up near-identical copies — helpfully tagged with Harrelson's name — on the aforementioned sites.

    But the problem with T-shirts, even those purporting to promote climate action, is they're especially hard on the environment. Just growing the cotton that goes into one can take 2,700 liters of water — enough for a person to drink for two-and-a-half years — and, if it isn't farmed organically, a third of a pound of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. T-shirts, particularly those with "heathered" yarns of mixed colors, may contain polyester and other synthetic fibers, which are derived from crude oil and emit greenhouse-gas emissions from extraction to disposal. They're also linked to the production of microplastics: minuscule fragments of plastic, tinier than one-fifth of an inch, that slough off during laundering to pollute the oceans, tap water, table salt and the guts of every species of sea turtle.

    Fashionista
     
  15. fashionista-ta

    fashionista-ta Well-Known Member

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    ^ You can get bamboo Ts on Etsy. I use (Nandina) bamboo towels as well, and they're awesome. They're naturally antibacterial, so they stay way fresher than cotton towels, significantly lessening the need to launder them.
     

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