Green is the new denim (take two)

by Celine Semaan Vernon

This post is referring to "Green is the new Denim" written by Vanessa Friedman.

The magic combo Pharrell + Adidas + Parley = Green Power

Adidas announced that it had signed a five-year “seven figure” contract to team up with an organization called Parley for the Oceans, which was created to publicize and tackle the problem of ocean plastic. Credit via Parley for the Oceans

The Information Age and open data has made the reality behind fast fashion and mass productions and encouraged mass consumption impossible to deny or ignore (especially after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed). We have reached a new level of awareness and of internet connected consciousness. Large companies now invest in green strategies and review their ethics as everything is now in the transparent culture of the web.

From reality shows exposing fashion bloggers to what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite disposable fashion items to this startup selling $2 T-shirts to expose the reality behind cheap garments, the message is clear: someone has to unfortunately pay the price and the system we have in place currently protects the most privileged in a given situation. The garment workers pay the expensive price of cheap labor.

A few weeks ago, Sarah Maslin Nir wrote a poignant essay about the Price of Nails exposing the not so glamorous Nail industry in New York city with heartbreaking interviews describing the real situation workers are living under. This article went viral at the time when most of us were very much looking forward a nice Mani-Pedi before sandal season. This information brought light to the mass and awareness about the price of luxury. There is no such thing as cheap luxury. But we have been conditioned to bargain and pay the lowest price possible to get high quality products — this always goes with a bigger cost: human conditions or the environment.

This is why we exist. This very reason. There is a way (hardest road, I agree) to chose to manufacture goods that are both fair-trade and eco-friendly at the same time without compromising detail, design, quality or craftsmanship. The cost is higher but the bigger cost and overall risk on the Planet is way lower. Because things take time to be made and have an inevitable impact on the environment. This is our very mission. To grow our product offerings sustainably, with the least impact on our planet with always the most respect for our workers.

Filed under: fashion fashion activism green slow fashion sustainable

The Slow Fashion Movement

by Celine Semaan Vernon

What is Slow Fashion and why are we called Slow Factory?

"Slow Fashion is not your typical seasonal fashion trend, it is a movement that is steadily gaining momentum and is likely here to stay. Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalized  mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. With retailers selling the latest fashion trends at very low prices, consumers are easily swayed to purchase more than they need. But, this overconsumption comes with a hidden price tag on the environment and workers in the supply chain." - Reversing Environmental Damage 

You have probably heard and been appalled by the tragic collapse of one of the sweat shop factory and have probably signed the Avaaz petition urging Gap CEO to sign a safety agreement protecting and improving the conditions of their workers abroad. The fast-fashion has spoiled our senses in judging what to buy, let alone what to wear. Fashion knock-offs made by mass-production companies such as H&M and Gap are very tempting, made with polyester instead of natural fabrics they cost peanuts compared with the originals and barely last a season if worn daily and machine washed. This is the vicious circle in which we all live in: buy cheap, throw it after a season, buy more. 

In the past 5 years I have been dedicating myself in buying with a conscious. I buy natural fabrics made by local or socially conscious designers and surprisingly my wardrobe went from 1000 pieces I never wear to 10 essentials. This philosophy is what drove me to start Slowfactory. A factory that produces slowly with natural fabrics only and made locally by people who love what they do. 

My passion for both fashion and the Earth was to find a way to raise awareness about the state of the Earth as well as offering a product that is environmentally conscious. Quality comes first and although I come from a User Experience background, I found myself caring about the stitches and fabric of each piece of my collection. 

"Slow Fashion represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement. It was first coined by Kate Fletcher, from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, when fashion was compared to the Slow Food experience. Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slowness”, says that the ‘slow approach’ intervenes as a revolutionary process in the contemporary world because it encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment." 

Once we are aware of the consequences we have a choice. And we can chose to slow down.

Filed under: earth earth friendly environmentally friendly green movement slow fashion sustainable