What does Transparency in fashion mean to you?

What does Transparency in fashion mean to you? And for the clarification I am not talking about how see-through clothing. No I am referring to the traceability and transparency of the manufacturing process in fashion. Do we really know where are clothes come from? The dress I am wearing says made in china but what does that mean other than at some point during the process of manufacturing that this dress was handled by a machinist in china. What about the fabric, fastenings and trimmings? In truth this dress is most likely global there is no real place it can be defined as having been made in only finished in. I’m not going to name drop but one particular British brand gets there products manly produced in Turkey then finished in Ireland just so they can obtain a Made in Britain label. I am sure they are not alone in this. With this information brought to light, it really questioned everything I thought I knew and lead me to postponing a project I had in the pipeline as I knew I had to really understand everything I could about transparency. The fact is its going to be hard to make Transparency to happen due to the spread of the manufacturing and supply chain. I understand now that to really understand where are clothes come from you have to look beyond the made in label and search further.

Transparency can lead to a more Sustainable and ethical future in fashion as it allows you the customer to really understand where your garments come from and make informed decisions based on this. The fact is the reality of fast fashion manufacturing is hard to put in to context as its very hard to relate to, so how can you be passionate for a cause you don’t really understand? Transparency would give you the opportunity to understand how your clothes are made.

I would be grateful if you could complete this survey so I can get an idea of what Transparency means to you? Do you care about sustainable fashion?  Click here to take survey

I always value what you think so let me know in the comments. 

Do you even care about transparency?

Would your fashion choices be effected by transparency?

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What does Transparency in fashion mean to you?

Links a la Mode – Superficial on the Surface

Is fashion superficial? I like to think it is not but there is certainly a line to be drawn around the smoke and mirror’s it can create. One thing I have noticed about the blogging world is more and more people are interested in fashion posts with substance, I’m not saying this is the end of personal style posts but I feel the diversity of these blogs are opening up to feature issues that are close to the writers heart giving more value to the fashion community.

It never gets old being selected for Links a la Mode and I think if there was ever a Links a la mode stuffed with value and great content it is defointly this one. So please do give them all a read and comment on there posts, have your say, after all half the fun of writing an opinionated/commentary post is read the responses.

lalam0829

Superficial on the Surface

Sometimes I get mad when people assume if you like fashion, you’re automatically dumb or superficial. Then at the same time, I love looking at pretty pictures and dressing up… it’s an escape and a passion all at the same time. Obsessing over fashion doesn’t mean however, there’s nothing going on in our brains! This week, we have a great mix of the tougher questions in fashion right along with the tips and tricks that enable our superficial exterior (that’s not so superficial…. or is it?)

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

Let me know which ones you enjoyed reading.

Links a la Mode – Superficial on the Surface

Honest by ‘Transparency’

Transparency is a big issue in fashion. Do we really understand where are clothes come from? Or the conditions of the factories they are manufactured in? Transparency or more precisely lack of is an issue which needs to be tackled especially if there is to be a future in fashion.  There are countless labels and lines available on the market that claim to be eco/ethical but as there is no internationally agreed standards for what should be considered eco, sustainable, green, environmentally friend and organic are we really to know where are clothes come from? And lets not even start on most high-street garments which leave everything to the imagination except for the washing instruction label which also holds three words in tiny print saying “made in …”

This is where ‘Honest by‘ comes in which is a company unique in the fact that they communicating its supply chain and pricing. Honest by was founded by Bruno Pieters after a sabbatical from the fashion industry in Southern India where the experience affected his personal philosophy and views on fashion. He noticed on his travels how native people wore clothes that were grown, woven and sewn from sources they could identify around them. Honest by is a platform that offers designers and brands a chance to share their own design processes. Every collaboration is completely transparent from yarns and buttons to store mark up.

Honest by wants to shed light on the questions: Where is it made and by whom’

Honest by does extensive research into the sources of raw materials and trace back the origins of every fabric and trimming to insure that every element is as environmentally friendly. In fact the information they give the consumer is a lot to take in; it tells you everything including where the safety pin attaching labels was manufactured. It can be quiet easy to be sucked in reading such minute detail infact I am actually feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of information they give you having decided to test how transparent they actually were by reading up on this (below) mens shirt by Honest by CALLA. I can now tell you not only where it was made but the factory it was manufactured in too, I can also tell you they have 70 members of staff hired at this factory and it took 235 mins to assemble. I can also tell you that at the designs studio it took 7 hours to design this shirt and there were 3 fittings.

And when I read that they were honest about the price mark up part of me was like “yeah right your hardly going to tell us the astonished  amount of profit you make” but they really do, it tells you that said garment cost 70.03 euros to make and the designer times this by two and then there is a further retail mark up of times two-point-five. They truly are transparent because in my opinion if you can share something which you might not otherwise want to disclose you truly are staying true to your values. When they claim to be the world’s first Transparent company I believe them as they share more than just a couple of words about the background of there garments. I am not sure how viable it is in the current market to be transparent about there market but there is evidence that Peiters is at least staying true to his values after he cancelled orders with big department stores after he realised they would not allow him to make there mark up public.

Honest by CALLA

Honest by makes it really easy to find the type of garment you are after with simple colour coordinated filters; organic, vegan, skin friendly, recycled and European. This allows you to get straight to your priority as you don’t have to sift through loads of garments to find that skin friendly one and it also allows you to identify the qualities of each garment quickly and simply. This easy menu option is what makes Honest by so appealing as it allows you to sort through all the facts quickly but you still have the option of the long read if that’s what it takes for you to trust the labelling. Honest by are as of yet to obtain an organic certificate but they hope to be GOTS (Global Organic Textile) certified very soon. But don’t let this taint your image of Honest by as they are moving in leaps and bounds to achieve transparency and don’t hide away from the lack of certificate but tell you openly.

One problem Honest by have had is sourcing zips in an interview with the Telegraph earlier this year Peiters said “how unavoidable it is to have china involved” and saying that despite all his efforts to source a European company that manufactures zippers he cannot find one. But this element of the supply chain is out of necessity rather than choice. One question that was raised when talking to another fellow blogger was “just because its made in china does this automatically make it bad” I don’t have the answer to this question entirely but its clear that Transparency would being us a step closer to solving this issue as we would be able to understand the wage, conditions and the hours that these workers work in the factory better.

Honest by Bruno Peiters

Honest by Bruno Peiters

I hope to see many more brands follow Honest by’s example in transparency. I feel this is a platform that is very forward thinking in it’s ambition. Honest by philosophy is:

We believe Fashion is about beauty and that the story behind fashion can be equally beautiful.
We want to give our customer the opportunity to shop with complete awareness of what they are buying.
We want to produce all of our products in a life friendly way.
We believe in the health of our clients skin.
We want the impact of our products and activities on the environment and human health to be as small as possible’

And I couldn’t agree more, the beauty in fashion shouldn’t be limited to the aesthetic just ecological fashion is more than intention. I believe that ethical/ecological intention goes hand-in-hand with aesthetic and Honest by hits this mix heads on with it beautiful designs paired with its transparency . Transparency is key in allowing us to make educated choices, maybe your not that interested in ethical fashion but there is no doubt that you would benefit from transparency. Transparency is about being honest and Honest by does that so well.

How important is Transparency to you?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi

Honest by ‘Transparency’

Thrifted Finds – 4 summer dresses that autumn will love.

Four dresses outfits

 

 

Everyone who know me will know that I love a bargain and what better place to find a bargain than in the back of your mum’s wardrobe and charity shops. Its the thrill of the find that makes charity shops so appealing; you can thrift through a lot of charity shops and not find anything but every once in a while you find that gem. One thing I love about fashion is every garment has a story and that’s why I love vintage and charity shop finds as they are memorable. I am going to have to do some personal style shots as I don’t think these images really show of the garments to its best.

Top Left:

Polka dot dress – Found in the back of mum’s wardrobe

I have so many fond memories of this dress. My mum used to wear this when I was a child and it just so happened she usually wore it when when we went to the Zoo hence its nickname – the zoo dress. I adore this dress as its tight fitting around the bust (without being too tight) and the waist then it flares over the hips. I feel really feminine in this dress but  also like how you can rock it up with a leather jacket and some black tights during the autumn.

Top Right:

Dark Floral Motel dress – Found in a local Barnardo’s Charity shop

I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across this dress for only £3 its one of the most flattering dresses I have ever wore. Its a shame it doesn’t photograph well here but it really nips you in at the waist and skims over the hips. I really like this cut as it flatters you no matter what your shape is. This dress is my new favourite and was perfect to wear at a recent barbecue I went to with a denim jacket thrown over the top.

Bottom Left:

Patchwork print Henry Holland (for debenhams) dress – Found in a local British Heart Foundation

This 50’s style dress with an under layer is perfect for the day and it cost me £8 which is a little more than I usually like to pay but I fell in love with it in the changing rooms. I brought this dress for a London weekend and it was perfect for going in and out of museums and galleries in as its very smart casual without trying to hard.

Bottom Right:

Navy and White body-con dress – Found in the back of mum’s wardrobe

This has to be one of my most versatile dresses, I can wear it as a dress or I can tuck it into high waisted jeans. This dress has seen many nights out as it saves any “I don’t have anything to wear” moments. The cut is very flattering as unlike some body-cons its cut with a curve so its fits around the body with ease.

 

Thrifted Finds – 4 summer dresses that autumn will love.

Stella McCartney the fashion designer with a conscience

Stella McCartney is not perfect, but are you?

Stella McCartney

The fashion designer admits there are bound to be contradictions in trying to live and work sustainably. The one thing that I admire about Stella McCartney is she isn’t a preacher. She has these ethical and ecological values but doesn’t push them in to your face; she lets the designs do the talking. The aesthetics are the most important part of a design after all you could have created the most ethically and ecologically sustainable  garment but if no one wears them they lose all of there value. At the end of the day Stella McCartney is creating real clothes for people with a conscience. She said in an interview to the Evening Standard that she’s “not going to stand here and claim to be one hundred per cent green or one hundred per cent perfect all the time” but we still need to give her credit for working towards a better future in fashion.

She is famed for being the designer that refused to use leather or fur when designing for Chloe and she has brought these values forward to her own-name label. And since 2010 Stella McCartney has stopped using PVC in her designs which can only mean good things for the environment. She says that one of the reason she doesn’t use fur or leather isn’t just because she is a vegetarian but also because of the environmental impact of tanneries. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tanneries are listed as one of the top polluters.

As I mentioned early her designers are very aesthetically pleasing and the focus of her designs are always on the look which allows the sustainable values to hold there weight.  Its not a PR stunt just genuine concern. She understands that buyers are after something beautiful  foremostly then they look at the values “Here is this jacket that looks terrible but its organic, and here is a really beautiful jacket that’s cheaper but don’t buy it because it’s not organic.” McCartney has stated that: “we address these [ethical and ecological] questions in every other part of our lives except fashion.”

Stella McCartney is the fashion designer for fashion players with a conscience. Her designs are on trend and conscience. Her latest resort collection lets  the aesthetics do the talking, you will buy garments from the collection because they are beautiful not because Stella McCartney is a sustainable designer (that’s just a bonus) – and for that you have to love her.

Stella McCartney – Resort 2014

Stella McCartney Resort 14 (fig 1)
Stella McCartney Resort 14 (fig 2)

This collection is playful with a touch of sophistication. The colours are like sugar dusk playing with ballerina pink and injecting a pop with blue and yellow. This collection is just as suitable for the day as it is for the night. In my opinion she has used more snake skin print than what is socially tasteful but if anyone can pull it off she can and fig 1 just proves that toughing up a girly dress without a leather jacket. The collection is fresh like a spring day, capturing the hope of a new fresh start. I love the appliqué heart and lips on fig 2 its well thought out but it isn’t taking its self to seriously. That envelop clutch is very desirable  and would add a pop of colour to any outfit. This collection is effortless and just imagine the care free girl that would wear this?

One thing to note isn’t just the garment’s but the way the girls are styled, so fresh faced with a blunt cut. They look like the girl-next-door with something more.

Stella McCartney Resort 14

Stella McCartney creates cloths that will last therefore avoiding the landfills. Sustainability is just as important as recycling. She suggests when looking at your own wardrobe think about the materials that your using. Is it recyclable? How does it make you feel? These are both equally important questions the better a fabric feels against your skin the longer it will have a place in your wardrobe but if a time comes when you decide to part with the garment it is key that is made of recyclable fabric so that it can have new life.

Some of the obstacles she has faced in trying to create a more sustainable products include not manufacturing there own fabric.  Colours can be very limited in the organic ranges are often there isn’t the same depth of colour. So all Stella McCartney tries to use organic fabric and low impact dyes she won’t compromise on quality.

She loves the fact that some people go into her store don’t even know that something is organic or in faux-leather and for her that is the because challenge, having people not notice.

P.S As you may know I have relaunched my blog today and I would love to know what you think of this article.

http://heartifb.com/

Stella McCartney the fashion designer with a conscience

Relaunching ‘savagem’ on the June 24th

relauch savagem

Dear Readers,

Its been a while…but during this time I have really been taking the time to define what savagem is about.

I have decided to relaunch as ‘supposed to creating a new blog as I feel that the blog title refines who I am and what this blog is about. The savagem is a blog with a conscience, sometimes I’m not perfect (just like everyone else) but this blog is about trying to be as fashion conscience as possible. A Savage Gem.

I have always been interested in Sustainable Fashion but I have been less interested in the aesthetics’ but I want to show that fashion can be both sustainable and beautiful. I have also been working on a monthly calender to insure that each month has a mix that is entertaining to read and entertaining to write.

Each month have the following features:

  • Editorial
  • A letter from me
  • fashion
  • Designer/Brand profile
  • Beauty

I am going to have a lot more focus from now on as I am writing this with a clear direction. For a while I have been writing this when I feel this and in doing that the blog doesn’t have a defined feel.

I blog to share my passions.

Yours

Gem

XXXX

Relaunching ‘savagem’ on the June 24th

4 Easy ways to be Stylish and Sustainable

After flicking through the latest glossy magazines it may seem like style and sustainability are poles apart but when you strip it down to basics its quite easy. I have put it into four easy steps to follow:

1) Buy Less, Choose Well

This is the most simple and easy step to follow. Rather that buying a lot of items at say £8 from primark put the money you might have spend on these ill fitting clothes that will probably fall about quite soon on something a bit more expensive that you will treasure forever. The key to tackling fast fashion and making it more sustainable is to tap into that emotional side. There is a reason you might be holding on to those converses that are falling apart and that is because you have grown emotionally attached  to this item. In fact the more you wear something the more precious this item becomes. The old the item is the more prestige it holds; there is a reason you keep wearing it time after time.

The top below is by Vivenne Westwood and cost the equivalent of 5 tops from the High street at £54 pounds each so its by no means cheap but the fact that you had to save for this item means that you will treasure it for years to come; will you remember those tops you got from the high street even in 6 months to come?

Chinzed Voile Shirt by Vivienne Westwood (Red Label) £270

2) DIY

Ok you had this top which was right on trend last year but now it just looks a bit dated. Rather than throwing it away update this item with DIY. DIY doesn’t have to be complicated its all about working with what you have and its a great way to get more trend lead peices into your wardrobe. It could be as simple as making minder alterations to an oversized T-shirt. Vlogger rumminginmycloset has some great DIY tutorials you can follow.

3) Buy Locally

A way to a sustainable future is to buy locally. This doesn’t just mean your local highstreet (where did the clothes travel from before they got to you?) but local designers. By supporting local designers and crafts people you are supporting your community and local industry. Fashion is a great way to do this as you are supporting local talent and the local economy. To build an economy in basic terms you need goods in which to sell and consumers who can afford these items; so why not pass it on.

These Beau’s are by Huiyitan; that specialise in handmade jewellery and they are based in England. Check out their shop:http://www.etsy.com/shop/huiyitan?ref=seller_info

sterling silver weather forecast studs £24 from Huiyitan

4) Share

This really is the most easy steps to follow. You know how you have been eyeing up that new top she is wearing? Well why not suggest that she borrows something of your in exchange for you borrowing her top. Not only will this ensure your not seen wearing the same garment at the same time but it is also a fun way to collaborate your wardrobes (just make sure you trust the other person).

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 4 easy steps to being stylish and sustainable.

4 Easy ways to be Stylish and Sustainable