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  • The Winter Edit

    With the end of Autumn approaching, the weather has become crisp and chilly, and winter seems to have finally arrived. This colder weather is hence a fantastic invitation to invest in some ethical winter accessories. As leaders in the sustainable fashion industry, Fashion Compassion supports brands with the best ethical and environmental credentials, and are constantly scouting for the most fashionable and sustainable brands.

    This week, we will be spotlighting some of our favourites for the winter season, as the days grow colder and we are left to embrace- not battle- natures elements.

    Glow and See is a London based brand that specialises in glowing knitwear. A great option for anyone out on late winter nights!

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    Warm Regards is a brand which produce beautiful ethical scarves. Based in India, they are a social enterprise, dedicated to uplifting women and empowering them financially through artisian employment. These are fantastic colours for the festive season!

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  • November: Red is for Rememberance

    Remembering Victims of the Fashion Industry

    As the month of November brings with it a defiant spirit of remembrance and nostalgia, the Fashion Compassion team would like to reflect on the hardships suffered by many within the supply chains of the Global Textile Industry. In particular, while Fashion brings us choice and a channel to express individuality, it accommodates many shades of grey that remain to be addressed by both political and commercial circles.

    Last year saw the tragic Rana Plaza Diasater in Bangladesh which toke the lives of over 1,138 garment workers, while in 2016, the Syrian Refugee Crisis has brought with it opportunities for unethical human exploitation, as the BBC reported several weeks ago, indicating the dangers of our cultural appetite for fast fashion that replicates the latest seasonal trends, while placing  significant cost on our planet and poorer communities in the developing world.

    Despite the solum tone however, there is still hope, as passionate innovators and creators initiate campaigns to promote sustainability and fair trade, with Brands like HnM and organisations like the Ethical Fashion Forum and the Wage Alliance. So when you pin a poppy to the lapel of your winter coat, or you read of the memorial events that took place this weekend, the ultimate message is to remember not only past lives, but also present ones. The people that make Fashion as an industry possible, from skilled seamstresses and renowned designers to retail employees and garment workers that work 14 hour days. We all have a part to play in this global mosaic.

    Celebrate the month with red adornment and check out our picks from Fashion Compassion!

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  • The Future of Textiles: The Rise of Hybrid Fabrics

    screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-11-48-40Mahatma Gandhi once said that 'There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it is makes hunger and unhappiness'. This profound statement is more relevant today than it has ever been, as fabric becomes a powerful metaphor for the principle of sustainability and for advocating global unity. The anatomy of the textile industry is indeed evolving, as innovation is now synonymous to the practise of sustainability. Traditional fabrics like cotton, linen and silk are now accompanied by contemporary hybrid fibres that reflect the technological and socially conscious world that globalisation has ignited. With the rise of textile innovation, Fashion Compassion would like to spotlight two unique companies who are redefining the landscape of textile production by merging innovation with environmental and social objectives.

    Foremost is the Italian Startup Orange Fibre, which attributes its patented fabric to the geography of Sicily, where citris fruit is grown and consumed on a vast scale. It is the waste from this citris industry that provides degradable fibres, which are then transformed through nanotechnology techniques to create a vitamin C rich fabric known as Orange Fibre. This unique innovation is attributed to two Italian entrepreneurs Adriana Santanocito and Enrica Arena,  who together have scaled the idea and begun production of the fabric. Accordingly, the entrepreneurs hope to introduce a sustainable paradigm to the Italian Fashion Industry, and  to reincarnate a shrinking fruit industry which has left many Sicilian youth unemployed and local talents under leveraged. The company therefore addresses sustainability on multiple levels, by utilising fruit by-product and offering new jobs to local economies. Who could imagine a textile to be sustainable, nourishing and economically empowering?

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    The second innovator is American-based Bionic Yarn who has created a solution to combating the worlds excessive consumption of plastic products. Their mission 'To achieve sustainability without sacrificing quality' and to generate positive impact for the triple bottom line. The emergence of this company is timely, as plastic is known to be a non-biodegradable material and yet the world consumes it within almost every industry and demographic. The production of Bionic Yarn is therefore a welcomed step towards transforming this harmful waste into textile material that can be used in a diverse range of outlets- fashion being one of them.

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    In fact exciting collaborations have already manifested using this hybrid fibre, with the launch of a collection by rapper Pharrell Williams for G Star in 2015. This campaign was used to spread awareness of the extensive ocean pollution caused by plastic consumption and how companies like Bionic Yarn can offer sustainable solutions to vast environmental problems that now seem to transcend borders, cultures and geography.

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  • JOIN LIFE: Zara's Stake in the Sustainable Fashion Movement

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    An evolution is occurring on the High Street as this season Zara enters the Sustainable Fashion Family by introducing a collection called 'JOIN LIFE'. The endorsement of this collection with its use of organic textiles, is an indication of greater shifts to come within the world of fashion, as brands begin to capitalise on the business opportunities of sustainability, while engaging customers in the some of the most crucial debates of our time. Fashion has never been more important for spreading values and cultural ideas about how we consume, dress and express ourselves, and being a multi million dollar company, Zara has certainly committed itself to a worthy campaign, that will push forward  perceptions of a more progressive fashion industry which accommodate supply chains that respect the environment and its fragility.

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    With rich warm tones, the collection features well tailored classic pieces, that are bound to appeal to the fashion conscience, with chic trench coats, frills and pleats and minimalist shirts that capture the current flavour of Autumn. The launch of this collection is proof that sustainable style is slowly but surely becoming a norm within the world of fast fashion, as environmental and social issues are given a platform and projected into design and style collectives. This campaign also marks the beginning of a journey for Zara, as we can expect more exciting innovations from some of our favourite High Street brands.

     

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  • The Power of Aesthetic: Marrying Desirable Design with Sustainability

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    Fashion is instant language and a form of individual expression. It is no mystery then, that our love for different colours, textures and trends translate into a healthy appetite for beautiful adornment, and has fuelled an industry worth over three trillion dollars. Eco Fashion has come a long way from its initial minimalist organic cotton tees and jute and hemp bags, to tap into this exciting and ever evolving flow of aesthetic creation.  With this in mind, the design of a garment holds great precedent when we select new items for our wardrobe, irrespective of price tag, brand and unfortunately of green and ethical credentials. Ultimately, if a product is not beautifully made, it will not be bought or worn. This is an honest fact.

    Aesthetic and design harbours great craft and cultural context, and so even with the emergence of sustainable fashion brands, designers need to leverage good design to appeal to all consumers in the market. This is an idea which I contemplated in particular, during a recent visit to a local H&M Store, where I purchased a blouse from the Conscious Collection. However, my main motivation for the purchase came from my admiration of the colour and tailoring, while my attention to the production and sustainability of the garment toke second place, indicating the power of aesthetic appeal on our consumption habits and purchasing decisions.

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    At Fashion Compassion, we acknowledge this demand and desire for great aesthetic and design, but also realise the shifts that are needed in the fashion industry, and the social and environmental issues which are connected that need to be addressed in order to change current systems. Selecting great brands that offer exciting and current aesthetic is therefore a virtue we strive to endorse.

  • 'WEAR NO EVIL' A Sustainable Fashion Handbook

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    Publications on sustainable fashion have emerged in recent years with greater education and awareness of our increasingly fragile climate and concerns over the nature of global working conditions and environmental standards. Greta Eagan's book 'Wear No Evil' acts as a fantastic introduction and guide to ethical consumerism, as the book pairs practical styling tips with a rich plethora of references for sustainable companies and brands.

    Beginning her portfolio on sustainable fashion in 2010, Greta is also the creator of FashionMeGreen, a website that has become a crucial earmark for showcasing sustainable brands that are 'aligning the world of mainstream fashion with a conscious and ethical approach'.

    Wear no Evil is a recommended and insightful publication for anyone who wishes to uncover the complex layers of the Global Fashion Industry. It is a refreshing outlook which illuminates readers to the major challenges faced by the industry and the individual steps and decisions we can all initiate to create fairer and more environmentally conscious supply chains. Our hope is that as sustainable fashion becomes more mainstreamed, more impassioned advocates will emerge carrying the message of green ethical fashion.

  • Merge ZA's panel on sustainability

    "Nobody should die or suffer for fashion." - Orsola De Castro

    This, and other inspiring comments, could be heard on Monday 19th when our founder Ayesha Mustafa joined a panel on sustainability and its future in the fashion industry. In total the panel had 6 speakers: Ayesha, Orsola de Castro (Fashion Revolution), Rose Sinclaire (Goldsmith University), Francesco Mazzarella (Loughborough Design School), Jaqueline Shaw (Africa Fashion Guide), Anna Freemantle (Edinburgh International Fashion Festival), and Laura Santamaria (Sublime Magazine).

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    The founders of Merge ZA and the panelists after the talk (excluding Anna Freemantle).

    The event took place from 3PM to 5PM at TANK Magazine's gallery space in Soho and was organized by Merge ZA. The panelists discussed the past, present and future of the current fashion industry and answered the key question: "How to make the fashion industry more sustainable?"

    The panelists all agreed that although we have come a long way over the years when it comes to sustainability and green living, we still have a long way to go - the change for better will not happen immediately, but gradually people are seeing the importance of sustainability and it is important to continue spreading the message and educate people on the matter.

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    Ayesha Mustafa sharing her thoughts on the panel.

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    A slide from Jacqueline Shaw's presentation.

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    Brands that were showcased at the event.

    Fashion ComPassion would like to thank the audience, the panelists as well as the organizers for the event!

    All images © Fashion ComPassion.

  • Ayesha Mustafa to talk on Monday

    MERGE ZA is a travelling showroom and will launch at Tank Magazine’s gallery space during London Fashion Week to promote best of South African contemporary fashion designers. Its inaugural showroom will exhibit five of South Africa's leading designers' work: Rich Mnisi, Lukhanyo Mdingi, SELFI, Wanda LePhoto and Young & Lazy. The event will be in partnership with the British Council CONNECT ZA.

    By taking South African fashion talents to global urban hotspots during events such as London Fashion Week, MERGE ZA is creating a platform to develop international audiences, to promote South African design and to act as service provider between local designers and international partners.

    The showroom will be open to buyers, press and the public from 11am-3pm between 16-20 September, with panel discussions on brand stories, media & trends and sustainability. Our founder Ayesha Mustafa will join the panel on sustainability on Monday 19th, starting at 3PM. Alongside her in the panel will be Orsola de Castro (Fashion Revolution), Anna Freemantle (Edinburgh International Fashion Festival), Rose Sinclair (Goldsmith), Francesco Mazzarella (Loughborough Design School) and Jaqueline Shaw (Africa Fashion Guide).

    Location
    Tank Magazine Gallery Space | 91-93 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NX

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    Rich Mnisi

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    Lukhanyo Mdingi

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    SELFI

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    Wanda LePhoto

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    Young & Lazy

    For further information of the events, please see the Merge ZA website.
    All images © The British Council.

  • Talk on Ethics, Morality & Sustainability at London College of Fashion with Ayesha Mustafa and Dilys Williams

     

    This past week, on Thursday 24th February, Ayesha Mustafa our Founder gave a talk at London College of Fashion on Ethics, Morality & Sustainability. The event was organized by Professor Reina Lewis, at LCF with Ayesha and Dilys Williams, Director of LCF Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

    The LCF auditorium was buzzing with a packed audience.

    Professor Lewis kick-started the event with her views on how fashion impacted the world and the interrelationship between faith and fashion. She then called on both the speakers, who shared their views on the topic.

    Here's what some of the individuals from the audience said:

    “I never knew it was such a huge thing and people were suffering behind those beautifully made fast-fashion clothing. It was definitely eye-opening and now, I will think twice before I buy my clothes.” – 22-year-old student

    “I have always been interested in sustainability and wanted to start something like this when I grew up. This event has motivated me to follow my passion and continue to support the growing sustainable brands. I am only 16, and I believe us “the younger generation”, are the future and so we should all think seriously about the effect of fast-fashion and make a difference”- 16-year old student

    Here are some of the pictures of from the evening.

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  • The Romantic Valentines List!

    It's nearly the most romantic day of the year, Valentines day! We have an array of ideas of what to buy for your loved one, things to wear and places to eat mouth watering food.

    On our website we also have a Valentines Sale because we believe that love shouldn't break the bank!

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    The Valentines List:

    1) Amalena- Aain Bracelet Red

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    This bracelet is formed by an intricate layering of delicately formed chains made of 100% Eco- Friendly gold. Exquisitely crafted and versatile, it is the epitome of understated elegance!

    3) Clos Maggiore

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    Set in the heart of Covent Garden, Clos Maggiore is the romantic restaurant everyone has been seeking for. The Tuscany style interior, candle lit glow and pretty foliage entwined around the walls and the ceiling is truly enchanting.  And of course the French cuisine will complete your night of romance!

    3) Sika X Asos Strapless Dress in Blue Fan Print with Full Skirt

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    We can all agree that this dress made from the collaboration of SIKA and ASOS is truly stunning. It is hand made in Ghana using traditional skills with the fabrics sourced in local Ghanaian markets. Furthermore, a portion of the profits made are given to the development of the community.

    4) Booja Booja gourmet selection truffles

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    Finding the perfect box of chocolate amongst the selections in supermarkets can be quite a task!  However we have found Booja Booja, a chocolatier from Norfolk, England that makes award winning, chocolate truffles of superior quality. All their chocolate truffles are organic, vegan, dairy and gluten free.

    5) Oversized Bodhi Earrings

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    The intricate patterns on the Oversized Bodhi Earrings will glisten in the light as you dance the night away! Made by the brand Finchittida Finch, these handmade beauties will create an edgy yet sophisticated style.

    6) Bradleys Bags Inez Gold & White

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    This beautifully handcrafted envelope clutch is created by artisans in Byblos. It is made of contrasting metallic gold and white calfskin to create a unique look.

    7) Josie Black Gold

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    Miista is a fashion forward footwear brand based in Hackney, London. We love these shoes which would be perfect for a casual brunch date or romantic evening full surprise!

    8) Sweet Cavanagh- Grey Agate Grapes

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    Sweet Cavanagh’s Grey Agate Grapes Necklace is a bold, statement piece. It is handmade in Notting Hill London by individuals fighting anxiety and depression. This piece will liven up any outfit and complete your elegant look on your romantic date!

    9) Knoydart House, Knoydart, Highlands, Scotland

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    Are you looking for a romantic eco hideaway for a bliss Valentines weekend?  We have found the perfect spot! Tucked away in the highlands of Scotland with the breath taking view of Loch Ness is Knoydart House.  This unspoiled location has amazing sealife and wildlife in abundance, deer, sea-eagles, pine martin, porpoise, dolphin and seals.

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