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  • Brand Spotlight: Wool and the Gang

    screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-56-38We all have a favourite woollen sweater or coat that we can rely on to keep us warm during the cold winter months, but how many of us know about wool and the sustainability of its production? According to Campaign for Wool, this natural textile is a protein fibre formed in the skin of sheep and boasts some amazing qualities like acting as a natural insulator, and being incredibly resilient and trans-seasonal.

    This week, Fashion Compassion would like to spotlight a Brand that is pushing forward not just an ethical message, but also a global sense of community and sustainable practise for wool-producers and consumers. Known as Wool and the Gang, the company was founded on the basis of offering fashion lovers with unique woollen pieces, that respect the welfare of animals, while also creating a community of enthusiastic knitters that can participate in the creation of wonderful woollen items. Offering a variety of knitted products, as well as knitting patterns for the more ambitious, the company has been a great success, and has recently partnered up with London Department Store &OtherStories to release a beautiful, pearl studded Winter Collection. As sustainable fashion gains more grounding, we hope to see even more brands like Wool and the Gang, paving the way for positive change in an industry that impacts so many.

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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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  • London Fashion Week Edit- H&M and the Circular Economy

    20160915_18260720160915_184229London Fashion Week is an annual event which brings with it a plethora of creativity, style and innovation- but perhaps the most exciting aspect of this global gathering has been the inclusion of sustainable and ethical fashion into wider industry dialogue. In particular, global high street brand H&M has become a significant and committed player within the sustainable fashion playing field, as following the creation of its acclaimed Conscious Collection, the company continues to break old paradigms within the global fashion industry, while introducing style conscious consumers to alternative ideas of sustainable style.

    Its latest project has manifested as an ambitious collaboration with the London College of Fashion which brought the production of a capsule collection designed from used textiles- collected as part of H&M’s garment collecting programme. The resulting collection was exhibited at H&M’s flagship store on Oxford Street during London Fashion Week, and became a potent statement for challenging current supply chain systems, through the promotion of greater consumer awareness for the design process. This project also represents a positive stride towards the concept of the Circular Economy- a system that is based on the 'cradle to cradle' philosophy and which prioritises the sustainable use of materials and resources. Initiating projects like these is therefore a welcomed sign not only for designers, but also for governments and commercial stakeholders who can engage and support practices that focus on greener and more ethical consumerism. 

    Desirable propositions must therefore be created in order to engage consumers, which makes fashion such a powerful medium to push initiatives for sustainability forward. Having participated in the scheme myself, it is reassuring and refreshing to see such a proactive stance towards transforming the fashion industry and to know that previously loved pieces can be given a new and chic lease of life, therefore achieving a reincarnation of style.

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  • Ayesha Mustafa one of the judges for Fashion DNA Pakistan

    This year Fashion DNA Pakistani focused on ethical and sustainable fashion and our founder Ayesha Mustafa was invited to be one of the judges. Fashion DNA is a British Council programme supporting emerging fashion industries and raising awareness of the design talent while creating an understanding of their local context to people in the UK. The programme will provide mentorship to 6 Pakistani fashion design businesses this year.  The winners this year are: Gulabo, Jeem, Munib Nawaz, The Pink Tree Company, Sonya Battla and Zuria Dor.

    Fashion DNA is an 8-month programme and includes intensive training. The focus will range from fashion business to sustainable and ethical production to branding and communications.

    The mentorship will result in the development of a ready-to-wear line with a clear brand positioning, marketing through fashion imagery/film and a digital presence, and the production of samples for a catwalk that meets the blueprint of sustainability and fair practice. The collections will be showcased in London at Fashion Scout.

    The programme brings together British and Pakistani fashion professionals and institutions. Fashion DNA aims to create a collective identity for spunky, edgy fashion from Pakistan to appeal to an international market.

    Winning designers:

    Gulabo
    Gulabo.

    Jeem
    Jeem.

    Munib Nawaz
    Munib Nawaz.

    Pink Tree
    Pink Tree.

    Sonya Battla
    Sonya Battla.

    Zuria Dur
    Zuria Dur.

    For further information on Fashion DNA, please visit The Britsh Council website.
    All images © The British Council.

  • Get Behind the Label: Senhoa Solidarity Clear De Art Earrings

    GET BEHIND THE LABEL: SENHOA SOLIDARITY CLEAR DE ART EARRINGS

    SenhoaJewelry

    Fashion ComPassion is featuring the Senhoa Solidarity Clear De Art earrings this month for it’s unique design and smart ethics.

     

    Every piece of Senhora jewelry is handcrafted by vulnerable women in Cambodia using traditional artisanal techniques. The women are then provided with fair wages, health services and education. Senhoa’s goal is to create opportunities for artisans like these and raise awareness about exploitation.

     

    The Solidarity Clear De Art earrings are made from platinum seed beads and Swarovski crystal elements. Using traditional methods of weaving, these earrings are both intricate and simple, to be dressed up or down!

  • Get Behind The Label: Ethel IPad Sleeve In Wave Chitenje Print

    MayamikoIpadCase

    Fashion ComPassion is featuring the Ethel iPad Sleeve in the Wave Chitenje print this month with its perfect marriage of fashion, function and philanthropy!

    Mayamiko is a UK-based charity that works throughout Africa to support creativity in local communities by sponsoring their training. The “Mayamikans” are trainees that are taught sewing, knitting, tailoring and basic financial and business planning skills. They are then linked to ethical fashion designers in the UK and are able to sell their products and all profits are put back into their communities.

    The Ethel iPad Sleeve is made from quilted cotton that has been ethically, locally sourced. It comes complete with a zip closure ensuring that your iPad locked in and fully protected. Not to mention its on-trend print and perfect size!

    Miyamiko is a Chewa word meaning “praise” – help bring praise to the Mayamikans, buy a sleeve, support the power of the artist.

  • Brand Interview: Kyu Melange

    1.  What is Kyu Melange?

    Think global fusion. Think luxury accessories. Think impact. That’s what Kyu Melange (Q-Mey-Longe) is all about. We create luxury accessories from fusion. We cater to the women and men who make fashion statements – effortlessly, every day.

    Our product offering spans three collections. THE GLOBAL FUSION COLLECTION is chic and vibrant. This collection of exclusively hand crafted clutches and bags will enhance your look from day to night. THE LEATHER LUXURY COLLECTION provides just the right accessories to revolutionize your wardrobe with simple, classic, timeless pieces. This collection was designed for the modern woman and the polished gentleman.  Products are hand crafted with personality in every stitch to enhance your individual style. THE SEASONAL & LIMITED COLLECTION products exemplify fusion on a global scale. The pieces in this collection will vary and are typically not available in large quantities due to the uniqueness and/or scarcity of the raw materials from which the products are made. The items in our seasonal collection will vary from season to season.

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    2. Why did you decide to launch a socially responsible label?

    Kyu Melange is not just a label -- it is truly a lifestyle.

    Growing up in Jamaica, I spent a lot of time working with my mom in her fashion business. I learned a ton about the power of creativity from her and as a child. Even before I had the faculty to fully grasp her decision making calculus, I was in awe of the way she made her choices, and most impressed by her humanity and her interpretation of her place in the world. Naturally when I decided to step into the world of fashion with my own brand, I started with the framework of something bigger.

    Living an impact centered life is my way of life. With Kyu Melange I will utilize fashion and more broadly art to empower people, especially artisans in emerging countries. I hope to re-frame the way people think about consumption, globally. This is what I have set out to do in the next 18 months. It hasn’t been easy, but it is very possible; and I believe in the power of conviction.

    3. What was the inspiration behind the collection?

    I am inspired by art and elaborate cultural traditions. I am inspired by the people who re-purpose art and create beauty out of a mash up of seemingly unconnected things. I am inspired by the power that fashion has, to impact not only culture but also peoples’ stream of consciousness. Kyu Melange Global Fusion Collection uses fabrics most of which are hand-dyed/hand-woven by women in emerging countries. Our current collection, we re-purpose fabrics from Uzbekistan, Senegal, Ethiopia, Peru, Turkey, India and Pakistan. In some cases we work with women to develop specific prints. In other cases we use prints that they have already perfected, and crafted. Prints emblematic of a global cultural expression are strategically combined with high quality leather sourced from Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and Colombia. All our products are hand-made in Colombia by highly skilled artisans, and are made with love and passion. It is truly wearable art.

    4. Tell us about the positive impact Kyu Melange has had on the people and the environment.

    Kyu Melange impact initiatives are centered on empowerment through education. In Colombia the Business of Fashion pilot under the Kesi Kesi Impact program started informally with a collective of 40 women and was mainly focused on business and design       training for product commercialization. In 2015, with the help and endorsement of the Colombian government, the program will take on more structure and will be accessible by a greater number of artisans. In the US we also did a pilot at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, working with design students to formulate business plans. In the Caribbean, we work with artisans in Jamaica. The ultimate goal for the program is to arm creative professionals with the tools necessary creative sustainable businesses that will inevitably impact the pace of economic development and improve the life-chances of creative professionals.

    Under the same impact umbrella are getting ready to officially launch The Melting Pot Movement. This platform was introduced in New York in June, 2014 and will go live on October 1, 2014. The Melting Pot Movement is a platform that focus on “The Untold Narrative of a Global People through the lens of Fashion, Beauty, Music and Contemporary Art”. It is a global movement that provides deeper insight into the life and work of the artists and the opportunity for sustainable engagement/attachment points for the consumer. Look out for more! #TheMeltingPotMovement #KyuMelange

    `5. Why is a platform like Fashion ComPassion important for the growth of sustainable fashion businesses?

    Like Kyu Melange, most fashion startups in the first 12-18 months of existence are typically capital constrained. As such platforms like Fashion ComPassion provide a great outlet for emerging brands to reach a wider audience around the globe on a skinny marketing budget. Fashion ComPassion is a particularly well-aligned brand ambassador given the strong impact focus that sits at the heart of the entities business model.

  • Reformation - a sustainable brand loved by celebs

    Reformation is a sustainable brand based in California that is quickly gaining momentum as a favourite among the most fashionable celebrities in Hollywood, such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Taylor Swift. It is also often seen on some of the most popular fashion bloggers of today like Jamie Chung and Danielle Bernstein.

    Reformation

    We at Fashion ComPassion love the brand, as the design is both incredibly cool and wearable. Not to forget the brand’s sustainable approach, the brand does all the operations from design to manufacturing in a warehouse in L.A. Ensuring not only quality, but sustainability and ethics are upheld at all times.

    RefFactory

    Their secret weapon to sustainability and the cuteness, as they state, lies in the materials they use. As the textile industry is one of the most chemically dependent industries on earth and it is the 2nd biggest polluter of clean water, brands like Reformation is essential for the future of the fashion industry. They are a great example of that great style needn’t be compromised for sustainability, so in the words of Reformation “Change the world, not your style”.

    Reformation makes the clothes from three different types of materials: Either new sustainable materials, repurposed vintage clothing or rescued deadstock fabric from fashion houses that over-ordered, and would other vice end up at landfill.

    All information and pictures have been sourced from thereformation.com and Who What Wear

  • Victoria Beckham and the Outnet.com for Mothers2Mothers

    Fashion designer and style icon Victoria Beckham have selected more than 600 pieces from her personal wardrobe to sell exclusively at the Outnet.com. The money generated from this sale will go directly to the charity Mothers 2 Mothers.

    The sale will take place from the 20th to 25th of August, that is of course if the pieces will last that long. I addition there will also be 10 dresses that is especially selected and have been worn by Victoria on special occasions. The most noteworthy is maybe the white, crystal-studded Dolce & Gabbana dress that she wore to the MTV Awards in 2003. The prestigious auction house Christie's have taken part in valuing the dresses that will go on the auction.

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    This is not the first time the designer has donated her wardrobe to charity, in November 2013 the Beckham’s donated a portion of designer goods to the Red Cross Charity Shop in West London to help raise money for the victims of typhoon Haiyan.

    Victoria’s initiative is also a contributing to raise peoples awareness for second hand fashion, which is a important part of making the fashion industry more sustainable. We approve!

     

    MOTHERS 2 MOTHERS

    Victoria first learned about the charity when she travelled to South Africa to work on a project with Anna Wintour, when she was there she met Dr. Mitch Besser, the founder of Mother 2 Mothers, Victoria got so inspired by him that she decided she would help raising money to the charity. She says that "As a woman, we have a responsibilty to help and support other women, to do what we can do to help"

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    Mothers 2 Mothers trains, employs and empowers Mentor Mothers - who are mothers living with HIV - in order to educate them on how to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to babies and improve the health of women and their families.

    The funds that are raised will help m2m's Mentor Mothers reach even more HIV-positive mothers with critical health education and support, to stay healthy and protect their babies from HIV infection.

  • FC’s Top 10 Eco Apps To Help You Lead A Sustainable Lifestyle

    Sustainability and being green is really important, lately the world is becoming more conscious and aware of the issues in our current wasteful lifestyle. Sustainability, ethical and being green are buzzwords that are appearing more in newspapers, magazines and in our daily life.

    We are also seeing a lot of celebrities being perfect examples on to lead a sustainable lifestyle and the importance of being an ethically and socially aware consumer. Some examples include Jessica Alba co-founding the Honest Company an eco brand. Also Emma Watson who designed an eco capsule collection alongside Italian designer Alberta Ferretti named "Pure Threads". The totally "dope" musician Will.i.am made a partnership with Coca-Cola for his Ekocycle brand inspiring brands such as New Era, MCM and Adidas to use recycled materials. The ever so talented Anne Hathaway lives a vegan lifestyle, even on the set of Les Miserables she made sure that all of her characters shoes were vegan-friendly, she also made a eco statement by having a green wedding. Iconic actor Brad Pitt established the Make It Right Foundation, building 150 green homes after the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused.

    At Fashion ComPassion we are advocates of sustainability, conscious consumerism and transparency in our supply chains. We want to make it easier for our readers and consumers to incorporate these elements in their everyday lives. In this feature we have compiled a list of Apps to help you live a more wholesome life.

    1) iViro

    iViro helps users create more sustainable homes and living spaces. Perform a customised energy analysis to receive a detailed overview of your home’s heat, cooling, electricity, water and appliance energy consumption patterns with annual cost and CO2 emission estimates. Additional features provide ideas on energy-saving alternatives and strategies to ensure your home is energy-efficient and cost-efficient while reducing its environmental impact.
    Get it here.

    2) GoodGuide

    "The GoodGuide" is a app which enables customers to make informed decisions by revealing the health, environmental and social impacts of products and brands they’re buying on a regular basis. The app retrieves health, environmental and social performance ratings for over 120,000 products including food, toys and detergents. The app also includes a barcode scanner, making it incredibly easy to retrieve information and product ratings whilst you shop. Available as a free iPhone and Android app.
    Get it here .

    3) Recyclebank

    Recyclebank rewards its members for making eco-friendly choices, providing points for daily activities such as recycling, water usage, energy efficiency, and purchasing green products. Members can view their points balance, report recycling activity to earn points and order rewards with its app.
    Get it here.

    4) Social Impact
    "Social Impact" is an award winning app which uses your mobile device’s GPS feature to find local socially responsible enterprises – including restaurants, coffee shops, and craft stores. This ‘map app’ also includes useful information about the retailers’ products, their social impact and their location and opening times. Simple and easy to use, "Social Impact" aims to expand the market for socially-minded enterprises by making it easier for customers to find them. Currently available as a website and as a free iPhone app. Android version coming soon.
    Get it here.

    5) iRecycle

    "iRecycle" is a app which allows users to find their local, convenient recycling opportunities. Using a colourful and easy to use interface, the app provides access to more than 1.5 million ways to recycle over 350 materials all at a touch of a button. Moreover, "iRecycle" provides vital information for each recycling spot, including a checklist of all other materials accepted. The app also provides its users with the latest in green news and ideas and various social media options. Available as a free iPhone and Android app.
    Get it here.

    News

    6) Treehugger

    The best way to lead a sustainable life while encouraging others to do the same is through arming yourself with information. That includes the latest news on the topic, which is so often ignored by the mainstream media. But no more… get your stories on sustainability and environmentalism from the news source people have dubbed as “having balls.” They have reviews, the latest breaking news, podcasts, opinion pieces, and more.
    Get it here.

    7) Eco News
    Keep up to date with the latest news related to the environment, so if you dont have time to do research on which companies are eco or the latest eco technology this app is perfect for you.
    Get it here.

    Nature

    8) iGrow it
    This application tells you what vegetables you may plant, essential information about how and when to grow vegetables, offers a photographic vegetable selector, and detailed growing instructions so beginners can have their own healthy vegetable garden without any problems. It is the easiest way to start your garden, right away.
    Get it here.

    Food
    9) Instead

    "Instead" is a app which encourages consumers to substitute everyday purchases, like buying a coffee or getting a takeaway, with micro-donations to charitable causes. "Instead" also keeps a log of every donation you make, showing you all the charities which have benefited from your contribution. With its simple and well-designed layout and a large choice of charities to choose from, this app reminds us that even the smallest donation can make a real difference. Available as a free iPhone app. Android version coming soon.
    Get it here.

    Game

    10) Eco Challenge

    EcoChallenge is a fun method to reduce your impact on the environment.
    Participate in challenges with your friends and lead a more sustainable life. Topic by topic you learn how to take the first steps towards a bit more sustainability in your life.
    Get it here.

    Let us know if this article was useful for you, and if you have anymore suggestions of Apps we can add then email us on news@fashioncompassion.co.uk .

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