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Fashion Compassion News

  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Guest Blogger: Chere Di Boscio

     

    In conversation with Chere Di Boscio, Editor in Chief of Eluxe Magazine.
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    My blog is: I don’t like to call it a blog, because it’s not. It’s a magazine—in print and online-- with detailed, well-researched articles on environmental and health issues, as well as gorgeous pictures, reviews and information on sustainable luxury fashion, travel, beauty and homes.

    Sustainable fashion is important to me because: The planet is important to me.

    My personal style is: Rich hippy, urban bohemian, with a bit of rock chick thrown in. I love the looks of early Jane Birkin, Anita Pallenberg, and Jerry Hall: light, flowing maxi dresses in silk with mutton sleeves are my faves, but I also love tall boots with jeans and a loose blouse, worn with an oversized floppy hat, for example.

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    Some of my favourite sustainable brands are: The Reformation, who do the most amazing 70s style maxi dresses, Meng Kimonos, with their sumptuous silks and stunning Asian designs, and Taiana Giefer’s scarves. I also love cashmere or alpaca wraps, and Abraxas Rex jewellery, made from found meteorites!

    My advice for buying ethical and sustainable products: Buyer beware! There’s a lot of greenwashing out there. When I first launched Eluxe, I was under the impression that brands like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney were really eco-friendly, but they’re actually not. I also thought that vegan leather was more eco-friendly, but was surprised to find that a lot of it is made from super toxic materials like PVC.

    Platforms like Fashion ComPassion are important because: They are so rare! Consumers who want to buy eco-friendly fashion need to trawl through the thousands of offerings of mainstream websites like Net-a-Porter to find just a few items, but the likes of Fashion ComPassion make finding sustainable goods that much easier by putting them all in one place.

    My top 3 Fashion ComPassion picks:

    1) Palestyle makes the most glamorous clutches

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    2) Abury’s Berber bags are my go-to accessory for boho chic looks.

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    3) Angela & Roi make great bags for girls like me, living in Paris.

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  • Feature Story: Parsons New School Of DesignTaking The Lead in Sustainable Design

    Spotlight on Parsons the New School for Design: Sustainability in the Fashion Education System

    The impact of sustainability on fashion in recent years has been immense. The understanding of natural resources and the social and economic effects of the industry have led to a huge increase of awareness and ethically-conscious design. Parsons the New School for Design in New York City is one of the leading facilities in this field.

    The new University Center, located in the heart of downtown Manhattan, boasts a U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating of Gold and has made it a point to offer classes focused on sustainability and zero-waste garment construction.

    Images taken from SOM.

    Teslin Doud, inaugural winner of the Tory Burch Mentorship Award (WWD), is in her final year at Parsons and is one of the leading talents emerging from the institution as an environmentally-conscious designer. It was the freedom offered within the program, she says, that allowed her to take the reigns on her education and stay true to her personal values.

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    Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, Doud had been surrounded by ideas of sustainability and her mother, proprietor of a green building and home supply store, was a huge influence on her thinking. “Parsons,” she said, “does a good job of introducing the idea of sustainability and therefor the majority of the students are aware of the ideas and questions within sustainable design.” However, many do not take the leap to become sustainable designers because of how difficult it really is. Doud has committed to stepping out of the mainstream and embracing her passion for ethical design.

    Capsule_1Images taken from Doud's personal website.

    There are examples within the industry for her to aspire to – Honest by., founded by Bruno Pieters, is the world’s first 100% transparent company. Without sacrificing design, they create beautiful products and let consumers be privy to the entire production process.

    1186 1183Image taken from Honest by.

    “We are currently in a period of flux,” she states. “Universities, including Parsons, are updating their curriculums to include ideas about responsible design and, as a result, are churning out new global leaders. As young designers we are the future of the fashion industry and we have the ability to create real change within an industry that is wrought by tradition.”

  • Calling All Creatives! Fashion Digital Marketer & Part-Time Copywriter & Journalist Internship!

    Looking to change the fashion world? So are we! Fashion ComPassion are looking for talented and experienced candidates to apply for our two new exciting positions - Fashion Digital Marketer and Part-Time Copywriter & Journalist Intern!

    Fashion ComPassion Logo Looking to change the fashion world? We're looking for a fashion digital marketer and a part time copywriter and journalist intern to help with Fashion Compassion's re-launch!

    Fashion Digital Marketer (Freelance Opportunity)

    We are looking for a freelance digital marketer to help us develop our online website, which is an established name within the sustainable retail industry. Our site is in the midst of re-branding and we need someone with the necessary experience to create a digital marketing strategy for the new site before the re-launch. Creating awareness and a buzz about the re-launch through social media will also be a large part of the duties required. Experience in a similar role is required and having worked in fashion previously is essential.

    Responsibilities will include:

    • Developing brand marketing across social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Tumblr.
    • Creating social media management standards, policies and rules of engagement.
    • Developing relationships with key members of social media outlets, bloggers, and thought leaders.
    • Writing editorials and blog postings.
    • Online advocacy and community-outreach efforts

    This is a great role to gain experience within a retail company which is re-branding as you will be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive social media strategies, developing integrated marketing frameworks and launch campaigns to increase brand visibility and traffic.

    Candidates, ideally, will have some retail sector experience, a proven track record of executing social marketing programs for top retail brands and a passion for social media.

    How to apply: Send a short cover letter, as well as your resume and examples of your work, to info@fashioncompassion.co.uk!

    Part-Time Copywriter & Journalist Internship in Fashion

    Are you an up and coming writer or journalist? Are you creative? Do you have an interest in fashion and finding out the stories behind labels? Then we have the position for you!

    We are looking for a part-time writing intern to work alongside our social media and marketing team in creating new and exciting content for our magazine - The FC Edit and copy for parts of the website.

    Responsibilities will include: -

    • Writing, editing and proofreading features and press releases for the FC Edit.
    • Interviewing sources including designers and brands.
    • Writing copy and product descriptions for the website
    • Covering Fashion ComPassion events.
    • Meeting and liaising with other staff.
    • Help generate ideas for future features.

    This is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands on experience in fashion and get involved in various aspects of the business. You will also get both creative and commercial experience of working with various brands around the globe. We offer the opportunity to get your work published in our magazine & publications, get involved in various fashion events, liaise with press and have the freedom to bring in your own creativity and expertise to grow the business.

    Please note that this placement will be unpaid, but we will pay for your travel expenses (London zones 1-6).

    Working hours: 2-3 days a week or 15 hrs per week

    Candidates, ideally, should have previous writing experience as well as an interest in online shopping and fashion. Any background knowledge or experience with sustainable and ethical fashion will be advantageous but not essential.

    Start date: 25th January

    How to apply: Send a short cover letter, as well as your resume and examples of your work, to info@fashioncompassion.co.uk!

  • Fashion ComPassion at LABELS BagFest 2013!

    After last year's successful launch of the Palestyle collection in Pakistan last year, Fashion Compassion is back to bring you a brand new limited edition collection for Eid.

    Join LABELS, Pakistan’s premier retail store, and Fashion ComPassion for an exclusive trunkshow:  BagFest 2013! Join LABELS, Pakistan’s premier retail store, and Fashion ComPassion for an exclusive trunkshow: BagFest 2013!

    Each Palestyle product is handcrafted with the highest quality leather, gold plated accessories and embellishments. These limited edition collection boasts structured shapes, beautiful colours and contrasts, and a variety of sizes. What really sets these bags apart is the incorporation of calligraphy with personal messages, ranging from the simple “Welcome” to the elegant “Charming as the moon”. Each bag is unique and designed with the intention of making its owner feel special.

    Colour & Contrast!

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    Calligraphy!

    Besides these limited edition bags, the classic Palestyle clutches and wallets will also be available for sale at this year's BagFest. For Eid, we are giving an exclusive 25% discount on original prices of the bags (price range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 80,000)!

    Fashion ComPassion supports brands that have a social mission. Palestyle bags are made in a small workshop that employs Palestinian refugees and a percentage of the profits go toward supporting projects and social initiatives in the refugee camps. The current initiative is the “Water Tank Exchange Program” in Al Baqaa Refugee Camp, Amman, that has provided clean water to over 4000 people.

    Fashion ComPassion have also partnered with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) this year. For the whole of 2013, we will be donating a percentage from our profits to WFP every time one of our products is sold. These donations will help fund a new WFP project which aims to enhance employment prospects for poor women and adolescent girls in the FATA region of northwestern Pakistan.

    Support socially responsible fashion and join us for this exclusive trunkshow on 9th October.

    For the latest updates, check out the LABELS BagFest Facebook Event!

    Follow #LabelsFCBagfest on Twitter and Instagram for event photos!

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