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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 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.

  • 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.

  • Fashion Undressed: The Journey of the Jumper at The Southbank Centre

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    Last week our Founder Ayesha Mustafa was a part of an insightful panel at the Southbank Centre for the Fashion Undressed series, featuring workshops and talks seeking to celebrate vibrant fashions of the UK.

    The panel saw Sarah Klymkiw – Head of Education at Traid, Safia Minney – Founder of People Tree and The World Fair Trade Day, and our very own Ayesha Mustafa discuss the unseen journey of the clothes we wear, answering key questions on the global journey of clothing and the importance of knowing and understanding this process, and the person who made the clothing.

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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

    AAIN BRACELET LAVA RED HERO

    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.

  • THE LIST: VEGAN LIST OF PRODUCTS FOR A HEALTHY HAPPY NEW YEAR

    So it’s the start of 2015 and there is a big focus on a healthy happy new year. On this new issue we have focused on a list of all things VEGAN from products, clothing brands to food. Kick start your year with a focus on all things healthy and stylish without the use of animal testing and ingredients.

    1)Angela & Roi Square Tote Mandarin

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    So everyone is back on work mode but who says you can’t be stylish! Made with vegan leather, the Square Tote Mandarin by Angela & Roi is perfect to carry your essentials during office hours. The detachable straps provide you with different ways to wear the simple yet super stylish tote bag.

    2) Nama Artisan Raw Food

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    Based in the centre of Notting Hill is the super healthy yet delicious restaurant Nama Artisan Raw Food. The restaurant offers a nirvana of raw food which goes beyond the normal dining experience.  We recommend the Fermented Blueberry Cheesecake for a truly mouth-watering experience.

    3) Hi-rise by Blank NYC

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    The Hi-Rise super skinny fit trousers from Blank NYC is a timeless classic. Make heads turn whilst making an impact against animal cruelty with these trousers made from vegan leather and faux front pockets.

    4) Botanical Essence No.15 by Liz Earle 

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    Liz Earle is known for creating make-up, skincare and exquisite fragrances without using animal ingredients or testing on animals. We suggest you try the Botanical Essence Number 15 which is made from fifteen of the world’s most precious botanicals which are all naturally sourced.

    5) Hand Stamped Fly Necklace by Ahimsa Designs

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    Jewellery from Ahimsa Designs is handmade using eco-friendly cruelty-free materials. The designs represent spirituality, good vibes and love of yoga. Why not start the year feeling positive with a Hand Stamped Fly Necklace.

    6) Vegan Oxfords by Insecta Shoes 

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    Insecta Shoes, is a vegan shoe brand from Brazil creating products from vintage clothing through handmade process.  The Vegan Oxfords are the perfect shoes for this New Year to bring your winter outfit to life. It is made with recycled rubber sole and faux leather lining with a vintage corduroy body.

    7) Silver Rose Eye Shadow 

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    Make up by Aromi is Certified by peta and leaping bunny. We love their eye shadow in Silver Rose which is blended by hand in small batches from only the finest raw materials. This colour is perfect for a natural, healthy and glowing look!

    8) Vegan Leather Bomber by Anthropologie 

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    Stylish yet sophisticated, this vegan bomber jacket is a must have this season with its utilitarian style and practicality. The open work detail and added collar makes for a unique jacket perfect to wear during the day and evening.

    9) The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

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    A vegan list is not complete without a vegan cookbook. Why not try replacing your lunch meals with a vegan dish? With so many simple delicious recipes in this cookbook by Angela Liddon why not awaken your palette!

    10) Classic Oxford Lady by Daniel Wellington 

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    Simple and minimalistic, there is nothing that doesn’t please the eye with this Daniel Wellington Classic Oxford Lady Watch. It contains no animal ingredients and doesn’t use animal testing in the products. Wear it any day of the week as it is a watch that is suited for any occasion.

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