Fantastic Fair Trade fashion NOW up to 70% off!
Posts Tagged ‘people tree’
to promote sustainable and Fair Trade fashion in spring we’d never imagined that it would galvanise so many university students in Japan and UK.
School of Fair Trade and People Tree intern Akari Kuga did an amazing job with other students, Natsuki and Akiko to organise a Slow Fashion extravaganza near Shibuya in Tokyo. They invited Baba (former designer of Dress Camp who is the first Japanese designer to win a competition between FIT and Parsons in New York), and me to discuss fashion and what it meant to us.
They also organised three fashion shows, together with Tama Art University students and ‘xChange’ to promote fashion made out of sustainable materials and to promote clothes swapping, followed by the People Tree Youth Collection endorsed by Emma Watson. There were 80 people PACKED into a gallery in Shibuya – that is how we kept warm!
There was a presentation about Chinese garment workers conditions of young women the same age as the university students gathered – where workers do an average 14 hours working day – Fast fashion really began to catch on in Japan about 5 years ago, resulting in 2.3 million tons of clothing which is disposed of each year – of which only 10% is ever recycled or reused. Making second hand clothes and charity shop shopping cool is the challenge in Japan – There’s no culture of it as in the UK where we all buy from Charity Shops.
Motomi and me
There was a panel discussion with me and Baba Motoomi. He’s a real artist, we talked about fashion and what it means to us. Predictably we were poles apart – Motomi talked about how you have to live and breathe fashion to suceed in it – and I talked about the real cost of Fashion. I’m intrigued by him and his designs – so I decided to see his collection later that week.
Great event – well done everyone. Slow fashion rocks!
Cover up in this cosy long knitted jacket for those icy days…
Some of us fix a limit on how much we can spend on each other – forcing us to be more innovative and creative. We’ve never formalised that rule in my family but my favourite Christmas present last year was definitely my brother’s chutney – (imagine a doctor with two small children who makes time to make chutney! – so cool!). Anyway my mate Andrew the Jamaican taxi driver filled me with the joy of buying and stockpiling for Christmas and I realised I hadn’t started anything… I like getting excited about what I’m going to give people, rarely find it a pressure and well if I hide away special organic Christmas food it’s more likely to be me raiding the special box in the middle of the night than my teenagers!
So this Saturday – aside from my People Tree Fair Trade presents, Natalie my 14 year old daughter and I set out in South London to find things that would bring a smile to her grandmother’s face – that’s where we’re all spending Christmas. I find a hip flask, some second hand records and some gorgeous second hand shoes – completely impractical for my Yorkshire Xmas, maybe People Tree Christmas party though!
Here are a few of my Christmas present rules -
Rule 1. Never buy plastic and non-biodegradable. You can only buy plastic if it’s from a charity shop and recycled. (I buy a football hat game – where you chuck a ball at someone’s hat the ball attaches itself with Velcro to the unfortunate persons head!)
Rule 2. If you buy new, buy Fair Trade and organic! I’ve bought friends good organic wine and other foods and consumables – I want to make mince pies – veggie of course. I’ll treat everyone at People Tree’s Christmas sample sale on 10th/11th December – so come along! Homemade rules – so save those jars!
Rule 3. Buying ethical fashion can mean, buying Fair Trade or second hand (or vintage I you have a bit more money to spend). I’ve bought my Mum a gorgeous silk dress that I’ve been imagining she’ll wear on Christmas Day – glamorous and colourful.
Rule 4. Don’t forget the important things – it’s different depending on your age, my teenagers want a drum kit on eBay for £100, my mum wants to see her grandchildren more than anything for Christmas – and all I want is a good long bubble bath (organic bubbles please!) and 2 days off to cook together and drink red wine.
Rule 5. Don’t spend money, only spend time!
Trevor Leighton photographed 12 celebrities wearing Fair Trade Fashion – (frankly speaking I didn’t recognise one People Tree product there – even though the stylist was sent more than 20 pieces!) Anyway … I love his last campaign where he shot Anita Roddick with a pineapple in her mouth to promote Fair Trade foods.
I was asked to give a short speech after Elizabeth Day from the Guardian who told the audience of 200 - half inebriated on Fair Trade wine - supporters about life in Mali, West Africa for cotton farmers. Fairtrade Foundation have released their report – The Great Cotton Stitch-up which says what we activists have been saying for years that 3 billion dollars a year of US and EU subsidy to cotton farmers, reduces the world price of cotton making West African farmers 10% poorer than they would otherwise be. Fair Trade cotton in Mali has helped more than 90% of cotton farmers go to school when less than 40% usually can. A very well presented report: The Great Cotton Stitch Up – read it online.
Fair Trade Fashion Pioneers.
In my talk I discussed that People Tree and other Fair Trade fashion pioneers had found an alternative to fast fashion – the human and natural world exploitative model of fashion that has spread now to every corner of the world. I told, stage by stage, how differently we work with farmer and artisans and asked the audience to ‘imagine’ a new fashion industry based on those principals. I also introduced other pioneer fairtrade clothing brands: Epona, Pants to Poverty, Gossypium, Pachacuti and Fairly Covered who together with People Tree make up a strong voice to change our fashion industry. We are also demanding that VAT (20% in the UK from January 2011) should be dropped on Fair Trade clothing.
After the event, the ‘Fashion Fair Trade 100’ dinner, we discussed how to change the world through Fair Trade and fashion.