Thursday, 14 March 2013

Reading into Ethical Fashion

Want to find out more about ethical fashion? Enjoy a good book? Then look no further! I have written a blog post for the Oxfam Fashion Blog about my favourite ethical fashion reads. Click here to check them out : )

Friday, 8 March 2013

A Few Articles That Have Caught My Eye

I've stumbled upon a few articles and blog posts recently (some not quite so recently) that have related to some of my previous posts here on One Green Dress and I thought that I would pass them your way to peruse at your leisure. Do take a look- they are all well worth reading:

'The Sustainable Fashion Paradox' by threadGently

This very well written piece talks a little more about the high street ethical lines, for example H&M's Conscious Collection, (see my article on the collection here) and discusses whether sustainability and fast fashion are compatible or mutually exclusive. It's an age old question that is found at the crux of the ethical fashion industry: Sustainability VS Consumerism.

'Luxury Leather and the Amazon' by Lucy Siegle

This article written for The Observer discusses Gucci's New Jackie O Bag that is sourced from deforestation free-zones. The bag is in collaboration with Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle's Green Carpet Challenge project where designer brands dress celebrities ethically at Red Carpet events to raise awareness for ethical fashion. The article explains a bit more about the difficulties of ethics in the leather industry but I am yet to find out whether the Gucci bag tackles the problem of leather tanning in an ethical manner- TBC...

'Why I Prefer Real Leather' by The Conscience Collective

Another article on ethical leather which gives a reasoned and down to earth opinion on the leather debate. It's a subject which I find really interesting mainly because people always focus on Fur as opposed to leather (you can see my blog post on the subject here). Hopefully articles like this one and the new Gucci handbag will get people talking about it more.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


This post is entirely un-fashion related but retains all the ethics that I hold true to this blog. Please do have a read: My very good friend and fellow ethical fashion supporter, Sigga Rafns, helps to manage the 'Jammin N' Ting' Annual Music and Arts Festival in Naledi Village, South Africa. The festival provides a platform to promote African music and art whilst proving an opportunity for the local community to develop skills and incomes to improve their standard of living.

"With the amazing location of the village in a valley surrounded by the sandstone mountains and spectacular reputation of Rustlers festivals the first steps have been taken towards creating an event that can focus on African heritage, while giving the people of Naledi the opportunity to use and develop their skills to improve their standards of living."

"Having been involved with the Rustlers music scene since 1993 Manello Funkikora has been developing a vision, for artist in Africa to have a place, a haven, where they can meet on mutual grounds to talk opportunities, connect and enjoy each other’s art and vision while supporting development in the rural villages of South Africa."

The festival has had more and more people interested in it and it now needs your help to take it to the next level. The festival has not been supported by big corporations so that local people can provide food and drinks stalls to earn themselves money as well helping to set up the infrastructure and they want to keep it that way. To go to the next level they need to market the festival to a wider urban audience. At the moment the festival relies on social media sites for publicity. They need a kick start to advertise more widely, to sell more tickets and then be financially self sustainable in the future. The other major cost is transport. The festival wants to sell transport packages to the festival from Johannesburg but they need to pay start up costs to reserve drivers and mini buses.

This is where you come in. To cover these costs, Jammin N' Ting need to raise £1,300. They have joined the  kickstarter website where you can pledge money to help to get them to their target. There are only 3 days left and so far they are up to £763 but they need your help to make it to the target! If you would like to donate to this fantastic project that promotes community development, self sufficiency, the learning of skills and the promotion of African music and art, then please donate here : ) Thank you

Monday, 4 March 2013

Made in Britain vs Fair Trade

I've been doing some research for a study recently and it has involved conducting interviews on the subject of the garment industry. I've had lots of interesting points coming up which I'm sure I will be discussing with you in the coming weeks but I thought I would start with this one. 

In the industry of sustainable fashion- what is more sustainable: Made in Britain or Fair Trade? The question isn't really about adding up the stats to get an exact answer, I was just interested to know what you think? Here are a few points on both that seem to come up a lot:

Made in Britain

  • Less Travel

    • Not having to import goods from countries far away saves considerable costs on transport. It also uses much less energy especially in air miles which can considerably contribute to your carbon footprint. Sustainability is intrinsic to ethical fashion and looking after the environment is a huge part of this.

  • UK Labour Laws

    •  There seems to be less concern about accountability if garments are made in the UK. It's commonly assumed that it's more likely in the UK that the supply chain will heed to labour laws and give workers better working conditions on a more frequent basis than in Fair Trade where slip ups are expected to occur. 

  • Support UK's Economy

    •  During our current recession, every extra job in the UK is seen as a benefit and a boost to the UK economy. Supporting UK jobs is part of supporting our family, friends and the wider community of Britain to pull itself out of economic decline.

Fair Trade

  • Fair Wage and Conditions

    • The Fair Trade standard sets an example for how wages and working conditions should look in developing countries. This is especially important to you and me because it is Western societies like the UK that take advantage of the lack of human rights and unions and exploit workers in developing countries for cheap labour.

  • Support a Developing Economy

    • Fair Trade is set up to give the poorest people better jobs and better wages because they need it most. Giving someone who is on the brink of poverty a job that pays properly means the difference between staying alive and actually living. It's the difference between a job and a livelihood. Fair Trade is more than bread on the table, it gives oppurtunites to grow, improve and invest in a future.

  • Support the Fair Trade Movement

    • Even if Fair Trade haven't got it completely right yet, people have told me that they want to support the movement by buying the products anyway. The idea behind Fair Trade is a very good one and it is a not-for-profit registered UK charity. Fair Trade is how all trade should be.

I'm not trying to say that buying British Made products and Fair Trade products are mutually exclusive; I think they work well side by side and benefits can be reaped by purchasing and supporting both of them. Both are considered ethical fashion in my books but I would love to know which one you think is more important. Are there more benefits I have missed from either that you would like to bring to the table? Let me know : )