Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Small Changes in Big Business

Can fashion ever be ethical?

And more to the point; can fast fashion ever be ethical?

This point is discussed and debated in the world of ethical fashion on a regular basis. When I first came across the ethical fashion industry I think I was maybe a little too idealistic about the ethical labeling organisations and maybe a little too critical of the fast fashion industry. Either that or just maybe the fast fashion industry is improving. 

I think it's probably a bit of both but either way, I feel like I need to state the case for the fashion industry that in the past I may have judged rather harshly.

The high street has come a long way since I first became acquainted with corporate social responsibility and ethical trade. In the beginning I cast my judgment upon the high street indiscriminately, failing to take notice of those brands that were seeking to change. To be fair, the brands that choose to seek more ethical ways of trading are not always the ones who shout about it. If we take a look at brands like ASOS and New Look, you might not immediately think of them as very 'green' companies but both are going above and beyond the average for where they sit within the industry.

Big high street fashion retailers are obviously going to face challenges when trying to improve working conditions in supply chains that are hugely expansive, impossibly global and intrinsically complicated. But the positive aspect of their daunting size is the incredible impact that they are capable of creating. Just one small policy change can impact hundreds of thousands of workers lives. I don't think that we should be so quick to cast aside the huge changes big retailers can and do make to workers lives just because we judge that these changes are relatively small. In big business, a small change can have a huge impact.

So I'm not saying that we have it right yet. I think that the high street has a long way to go but I do believe that there are some incredibly passionate people out there, behind the scenes, that are battling to make sure that the small changes have a bigger impact in an industry that is notoriously complicated and constantly challenging.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

One Green Dress is (finally) on Instagram

So after much debate, I have finally decided to get on instagram. When I started this blog, I wanted to step away from the traditional fashion blogs which focus on outfit posts and in some cases present a fairly shallow view of fashion. I wanted to get under the skin of fashion and look into it on a deeper level- be critical and exploratory. 

In a bid to avoid a casual representation of fashion and not to allow the debates within the industry to be sidelined, I had decided to limit the amount of outfit photos I posted. However, this meant that although the 'ethical' side of my blog was covered, I somewhat found myself lacking in the 'fashion' department. 

In order for ethical fashion to thrive, if it wants to break out of the niche, hit the mainstream and become not just 'ethical' fashion but 'fashion'; then it needs to be just that. Ethical fashion cannot rely on the fact that it is produced in a humanely and environmentally sound manner to sell. It needs to be desired for its aesthetic. For its beauty. 

And so, I have set up my very own instagram account to hopefully show you that ethical fashion can be just that- fashionable. There will be the odd outfit post on the blog but I will mainly be keeping them on instagram so if you would like to see how I wear ethical fashion then give me a follow : )

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Redress: The Get Redressed Challenge 2014

The new year is a time for making positive changes in ones life; for fresh starts and new challenges. This year, why don't you join Redress in their Get Redressed Challenge 2014 and make your wardrobe more ethical by looking at your personal fashion style? Allow me to explain...

This week I stumbled across an incredible ethical fashion initiative on twitter. Redress is an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. They are involved in many aspects of the fashion industry including design, certification, campaigns and industry engagement.

I came across their 2013 consumer campaign The 365 Challenge 2013 in which founder Christina Dean wore only dumped or discarded 2nd hand clothes every day for a year to promote the durability of clothing in their 'Redress it, don't bin it' concept. Take a look at her inspirational daily outfits, which were created by 12 fashion stylists and have monthly themes, on their instagram page.

You can find out more about The 365 Challenge 2013 in the booklet below, including great tips for styling and caring for your clothes. Trust me- it's well worth a look:

For 2014, Redress have a new campaign which allows you to get involved. The Get Redressed Challenge 2014 invites you to join them on a styling journey throughout the year. Each month there will be a new challenge sheet released explaining the months sustainable fashion theme. Everyone is encouraged to get involved with the challenge and share their ethical fashion outfits on instagram. Check out this months challenge below!

Redress is a great initiative and is a really fun and positive way of getting involved in ethical fashion. Here at One Green Dress we will be joining the challenge so keep an eye on the blog for our monthly contributions. Will you be getting involved?