Posts Tagged ‘Fairtrade’

Future of Fashion & High Street Happenings

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Future of Fashion – Good – True & Lasting

I was heartened a few days ago to hear Irish stylist & RTE Off the Rails  presenter, Sonya Lennon, say that fashion is moving beyond trends and the future is clothes that are “Good”, “True” & “Lasting” In a world gone mad, where our taxes are pumped into invisible holes, & various scandals keep catching up with us, it is any wonder that we need to seek out the good to restore some meaning.

This was certainly music to my ears and I’m sure to any of small shops & designers, who work hard to know exactly where their clothes are coming from and who is making them and in what conditions. Hopefully the high street and even more designers will follow suit and significantly expand their sustainable/ethical ranges. And ideally fall over themselves to prove to their customers that they are actively working with their producers & suppliers in poorer countries to improve their working conditions – Maybe that dream is just around the corner.

Happenings on the High Street since January 2010
Speaking of the high street, H&M launched their Garden Collection for Spring, which looks luscious and is made from organic and sustainable fabrics. They certainly took to the challenge of producing a fashionable & sustainable collection with gusto. On first viewing, every piece looks great and the fabrics feel lovely (and nicer than the other collections but I acknowledge my bias..)

In early March Tesco launched dresses from their Fred & Florance  collection. for which they cooperated with ethical brand “From Somewhere” .  The dresses are made from off cuts which would otherwise end up in the bin, and are made in a green factory in Sri Lanka.  The dresses are only available online and it was difficult enough to find the four dreses amongst the 1000 pieces that make up the F&F collection. The From Somewhere designer, Orsola de Castro, acknowledges that it is more of a marketing excercise at the moment The Guardian conclude that ” while sceptics may frown at the collaboration, Orsola argues that anything that gets ethical fashion into the mainstream can only help.”

Back to H&M, Re-dress posed an excellent question on their blog in relation to H&M’s collection “is the commitment of a high street store to sustainability enough to offset the crippling effects of fast fashion?  They also say they recently learned that in 2005 H&M handled 500 million garments in one year and estimate this figure has spiriled, as the demand for fast fashion increased.

While they are not high street yet People Tree’s collaberation with Harry Potter actress, Emma Watson, has propelled them to new fashion heights. The clothes are available on People Tree’s site and while aimed at teens they are really cool.

Fast Fashion – What Does it Mean – Some Links

To conclude - to read up on some of the effects of fast fashion & what it means for the people producing the clothes and for the environment, I have included some links to campaigning organisations, which offer an excellent grounding and insight:
Re-Dress  - Irish based organisation educating and campaigning for a sustainable fashion industry
Ethical Fashion Forum –  the UK based organisation educating and campaigning for a sustainable fashion industry
Labour Behind the Label – campaigns for the rights of the people who make our clothes
Clean Clothes Campaign – campaigns for the rights of the people who make our clothes

June 12 was World Day Against Child Labor

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I just came across an article in the Guardian on forced child labour in Uzbekistan -

Sunday 24 May 2009 – The Observer, Nick Mathiason
Uzbekistan forced to stop child labour
It is considered one of the most exploitative industries in the world. In Uzbekistan, gangs forcibly remove hundreds of thousands of children from schools, order them to pick cotton in the searing heat and live in squalid conditions on pitiful wages. Read more

With the labels we have at Belleetik, we really are working in such a positive area, with so many designers, producers, cooperatives, development agencies, who are making huge efforts to bring out gorgeous collections, which are produced with respect for the environment & the people who make the clothes.
It really is shocking to be reminded of the gritty side of fashion and especially the prevalence of child labour in the industry.

WFTO (World Fairtrade Organisation) joins Uzbek cotton boycott

Click for some links to articles and campaign on this issue

World Fairtrade Day

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Not something we celebrate yet in Ireland and next year at belleetik we will do something
To read up on events read People Tree’s Safia Minney’s blog
Or visit

World Fairtrade Day

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

World Fairtrade Day May 10th 2008
Find Our More about the Fairtrade Movement & the genuine change that is happening in communities around the world – www an event promoted by IFAT – one of the 4 pillars of the Fairtrade Movement. IFAT support small scale businesses working for development in Africa, Asia & Latin America.– Get Your Fairtrade On!