Fashion Category

One of the best ways to keep our environmental footprint light is to reduce our consumption of new items that require resources to grow, create or produce. When it comes to fashion, many people are choosing to keep it light by repurposing existing items into new, creative and beautiful clothing and accessories. This means that synthetic items do not simply go to choke landfills or oceans; animals are not unnecessarily killed for more leather when enough leather already exists; more petroleum products are not unnecessarily created. By rethinking the ideaRead More
How fashionable is it to stroll down the street in a cocktail of known carcinogenic chemicals? Or to drape yourself sexily in a petroleum product? Increasingly, the fashion industry is asking (or being asked) these questions. As we awaken to the effect our actions have on the environment, we look for ways to limit both our personal exposure to chemicals, and the amount of chemicals that are released into the environment on our behalf. Many fabrics these days – particularly “technical” ones – are synthetic, made from petroleum derivatives. Polyester,Read More
A major piece of the puzzle that has to happen in order for sustainable living to become mainstream is consumer awareness. However, another important component to this going mainstream, is government involvement. When the government steps in and creates guidelines and standards for an industry – ones that are built with the help of the corporations who are leaders in that industry – then real change begins to happen. At the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC recently, I had the opportunity to witness such collaborative discussions taking place between government,Read More
Continued from The Role of Government in Sustainable Fashion. Other countries are much slower to adapt policies and standards, and some might even say that despite years of lobbying, their efforts fall on deaf ears. Canadian Jon Cloud of The Organic Cotton Company, has dedicated his life to organic production. He is fed up that the government refuses to deal with organic standards and that certification organizations, whose standards he feels are weak, are picking up the ball and running with it. Cloud belonged to the now defunct organic cottonRead More
Over the past few years, there has been a growing number of sustainable denim brands on the market, including Levi’s Eco, REUSE, Good Society, Loomstate Organic and the now (sadly) defunct Del Forte Denim. Traditionally speaking (if you can call it that after only a few years), what makes denim sustainable is the use of 100 percent organic cotton and plant-based indigo dyes. Some brands use recycled denim and Del Forte had a great recycling program where they would take your old jeans and recycle them into new ones. AnotherRead More
Canada’s sustainable fashion growth is a healthy sign of the times. With easily more than 50 Canadian designers now working various sustainable practices into their collections, it was difficult to highlight just these five. Canada has seen tremendous growth in the number of eco fashion designers over the past few years. The following designers represent both those who have been leading the movement in Canada, and also some up-and-comers that you should be watching. Their winter collections are sure to impress even the most discerning. Nicole Bridger, Vancouver Nicole was theRead More
Fashion Takes Action, the company founded by our Fashion columnist Kelly Drennan (who recently won TreeHugger’s “Best of Green” Best Style Twitter Feed), has launched a new initiative called Resizing Fashion’s Footprint. Fashion Takes Action has said, “Our ultimate vision is to see the fashion industry transformed – with the practices of sustainability stitched in to every garment, shoe, and accessory, from fiber to finish. We encourage our members to be active players in this transformation by supporting them with the tools, ideas, and community they need to create prosperityRead More
Over the past few years we have witnessed the exponential growth of sustainable fabrics. This is a movement, not a trend. Organic cotton, hemp, tencel, recycled polyester and organic wool are gaining popularity, evidenced on the international runways and in fashion media. By now most of us are familiar with the advantages of sustainable fabrics that include fewer toxic chemicals by reducing the amount of textiles dumped into our landfills and producing in a closed loop environment. But consumers are still largely dependent on non-sustainable fabrics like Polyester, Lycra, SpandexRead More
The fashion industry is facing many challenges, but one of the most pressing issues is water usage.  The textile industry is the third largest consumer and polluter of the world’s water. Water consumption is a huge problem for growing fibers such as the ever-thirsty cotton plant, with nearly 400 gallons of water required to produce just one cotton t-shirt. Waste water is conceivably an even bigger issue than consumption. Toxic chemicals produced from dyeing textiles, along with other chemicals such as those used to produce synthetics, are contributing to aRead More
The term “Slow Fashion” combines many aspects of sustainability. From an industry perspective, it can refer to slowing down the production cycle, giving more attention to detail and craftsmanship in each garment, manufacturing locally, or supporting fair wages. From a consumer’s angle, it means slowing down our consumption habits, buying fewer garments that are classic, of quality, and will last us for years. As a frequent public speaker on the topic of sustainable fashion, I find that the concept of slow fashion resonates really well with the audiences I speakRead More