By Bianca Alexander
April showers bring May flowers, and just like a warm, sunny day after a long, cold winter, Cri de Coeur’s SS2014 collection of vegan footwear surely doesn’t disappoint. Freshly blossomed as a debut collaboration between socialite/philanthropist and first-time shoe designer Arden Wohl, the collection was inspired by the artwork of 19th century Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimpt, who incorporated motifs like hidden eyes, gold leaf techniques and mosaic ornamentation into his erotic and spiritual artwork. Like Klimpt, Arden Wohl x Cri de Coeur’s new collection boasts avant-garde design that inspires ethical consumerism through high art, including pops of color, innovative textiles and anatomical exposure in all the right places.
With surprising details like chiffon ribbon ankle ties, clear PVC intarsia, ombre lucite on floral booties, sexy stilettos with peeking eyes and sleek bronze metallic loafers, this is Cri’s most daring collection yet.
Take your pick from the blossoms below, or pluck your own bouquet of fabulous spring footwear by shopping here.
To see footage from Arden Wohl x Cri de Coeur’s 2014 NYFW presentation, watch this episode of Conscious Living TV/style.
By Bianca Alexander
Just because Fashion Revolution Day is over doesn’t mean you’ve missed your opportunity for evolutionary style. Check out this look, which features some of the top ethical designs of the season. Each piece is made in accordance with balanced, fair trade principles, which is sure to tip your wardrobe in the right direction without offending your conscience.
The foundation for the look is this luxurious reading skirt from Vaute in flirty tomato red, a dramatic statement piece for date night or a fun stroll through the park. Less daring? Opt for Navy instead. Made with love in NYC from 100% plastic bottle recycled fibers, whatever color you choose, it pairs nicely with a striped tee, like this white and sesame box top blouse made from silk, tencel, organic cotton and low impact dyes from Indigenous. Compliment the look and keep your neck warm on chilly days with their chunky infinity scarf in chili.
Shine up your legs with a fresh vegan pedicure and slide into pop-color wedge platforms from Mink Shoes, then top off the look with this navy motorcycle jacket from Vaute made from leather-free waxed canvas and recycled PET lining. The cherry on top? A fair trade beaded bracelet from Indigenous and a funky zigzag Pashen Collection purse made from 100% alpaca wool by artisans in Peru. It’s roomy enough to hold an ipad mini, a wallet and of course, your consciously cool card.
Looks like you’re ready for the revolution. Now go rock it.
By Bianca Alexander
Photo: Victoria’s Secret model and wildlife photographer Amber Arbucci received a GOOD award at this year’s Sustainatopia conference, along with Indigenous Designs.
The sustainable fashion movement continued to gain momentum this month with thought leaders, designers and consumers who convened under the warm sun and palm trees of Miami’s South Beach for the Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Design Summit. Launched at this year’s Sustainatopia conference, one of the largest events in the world promoting social, financial and environmental sustainability, the summit served as both a gathering of like minds and a call to action to push conscious fashion deeper into the mainstream.
The summit kicked off with a fashionable garden party and awards ceremony at Miami Beach’s Botanical Gardens for guests including White House staffer Bina Venkataraman, Executive Director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation Cameron Sinclair, and Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine. Home to hundreds of meticulously landscaped native flora, the venue served as an ideal backdrop for an eco-fashion runway show featuring looks from brands like Indigenous Designs, Amour Vert, Modavanti and Stewart + Brown, styled by Jill Heller of the Pure Thread and produced by Aushim Raswant of 3V Creative. The final runway segment served as a tribute to Fashion Revolution Day and the 1133 victims of the April 24, 2013 Rana Plaza sweatshop factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with models wearing looks #insideout to bring more justice and transparency to the garment workers who make our clothes.
Sustainatopia drew over 50 international speakers from various sectors of the industry, including pioneering fashion entrepreneurs like Marci Zaroff, founder of Under the Canopy/Portico Brands Group, Debera Johnson, Executive Director of the Pratt Design Institute and Brooklyn Fashion Design Accelerator, and Matt Reynolds, President & Founder of Indigenous, who sponsored and helped moderate the event.
Despite comprehensive panel discussions covering topics like maximizing impact and profit from the global supply chain, marketing the firm, and the future of fashion, at least two big questions remained unanswered throughout the event: How do we create a standard definition of “ethical” fashion, and how do we get mainstream consumers to buy it? These two questions seem to be inextricably linked, and whomever manifests the answer is sure to usher the tipping point that seems so desperately needed to push the proverbial needle forward.
Read more about the Ethical Fashion Summit, including images from the opening night runway show, here on The Pure Thread.
By Bianca Alexander
On April 24th, fashionistas the world over are turning fashion into a force for good with the first annual Fashion Revolution Day, a worldwide movement in over 50 countries demanding fair treatment for all garment workers and clothing that is made ethically and humanely. Fashion Revolution Day aims to honor the lives of the 1133 sweatshop laborers killed and over 2500 injured in the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh last April 24, 2013 due to unsafe working conditions, and to create transparency and justice in the global fashion supply chain.
Consumers who shop at large retailers like Walmart, The Gap and Forever 21 increase demand for cheap, disposable clothing. As a result, manufacturers look to countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Cambodia where wages and workplace standards for textile and garment production are unreasonably low. The race to the bottom of a competitive global marketplace leads to inhumane safety standards and growing exploitation of millions of garment workers, like 20 year old Rana Plaza survivor Aklima Khanam, who has worked in clothing factories since age 14 to support her family. Aklima’s average work shift runs from 8am to midnight, seven days a week with no days off.
On the day of the collapse, her managers were aware of a crack in the building but threatened to dock one month’s wages if she refused to go to work. When the walls caved in shortly after beginning work on the morning of April 24th, Aklima was trapped under her sewing machine for 15 hours before being rescued. Before the accident, she made $125 per month. With injuries to her head, back and legs, she can no longer work but has received little to no compensation from her employers. Rana Plaza is but one example of the many atrocities occurring daily in the name of fashion.
Fashion Revolution says enough is enough.
With a call to action to wear an item of clothing #insideout on April 24th, 2014 and share a picture via social media in honor of those injured at Rana Plaza, Fashion Revolution Day asks the question “Who Made Your Clothes?” With this simple gesture, thousands of consumers around the world will be empowered to be curious about where their clothes come from and take action on behalf of the human hands that manufacture them.
The campaign is supported by designers, pioneering thought leaders, media across the globe and many celebrities. Fashion Revolution Day ambassador Amber Valletta - supermodel, actress and founder of online ethical fashion retailer Master & Muse, is inspired to wear her clothes #insideout on April 24th, Fashion Revolution Day: “We all need to pay attention to how and where our clothes are made because we share a common thread: humanity.” Watch Amber turn her clothes #insideout on this Fashion Revolution Day PSA produced by Fashion Revolution USA board member and ethical fashion pioneer Marci Zaroff. To keep the momentum going for the campaign after 4.24, Marci collaborated with famed t-shirt designer Michael Stars to create a limited edition Michael Stars x Under the Canopy “Who Made Your Clothes?” #insideout t-shirt made from 100% organic cotton, now available on Shopethica and Modavanti with proceeds benefiting the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.
Join the global Fashion Revolution movement! Post a photo of yourself wearing an outfit #insideout on the Fashion Revolution Day USA facebook fan page by 11:59pm PST on April 24th, 2014 and you could win an ethical designer wardrobe worth over $3,000 courtesy of our brand partners including 2ETN, Bhoomki, Deborah Lindquist, Dhana Eco Kids, GUNAS, Loomstate, Mata Traders, Mink Shoes, Nomadista, Org by Vio, Pashen, Seamly.co, Simply Natural Clothing, Stewart + Brown, Tabii Just, Under the Canopy and Vaute.
How to take part in Fashion Revolution Day:
-On April 24th, wear an item of clothing inside out
-Photograph yourself in it
-Ask the brand “Who Made Your Clothes?”
-Share the picture on social media and the Fashion Revolution Day facebook page with the hashtag #insideout
-Take action by signing a petition urging manufacturers to sign the Bangladesh Accord ensuring factory safety and inspections
-Attend a Fashion Revolution Day event on 4.24
By Bianca Alexander
Unlike most animal species, historically, the human female has taken on the laborious and often exhilarating role of dressing flamboyantly in order to attract a mate she can depend on for protection and propagation of the species. As a result, in accordance with the law of supply and demand, fashion designers have gifted women with an entire arsenal of options for adorning and transforming themselves, from silk corsets to stilettos, ball gowns to ballet flats, kimono wrap dresses to kitten heels.
Conversely, this has left our male counterparts with a small handful of style options: for work, a suit and tie with a tailored shirt, dress shoes, and a belt; for casual days, a tee-shirt or button down with khakis or jeans, and maybe, if you’re sporty, a fresh pair of sneaks.
In today’s modern world, women are more independent, empowered and even self-sufficient, either willing or able to take the risk of thriving with neither a mate nor offspring. This challenge to traditional male-female roles has given men the freedom to evolve and model the animal kingdom, working harder to attract a mate that deems them worthy by becoming better cooks, better lovers and better dressed. Despite how alarming this may be to our existing social order, it’s good news for men’s fashion, allowing gents to step up their style game and take risks to create a more dynamic sense of self-expression.
Fashion Group International’s Frontliner event last week, The Casualization of Men’s Suitable Attire, confirmed just that. Hosted at The Garage, Kenneth Cole’s newly retrofitted white-walled warehouse space in Hell’s Kitchen, the panel boasted a line-up of some of the top talent in menswear, including pioneering designer and humanitarian Kenneth Cole; VP/Fashion Director for Saks Fifth Avenue Eric Jennings; Made in the USA menswear designer and former CFDA finalist Todd Snyder, GQ Senior Style Editor Will Welch, and moderator Chris Mitchell, GQ’s VP & Publisher.
From left: Chris Mitchell, Will Welch, Todd Snyder, Eric Jennings, Kenneth Cole
The GreenShows CEO Harvey Russack with Kenneth Cole
Alongside a brightly lit backdrop of male mannequins adorned in eclectic, though monochromatic looks from Kenneth Cole’s latest collection, the panel jumped into an intellectual debate about the new movement happening in menswear, which was described by many of the panelists as sartorial. According to the panelists, in addition to wearing slimmer, higher hem and jacket lines, guys these days are taking notes from flamboyant fashion role models like pro ball player Russell Westbrook and hip-hop moguls Pharrell and Jay-Z. Unlike the style icons before them, these gents have successfully deconstructed the conventional suit and are pairing down with athletic footwear, casual tees—and most of all, attitudes that normally don’t mix in the boardroom—to create a look all their own.
For men looking to up the ante on their look, or ladies seeking to dress more androgynously, see below for some of our favorite elements of sustainable guy style.
THE NEW SUIT
Suit up in body-conscious style in this single button, three-piece, notch-lapel Covert suit from vegan menswear line Brave Gentleman. Designed in New York and hand-stitched sustainably in Italy, down to its recycled PET linings and buttons made from tagua-nuts, this animal-friendly suit reminds us why we love a flat front and a slender silhouette.
A STATEMENT SHIRT
Bring a fresh pop of color to neutral suited or casual looks with this vintage-inspired shirt in a modern, European fit. Made in the USA from 100% cotton remnant fabric and corozo nut buttons by Glass House Shirt Makers. Tuck it in or leave it out depending on your mood.
Vegan outerwear isn’t just for the ladies. This James black waxed canvas moto jacket by Vaute is a great cruelty-free option for the vintage leather look, made in New York using non-toxic, environmentally friendly wax that’s wind and water resistant. Paired here with the organic cotton deer shirt.
JEANS, WITH ATTITUDE
Nudie Jeans’ 100% organic cotton denim tailor’s jacket is cut to showcase their “slow fashion” selvedge manufacturing techniques, and your personal sense of style. Wear it to work over dressier slacks or with jeans and your favorite tee or sweater on casual Fridays.
A BETTER KHAKI
Give casual chic a whole new meaning in this Indigenous organic cotton Urban Ski Zip sweater made in Peru with low impact dies in accordance with fair trade principles.
Step out in confidence with these handsome vegan, fair labor boots aptly named The Defender. Made from biodegradable PU microfiber from Novacas x Brave GentleMan, tuck into slim leg pants for an edgy, military-inspired look or wear outside to create the effect of a dressier shoe.
IN THE BAG
Stow your laptop, portfolio, lunch or yoga clothes in this slick but roomy Doctor’s style brief bag from vegan luxury line GUNAS. With a light weight and easy, messenger style shoulder strap that can be worn cross body, hopping a cab or catching the train is a cinch.
COVER THE BASICS
Start and finish the day feeling luxurious in designer Richard Dayhoff’s supple performance briefs made from recycled bottle fibers. Enough said. Model: Kyle Goffney by Rick Day.
Check out this fascinating article on The Cut featuring a whole new trend most fashionistas never want to hear about…or do they.
Writer Fiona Duncan writes: “not to describe a particular look but a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.” In fashion, though, this manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes. The kind of dad-brand non-style you might have once associated with Jerry Seinfeld, but transposed on a Cooper Union student with William Gibson glasses.”
Let’s hope these looks of nothingness aren’t a permanent trend or that Sci-Fi vision of whole societies of people in metallic spandex unitards just not be too far off.
Read the full article here on The Cut.
To mark the conclusion of Milan Fashion Week, the New York Times cataloged the bows of 14 fashion visionaries.
To watch the video, go here.
We can hardly mask our appreciation for Titania Inglis and her ability to fuse sculpture with wearable clothing. Environmental textile artist and author Abigail Doan writes of Inglis in The Wild: “Tapping into geological phenomena to inspire and forge a ready-to-wear collection might not be the standard M.O. in the fashion realm, but designer Titania Inglis has once again demonstrated that her core vision of minimalistic silhouettes and earth-centric processes can indeed create ‘tectonic’ style cohesion.”
We feel the plates shifting for sure.
Read the full article here on The Wild.
Leena Oijala of EcoSalon writes: “When you think of eco fashion, China isn’t necessarily the first country that pops into your mind. But despite the nation’s large part in the conventional textile and apparel industries, several young and extremely talented designers in the country are delving into the realm of sustainable fashion. Upcycling is an especially popular trend among the eco-conscious designers, who no doubt have a surplus of waste material from the country’s numerous factories to work with.”
Check out who EcoSalon picked as their top 5 favorite Chinese eco fashion brands here.
MacPhee is no stranger to celebrity or vegans donning her red carpet looks but this might be the first time they’ve gone underwater.
See all the beautiful images of her dresses in the Winter 2014 issue of Coco Eco.
Vinylize glasses are handmade in Hungary by Tipton Eyeworks. After searching for a new material to make frames, Zachary Tipton discovered his father’s old record collection, and had the idea to recycle the abundant material to serve a new purpose.
The first series was developed from communist vinyl, salvaged from the budapest flea markets. the durable pressings could still be played, even after half a century, but to insulate them from the effects of heat, they were fused with biodegradable cellulose-acetate using proprietary technology. following years of testing, the team developed methods to transform one of the longest lasting plastics into eyewear…
Read the entire article on DesignBoom.
As global fast fashion giants arrive in Brazil, the market heats up with Topshop, Gap and Forever 21 chains eyeballing an open market.
Is this another frontier for fast fashion to spread and environmentally, is this a hiccup that the planet can continue to withstand?
Business of Fashion writes that Paulo Correa, vice president of sales at international apparel chain C&A Brazil knows one thing for sure: “Our project Poderosas do Brasil (Powerful Women of Brazil) has the goal to identify different aspirations from women in different regions of Brazil and create pieces with the unique regionalism that is characteristic [of] different Brazilian states.”
With China re-evaluating it’s fashion influence as well as other countries disregarding quality over faster amounts of quantity, one might ask who is in charge of dictating, on an international level, what fashion defines.
Certainly not high fashion.
Read the full article on Business of Fashion here.
While online boutiques like Beklina, A Boy Named Sue and Kaight have been around for a while, new eco boutiques are popping up with an even greater selection of sharply curated ethical products from names we don’t always hear about.
Check out EcoSalon’s top 5 online eco-boutiques to see if you’ve missed some new shopping openings and who is hot on the scene.
Read the full article here on EcoSalon.
Fashion Revolution Day is a movement to increase awareness of the true cost of fashion held each year on April 24th, the anniversary of Rana Plaza.
FRD hopes that through events like these, a new atmosphere can be created in the fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.
Get your camera out, snap a picture and go here to post a picture of yourself wearing your clothes inside out and be entered into the contest, (which ends February 23rd so hurry!)
T Magazine’s spring 2014 women’s fashion issue looks at the way women really want to dress with cult fashion-designer Phoebe Philo as cover girl and ring leader.
Philo, “whose quiet, understated designs for Céline give new meaning to the term ‘power dressing,’” says T, are coveted by some of the smartest, savviest women out there.
In addition to a feature on Philo, Cathy Horyn examines the divide between what women actually want to wear and “the tricked-out, challenging get-ups that come down the runway,” as well as a host of other fashion notables celebrating powerful women and the clothes they wear.
Check out the online version of T magazine here.