Wednesday, April 23, 2008

J Brand Green Label

Promoting environmental awareness, J Brand introduces J Brand Green Label, offering your favorite fits with a smaller eco footprint. Two classic (and much beloved) J Brand styles, the Monroe Wide Leg and Love Story bell bottom, are crafted from organic cotton and culled from pesticide-free fields.

Each pair comes with an online exclusive Green Label canvas tote (pictured above) printed with helpful eco-living tips, which you can also check out here. Use the tote in lieu of plastic bags and make a difference, one bag at a time.

Earth Day - The price of being "eco"

"A silent tsunami which knows no borders sweeping the world".

That is how the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) summed up the global food shortages. An extra million people have been plunged into poverty due rising food prices across the world.

Why have food prices soared? The prices have risen due to high fuel costs and large demand for bio-fuels. Agricultural land is being used to grow biofuels, such as wheat, to meet the global demand led by China and India. This is land that would be be used to grow crops for food. In turn this also means less is available to be exported to countries which rely on food imports.

It is obvious now more than ever that a review is needed for bio-fuels policy. On Earth Day, when everyone should be thinking of ways to limit their carbon footprint, we should also remember to do this in a thoughtful and logical way.

The BBC has a some interesting statistics to report on the global food crisis.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Future of Fashion?

You couldn’t have passed 2007 without wanting last year’s biggest selling bag. Anya Hindmarch’s “I’m not a Plastic bag” started out as $15 canvas bag. The bag retailed for 5 pounds in the UK but quickly fetched $400 Ebay. San Francisco just banned the use of plastic bags a few months back and Vogue recently spoke about the new "it" accessory of the season being a bag with sustainable style. Knock off’s of the bag quickly came into the market, proving that if you can’t appeal to people’s sense of morality, you can seduce them by making morality fashionable.

We each use 290 carrier bags every year. We continue to buy more and more clothes – and why wouldn’t we when a vest top costs less than a latte. Do we ever wonder how so little can be spent on design, manufacture, distribution, packaging and retail? If something is available s so cheaply, who’s really paying. Can the odd Fair Trade T-Shirt make up for our other more extravagant purchases? Every high street store is rolling out their own ethically aware line but is it any attempt to be seen to care and be aware? Can you really carry your conscience in a handbag.

Ecological and Ethical are now fashion’s biggest buzzwords: the hottest thing to have this season is conscience. Sales of fair trade cotton will increase by 50% in 2008. Everyone from H&M and Barney’s is going green. We can easily make planet, and people friendly choices that don’t compromise our style. We’re all socially conscious consumers now. Our desire for fashion has a positive effect in providing jobs for millions of people in the world’s poorest nations.

In February 2008, 29 major designers created one-of-a kind eco looks at Future Fashion Show in New York. Thanks to Earth Pledge (an non-profit organization) and Barney’s idea of having a group of major designers be equipped with a portfolio of innovative fabrics , including banana and pineapple plant materials (from South east Asia) man-made bioplastics (the United States) wood-plup derivatives (Austria) and hemp (China), organic fashion went from granola hugging to haute couture. On a wooden runway made from naturally felled SriLanken trees a crowd of fashion’s biggest names ogled sophisticated looks by the likes of YSL, Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein.

The fashion industry, long fearful of being called hypocritical, hasn’t exactly been the first to embrace green design. But with fashion as the second largest industrial consumer of water worldwide and cotton responsible for 25 percent of all chemical pesticide use, designers and fashionistas evrywhere are realizing it’s time to make a change.