Friday, November 27, 2009

Top 20 Finalists of Garment Workers to Compete

Top 20 finalists of Cambodian garment workers will compete in a dress and T-shirt fashion show marking the final event of 'I am Precious' 2009 campaign. Ten dresses and ten T-shirts designed by the finalists will be presented on a catwalk. The winners from each category will be announced this Sunday 29 November.

'I am Precious' campaign and competition aims to promote self value of garment workers by increasing awareness of their work, abilities and skills and encouraging them to realize their potential. The competition also aims to showcase that there are rewarding careers in the industry. The campaign hopes to broaden garment workers' opportunities for career growth while contributing to industry's reputation and to the economic and social development of Cambodia. Moreover, the campaign contributes to the positive image of the industry globally through international brands involvement.

The selected top ten designs of each category are made into dresses and T-shirts and will be judged by two separate panels composed of government representatives and experts from the Cambodian garment and fashion industry.

Prizes include pattern making training course, health insurance, reproductive health care service, sewing machines, TVs, bicycles, Wing accounts with mobile phones and SIM cards, dresses and T-shirts designed by finalists themselves and cash. Moreover, the first winner for T-shirt design will be co-designing a new T-shirt to be distributed to garment workers. The prizes are sponsored by H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Disney, GAP, Wing, Marie Stopes International Cambodia and many others.

'I am Precious' is a joint campaign under a collaboration of Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA), Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT), Ministry of Commerce (MoC), ILO Better Factories Cambodia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Garment Manufacturers' Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Garment Industry Productivity Center (GIPC), Unions and Precious Girl Magazine.

For more info click here

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday shopping feel good buy

Working in development, its hard not to feel conflicted about spending lots of money over the holidays for presents and clothes I don't need (though I must admit I do confuse want and need a lot more than I should!). However, I recently discovered Kate Spade's new line of mittens and hats knitted by women from war torn Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Since 2005, kate spade new york and Women for Women International have been working together to promote micro-enterprises for women in the still recovering communities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Roughly a third of Bosnia and Herzegovina's workforce is unemployed. The slow recovering economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina has left women especially vulnerable, as they struggle to earn a living in the face of an unemployment rate reaching over 50 percent.

Starting in November 2009, the winter collection of kate spade new york will feature merchandise hand-crafted by WfWI graduates in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The women, who have received a year of rights and vocational skills training at the hands of Women for Women International.

Suddenly shopping for winter woolies does feel more like a need.

Read more on the partnership of WfWI and Kate Spade and shop at here

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Eco Fashion designers competing for the Vogue CFD Award

The CFDA/Vogue Fund helps emerging designers purse their design business plans. The prestigious award is seen as an accelerator of fashion careers and previous winners of this award include Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler.
This year, amongst the ten finalists are two eco-designers Monique Pean and Alabama Chanin.

The fact that there are eco designers amongst the finalists says a lot about how eco fashion is competing with mainstream designers. It also recognizes that there are many talented designers who produce high quality, trend setting designs as well as giving back to the environment. The both certainly have my vote to win!