Thursday, April 26, 2012

Copenhagen Fashion Summit May 3

On May 3rd, the fashion industry will converge in Copenhagen to address a sexy topic: consumption.  Yes, that all too familiar practice we do every day, consume products we need and want.  Speaking for the developed nations, we consume across all industries--food, technology, transportation, and fashion--at significant rates contributing to the ecological issues we have today.  It is estimated each year, over $250 billion is spent on fashion (including accessories) in the United States and over $20 billion in revenue is generated annually.  Percentage spent on ethically-produced fashion?  Unknown.

The NORDIC Fashion Association in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility held a series of Webinars earlier this year in preparation for the one-day conference.  The two organizations conducted a study to look at consumer behavior and sustainable best practices by fashion companies such as Patagonia and Levi Strauss and government-sponsored initiatives.

To be discussed at the conference, the NICE Consumer Report argues change rests with consumers.  When consumers choose ethically-made products, they choose to reduce their carbon footprint and that of the industry's.  However, blocking this eco-consumption power is awareness, lack of industry transparency and limited options.  The report offers a guiding light for consumers:

  • Demanding more sustainable options
  • Making choices about what to buy and whom to buy from
  • Improving how they care for garments, and
  • Making decisions about post-consumption such as responsible recycling.
Rather simple, no?  Always the optimist, I would like to think this guidance yields overnight success; however, we are wired and conditioned beings slow to change.  It takes strength and courage to adopt a behavioral mindshift wholeheartedly.  It requires the consumer to consciously seek options rather than expect to have appear, fashion-wise, in every department store or boutique.  

Coupled with consumer demand is industry accountability.  Summit organizers will also unveil a code of conduct developed specific to the fashion industry.  Inspired by the UN Global Compact's ten principles, the NICE Code of Conduct and Manual requires compliance with sustainability measures relevant to fashion and textile.

Come May 3rd, I will be hosting a fitting in preparation for a fashion installation I'm co-producing for the International Visions Gallery 15th Anniversary Gala (hint, hint, buy your tickets today! Guaranteed an incredible evening of art, fashion, and entertainment, benefiting Amnesty International.  Yes, shameless plug, but for an incredible cause!), but my thoughts will be with like-minded conscious fashionistas advancing this imperative topic.  On second thought, I will use the fitting as a "teachable" moment to share what I have learned and how we can be a more thoughtful consumer.

Please visit the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2012  to learn more about this special event.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Earthy Delights

Next to the winter holidays, Earth Day is my holy day of obligation. I prepare for the big day, actually, every day from sunrise to sunset. My green lifestyle includes eating organic, using eco-friendly cleaners, lathering up in all-natural beauty products, taking public transportation when not on foot, and dressing responsibly. The operative word here is strive to lead a green lifestyle and thanks to an increasing number of sustainable products on the shelves, being green is easy. I don't have to tell you the benefits: healthier you, a healthier community, and most importantly, a healthier planet.

Here are a few of my Earthy delights:

Waking up is a three-step process: 1. Reviving sleepy skin with Herban Lifestyle, 2. Drinking my first cup of hot green tea for the day, and 3. Lacing up the running shoes for a long run along Rock Creek Parkway or hopping on the yoga mat.

I admit, I am a sun worshiper; but now I shield myself in Burts Bees Sunscreen.

Slipping into a pair of Neuaura vegan flats offer comfort and support. The memory foam insole keeps me going all day.

A.D.O. Clothing creates amazing separates for the office and weekends. Made in the USA and all organic. Perusing Juno & Jove always results in a "must-have" panic, so I just add to the growing list until the want turns into a need.

On my daily paperless reading list: Ecouterre, EcoStiletto, Eco Fashion World, and Conscious Living TV.

What are your Earthy delights? Don't hold back! I would love to know your green secrets!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Guy in Spring/Summer 2012

In the Easter Parade, Fred Astaire mesmerizes us with his fancy footwork in one scene donning a white suit with red accents (vest, bow tie, socks, and handkerchief). Some 40 years later, another dashing gent glides across the dance floor in a crisp white suit and black shirting. While my guy doesn't break out in song to tell me how goes his day or lifts me up in the middle of the street a la Patrick Swayze, he does swoon me with his style choices.

For a song and dance man, Fred armed himself in suits with the occasional penguin tuxedo for dining. Granted, that was a bygone era where men dressed to uniform. Mad Men's Don Draper is said poster-boy. Fast forward, casual Fridays everyday of the week dictates his style sensibilities. Agree with me here, words can elude our men therefore we turn to his wardrobe for clues. Does cargo pants, graphic T-shirt, and Toms shoes say he is running to the grocery store or heading to the office?

Perhaps, I should refrain the question from where is he going? to who is he? Men and women alike dress for versatility. We need our clothes to do double duty, serve in multiple environments, and be complementary.

This season, designers gave us pretty much more of the same, there are only so many ways you can cut a suit or texturize jeans. However, his personality bursts through brights and his command for mixing patterns and prints. Guy's follow our lead in shades of yellow, orange, and red paired with warm neutrals.

My guy will be sporting, if I have a say, the following essentials (as conscious wearing as possible). Let me break it down.

Bagobo Suited Jacket by Eairth (100% organic cotton), $595

Citrus Mixed Media Polo by Edun (100% organic cotton), $128

Rogan Puck Indigo Straight Leg Jeans, $298

Alternatively, he can skip the jacket and citrus top and pair with knit pullover by Vandalist (sold at Redeem), $129

The Edward Shoe by Novacas (Faux Suede), $216

Tsovet Watch - if getting him to wear brights is a challenge, opt for colorful accessory like grass green watch band, $395.

So who is he? Someone comfortable in his own skin (sounds familiar ladies) who are confident to pull off a bright, experiment with a trend or two, and know when a special occasion requires a suit.