Monday, 23 March 2015

Are You A Fashion Revolutionary?

The older I get, the more connections I see in the world around me. We live in a vast interconnected universe where seemingly disparate topics are in fact intimately linked on some level. Social justice, the multibillion dollar fashion industry, environmental conservation and animal welfare - all of these things come into play each time we decide to purchase an item of clothing. 

Source: Fairtrade Australia
It's kind of a scary thought isn't it? How we can unwittingly impact on the world around us without fully comprehending the consequences. 

When frightened, we have a tendency to bury our heads in the sand - an ancient survival mechanism perhaps? Creating a better, fairer world is hard. I can't tell you that if you do x y and z everything will be fine and all fashion supply chains will become transparent and equitable. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we can't create positive change, which will lead to a socially and environmentally bright future. I know that we can do this! I just also know that it won't be easy and it won't be simple.  

Fashion Revolution Day is a great way to begin. It isn't about a quick fix, it's about starting the journey and sparking the hard yet vital conversations. 

On April 24 2013, 1133 garment workers were killed when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Over 2500 were injured. Today, people all around the world are still suffering as a direct result of our fashion supply chain. This year you have the opportunity to join people in over 60 countries participating in Fashion Revolution Day as a way of saying enough is enough! 

On the 24th of April you're invited to:

1. Turn a garment inside out
2. Reveal the swing tag or label
3. Take a selfie
4. Upload to your social media of choice
5. Then tag the brand you're wearing & use the hashtags 

Be persistent! Keep asking until you receive a satisfactory answer. We want as many people as possible to question who made their clothes, to imagine the thread linking the garment to the machinists who sewed it, all the way down to the farmer who grew the cotton.  

Other ways to get involved include:
  • Downloading#FashRev graphics, images, quotes, photos and posters available from the Resources page
  • Rallying everyone in your company to turn an item of clothing inside out on the day- from the staff behind the tills to the CEO - and as much as possible share these images through social networks. Businesses around the world gearing up for their group selfies!
  • Are you in a book club? Why not incorporate an ‘ethical fashion’ book into your group's reading list? Here's some titles to get you started
  • Finding an ethical brand or designer and boost their profile with a feature on your blog! Celebrate the story of one of their pieces
Want to do more? Connect with your local Fashion Revolution Day team! I'm honoured to be on the Australia/New Zealand board and we would love to hear from local brands, retailers and bloggers.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Kindness by Review: Surrender Apparel

When Julie Belic - a designer with degrees in sustainable fashion and international development - turned to yoga during a stressful point in her life, she soon realised there wasn't anything out there that she wanted to wear to classes.

"I didn't want that gym bunny, shiny legging look. I wanted what I wore to yoga to be more seamless with my everyday clothing..." says Julie. In 2012 she took a bold step forward and founded Surrender yoga apparel for men and women, produced ethically in Bali.

I was delighted to have been contacted by Julie, asking me to review one of her brand new sustainable botanically-dyed tops. Let's see how it fares during my 'yoga road test' ;-)

My sea green top has been dyed using the leaves and roots of mango and indigo, this means the pigment will fade over time. It's recommended that you wash on a cool gentle setting and dry in the shade. 

According to Julie, "Botanical dyes lighten the footprint of the garment during construction...As the greatest environmental impact of a garment occurs during its use by the consumer in laundering, using botanical dyes encourages the consumer to wash gently and therefore reduces the impact of the garment".

I seriously liked the fact that I felt both comfortable and secure in this top. It didn't pinch anywhere but it also wasn't gaping or shifting about during my more active moves! You don't need your yoga session to turn into an impromptu strip tease!

Made from 95% Modal and 5% Spandex, this top flexes nicely with your body while feeling lovely and soft.

Within the next five years, Surrender aims to be partnered with an Non-Governmental Organisation and have a strong social enterprise dimension to the label. I personally would love to hear more about the individual makers in Bali, perhaps with the addition of a 'Meet the Makers' type resource on their website. It's clear from talking to Julie that she's committed to Surrender becoming a brand that's increasingly transparent, sustainable and community-oriented as well as aesthetically pleasing. 

For my lucky Australian and New Zealand based readers, Surrender is giving you the chance to WIN your very own botanically-dyed yoga top from the new collection!

To enter simply:

1. Leave a comment below on this post telling me what yoga means to you

2. Click on the Rafflecopter widget to officially enter the competition and to gain access to additional chances to win

The competition will run until 10:00 am (AEST) on Thursday 19th March 2015, and is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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