In chapter 6 of Sustainable Fashion textbook, the phrase “green is the new black” is repeated. This phrase means that it is popular to incorporate sustainable, or “green”, garments into your wardrobe; just as fashionable as wearing black. Stella McCartney has embraced this mindset by eliminating the use of fur and leather in her own personal collections. For Summer 2019, Stella used sustainable viscose, eco-alter-nappa and econyl® recycled nylon in an attempt to make her line as sustainable as possible. Her commitment to using more sustainable and cruelty free fabrics makes her work impactful in the world of sustainability and she fully embraces the idea of making green the new black with her designs.
#StellaMcCartney does a lot in her mission to run a sustainable clothing line. From using sustainably sourced materials like regenerated cashmere and organic cotton, to her commitment to never use leather or fur in her clothing, her commitment to bettering the conditions and compensation for workers in her supply chain, and using recycled metals and fabrics, Stella is doing her best to be as sustainable as possible. She collaborates with others to always try to do more for the cause of sustainability.
Sustainable Fashion: What’s Next? by Janet Hawthorn and Connie Ulasewicz
Contributed by Alexandra Cunningham, Apparel Design, St. Catherine University
The EVERLANE Company is very particular when it comes to were their product is being produced, how they are produced, and are transparent. One of the metaphors that best describe or fit this company is the chain metaphor. Chain metaphor is like the pipeline metaphor which is linear. Because it is linear we can see the steps that the production take. The EVERLANE Company ethical approach is that they spend months in finding and sourcing the best factories that they want to work with. When they do find one, they build relationship and make sure that the working environments and wages as well as hours are reasonable. According to the book apparel manufactures only meet with customers, fabric suppliers and retailers. The EVERLANE Company is a good example of this because they don’t talk about where their fiber, yearn, and dies or finishes are being pressed. they talk about their carefully factory sourcing around the world and how much it cost. Starting form materials, labor, transportation, duties, and hardware noting more. The other thing that the company talk about on their website is that they take their time to design and make a long lasting product than fallowing the fashion trend and mass producing their product. They do this by sourcing the finest materials and factories.
I would say that the EVERLANE Company could do a better job in finding out more about their fiber and yarn processes, like the early stage of the chain, and maybe working with less factories around the world or minimizing that to be more sustainable by reducing their foot print. The book talks about some of the key concept like productivity, efficient use of resources and pollution control.
Contributed by Winta Mengsteab, Fashion Merchandising, St. Catherine University
Short Synopsis- This is a company that enables artisans and craftsmen from developing countries to create and sell their products on a global level through ten thousand villages. They call this practice a maker-to-market method.
1.) Which of the metaphors in Chapter 6 of Sustainable Fashion: What Next? can you link to the practices of Ten Thousand Villages?
Ten Thousand Villages utilizes several metaphors. This company utilizes a maker-to-market practice and many artisans creating for ten thousands villages use 100% all natural materials. These materials are not only all natural but natural to the artisans location. This makes them a cradle-to-cradle method due to its regenerate design. Some of their products use materials are also 100% sustainable and biodegradable making them a cradle-to-grave practice. The products being made are ethically sourced and fair trade. Fair trade helps build long term business relationships, promote safe working conditions, and keep responsible environmental practices in their businesses mind.
2.) How should this company change manufacturing, sourcing, or selecting the merchandise to become more sustainable? What could be some tools that the company can use to make sure that they can be the most sustainable?
Ten Thousand Villages is incredibly sustainable and is doing a great job of prompting their values on their website in an educational way. The fact that they are a business that states sustainability but also can show they are certified fair trade provides evidence that they are not greenwashing. They have interest free cash advances to help keep their artisans and craftsmen out of debt when making their products and investing back into their communities. Overall, they are a transparent fair trade business that put people first by employing talented artisans in developing countries. They have on their website how they calculate a fair wage and where your money goes when purchasing their product. When looking at this company, Ten Thousand Villages doesn’t need to select, source or manufacture better. However, to help support where they are sourcing, manufacturing and selecting merchandise, they should be promoting a transparent and informational way of viewing their truth to the consumer. After viewing their website, story, mission and news about the company one can conclude, they have created a platform that allows a consumer to shop products and values at the same time that are sustainable and ethical.
Contributed by Claire Marti ’20, Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising, St. Catherine University
Ch 6, Sustainable Fashion: What Next? – I think the chain metaphor best describes this company. The metaphor explains that the chain method is linear. That the company explains each step of their manufacturing process. However, what makes this different from the pipeline metaphor is that some of the steps are in different locations. According to the book, the supply chain may not be seamless it may be a bit more complex and time-consuming but it is done this way to make the best product. Each step is extremely important and they are done in very specific places and methods to ensure the best quality. The company People Tree takes great pride in the quality and sustainability of their products. People Tree provides transparency in every step of their manufacturing process. Many steps are done by hand which means that the product changes hands often. On place, sometimes in different countries, one print the fabric, one assembles it, one hand embroiders them, then they are shipped out to be sold. The company has the certification to back up their claims of sustainability and fair trade. On their website, they talk about each step in the manufacturing process. They talk about the fibers, how they are grown and processed. How the fabric is hand woven and detailed. They say on the website they manufacture in this way in order to be sustainable, make a quality product and to help out developing counties by giving them fair work.
Ch 7- People Tree‘s manufacturing of their products is very sustainable. One area that could be expanded upon is the fibers of the garments. Currently, the company uses all natural fibers. They grow the plants very sustainability but they could be using reusable synthetic fibers. That way the garments could be reused and remade in the future.
Contribution by Kalea Ott, Apparel Design, St. Catherine University
When reading Chapter six, in the Sustainable Fashion Whats Next?, it discusses the importance of mixing metaphors in the fiber textile and apparel complex. Now putting the books’ chapter on such in comparison to actual fashion industries and what their practices are would only help explain what different metaphors exemplify. One metaphor in particular would be the Cradle-to-Cradle which exemplifies Hackwith Design House. The meaning behind Cradle-to-Cradle is it builds upon an environmentally conscious cradle-to-grave metaphor, which focuses on design and product development: the creative of innovative and high quality products that not only generate economic value but also enhance the well-being of nature to culture. Now how does this metaphor compare to Hackwith Design House you may ask, well the company’s’ goal is to make long-lasting and versatile clothing that is as unique as its wearer. Everything is made in-house in its Minnesota studio by the company’s talented team of seamstresses. To reduce waste, many of Hackwith’s items are not made until ordered by the consumer. HDH’s simple and clean aesthetic, quality fabrics, and impeccable attention to detail have made it a favorite of style-conscious women around the world.
I believe Hackwith Design House does not need to its practices in manufacturing, sourcing or selecting the merchandise to become more sustainable. For a company to already have a goal set out to design apparel with sustainable characteristics in its number of limited edition lines, does it not need to expand out and become lost and lose its grasp on the sustainable goal all together.
Contributed by Theresa Roth, Apparel Design, St. Catherine University