Ethical Fashion Show® will showcase over seventy designers from all five continents that present fashion which is respectful of man and the environment. Among new countries featured this year: , Afghanistan, and .
This year again, the event will renew the recipe which made the previous years a resounding success : showrooms, animations, catwalk shows, as well as conferences focusing on different topics related to social and environmental responsibility for companies operating in the textile industry.
Ethical Fashion Show®
is originally aimed at professionals and media, but the organizers plan to make the event open to the general public on one of the days (Sunday 14th).
Ethical Fashion Show® will take place at the Tapis Rouge, one of Paris' prestigious fashion locations. The original Parisian department store was built in 1784, and is in the heart of Paris, close to the train stations
For more information and to reserve your PASS: and Gare du Nord.
John LeKay: Can you please tell me about your interest in Native American culture and how this came about?
Summer Rayne Oakes:
Summer Rayne Oakes:When I was about 9 years old, my best friend, Anna and I would take off to the woods behind my house, pretend that we were lost, and "live" off the land. We started tracing back our family history and I found out that I had Cherokee on my mother's side. Anna introduced me to an old book on American Indian medicinal plants and within a few days, I became so engrossed in the cultures.
My early artwork was inspired by the striking portraits of Edward S. Curtis. Over the course of a few years, I probably had purchased 50 or 60 books on American Indian culture. When I went to college, I took some amazing classes with what some may call a "radical" professor. Then in 2004, I worked on a project mapping invasive species throughout the Akwesasne Reservation and river delta.
I haven't worked on specific programs since then, but I’d love to revisit some more indigenous issues as my work matures.
JL: What do you believe is one of the most serious environmental issues we face today in the
Summer Rayne Oakes: I'd be quick to say "global warming," but I really think its human engagement, which is the foundation for change. What is the inflection point when awareness turns into hardcore action? There are a number of psychological and personal challenges that need to be overcome to reach that point. Open your mind. Consider other tactics, viewpoints, lifestyles, and personal struggles; that’s a start in influencing change.
JL: What are your thoughts on alternative energies?
Summer Rayne Oakes: I'm becoming more and more vocal in this area as my work unfolds. I've written letters to my state Senators urging them to stop the $50 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear energy and voiced my concerns on coal. We need individuals, communities and the federal government behind clean renewables. The amount of subsidies and loan guarantees still supporting dirty energy is absolutely mind-boggling!
On the clean energy front, I like to put most of own energies into positive movements. Over the last few months, I've been working with a number of young leaders on PowerShift 2007, which is the first national youth Climate Summit headed by Energy Action and the Campus Climate Challenge. The organizations have really been the backbone of much of the climate change actions, like Step it Up, Focus the Nation, and the President’s Climate Commitment. I feel invigorated when the youth take the lead in getting their campuses and communities to start taking progressive steps in reducing their carbon footprint.
September 19 , 2007 "Idenitifying the Conscious Consumer: Cultivating the Beauty Market from the Inside Out" Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY
Summer Rayne Oakes will speak on the gaps in the environmentally-friendly beauty industry and her perspective as an end-user of the products. Other panelists include, Jurlique, Natural Marketing Institute and Organic Works Marketing. For event information, visit the site here.
HBA Global Expo and Educational Conference, Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th Street, NY, NY. Time: 9:00AM - 10:30AM
September 29 , 2007 "We Can Kick Climate Change, One Step at a Time" Santa Cruz, CA
Summer Rayne Oakes will keynote at the Race Against Global Warming event with a lively call-to-action discussing carbon neutrality and the steps we need to take as individuals and as communities to help prevent global climate change.
Santa Cruz, CA. For more information, visit: RaceAgainstGlobalWarming.org
October 5-7, 2007 "Seattle Fashion Week" Seattle, Washington.
Join in on the first ever green fashion week in Seattle.
Seattle, WA. Tune in for more information.
October 11-14, 2007 "Ethical Fashion Show" Paris, France.
Join in on the fourth annual EFS event.
Paris, France. For more information visit ethicalfashionshow.com
October 19-22, 2007 "PowerShift 2007" Washington, D.C.
Join 3,000-5,000 young leaders working to fight climate change on October 19-22, 2007. Youth from across the country will convene in Washington, DC for a series of discussions, training workshops, panels and lobbying sessions. Power Shift '07 will make history and the youth climate movement will take center stage.
Washington, D.C. For more information, visit: PowerShift2007
November 14 , 2007 "Eco-Fashion NOW" New York, NY
Sustainable fashion is no longer a niche market concern. Beyond the current trend for organic materials, consumers are becoming more aware of the apparel industry’s impact on the environment as media coverage on global warming increases. From consumer lifestyle shifts to fair trade practices, panelists will define and discuss the complex issues surrounding eco-fashion, or green fashion. Join Summer Rayne Oakes, model-activit; Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director of Barneys New York; Susan Cianciolo, artist and designer; Johanna Hofring, entrepreneur (owner of Ekovaruhuset) and designer; and Sass Brown, assistant professor of Fashion Design at FIT and fair-trade fashion consultant
New York, NY. Fashion Institute of Technology. Katie Murphy Amphitheatre - 5:30 - 8:30PM. Part of FIT's Fashion Culture Series and Special Education Programs
Unless you’ve been hiding under a very dark and unsustainable rock, you already know that green is the new black.
ELLE and Vanity Fair ran their first ever green issues this year, and style blogs couldn’t get enough of bamboo fibers, 100% organic cottons, eco-knitting and shirts made from seaweed, wood pulp and spun milk. The big brands were right there with them; New Balance made vegan sneakers, H&M and Gap launched eco-lines and denim companies from Levi’s to Seven for All Mankind couldn’t get their earth-friendly jean collections out quick enough.
Fashion’s so ecologically-correct these days, sometimes it’s hard telling the recycled wood from the fast-growing trees! Hopefully our breakdown will shine some solar powered light on things and help you learn what to watch out for.
So who’s really committed to sustainability?
While some companies are dedicated to conserving our resources, others jumped on the green bandwagon solely for the good press. Wal-Mart has a new line of organic cotton socks and underwear; it’s certainly a step in a positive direction, but it doesn’t suddenly make them an environmentally-responsible company.
Eco-friendly vs. socially-responsible
Edun, the line designed by Bono’s wife Ali Hewson, is manufactured using right-on socially-sustainable principles, but only uses organic fabrics “when they can.”
It’s not easy being green
What makes a fabric green, anyway? Note that one organic cotton tee requires 257 gallons of water. Doesn’t sound too earth-friendly to us, which is whymany designers are now choosing bamboo jersey fabric over cotton. Then there’s the jargon: ”metro naturalist,” “luxury eco,” ”carbon footprint.” It’s enough to turn any aspiring eco-fashionista, well, green with dizziness.
“There is so much growth in green fashion right now, it feels like the dot-com boom all over again,” says Summer Rayne Oakes, a model and sustainability consultant based in New York City. Oakes is working on a “hip girls’ guide to sustainable style” for Penguin books (coming out Jan. 2008). Until then: “Look at your favorite brands, go to their websites and find out about their environmental policies,” she advises. “If they aren’t already trying to go green, then ask them why. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.” Nike, long associated with unfair sweatshop practices, has become “one of the biggest leaders in the area of ethical, social and environmental change,” according to Oakes (“Of course,” she adds, “they are far from perfect.”).
The planet-preserving pioneers
Small, independent designers like Loomstate, and in the high fashion world, Linda Loudermilk pioneered the movement. In 2002, when most designers had no idea what ”eco-fashion” meant, Loudermilk was sending her models down the runway in dresses made entirely from sustainable fabrics. Her celebrity fans include Shalom Harlow, Jane Fonda (who recently appeared on Letterman wearing a stunning Loudermilk hemp pant/milk blouse ensemble) and Robert Downey Jr., who’s a fan of her wood pulp t-shirts. “The support of celebrities is very important in this arena,” says Loudermilk. “They often feel a deep need to share their passion with the public, and people listen. I am really grateful for that.”
Loudermilk believes that eco-fashion rating systems will help fashion consumers gain a better idea of which brands are really green, and which ones are only trying to make more green. She is launching her own luxury eco-certification; kind of like a Good Housekeeping stamp of approval for producers of luxury goods and apparel.
Discounts for good deeds?
We know that not everyone can afford to buy luxury eco—Stella McCartney’s organic canvas re-usable shopping bags cost $495 a piece, for instance. And are you ready to shell out $400 on a pair of designer green jeans? The good news is, as more and more eco-brands flood the market, prices are coming down. And there are plenty of affordable lines already out there, like Tom’s Shoes. They are not 100% eco, but are the definition of socially responsible. For each pair of Tom’s Shoes sold, a pair is donated to a child in need.
“First and foremost our mission is to help kids who don’t have shoes, period,” says Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom’s Shoes. The company has given away 60,000 shoes to impoverished children this year alone, and will launch an organic shoe line for Spring 2008. Mycoskie does have one piece of advice for wannabe green fashion hounds: Look closely at the motives of designers who call themselves eco. “Do some research, that way you can get an idea of how a company is manufacturing, and where their heart is at,” he says. “Then make your decision from there.”