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Made out of What?!: a digital magazine considers sustainability and style

Filed by Lucire staff/July 12, 2021/16.43

How to merge sustainable vision and fashion? A tough call, and many are still rushing at the answer. A few years ago the American art visionary Denise Domergue established a not-for-profit to engage the first half of that question in the context of art.
   The Made Out of What?! initiative has mounted exhibitions, sponsored artist work, and created a library of informative videos highlighting how artists have engaged and embraced the concept of circular economy. To date they’ve launched a global movement, even going so far as to build an exhibit pavilion in the centre of NYC’s Times Square, a temporary structure made from repurposed materials which attracted global attention. Now a quarterly digital magazine from MOOW tracks the project’s progress.
   The current issue addresses sustainability and style, a topic dear to the hearts of Lucire readers. You can view and download the issue here.
   More importantly, participation, a donation or membership in support of the foundation’s work will make a difference in helping to reimagine Planet Earth in the shape we all would like to see.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

 


Institute of Positive Fashion Forum aims to make real change for sustainable development

Filed by Lucire staff/May 18, 2021/9.35

The Institute of Positive Fashion Forum will take place digitally on June 10, and runs from 9 a.m. to a final event with Stella McCartney commencing at 6.10 p.m.
   The thought leadership event is designed to galvanize the fashion industry—one of the planet’s major contributors to environmental harm—into action, ahead of COP26.
   Tickets are £150, and speakers include Virgil Abloh, Kering chief sustainability officer Marie-Claure Daveu, British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush, Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, British Fashion Council chair Stephanie Phair, Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch, Centre for Sustainable Fashion director Dilys Williams, Alexander McQueen CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger, and other luminaries. A more complete list of speakers and the day’s programme are available here.
   Sessions include ‘Positioning Around COP 26: the Role of UK Fashion to Help Fight Climate Change’; ‘Future of Fashion: Innovation for Climate Action’; ‘Fashion and Nature: How Biodiversity Is Moving up the Corporate Agenda’; and ‘Social Justice: Eliminating Exploitation in the Supply Chain’.
   ‘Fashion and Nature’ will feature journalist Bandana Tewari, Dilys Williams, Dr Helen Crowley of Kering, and Michael Wessely of Sheep, Inc.
   The intent is to provide real tools to effect change and ticket-holders are encouraged to make serious commitments to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Race to Net Zero, and others.
   Tickets are available here.

 


Are these the trends we’ll remember the 2020s by?

Filed by Jack Yan/May 12, 2021/23.35

A fashion magazine seems to have a few roles. The first is to create a record of trends, not just reporting on them but preempting them, as a snapshot of where society is at any given moment. The second is arguably to chart culture itself, and just what the Zeitgeist is.
   If the articles in this May 2021 number of Lucire KSA is any indication, there is a complexity in design right now. Perfume bottles, jewellery and watches in our ‘Luxury Line’ pages at the back of the magazine are an indication: we seem to marvel at the intricacies of complex jewellery right now, and the “in” watch is the skeleton type, where the inner workings are exposed for all to see.
   But it’s not just in these accessories and beauty products; Meg Hamilton’s Paris Fashion Week report reveals layered clothing, tweed coats with knitted patterns, Norwegian sweaters, floral prints and padding. Even Stella McCartney, who delivered punchier colours without as much complexity in the patterns, told of volume with bell-bottom trousers.
   Volume is in, and a fashion historian might point to other times when that has been the case. I won’t explore that in this editorial, but I am intrigued about the reasons. Are they reflections of how we view our lives as being complex? Is the volume something we demand because we need protection from such an uncertain world? Meg’s thesis is quite the opposite: we are emerging from our cocoons, and it’s end of the hibernation forced upon us by COVID-19.
   The reality is that we won’t know for sure till some time has passed and we reflect on the times we live in, and each decade falls into a caricature of its one outstanding trend. It’s why westerners think of miniskirts for the 1960s and Laura Ashley for the 1970s, and the 1980s were the decade of power dressing. The 1990s might be summarized by grunge, and logomania might well dominate the 2000s. These are not accurate constructs: they are shortcuts that we give periods of time to convey a sense of nostalgia or, when it comes to film, to purposely set something in a certain era that audiences can collectively reminisce about. And in so many cases, they are ex post facto justifications of those eras, allied with social and political trends.
   If we were to take a punt on how this era will be remembered, we need to keep those non-fashion trends in mind. And maybe these times will be remembered for their complexity, even if every generation thinks they are living through the most complex period in history. The items you see in this issue might well come to represent this decade, more than the necklines of dresses that revealed instead of concealed that we saw out the 2010s on. Ultimately, however, only time will tell.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher


Above: From the Stella McCartney autumn–winter 2021–2 collection.

 


How ethical are the clothes we buy today?

Filed by Lucire staff/May 7, 2021/12.23

Top photograph: Amanda Vick/Unsplash

Our garments speak volumes of our values and set the stage for the image we want to build of ourselves. We wear red to portray power. Black is our surefire way to exude sophistication. Silk is luxurious while denim is urban and rebellious. The clothes we put on every morning tell a story—but they also build our intricate relationship with the world.
   What might feel good on your skin might not lie so comfortably on your conscience. With sweatshops, underaged workers, toxic dyes, and seasonal collections rushing to the shelves, the restless beat of fast fashion has stirred many to take a different approach. We now have access to a wide selection of brands that are paving the road toward a better, cleaner, safer future.

Ethical stamps and labels
Fortunately for us, fashion aficionados, it’s relatively easy to come across labels that can be trusted today. However, you can also go beyond what you find online and research what your locally present brands are all about. Perhaps they can offer ethical certification to show just how committed they are to the cause, and what they are doing to make a difference.

Local shops for a greater impact

Becca McHaffie/Unsplash

Large-scale fashion brands often lack the transparency we need to know if they don’t have any sweatshops handling the manufacturing, or similarly unethical processes behind their public image. Small, local businesses are the ones that offer all that information openly—you can easily find their manufacturing facilities or design shops around the corner and talk to their employees.
   In eco-conscious regions like Australia, everything from casualwear to formalwear can be purchased in the same spirit. The selection of ethical women’s workwear in Australia is also on the rise, and many professional women are choosing the kind of attire that lasts for years on end. This philosophy combines the idea of timelessness and the spirit of local brands to support the development of ethical fashion.

Long-lasting, not seasonal
As alluring as it is to switch our wardrobes at the turn of every season, that is precisely what keeps the wheels of fast fashion turning. We can do better. Opting for timeless instead of trendy, and choosing durable pieces made of materials that can last for more than a couple of months should be one of the pillars of ethical shopping.
   Go for garments made of sustainable and durable fabrics like linen, hemp, and bamboo. Look for other alternatives that will keep your items wearable for a good, long while.

Brand transparency and reports

Mr Lee/Unsplash

Brands that turn to vague terminology and zero access to real data are the ones we should steer clear of. Fashion labels that are transparent in the kind of efforts they are making are the ones we can turn to for truly ethical dressing. Be it accessories the likes of Elvis & Kresse, or athleisure, you can easily find brands that share their impact with the public.

The fabrics and dyes in use
Sustainable processing and manufacturing are two major aspects of ethical brands. Microplastics in synthetic fibres tend to cause irreparable damage to the marine world and the entire planet. As for the toxic dyes so frequently used, they also cause immense damage to water even in urban areas where that same water should be safe for drink and the local ecosystems.
   Some brands are looking for ways to recycle and repurpose for the sake of ethics. Like Coco Veve from Britain and Horizon Athletic from Australia, many are making way for smarter choices in fabric selection, for us to make better choices in how we dress.
   Ethical brands don’t hide behind vague terminology such as ‘responsible’ or ‘clean’. They showcase the impact of their work in data, reports, and employee reviews, and they make sure you can access it all in a matter of clicks.
   The idea that ethical clothing is costly should be dismantled right away—it all depends on the price you’re willing to pay for the health of your family, yourself, the people participating in the making of your clothing, and the natural world. Is the extra couple of dollars really going to offset your budget as much as toxic dyes and unfair labour can devastate our economies and the planet for the long haul? The choice is, ultimately, yours to make.—Peter Minkoff

Peter Minkoff is a fashion and lifestyle editor at Trend Privé magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

 


Lancôme and Muséum national d’histoire naturelle to preserve endangered plant species

Filed by Lucire staff/April 22, 2021/12.29


F.-G. Grandin/MNHN; top photo by Agnès Iatzoura/MNHN

Lancôme has partnered with the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) with the aim of preserving endangered plant species, in a new conservation project.
   In a statement, its global brand president Françoise Lehmann said, ‘We are proud to participate in the conservation of endangered plant species like the Rose of France (Rosa gallica), as part of a global partnership with the National Museum of Natural History, whose international influence is recognized. The museum is a leading organization when it comes to research and expertise in the field of biodiversity protection and we are proud to take part in this important mission which meets France’s commitments for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
   ‘Protecting biodiversity is major component of Lancôme’s sustainability programme [dubbed Caring Together for a Happier Tomorrow]. The brand is already spearheading this mission in Grasse and Valensole, in the south of France, where we are growing roses and other plant species in an organic and sustainable way across 25 acres of land.’
   The project is being implemented by the museum’s Conservatoire botanique national du Bassin parisien (the CBNBP, or the National Botanical Conservatory of the Paris Basin), which sees the reintroduction of endangered plant species. Seeds had been collected and banked earlier in the CBNBP’s regions and will be planted in experimental gardens.
   Among those species is Rosa gallica, which ties in with Lancôme’s own symbol, as well as Arnica montana, campanula cervicaria, inula hirta, ranunculus hederaceus and viscaria vulgaris.

 


Rachel Hunter headlines NZ Spirit Festival with exclusive workshop

Filed by Lucire staff/April 12, 2021/23.26


With the announcement of a “travel bubble” between Australia and New Zealand, the New Zealand Spirit Festival at the Kumeu Showgrounds has reported a surge of Australians booking to come to the wellness event, to be held April 22 to 25. Model, TV host and yoga practitioner Rachel Hunter headlines the event with a workshop on the first day.
   A powhiri will take place at 4 p.m. on April 22. There are wellness workshops, including one hosted by Dr Bruce H. Lipton, a trained cell biologist who is known for his work in bridging science and spirit.
   Hunter’s workshop will see her teaching breathing techniques, meditation and asanas. She studied meditation and yoga in India, the US, and the UK.
   The workshops take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the full days, across five workshop zones covering yoga, meditation, haka workshop for women, holotropic breath work, and more. After 7 p.m. attendees can expect to listen and dance to music, including New Zealand acts such as Tiki Tane, Maisey Rika, and NZ Spirit co-founder Franko Heke.
   The festival is drug- and alcohol-free, says Heke. ‘We have constant feedback about really big changes happening for people during the festival. It’s an opportunity to change a habit, improve your overall health and well-being and meet new friends within a community of like-minded and healthy people,’ he says. ‘You don’t have to be cool here, or worry about what you’re wearing. It’s about expressing your true self and discovering a little deeper who that person is through our diverse workshops.’
   The festival also brings together young and old, with preferential pricing for over 55s and for young people. There is also a fully programmed kids’ zone.
   A full workshop programme is available here, along with healers’ profiles. There are camping options, food tricks serving vegan and vegetarian food, and a market village. Ticket prices are NZ$239 for a four-day pass, with day passes ranging from NZ$139 to NZ$239. Teens’ price is NZ$169. A booking fee of NZ$5 applies.
   More can be found at nzspiritfestival.com.

 


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