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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.

 


Monokel Eyewear introduces biodegradable sunglasses

Filed by Lucire staff/May 6, 2021/12.08




Stockholm archipelago-based Monokel Eyewear has always made sunglasses that last, but its latest collection ensures that they do—only up to a point.
   Its spring–summer 2021 collection, anchored on the Edvard Munch quotation, ‘From my rotting body, flowers shall grow, and I am in them, and that is eternity,’ is fully bio-based and biodegradable, with the company saying, ‘still made to last, but not forever.’ Lenses are by Carl Zeiss Vision.
   Monokel had used recycled acetate made from cotton and wood fibres, but its latest type will now decompose, and won’t wind up in landfills or as microplastics in our oceans.
   There are three shapes: Polly, a wide, oval frame with thick temples; Memphis, with a rectangular front, sharper edges, a medium width but a slim depth; and Forest, inspired by vintage reading glasses, and featuring hinges, rivets and a keyhole nose bridge. Each frame is hand-crafted, with the process taking over three months.
   Third-party lab tests and factory audits are conducted with each production run, says Monokel. You can find out more at monokel-eyewear.com.


 


Ruby’s Champ collection rings in a cosy winter

Filed by Lucire staff/May 4, 2021/13.16




Ruby is showing its new collection, dubbed Champ, with its first items going on retail sale on May 14 both on- and offline.
   The collection represents both a change in season as well as change in how we do things: ‘Champ is about taking responsibility, knowing your force and driving change for a world we all belong in,’ reads the company’s introduction.
   Warm and colourful knitwear and suitings stand out for winter, with shades of chocolate, meadow, vermilion, pink and pistachio marle. We’re drawn to the turtlenecks, the long sleeves of the Boby sweater, the looseness of the Champ sweater, the Steffi jacket, and the Lucille swing coat, among others. Looseness and volume give this winter a flowing, comfortable vibe. Find out more at rubynz.com, or check out Ruby’s Instagram at @rubytakessnaps.







 


Labelhood kicks off Shanghai Fashion Week autumn–winter 2021–2 with hit live-streamed show

Filed by Lucire staff/April 7, 2021/21.34


Labelhood, China’s first fashion incubator combining design and brand management, has presented its first show at the Tank Shanghai complex, opening Shanghai Fashion Week’s autumn–winter 2021–2 Shanghai Fashion and Lifestyle Carnival.
   The show was hosted by beauty influencer Li Jiaqi, and streamed on his Taobao channel, which allowed audiences to purchase the items they saw in the show. On the show were Deepmoss’s Liu Xiaolu, 8on8’s Gong Li, and Yirantian’s Guo Yirantian. Labelhood selected 26 items from 13 brands, including Private Policy, the Flocks, and Motoguo, as well as established labels such as Uma Wang, Yirantian, and Deepmoss.
   Estimated views exceeded 10 million, according to Labelhood, with online sales also exceeding that number. There had been no need to discount, with brand development more the focus of the event.
   Labelhood, or Leihu to give its transliteration from Chinese, has run its services for 12 years, and collaborated with Li to get its independent brands in front of a larger audience.
   This season the incubator hosted 32 brands at its Labshowroom.
   Labelhood has four physical retail stores in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou, and has branded spaces in Lane Crawford in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong. It also has a Tmall presence, and supported its designers to open there, including Tirantian, Shushu/Tong. Deepmoss and Motoguo. In addition, it has cooperative deals with over 100 retail channels, including SKP, Galeries Lafayette and Net-à-Porter.
   The incubator has successfully attracted younger buyers who favour independent designers.


 


Van Cleef & Arpels releases six new Perlée designs in Middle East ahead of global launch

Filed by Lucire staff/April 3, 2021/10.41


Van Cleef & Arpels has released six Perlée creations, exclusively for the Middle East first, coinciding with the holy season of Ramadan. They are available now in the region, two months ahead of their official global release.
   The new Perlée additions comprise three bracelets and three rings in gold hues. These feature the sweet clover motif, which are Van Cleef & Arpels’ symbol of luck. They also feature a border of gold beads, characteristic of other jewellery in the Perlée range.
   As the jewellery can be mixed and matched, they can suit a wearer’s every mood.
   The Perlée collection débuted in 2008 and draws on the maison’s history. Accented stones and motifs appeared in the 1920s, and it was also during this decade that Van Cleef & Arpels used the round bead setting in the collection. Golden beads became more ample in 1948. From 1963, in the Twist collection, golden beads appeared in more permutations, accentuating ornamental stones such as lapis lazuli and carnelian, and pearls. Bordering golden beads also appeared in Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra collection in 1968. The designs have a direct link to these earlier collections.






 


Cole Haan launches fashionable golf footwear collections for spring ’21

Filed by Lucire staff/April 1, 2021/13.47




As a company that believes in accessible style, Cole Haan has launched its first golf footwear collection, débuting for spring 2021 and available now.
   There are three collections with names that Danes might balk at, as Cole Haan takes a character out of their alphabet for stylistic reasons and not pronounciation ones: ØriginalGrand, GrandPrø and Generation Zerøgrand. They link to what Cole Haan calls its Grand 36∅ Design and Engineering System.
   The shoes are spikeless and weatherproof, and aim to have good fit.
   David Maddocks, brand president of Cole Haan, said, ‘With more people golfing than ever, Cole Haan set out to democratize the game. Our customers have asked us for years to make performance golf shoes, however we knew we couldn’t simply offer something on par with the market-place. We believe we’ve set a new standard with an alchemy that combines superior performance, long-lasting comfort, and confident style that goes straight to the clubhouse. We have written new rules when it comes to both men’s and women’s golf footwear.’
   The range includes the ØriginalGrand golf shoe, which has an Oxford look; while the GrandPrø AM golf sneaker has a sneaker style with a variety of prints. These are available in men’s and women’s sizing. The Generation Zerøgrand golf sneaker, exclusive to men, blends athletic and dress shoe æsthetics.
   Chief creative officer Scott Patt added, ‘Golfers need comfortable, supportive, and stylish footwear that performs on and off the course. ‘We’re excited to introduce an assortment of styles that are exceptionally lightweight, cushioned, and are engineered with proprietary multi-directional traction that takes golfers from the course to the clubhouse.’
   Prices range from US$140 to US$170, and the collection is available through colehaan.com, in select Cole Haan stores, and Golf Galaxy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.


 


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