The Swat Valley Guild (SVG) is engaging local artisans in the Swat Valley region of Northern Pakistan with the global fashion community. The local artisan heritage is centuries old and is under threat from conflict, climate change and industrialization. The SVG is organizing a demand-centric approach, which allows the artisans to engage with the global community and ensures it solves some of the key challenges of the fashion industry as well, focusing on waste, sustainability and people development.
UK based co-founders, Zulfiqar Deo and Wali Khan established the Guild as a peace-building initiative. The region of Northern Pakistan has suffered from severe forms of social and economic chaos over the last 30 years. The local communities still use raw wool, process it into yarn, weave it into fabrics and then embroider it by hand using techniques evolved over centuries. The project incorporates the UN sustainable development goals and has also supported a local emerald mining project in the region creating 500 jobs.
Debbie Moorhouse, the co-founder of the International Society For Sustainable Fashion is collaborating with the SVG to create a small capsule collection of luxury handbag designs, incorporating sustainable textiles with the artisan embroidery and local emeralds. The aim of the project is to create new products and access to markets by showcasing the craftsmanship of the artisans in an accessible way for the fashion industry, and promote the intricate handwork being produced in the region. Anyone interested to feature the handbags collection can contact us through the International Society For Sustainable Fashion website. For enquiries about embroidery or emeralds, please contact SVG www.the-svg.net
The International Society For Sustainable Fashion is a partner for the Sustainable Fashion Awards 2018. The deadline for entries to this global design competition is 31st october, with the winner receiving a cash prize of $3000 and another $3000 donated to an NGO of their choice. Stylish and charitable- we love this competition!
Call 4 Entries
The Sustainable Fashion Awards 2018 is open to designers and brands from every country, being either emerging talents or professionals who are leading the way to a sustainable future, and have at least one completed project on this matter. The enrolled project can range from one garment to a full collection, and must fit into at least one of these socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly actions detailed below.
Eligible Sustainable Features
Handmade pieces; Local manufacturing; Develop fair trade; Smart design; Zero fabric waste; Animal welfare; Use of recycled, upcycled or organic materials; Consider the full lifecycle of a product.
If you strongly believe that your brand is making fashionable products as well as carrying a responsible attitude when it comes to the environment and the people in it, please subscribe!
Don't miss your chance of winning $3000 dollars and still donating the same amount to a NGO partner of this movement. For more information about the Sustainable Fashion Awards 2018 and to submit your entry to this competition, check out terms and conditions or FAQ at https://jakandjil.com/sfa2018/
Are you a sustainable fashion designer? Tell us which country you will be applying from- and good luck!
The International Society For Sustainable Fashion's annual Sustainable Fashion London event took place on the 19th september this year during SS19 London Fashion Week attended by representatives of some of the UK's most renowned brands, alongside sustainability professionals in support of sustainable fashion.
The conference connects industry, organisations and leading researchers in fashion sustainability from across the UK and internationally with innovative talks and presentations, addressing the key themes of sustainable design, ethical production, retail and consumption, and education. "The aim is to provide a platform for sustainable fashion during fashion week and create a discussion about how the fashion industry can implement sustainable solutions to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Production and Consumption." says co-founder Debbie Moorhouse.
Sustainable Fashion London was organised by the International Society For Sustainable Fashion and attended by it's members including numerous well known brands and organizations.
GTP recently met Debbie Moorhouse, Director of the International Society for Sustainable Fashion to get some clarity of one of the fashion industry’s key buzz words – Sustainability.
Debbie explained the Brundtland definition of sustainability is that which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (1987). This has more recently been defined as having three key elements; environmental sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability. Enviromental and social responsibility are starting to be both understood and incorporated into retailers’ strategies and practices, economic sustainability is less so, Debbie explained that economic sustainability includes both the financial stability of a business and also the long-term economic growth or stability of countries, regions and communities. Economic sustainability involves making sure the business makes a profit, but also that business operations do not create social or environmental issues that would harm the long-term success of the company.
What became clear is that the environmental threat is growing, Debbie put the situation in context spelling out that due to rising consumer spending in countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China clothing production is estimated to reach 160 million tons by 2050 which is more than three times the current demand. In simplistic terms this requires a revolutionary change in the strategy of the industry to sustainability rather than the occasional compromise.
The logical question then is what must happen? 85% of textiles end up in landfill but almost all textiles are reusable or recyclable. Debbie argues that quite often in sustainability, retailers seem to focus on educating consumers but the role of retailers is to take responsibility for the product end of use. There are various approaches for this such as take back schemes, in store recycling, or offering a repair service. Retailers have considerable pre-consumer waste or excess stock and the International Society For Sustainable Fashion developed the Made With Love Global Initiative which supports businesses to reduce waste by donating surplus products to people in need around the world. It is important for manufacturers to understand that creating a circular economy by recycling waste textiles into new materials is a billion dollar industry. GTP often reflects on Bono’s quote ‘capitalism will take more people out of poverty than aid’, Debbie shared details of a report published by the ISSF in 2018 which was about how brands can create a sustainability strategy and featured the fashion brand Edun founded by Ali Hewson and husband Bono. The business is committed to a fair-trade approach, and instead of donating money to provide African aid, Edun create manufacturing jobs in Africa, paying a living wage and is focused on sustainable growth. By 2014 85% of Edun collections were produced in Africa. The fair-trade philosophy provides the consumer with a sense that they can make a difference with every purchase, helping others less fortunate to create a better life for themselves. Edun is a relatively highpriced brand – the big opportunity plus challenge on sustainability will be taken by the likes of Wallmart, Target, Carrefour, H&M, Inditex, Uniqlo, Next and Gap.
The International Society For Sustainable Fashion were asked for their views on how sustainable fashion can become accessible for more people in a recent i-D magazine article.
The ethical fashion industry is in sore-need of a rebrand. Can stars like SZA be the ones to do it?
"Fuck plastic. Y’all ready to save the oceans or nah?” A few days ago, favourite singer of everyone with two ears and a heart, SZA, shared this caption alongside a series of Instagram stories. In the pictures were sweatshirts emblazoned with slogans like ‘Puck Flastic’ and ‘Sustainability Gang’, all of which seemed to hint that the star is ready to delve into the fashion industry. Other reports have claimed she’s about to launch a plastic-free streetwear line (the slogans adorned Champion pieces) and that the profits will be donated entirely to charity. A new account -- @ctrlfishingco -- tagged in the posts hasn’t yet shared any content, but all the signs indicate that SZA is gearing up to change the sustainable fashion game. We already know that this needs to happen. Fashion is the world’s second dirtiest industry; it pumps chemical dyes into rivers, burns mountainsof unsold ‘deadstock’ and contributes in no small part to the plastic pollution epidemic currently ravaging the world’s oceans. Industry experts may be regularly discussing these issues, but they still rarely make headline news -- until, of course, SZA came along.
"It's great to see that celebrities are willing to put their name to the cause,” says Debbie Moorhouse, co-founder of the International Society for Sustainable Fashion, a non-profit which seeks to raise awareness of the obstacles blocking a sustainable fashion industry. “It really makes a difference, as people are already following their style, plus their endorsement commands media attention and viral traffic -- [they make] these stories more accessible to people.”
Moorhouse points out that SZA isn’t the first star to release a range of ‘ethical’ products. Pharrell’s G-Star collaborations and Will.i.am’s Ekocycle lifestyle range are just two other examples; while elsewhere, Kanye West has praised and worked with Katharine Hamnett, a political designer whose dedication to protecting the environment is well-documented. These collaborations are important not only because they create conversation, but also because high-profile names undeniably drive sales: “Remember how quickly the Yeezy sneakers sold out? That’s what sustainable fashion needs to make it mainstream."
Although there are exceptions, the sustainable fashion movement has been criticised in the past for its inaccessibility. Brands tend to posit themselves as a luxury alternative to cheap, disposable ‘fast fashion’, explaining that clothing naturally costs more when its fabrics are responsibly sourced and its supply chain non-exploitative. But, as NGO Fashion Revolution highlighted with a handy illustration in its #001 fanzine, making these changes isn’t as expensive as we’re often led to believe -- it would, according to their calculations, reportedly only cost an extra €1.57 to ensure a €29 tee was sustainably made.
As Walmart recently discovered, trying to sell low-cost clothing at a slightly higher price is no easy feat. The Fashion Law followed its attempts to make sustainability affordable, penning an in-depth exploration which ultimately revealed that customers were either reluctant or simply couldn’t afford to pay more. Instead, they shifted their focus towards suppliers and were met with positive reactions. The problem with this model is that supply chains can be long, disparate and lacking in transparency -- the fallout from 2013’s Rana Plaza disaster is exemplary of this fact, as some brands claimed to not even know their clothes were being made in the factory. Ultimately, Walmart’s findings revealed that “customers may prefer sustainable practices, yet be unable to pay the premium, even when it’s very little.”
In support of World Day of Social Justice, the International Society For Sustainable Fashion was asked to help raise awareness of child labor in a USA feature article.
According t o a UNICEF report, approximately 25% of children in the world's poorest countries are engaged in "paid or unpaid forms of work." Worldwide, there are over 200 million child laborers, 73 million of whom are under the age of 10.
The majority of these children work on farms producing products such as cocoa and coffee, and around 20 million child laborers work in factories that produce clothing, toys and household items.
The most effective- and easiest- way to help child laborers is to be conscious of where we purchase everything from our morning coffee to our favorite clothes. "The simplest way for people to help and have an impact on changing the situation is to be more conscious of their purchases," Debbie Moorhouse, co-founder of the International Society For Sustainable Fashion told me. "Shop locally, look for the fair trade mark on foods, be more mindful of how products are made and consider more socially responsible companies or product alternatives."