As Paris Fashion Week 2019 comes to a close, it is a fine time to talk eco-conscious fashion. This series of fashion photos is my work. I studied to practise and coordinate teams of designers, stylists, hair and makeup artists to produce photographs for fashion. After a week of working on coordinating times, conceptualizing, crafting mood boards, and agreeing on five models, CO Yoga Life Magazine preferred another series. Fashion is dynamic, unstoppable and a long-standing cultural practise.
The McKinsey Global Fashion Index notes an estimated value of $2400 billion in 2016 and identifies the fashion industry as – after the oil industry – the second most polluting industry. In this case, the sector would be responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions, an annual slaughter of 70 million trees for the production of artificial fibers such as viscose, rayon or lyocell.
According to the Changing Market Foundation in a report published in June 2017 and updated 2018 titled “Dirty Fashion,” the manufacturing of these materials also generates toxic emissions that pollute many rivers in China, India or Indonesia, with serious health consequences on the locals. Intensifying clothing production pollution problems are the landfills overflowing with earth-damaging chemicals of unwanted garments.
Stop! It seems there is hope. Millennial ‘click-shoppers’ choose to spend more time to consider the environment in searching for the next perfect ensemble. Moreover, to confer protection to our entire planet, millennials are choosing to purchase from companies with eco-conscious and fair trade practises in clothing creation, production and sales.
Currently, the inhumane manufacturing processes that wreak havoc on the earth are salient and are being addressed by the fashion industry itself, including newbies to the design and fashion milieux. Emerging and established designers who commit to sustainability use more organic fabrics, develop ethical manufacturing practises, and initiate zero waste policies with great fervor. Interventions and improvements in practises minimise collateral damage to the planet.
All benefit by companies that put their brands at the forefront of sustainable change. Consumers feel accomplished in creating a wardrobe of quality and lasting garments. Executing choice to contribute feels self-rewarding and supports the collective.
LillianB Fashions – Living Art
Colorado Painter, now designer, Gary Markowitz loves, respects, and appreciates modern women of all sorts, shapes, sizes and ethnicities. He also loves painting – especially with the fluidity of motion and blending that comes with oil. Perhaps that is how he came to choose yoga and active liesure wear to carry forward his designs and bring them up to speed as living art in actual living, breathing women of all sorts!
In a recent interview in Colorado Yoga + Life Magazine Winter + Spring 2017-18, Markowitz describes how living in Europe amongst the histories of some of the world’s greatest (both well-known and little-known) painters nourished his spirit and invited his imagination into their worlds to inspire his progress. As it is said, ‘Art is Living, Living is Art.’ The ‘which came first’ polemic is brought to mind.
Painting and Design
Guy Cogeval, at the time president of the Musée d’Orsay and curator of Impressionism and Fashion 2012-13, states, “As the impressionists turned from landscapes, in which the principal ingredient is movement of light, and turned complementary attention toward urban scenes, there emerged a growing sense that fashion played a part in French culture. Impressionism and fashion were born at the same time,” He notes also that,”The Impressionists weren’t the only artists to take an interest in fashion, but they were the only ones to focus on men and women in motion.”
Art Of Where
Art of Where (AOW) is a community-driven production studio that custom creates high-quality, artful garments and accessories to wear. It combines the worlds of art, paper, print and sewing to realise locally-made goods with only the best raw materials. Its mission is to manufacture high quality print-on-demand products at pricing accessible to resellers, ‘Etsians,’and artists.
AOW produces knit fabrics manufactured in Montreal in-studio. All products and phases from printing to sewing and quality control are completed in house.
AOW’s philosophy is that business has a responsibility to reduce its environmental impact. Local responsibility helps reduce its own carbon footprint; paper waste is recycled in the city and excess clothing items or imperfect garments are donated to inner-city shelters.
AOW places value on customer service, and I have heard and read good reviews. Orders are quickly made and staff are available to work with clients to meet tight deadlines.
Nearly one year went into research and development for the legging fabric. The yoga instructor/practitioner below stated, “They are amazing in movement, I feel, I have extra tendons.”
Production collaborates closely with the fabric factory, which facilitates development of beautiful combinations of polyester and spandex that are unique to Art of Where. Employees who print, cut, sew, and package from start to finish in-studio are considered important. They are paid above minimum wage from the start, with breaks and no unpaid internships! Many of AOW’s employees also run their own online stores. This experience benefits awareness of what it takes to turn ideas and art into finished products worthy of their fans.
Rachel Lang, an artist for Art Of Where, states:
“… And finally, quality. I’m very happy with the quality of the product. The leggings are constructed well, with nice quality fabric. They fit very true to the size chart and I’ve done plenty of yoga in them, and they are quite stretchy and comfortable. The print quality is excellent — bright, crisp, and true to color. My clients are all thrilled with the quality as well. Lighter colors are slightly sheer, but that’s any legging.”
Greener Fashion Forward
In conclusion, there are many encouraging articles on fashion’s forward movement. A few suggestions to tickle your curiosity: fruity fibres, fermented yeast, natural colours, wool cardigans, silk, self-printing 3D outfits, refurbishing your rags, self-mending clothes, and clothing rentals. I encourage your curiosity to lead you as you envision and craft your next season’s (or in my case, year’s) ‘look.’