The Redress Design Award is making sustainable fashion an industry standard

September 23, 2020 by  
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Who doesn’t love a good fashion contest? Competition has always been a great way to introduce new styles to the world and for new designers to show off their skills. The Redress Design Award is using competition to shine a spotlight on sustainable fashion and make eco-friendly style something that all designers strive to achieve. Redress is the biggest sustainable fashion design competition in the entire world, an event that helps to create and motivate the best and brightest eco-friendly designers in the industry. Through events like this, Redress hopes to raise awareness about the waste crisis happening in fashion. Related: Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion Redress founder Christina Dean says that the crisis “can’t be swept under the carpet any longer.” Redress saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to bring more attention to the concept of the circular economy as it applies to the fashion industry. With so many issues with transporting supplies and manufacturing during the panemic, Redress took the chance to stress the importance of using all materials and wasting nothing. The circular economy is all about reducing and repurposing in order to eliminate waste. It’s the eco-friendly version of that classic style sentiment, “Less is more.” The Redress Design Award isn’t just a thrilling fashion design competition. This is also an event that is designed to educate up-and-coming designers about sustainable fashion. The 2020 Redress Design Award wrapped with two winners. Menswear designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu of Vietnam created designs that stood out among hundreds of entries from 48 countries. Thu said the competition was “a nourishing and beneficial experience.” Thu will collaborate with VF Corporation’s Timberland to learn more about creating sustainable fashion. Juliana Garcia Bello of Argentina won the womenswear design award. “I have learned so much during my participation in the Redress Design Award and have definitely come out of this with a reinforce feeling that collaboration is the key,” Bello said. “We designers need to share our strengths and be inspired by each other.” Bello will work alongside The R Collective, an award-winning brand focused on upcycling . These two are the 10th winners of the award after being chosen from 10 finalists from 10 regions. The contestants completed a series of design and business challenges that were focused on real-life sustainability. This year’s competition also focused on COVID-19 waste. Redress focuses on designs that are made for low waste and recyclability using low-impact processes and materials. Redress also publishes a magazine that highlights sustainable fashion and all of the designers who compete for the coveted Redress Design Award. It’s contests like these that will help make sustainable fashion the industry standard rather than the exception. + Redress Images via Redress

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The Redress Design Award is making sustainable fashion an industry standard

Garden House brings nature back to the city

September 23, 2020 by  
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As urban areas grow around the world, housing seems to get farther and farther from nature, turning cities into concrete jungles lacking in greenery. This is not only less than ideal for humans, but it is hard on the planet as well. The team at Christos Pavlou Architecture addressed this issue with the Garden House, a nearly 2,000-square-foot home complete with nature elements inside and out. Built in Nicosia, Cyprus, the home “brings nature back to the city” with inviting outdoor areas for gathering with friends and neighbors as well as balconies and rooftops for more indoor/outdoor living opportunities. The designers put the focus on nature after realizing the development of Nicosia lacked greenery and public communal areas as part of its urban development. With this in mind, the team incorporated an abundance of potential for microclimates within the space. To achieve this goal, 60% of the ground floor incorporates garden space, which includes lush plants and wildflowers . Additionally, a green terrace on the first floor continues the garden theme. All areas within the home open up to the outdoors; the ground floor is connected via a centralized courtyard. Related: Instagram data uncovers the world’s top #urbanjungles While creating all this green space is great for the residents of Garden House, it’s also beneficial to pollinators . The bee-friendly landscape includes 40 kinds of native wildflowers and encourages the return of local bird species that have mostly been driven out of the city. In addition to improving the air and visual appeal for humans and supporting wildlife , the design is a thoughtful gift to the planet with elements that work to slow global warming. Christos Pavlou Architecture is a small design studio that opened in 2003. With a focus on indoor/outdoor spaces and attention to solving problems related to customer needs and climate conditions, the firm has earned several recognitions, including a first-place Cyprus state architecture award in 2019 in the Outstanding Architecture category. Christos Pavlou Architecture is currently a nominee for the European Union Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2021, Barcelona.  + Christos Pavlou Architecture Photography by Charis Solomou via v2com

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Garden House brings nature back to the city

Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

September 1, 2020 by  
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Sustainable fashion is on the rise, with materials from plastic water bottles to vegan apple leather becoming more and more common in the industry every day. Recent design graduate Jasmine Linington is taking sustainable fashion a step further with a new couture collection that uses seaweed-derived textiles. The eco-friendly and thoughtful clothing displays the versatility of this ocean resource through seaweed fibers, dyes and embellishments. “Having fallen in love with seaweed for its utter beauty and endless visual inspiration, whether that be for its colour, texture or composition, it was this initial capture that began the journey into my ‘ Seaweed Girl ’ project,” Linington said. “I have since spent the last few years exploring ways in which I can incorporate this alternative, highly sustainable material into my practice in a way that showcases its beauty, but also its environmental benefits.” Related: Surprising ways seaweed benefits the environment After learning that seaweed and microalgae make up about 90% of plant life on the planet, Linington became motivated to find innovative ways to use seaweed in fashion. Seaweed and microalgae are highly sustainable, especially because they are some of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. The inventive artist hand-harvests seaweed from the southeastern coast of Scotland to create the pieces. Linington develops the plants into beads and sequins for embellishments with a resin made from the byproducts of the harvesting process. For the fabrics , seaweed and eucalyptus cellulose combine to create SeaCell fibers. Seaweed is also used in the dying process to color the fabrics. These processes mean that everything in the collection is carbon-neutral and biodegradable. Linington’s project is ongoing. Next, the artist will be working on a line of textile wall hangings and artwork inspired by the seaweed collection as well as a small range of luxury interior accessories. + Jasmine Linington Via Dezeen Images via Jasmine Linington

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Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

Levis announces product line made with Cottonized Hemp

August 6, 2020 by  
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Many people quickly associate denim and Levi’s. The iconic red tab label is instantly recognizable. Now, those looking for sustainable clothing options can also turn to the brand with its newest men’s product line called Levi’s Stay Loose, which is made with hemp. Stay Loose offers several options for men with, as the name implies, a loose fit through hips and thighs. With typical Levi’s innovation, the styles are fashioned using Cottonized Hemp, which is a fancy way of saying a portion of the yarn comes from the hemp plant and the manufacturing makes it feel like cotton. Now that hemp is legal to grow across the U.S., myriad products have adopted the beloved material for its strength, but also because it requires less water, chemicals and land space than cotton.  Related: These sustainable shoes by Rackle are made from hemp Janine Chilton-Faust, global VP of men’s design at Levi’s said, “The Stay Loose is the perfect jean to tap into the trend of looser silhouettes, which embraces both style and comfort. A fuller fit, a wider leg, a little taper, and with a throwback ‘90s vibe that’s still very contemporary.” The Stay Loose standard length bunches just over the top of sneakers while the crop length allows the wearer to show off their shoe of choice. They are available in a range of black, indigo and faded indigo washes. In addition, the Stay Loose Carpenter Pant features the traditional carpenter style with lower pockets, side utility pockets and, of course, the hammer loop. Another option, called the Climber Pant, comes in a lightweight, non-stretch canvas rather than denim and features an elastic waist band for comfort. While Cottonized Hemp shows potential as a more sustainable material , these products are still only comprised of 23% hemp and 77% cotton, so cotton isn’t completely out of the equation just yet. Other products from the company also include the Cottonized Hemp, including the classic Stay Loose Trucker jean jacket. For women, the High Loose pant line offers three options that incorporate the material, too. All products should be widely available in fall 2020. + Levi’s  Images via Levi’s

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Levis announces product line made with Cottonized Hemp

Rec Room presents ethically produced dresses for summer

July 21, 2020 by  
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Comfort, style, equality, sustainability — these values encapsulate the essence of Rec Room and its products, including a new line of ethically crafted summer dresses you’ll want to wear every single day. The company’s newest release is a line of versatile and comfy dresses, constructed with Italian-made fabric that is antimicrobial and wrinkle-resistant, making it a performance fabric that is machine-washable and quick-drying. It’s also a forgiving fabric for any type of lifestyle. It packs well thanks to the wrinkle-resistance. It’s also stain-resistant. Related: These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor The dress line, called Summer of Comfort, offers a variety of style options such as tank, slip, strap, tie and open back, all made with the same silky, breathable fabric. Rec Room is a business partnership — and friendship — between two women, Dre and Val. Although the company has many goals around clothing quality and sustainability, it also recognizes the racial injustices of the world. In response, it contributes 1% of gross sales to organizations working to eradicate systems of racial injustice, including The Equal Justice Initiative and The Loveland Foundation. Rec Room chose a production facility in California , so all products are made in the U.S. by the same company that produces athleticwear for the U.S. Olympics teams. With that in mind, it makes sense that each dress is breathable and stretchy, and, as the company says, “puts the leisure back in athleisure.” Both the manufacturing plant in California and the fabric manufacturer in Italy have earned high marks for employee wages, hours and work environment, as well as water management and low environmental impact. However, every business has to measure its carbon footprint, so even though it has made an effort to create a brand that ethically and sustainably produced, Rec Room also gives back to reforestation initiatives via 1% For the Planet and One Tree Planted. Customers can purchase additional carbon offsets directly through the company website. Rec Room Review Rec Room generously offered to send me a sample dress, which I eagerly accepted. I chose the tie dress in burgundy. For reference, I stand around 5’6” tall and weigh around 140 pounds, carrying most of my weight around my waist. I received a large and could likely have been comfortable in a medium, but the tie feature really allows me to tighten and loosen the fit to where I feel comfortable. The fabric is divine — breathable, stretchy, very soft and very comfortable to move in. It offers a luxurious feel without any concern for damaging it while wearing it during activities. I love that it is machine-washable and releases wrinkles nicely, even right out of the package. The dress I selected allowed me to play around with how to use the tie, creating quite different looks that made me feel confident. My favorite was criss-crossing it in the front; I also tried it with different jewelry . It’s very adaptable to dressing up and dressing down with a change from tall boots to sandals to Keds. I’m no model, but I’ve included a few candid shots to show how it fit my body type. Honestly, I rarely even wear dresses, but this is the most comfortable and versatile item of clothing in my closet and will likely sub in for times I would typically wear shorts or jeans. + Rec Room Images via Rec Room and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat

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Rec Room presents ethically produced dresses for summer

Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

July 14, 2020 by  
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Just in time to celebrate National Forest Week from July 13 to July 19, fashion brand Solo New York is planting one tree per purchase for its line of affordable bags made from recycled plastic bottles . The first run of the company’s Re:cycled Collection recycled over 90,000 bottles, and this is just the beginning. The environmentally friendly manufacturing process starts with discarded plastic bottles otherwise destined for the landfill and transforms them into a high-quality and lightweight recycled PET polyester yarn. The process uses 50% less energy and 20% less water and creates 60% less air pollution than traditional fiber manufacturing, according to Solo New York. The main bodies of the Re:cycled Collection bags are made up of the re-spun plastic yarn; the tags, strings and stuffing are made entirely from other biodegradable and recycled materials . Related: Patagonia’s Black Hole Bags are made from recycled plastic bottles The Re:store Tote ($54.99) is made with a heather gray material and includes a padded compartment for laptops, an interior organizer section, a key clip, a front zippered pocket, a quick access pocket and a back panel for sliding over luggage handles. The lightweight, 0.57-pound Re:vive Mini Backpack ($24.99) also includes adjustable shoulder straps and black camo interior lining, while the Re:move Duffel ($64.99) includes shoulder straps that are both removable and adjustable. This is not the first sustainability effort for the popular New York brand — the line also features eco-friendly packaging with fully biodegradable hang tags and recycled boxes. The company also limits use of single-use plastics, and its headquarters is 100% powered by 1,400 rooftop solar panels (which is enough to power 87 homes). Catalogs are printed on paper with 30% post-consumer fiber and are manufactured using renewable energy as well. Now, every bag purchased from the collection will help plant a tree with the National Forest Foundation. + Solo New York Images via Solo New York

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Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan

November 22, 2019 by  
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It’s often difficult to be a conscientious consumer. Even with the best intentions, we often just don’t have the information we need to make a truly informed decision. Sure we can observe and avoid excess packaging , but it’s challenging to get a deeper dive into the origin of materials or how employees at a plant halfway around the globe are treated. These are issues that inspired PaperTale, an app that provides information about the origin and production of certain products. The inspiration for PaperTale came to Swedish creator Bilal Bhatti after more than 15 years of witnessing the atrocities associated with fast fashion, such as worker exploitation and environmental pollution . Knowing how toxic the textile industry is to the planet and workers, he created a smart tag that allows tracking of the product through every stage of material sourcing, manufacturing and transport. Related: Good Clothing releases capsule collection made from hemp and organic cotton The smart tag provides transparency of the process so consumers can see the tale of the clothing they purchase. Traceability is achieved as businesses provide information at each stage of the process. Suppliers and buyers must register and verify each transaction independently of each other for a more comprehensive and authentic picture of the product supply chain. This information allows PaperTale to calculate an environmental footprint of the product that shows water usage and carbon emissions . Once manufacturing begins, employee hours are also tracked to ensure a fair working wage . For complete transparency, employees have access to their worker logs, via a kiosk within the factory or the app on their phones, to verify hours are properly recorded. All of the information gathered from all sources is stored using blockchain technology to enhance transparency and prevent users from manipulating the data. With a simple scan of the embedded smart tag using a smartphone, consumers can see the employees who made the garment and read their feedback about wages and working conditions . In addition, consumers can tip workers directly through the app and even contribute to crowdfund educational programs for workers or their children. PaperTale is currently campaigning on Kickstarter with a goal of just over $103,000. Rewards for pledges include clothing along with the PaperTale technology. The campaign ends December 13, 2019 with production set to begin in January if it is fully funded. + PaperTale Images via PaperTale

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PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan

Collection of plant-based shirts raise awareness of endangered species

November 12, 2019 by  
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Sustainable design label PANGAIA  has collaborated with eco-activist Nadya Hutagalung and artist Raku Inoue on a new, limited-edition capsule collection to raise awareness for five of the world’s most endangered species , including the Sumatran Elephant and Tapanuli Orangutan. The collection includes vibrant, hand-drawn images by Inoue that are printed on PANGAIA’s seaweed fiber T-shirts using natural dyes. PANGAIA has built a world-wide reputation for its commitment to designing functional, sustainable products . The entirety of the sustainable fashion company’s designs are made from natural, eco-friendly materials such as seaweed fiber, flower down, natural dyes, recycled materials and more. Related: The sustainable wardrobe — it’s more accessible than you think Now, the eco-fashion leader is teaming up with world-renowned activist Nadya Hutagalung to raise awareness of five of the world’s most incredible animals that are unfortunately also at the top of the world’s most endangered species list. This includes Sumatran elephants, Tapanuli orangutans, Amur tigers, giant pandas and Sumatran Rhinoceros. Hutagalung is a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador well-known for her work in the preservation of endangered species across Africa and Asia. The PANGAIA x  Nadya Hutagalung capsule collection features designs printed on PANGAIA’s popular seaweed fiber T-shirts. The artwork by legendary artist Raku Inoue features hand-drawn compositions of the five endangered animals, all surrounded by a natural background of the animals’ native habitats. The T-shirts  include a range of colors, and some of the options for sale feature additional animals that are in peril, such as the bumble bee , the Ceylon Rose butterfly and Kemp’s Ridley turtles. The PANGAIA x  Nadya Hutagalung T-shirts can be ordered at PANGAIA for $85 each. The teams behind the designs have announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from the capsule collection will be donated to the Barumun Nagari Wildlife Sanctuary for mistreated elephants  and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. + PANGAIA  + Nadya Hutagalung + Raku Inoue Images via PANGAIA

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Collection of plant-based shirts raise awareness of endangered species

Fashion collaboration repurposes leather offcuts into eco-friendly home and lifestyle products

October 18, 2019 by  
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Award-winning design studio OPENUU has joined forces with RIL CREED, a sustainable handbag fashion brand, to create two collections for home and lifestyle using upcycled genuine Italian leather . Using scraps of leather that would otherwise be thrown away, these two special collections are combating the wasteful ways of the modern fashion industry and giving new life to forgotten fabrics. The two companies came together for the project after realizing the negative impact that fashion waste has on the environment. They were specifically alarmed by the sobering fact that about 50 percent of natural leather hide is wasted (often destined for landfill) and up to 95 percent of the textiles that end up in landfills each year could have been recycled. Related: Fashion brands ranked for toxic textiles and sustainability Through their experiences in the design world, OPENUU and RIL CREED have found ways to turn otherwise wasted pieces of durable materials into beautiful, upcycled pieces that can be used in everyday life. The products are unique, sustainable and limited-edition. The first collection celebrates the combination of understated luxury and practical durability. Dubbed “Amber Home,” the decorative cushions are made from 100 percent upcycled leather and fabric offcuts from factories. The design and production of this collection of home goods benefited from OPENUU’s interior decor expertise as well as RIL CREED’s proficiency in leather handbag production. For the second collection, “Willow Travel,” OPENUU and RIL CREED took inspiration from watching the sunsets in different cities during their summer travels. The series of travel accessories was produced using the same initiatives of responsible leather and fabric upcycling. In an effort to challenge the monotone look of traditional travel wallets, these passport holders and ID holders come in bright, playful colors that will appeal to a wide range of travelers. + OPENUU + RIL CREED Images via OPENUU and RIL CREED

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Fashion collaboration repurposes leather offcuts into eco-friendly home and lifestyle products

thredUP partnerships open the door to secondhand shopping at major retailers

September 2, 2019 by  
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Whether it is a handbag from the 1970s or a leather motorcycle jacket circa 1999, what’s old is new again, and online retailer thredUP sees the circular economy movement as a thriving opportunity. The consignment retailer and secondhand shop recently kicked off RAAS, or Resale-As-A-Service, a project to attract traditional department stores to get on board with more sustainable fashion . “The closet of the future … is going to look very different than the closet of today,” said James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder of thredUP. “If you think back 10 years ago when we started, you had none of these direct-to-consumer brands. There was no such thing as rental. There were no subscription companies. In just these 10 years, we’ve had a radical shift in how people shop and buy apparel . And I think that shift is going to continue.” Related: G7 summit — Fashion companies make a pact to protect the planet The retailer collects around 100,000 pieces of secondhand items daily and says resale is growing 21 times as fast as the larger retail market; it could be a $51 billion market by 2023. Shoppers propelling the growing circular economy are Millennials and Gen Zers — the 18- to 37-year-old population — who are purchasing about 2.5 times more than any other age group. Big box stores, like JCPenney and Macy’s, have seen their sales yo-yo in recent years and have signed on with thredUP. In doing so, the retailers have three options: store pop-up, online collaboration or a loyalty program. Some experts believe department stores will lean toward pop-ups, because they tend to attract more shoppers. As reported by Forbes , pop-ups offered by thredUP will be between 500 and 1,000 square feet and “feature new items on a weekly basis, offering brands that aren’t already in a typical Macy’s or JCPenney. There will be 100 pop-ups by Labor Day.” According to Reinhart, the loyalty program has been the top option, where shoppers can purchase items from thredUP’s retail partners and also receive a “clean out kit.” Buyers use this kit to send in pre-loved clothing items to thredUP — thredUP retains the markup on resold items, consumers get credits and bonuses with the retailer and the retailer sees improved customer retention. It’s a win-win-win. thredUP has reportedly received more than $300 million in total funding for the project. It’s possible that thredUP’s RAAS initiative may help grow the circular economy and give struggling department stores a brighter future. + thredUP Via TreeHugger , Forbes and FirstResearch Image via Burst

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thredUP partnerships open the door to secondhand shopping at major retailers

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