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Fashion Week Disruptors Are Designing a Fashionable Future

Environmentalist Advocate for Sustainable Styles at London Fashion Week

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Extinction Rebellion
PHOTO | Immo Klink

Extinction Rebellion is the international social movement focuses on climate change mitigation, conservation, and environmental protection. It’s members advocate for radical change through nonviolent protests under the motto “Rebel for Life.”

Protesters from showed up at this year’s London Fashion Week to call attention to the fashion industry’s collateral impact on the planet, and urge the British Fashion Council to declare a climate change emergency.

As models walked the runway to showcase the top designers’ fall 2019 collections, Extinction Rebellion demonstrators held their own catwalks, wore grass coats, and chanted and held signs that read, “There’s no fashion on a dead planet,” and “The climate is changing, so should we.”

Approximately 150 people demonstrated, using themselves as human blockades to cause disruption at events like Victoria’s Beckham’s show.

Wearing on the Environment

PHOTO | Immo Klink

The fashion industry as a whole is among the most pollutive on earth.

According to Qauntis Intelligence’s “Measuring Fashion: Global Impact Study,” apparel and footwear industries generated between 5-10 percent of global pollution impacts in 2016. The study found dyeing and finishing materials, and fiber production to be the biggest drivers of pollution due to their effect on freshwater supplies, use of toxic chemicals, and the energy required to fuel operations.

The World Resource Institute reports that “about 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to garment manufacturing, while the world uses […] 1.3 trillion gallons of water each year for fabric dyeing alone, enough to fill two million Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

In total, it takes 659 gallons of water to make one T-shirt, according to the Water Footprint Calculator; A pair of jeans takes 2,108 gallons; cotton bedsheets, 2,839; and leather shoes, 3,626. The average lifespan of these garments falls between 3-6 years.  

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest figures show Americans toss out 16 million tons of textiles; nearly 11 million goes directly to landfills. Waste is only expected to rise as apparel consumption is expected to grow 63 percent by 2030.  

Designers also destroy millions of dollars of unsold stock every year. A 2018 Forbes’ report uncovers “Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret;” the piece described how companies including Burberry, H&M, and Nike regularly burn or ruin their products.  

Where There’s Need, There’s Opportunity

PHOTO | Immo Klink

Thanks to movements like Extinction Rebellion — who target the industry not only for its wastefulness but its potential to be a leader in sustainability — eco-friendly fashions are on trend.

Ethical apparel is a $5 billion dollar market in the U.S., reports Inc.com. “Google trends shows that searches for “sustainable fashion” are rising faster and more steadily than searches for “organic food”,” the site added.

Sustainability is a top priority for customers purchasing fashionable items. It’s becoming a priority for the brands that make them, too.

According to the “Pulse of Fashion” report, 75 percent of companies within the industry made progress. The annual report measures the industry’s environmental and social impact — or pulse — on a scale of 1-100. As per the report:

“In the past year, the Pulse Score of the fashion industry improved from 32 to 38 […]. The Pulse Survey […] confirms that the topic is rising on the industry’s agenda. Of the executives polled, 52 percent reported that sustainability targets acted as a guiding principle for nearly every strategic decision they made – an increase of 18 percentage points from last year [2017].”

“Eco-friendly fashion involves so much more than a label simply being environmentally conscious,” reports InStyle Magazine. “It spans across the entire production line, from the materials your clothing is made from to the factories the clothes are made in.”

Sustainable materials include hemp, linen, or organic cotton, known to require significantly less chemicals, water and energy to produce.

Reused or recycled materials are among the most eco-friendly (and affordable) fashion alternatives. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to purchase clothing at secondhand shops. Brands that offer the ability to rent or sell used clothing — like Rent the Runway, ThredUp and the RealReal — are growing in popularity.  

Brands like Reformation, Veja, and Patagonia, and luxury styles from Stella McCartney, and Rag and Bone, offer clothing made from recycled or ethically sourced materials. Plus, the hemp clothing revolution is producing fashion-forward brands like THTC and Seeker.

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Fashion

Mary Jane Swim Will Keep You Cool, Even When It’s Hot

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Mary Jane Swim
PHOTOS | Mary Jane Swim

Founded by Diane Walker and Stacey Demar, Mary Jane Swim is a lifestyle apparel brand dedicated to normalizing cannabis. The two women founded their swimwear company, Sweenie Manufacturing in 2008, producing swimwear for other companies. After discovering the healing potential of cannabis for themselves, they decided to help change the perception of the plant for themselves and Maru Jane Swim was born.

We spoke to them about their fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.

What inspired you to launch Mary Jane Swim?

The idea came about in late 2017 after our rediscovery of cannabis, specifically CBD for wellness, on a trip to Telluride, Colorado. We thought about how we could help destigmatize the plant in our own way.

Diane had been working in fashion and Stacey in fitness for many years, which organically led to the creation of Mary Jane Swim. It showcases both of our expertise and we focused on cannabis base printed apparel.

We launched a very small capsule “OG Kush “collection summer 2018 and just launched our full “Seven Leaflets “2019 SS line this past April which also includes activewear and accessories for both men and women.

What makes Mary Jane Swim unique in the marketplace?

Our focus is to bring elevated cannabis apparel to the market that has historically been promotional items. We have created a line that incorporates fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.

Do you design the prints yourselves or do you source them?

Yes, we design each print ourselves inspired by current world trends and interpret them through the flower and leaf and our perspective.

How do you think Mary Jane Swim helps normalize the opinion of cannabis?

The more that the plant shows up in every day products, the more society starts to see it as a beautiful and beneficial plant and not as an evil gateway drug.

Any plans to develop a collection made from hemp and other more sustainable, eco-friendly products?

We have been researching hemp blends in both woven and knit bases for future products, as well as recycled fabrics.

Mary-Jane Swim

You donate a portion of each sale to Athletes for Care. How did you become involved with them?

After using CBD daily for everyday use for wellness and pre/post workouts and realizing how powerful it is.

We came across their mission to help promote cannabis in sports and help alleviate the opioid crisis. A portion of the profits will be donated.

How do you want people to feel when wearing Mary Jane Swim?

Empowered and healthy.

What don’t you leave the house without?

CBD of course and a swimsuit!

Shop Mary Jane Swim here.

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Fashion

You Can Now Literally Walk a Mile in Snoop’s Shoes

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Duke + Dexter
PHOTO | Duke + Dexter

If you’re looking to pick up a fresh pair of slides or loafers this summer, Snoop Dogg has your back. The rap legend has partnered with luxury English footwear company Duke + Dexter to launch a limited-edition collaboration packed with his unique style baked in.

The Dogg Pack collection brings to life Snoop’s West Coast lifestyle with a fun pool-to-party theme. You can grab yourself a fresh pair of loafers, mules or slide style footwear with dice, cannabis leaf prints and even Snoop’s embroidered face.

“I wanted the collaboration to be sleek and stylish, like me,” Snoop told Forbes. “The design team helped me to put together shoes that represented my style and me. I do things differently; you know that. It was important that we created a first collection that had distinction, but also class. Real class no fakes shit.”

 

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Snoop himself wearing the Duke Snoop Face loafers || Part of the @snoopdogg x Duke+Dexter collection || Limited edition

A post shared by Duke and Dexter (@dukedexter) on

Launched in early June, the ultra-exclusive, limited-edition line is only 1000 pair deep, meaning that snagging a pair means you’re part of an incredibly exclusive club.

Lee Rogers, head of product at Duke + Dexter said via a statement, “I wanted to try to bring something new and fresh to the collaboration and products. Snoop is such a legend and the weight of doing this well was always in mind.

“I really wanted to find a quote/lyric that could help encapsulate what Duke + Dexter are as a brand and what Snoop represents, the lyric we decided to use ‘la di da di, we likes to party we don’t cause no trouble, we don’t bother nobody.’”

Snoop said the partnership came about after he posted a pair of their shoes he liked to his 34.2 million followers.

“They very smartly reached out to me and we started by creating some dope bespoke styles together, I grew my relationship with Archie and we started building a plan… the rest is history!” said the rapper.

PHOTO | Duke + Dexter

While this ultra-exclusive line of footwear might be one of Snoop’s flashiest and newest business ventures, it’s far from his only one. Martha Stewart and Snoop are famously unlikely friends, even co-host a cooking show called “Martha & Snoop” together, he’s launched his very own cannabis strain and his “Leafs by Snoop” collaboration with Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth.

When asked why his fans should try out a pair of Duke + Dexter’s ultra-exclusive footwear line, Snoop said the quality of the brand was the selling point.

“D+D do things differently — they classy, they real,” said Snoop. “There’s so much fake shit out there nowadays, so many copycats. I only admire brands like this, brands who create their own, truly original stories and unique identities.”

If you can’t snag a pair of Duke + Dexter’s line, you can pick up a micro-suede house shoe, two luxury slide-in slippers and baby dogg slippers, all perfect for sipping a gin and juice wherever you might be.

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Fashion

First Look at Rihanna’s New LVMH Fenty Fashion Brand

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Fenty Fashion
PHOTO | Fenty

LVMH, the parent company of Dior and Givenchy, Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, recently announced Rihanna’s Fenty fashion house would launch under their massive umbrella-ella-ella.

Fenty fashion will debut online on May 29 and at a Paris pop-up on Friday, May 24 and we’ve finally got a sneak-peak at what collection — designed be the Bal Gal herself — will look like.

In a new teaser video, Rihanna makes blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos styling looks on a diverse lineup of models that include denim, separates, and shirt dresses, styled with sporty sunglasses and strappy sandals.

“Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. Mr. [Bernard] Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits,” Rihanna said in a statement. “I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together.”

Bad Gal took to Twitter to share her thoughts her latest business venture.

“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader,” said LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault in a statement, according to BoF. “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success.”

The launch of the new brand will make for a historic one. It marks the first time LVMH has introduced and built a new brand since Christian Lacroix in 1987. More importantly, Rihanna will be the first woman of color to oversee a fashion house under LVMH.

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