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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
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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

All the Ways COVID-19 Is Impacting the Global Fashion Industry

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Global Fashion Industry
PHOTO | catwalkphotos

COVID-19 had spread across the world and, as of April 4, there are now reportedly 1,089,479 cases and 58,467 deaths around the world. For the global fashion industry, the virus impacted womenswear AW 2020 shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, disrupting schedules and sending fashionistas fleeing. As a result of the worldwide attempt to slow the virus, designers are cancelling and rethinking their shows, which may lead to questions about the traditional fashion week format itself in the longterm. “In a time of crisis, we have to think about a radical reset,” Vogue editor Anna Wintour told The Times.

It’s not just runway shows either that have been impacted. Around the world, major events, including the Met Gala and the CFDA Awards, have also been postponed indefinitely. Tech conferences such as SXSW and music festivals, including the Ultra Music Festival and Coachella, Cannes Film Festival and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, have also been postponed. Here are all the fashion-related events and manufacturing facilities that have so far been affected.

Beijing Fashion Week

Beijing’s China Fashion Week was scheduled to run from March 25 to March 31.

Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival was scheduled for May 12 to 23.  Organizers released a statement on Twitter on March 19, stating the festival may be postponed to the end of June and beginning of July this year.

“As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the festival’s board members, film industry professionals and all the partners of the event”.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards

The Council of Fashion Designers of America announced on March 18 it is cancelling its upcoming CFDA Awards, scheduled to be held at the New York Public Library on June 8.

Chanel

The French design house announced on March 18 that it would be halting production in its facilities in Italy, France and Switzerland for the next two weeks, however, workers will still be paid.

Coachella

California babes will be weeping into their flower crowns over the news that Coachella has postponed its annual, two-weekend music festival that had been scheduled from the weekends of April 10 and 17 to the weekends of Oct. 9 and 16.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit

The annual sustainability event released a statement confirming now postponed until October. “While this was certainly a difficult decision, we believe it is the only responsible and sensible thing to do, taking the global health uncertainties and authority recommendations into consideration. The health and safety of everyone on our team, including the numerous participants who come from across the globe to Copenhagen each May to convene and advance sustainability in fashion is our first priority”.

Gucci

Gucci announced on March 12 that it will close its six manufacturing sites in Italy’s Tuscany and Marche regions through March 20 as the country continues to be devastated by COVID-19.

iD International Emerging Designer Awards

Uncertainty around international travel coupled with applicants from 17 countries prompted organisers of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2020 to move the show online.

Melbourne Fashion Festival

The Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, which began on March 4, cancelled the remainder of its programming on March 13.

“In the interest of the health and safety of our partners, participants, team, volunteers and patrons, the festival has made the decision to cancel all remaining events, effective immediately as a precautionary containment measure,” said event publicist, AMPR, in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA)

Australia Fashion Week’s 25th-anniversary edition has been cancelled. The event was scheduled from May 11 to 15 at Sydney’s Carriageworks venue.

Met Gala

Anna Wintour confirmed on March 16 that the Met Gala has been postponed from it’s scheduled May 4 date and no future date was offered.

“One day that will not arrive on schedule will be the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, ‘About Time.’ Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, ‘About Time,’ and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date,” she wrote in a piece penned for Vogue.com. “In the meantime, we will give you a preview of this extraordinary exhibition in our forthcoming May issue.”

Milan Fashion Week AW 2020

Giorgio Armani barred his AW 2020 runway show, opting instead to post a video of the show on the brand’s website and social media platforms.

Milan Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2021

Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda announced on March 27 that its Spring 2021 Milan Men’s Fashion Week will be postponed from June 19 to 23 and will now be presented during Milan Fashion Week from September 22 to 28.

New York Fashion Week Resort 2021 and Men’s Fashion Week

NYFW Resort 2021 is cancelled and that Men’s Fashion Week in June will be postponed.

New Zealand Fashion Week

NZFW announced the indefinite postponement of the 2020 event as a result of COVID-19.

“We want to make the right decision that supports the wonderful creative industry, designers and partners who are very close to us.  Individually, many of them are hurting already — and I wish each one of them the best during this trying time,” said founder Dame Pietra Stewart.

Paris Men’s Fashion Week and Couture Week

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, is cancelling Paris Men’s Fashion Week from June 23 to 28 and Couture Week that was scheduled for July 5 to 9.

Paris Fashion Week AW 2020

Agnès B., A.P.C. and Rosie Assoulin all cancelled their shows. Chinese fashion brands Masha Ma, Shiatzy Chen, Uma Wang, Jarel Zhang, Calvin Luo and Maison Mai also cancelled their shows.

Resort 2021 Shows

A majority of design houses have cancelled their international resort 2021 runway shows, including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, Max Mara, Prada and Versace.

Sao Paolo Fashion Week

Sao Paolo Fashion Week has cancelled its spring 2020 edition, scheduled to run from April 24 to 28.

Shanghai Fashion Week

Shanghai Fashion Week was postponed from its scheduled March 26 date. However, organizers decided to partner with Tmall to move the event online, creating a virtual fashion week instead. More than 150 designers and brands live-streamed over 1,000 products from their newest collections and the garments were made available to more than 800 million monthly active users who visit Alibaba’s e-commerce sites. The event’s “See Now, Buy Now” format allowed viewers to purchase catwalk items and pre-order new looks from the fall collection in realtime via their smartphones.

Stagecoach

The event’s organizers postponed the Stagecoach country music festival, originally scheduled for April 24 to 26 — for October 23 to 25.

Sustainable Future for Fashion Conference

The British Department for International Trade postponed the Sustainable Future for Fashion event, initially scheduled for February 28 in Paris.

Tokyo Fashion Week

It was revealed on March 2 that Tokyo Fashion Week, scheduled to run from March 16 to March 21, has been cancelled.

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Fashion

Vans to Reissue Limited Edition “Fast Times” Iconic Checkerboard Slip-On

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Checkerboard Slip-On
PGOTO | Vans

Vans’ Classic Slip-On debuted in 1977, with the Checkerboard Slip-On being introduced in the early eighties after the Van Doren’s noticed kids drawing checks all over their shoes. Shortly thereafter, the Checkerboard Slip-On became a global icon for the spirit of the Vans brand thanks to its inclusion in the cult classic film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. For the first time since the film’s premiere, Vans will reissue a limited-edition Fast Times Slip-On through its Anaheim Factory Collection, celebrating the shoe’s transcendence to popular culture and its all-time classic styling.

The Checkerboard Slip-On’s film appearance cemented Vans’ place as a staple of Southern California style. In celebration of the film’s release, Steve Van Doren, son of Vans’ founder, made a limited run of Fast Times Checkerboard Slip-On’s to giveaway at the Hollywood premiere. The limited nature of the Fast Times design has become one of the most covetable archived styles of the Vans Checkerboard Slip-On. Vans brings back the silhouette in its original design and construction method within the Anaheim Factory Collection.

The Vans Anaheim Factory Slip-On 98 DX uses 10 oz. heavyweight Checkerboard canvas uppers and a higher foxing stripe. Like each shoe in the initial promotional run released in 1982, the new Fast Times Checkerboard Slip-On is characterized by a wraparound Fast Times print along the foxing of the vulcanized waffle sole. The shoe has been modernized for today with a Vans UltraCush™ footbed for ultimate comfort.

You’ll have to act fast; the Vans Anaheim Factory Slip-Ons will be available for a limited time online and in select Vans dealers this March.

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Fashion

What the Big Winners Wore to the 2020 Academy Awards

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2020 Academy Awards
PHOTO | Christopher Polk

After a notably predictable awards season, the 2020 Academy Awards delivered some unexpected twists and turns, with international talent taking home some big wins at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

The two stars most hotly tipped to win the best actor categories this year, Renée Zellweger for “Judy” and Joaquin Phoenix for “Joker,” did indeed take home their coveted prizes.

South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho’s comedy-drama “Parasite,” is the first foreign language to take the top prize and also the first South Korean film. It also took best director, best original screenplay and best international film. Previously, only 11 non-English language films have ever been nominated in the category.

New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has made history as the first Maori person to win an Oscar, taking home the gold statue for best adapted screenplay for his World War II “anti-hate” satire “Jojo Rabbit” — which he wrote, directed and starred in.

Joaquin Phoenix continued his stand against fast fashion by re-wearing the Stella McCartney suit he’s been wearing all season long.

“This man is a winner… wearing custom Stella because he chooses to make choices for the future of the planet. He has also chosen to wear this same Tux for the entire award season to reduce waste. I am proud to join forces with you,” tweeted Stella McCartney in praise of the actor’s stand.

Read on to see what the big six winners wore to the 2020 Academy Awards, as well as for the full list of winners.

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix in Stella McCartney, “Joker”

Best Actress

Renée Zellweger in Armani Privé, “Judy”

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt in David Yurman jewelry, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in Armani, “Marriage Story”

Best Director

Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Taika Waititi, in Dior Men and David Yurman jewelry, “Jojo Rabbit”

Best Animated Feature

Toy Story 4

Best Animated Short

Hair Love

Best Original Screenplay

Parasite

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jojo Rabbit

Best Live-Action Short

The Neighbours’ Window

Best Animated Short

Hair Love

Best Production Design

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Costume Design

Little Women

Best Documentary

American Factory

Best Documentary Short

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Best Original Score

Joker

Best Original Song

I’m Gonna Love Me Again

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