5 Things to Talk About During After Work Drinks – December
Are you going out for some after work drinks with your friends, so that you can relax and blow some steam off before the holidays? Well, here are some interesting sustainability-related topics you can bring up during Happy Hour!
Would you wear roadkill? This fur designer is betting on it! Introducing the ‘ethical’ fur brand turning roadkill into $1,000 high fashion accessories!
Sadly, according to Culture Change, about 1 million animals are killed by cars every day. Most of us turn away from the sight of these poor critters; “You don’t want to see it because when you fully soak in the meaning of what happened, it’s emotionally draining” says Pamela Paquin, a designer who decided to use their fur to create high fashion pieces, some of which are worth upwards of $1000, of the highest possible ethical standards.
Pamela Paquin has founded a very successful Vermont-based fashion label called ‘Petite Mort‘, whose purpose is to prove that sourcing cruelty-free fur is possible, and that even animal lovers are allowed to wear fur, as long as it’s ethical.
In order to learn how to properly skin the carcasses, so she could understand how to incorporate the fur into her designs, she turned for guidance to a local taxidermist, who showed her the ropes. Regarding her first experience with this process, she confides; “‘We both had a shot of whiskey, I put some peppermint oil under my nose, and we found a branch in the woods to hang this thing [a racoon] from. It was super intense.” Remembering her heritance, the designer always tries to honor each animal’s spirit by reciting a Native American prayer, before returning them back to nature in the woods near her studio.
At the moment sales are made only by appointment, but Pamela Paquin hopes that someday she will be able to have people come in her shop, see the various types of fur she is working with from up close, and even learn about the animals the material came from. We certainly wish her the best!
The idea that what is actually needed at the moment are comfortable, simple clothes meant to be easily worn in women’s “real life”, instead of clothes that one could only see on a catwalk. Nicolas Ghesquière from Louis Vuitton and Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent both seem to value beautiful everyday clothes more than spectacular designs that were only ever meant to be seen in fashion shows, and this is an approach that Frida Giannini seems to be making a stand for by leaving Gucci.
In fact, Ms. Giannini had pioneered this ‘wardrobing’ movement back in 2006, when she had introduced a line of clothes for ‘her kind of women’, those who loved to party but also loved working; a more balanced kind of woman. And she did do her own thing in Gucci, to the point that some critics found her creations rather simplistic, or boring. So, she changed course, hoping to change the critics’ minds, and created a series of disconnected collections which ended up confusing the public as to what Gucci actually stood for.
However, it could be that the notion of ‘wardrobing’ is not supposed to be viewed as a brand’s identity, but rather as a sidekick. It is not sustainable enough by itself, so there must always be something stable that defines the brand’s identity.
One of our favorite sustainable fashion designers, Stella McCartney, wowed the crowd with her opening of the Paris Fashion Week, where she presented her spring/summer 2015 prêt-à-porter collection!
Glasgow hosts symposium on sustainable fashion with top designers working to change our clothing habits!
Orsola de Castro, our favorite sustainable fashion and upcycling pioneer, has visited Glasgow in an effort to convince Scottish designers that finding ways of reducing the impact of clothing on the environment is imperative. She urged them to not shy away from using reclaimed and re-used textiles, by launching a new fund that will hopefully help steer the industry towards a zero waste future.
“We need to look at waste as a resource, and inspire young designers to its immense creative potential and help the industry to understand its viability, scalability and role in the future” Orsola said.
Just before her speech, Orsola de Castro spoke to Tomorrow atop The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Scotland:
In a very interesting interview by Karim Orange, we were able to take a look inside Eileen Fisher’s mind! This formidable woman has been working tirelessly for years, in order to create simple, gorgeous clothes that women can wear in their everyday lives, while making great efforts to create a community-focused company that has sustainability and social consciousness ingrained in its corporate ethos. Her interest in sustainable fashion preceded the trend by about 30 years, so we could say that Eileen Fisher is a revolutionary, a visionary who took matters into her own hands and built her company the way she saw fit.
The commitment to ethical living is, in fact, literally woven into the brand’s fabrics. “Sustainability starts with design,” Fisher says. “When we select fabrics and yarns, we are making choices about better farming practices, greener dyes, and innovative production, building an eco collection that accounts for more than 25 percent of our line. We work to create products that are designed to last and easy to care for.” Reflecting on the label’s anniversary, she adds, “Simplicity is at the core of the design idea I planted as a seed all those years ago—a collective of simple shapes that work together in many ways. The intention is to give women the pieces to put themselves together easily and joyfully so they can focus on life.” [Source]
Today, the company employs almost 1200 people, and has over 65 stores in the US and in Canada.
There is also a video of her speaking with Bloomberg’s Mark Crumpton on “Bottom Line”, where she encourages women entrepreneurs, if you’d like to know more about her!