sustainable fashion

For Sustainable Fashion To Make Real Progress, Cross-Generational Collaboration Is Crucial – Refinery29

I wish that there could be more dialogue between this younger generation that’s so passionate about this issue, and these experts that have established themselves as important people in the industry.
I am sick of talking about it, and I am a bit sick of listening to people talk. I just want things to start to actually change.
We need to be able to share power across the table so that [the youth] don’t take 20 years to learn what it took us a minute to learn.

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Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker support his son, Landon, at fashion show – Page Six

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By Emily Selleck

February 9, 2022 | 10:55am
Kourtney Kardashian is embracing her future role as stepmom to Travis Barker’s kids.
The Poosh founder, 42, and the Blink-182 drummer, 46, proudly sat front row at a fashion show Tuesday to cheer on his 18-year-old son, Landon Barker, who modeled the Amiri autumn/winter 2022 collection.
The engaged couple were joined by Travis’ daughter, Alabama Barker, 16, and stepdaughter, Atiana De La Hoya, 22, as well as Kardashian’s son Mason Disick, 12.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” alum stunned in a low-cut lace bodysuit, which she paired with a black choker, towering pumps and a black jacket.
Barker, for his part, wore a black and blue patterned sweater and was photographed packing on the PDA with his fiancée as he appeared to nibble on her ear.
The blended family cheered as the teenager walked the runway before they all headed to celebrity hotspot Craig’s in West Hollywood for dessert.
The outing came just over a week after the lovebirds publicly declared they “would die” for each other.
“I Would Die 4 U,” Travis captioned a steamy picture on Instagram in late January of himself making out with Kardashian.
“You, I would die for you,” the reality star commented on the snap, echoing the sentiment.
Kardashian — who shares Mason as well as daughter Penelope, 9, and son Reign, 7, with ex Scott Disick — said “yes” to Travis’ grandiose proposal in October 2021 after less than a year of dating.
“I woke up all night thinking it was a dream,” she captioned a slideshow of photos of their beach engagement at the time.
Kardashian also shared a photo of her huge engagement ring, estimated to be worth $1 million, as well as a shot of the moment the musician got down on one knee.
Their upcoming wedding will mark Travis’ third trip down the aisle. He was previously married to Melissa Kennedy from 2001 to 2002 and Shanna Moakler from 2004 to 2008. He shares Landon and Alabama with Moakler.
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The Myth of Sustainable Fashion – Harvard Business Review

Few industries tout their sustainability credentials more forcefully than the fashion industry. But the sad truth is that despite high-profile attempts at innovation, it’s failed to reduce its planetary impact in the past 25 years.  Most items are still produced using non-biodegradable petroleum-based synthetics and end up in a landfill. So what can be done? New ESG strategies such as the use of bio-based materials, recycling, and “rent-the-runway” concepts have failed. Instead, we must stop thinking about sustainability as existing on a spectrum. Less unstainable is not sustainable. And governments need to step in to force companies to pay for their negative impact on the planet. The idea of “win-win” and market-based solutions has failed even in one of the most “progressive” industries.
Few industries tout their sustainability credentials more forcefully than the fashion industry. Products ranging from swimsuits to wedding dresses are marketed as carbon positive, organic, or vegan while yoga mats made from mushrooms and sneakers from sugar cane dot retail shelves. New business models including recycling, resale, rental, reuse, and repair are sold as environmental life savers.
The sad truth however is that all this experimentation and supposed “innovation” in the fashion industry over the past 25 years have failed to lessen its planetary impact — a loud wake up call for those who hope that voluntary efforts can successfully address climate change and other major challenges facing society.
Take the production of shirts and shoes, which has more than doubled in the past quarter century — three quarters end up burned or buried in landfills. This feels like a personal failure of sorts. For many years, I was the COO of Timberland, a footwear and apparel brand that aspired to lead the industry toward a more sustainable future. The reasons for the industry’s sustainability letdown are complicated. Pressure for unrelenting growth summed with consumer demand for cheap, fast fashion have been a major contributors.  So too are the related facts that real prices for footwear and apparel have halved since 1990 with most new items made from non-biodegradable petroleum-based synthetics.
To fully understand just how drastically the market has failed the planet in the fashion industry, let’s look more closely at why sustainable fashion is anything but sustainable.
The precise negative environmental impact of the fashion industry remains unknown, but it is sizeable. The industry’s boundaries spread globally and its multitiered supply chain remains complex and opaque.  Thanks to trade liberalization, globalization, and enduring cost pressures, very few brands own the assets of their upstream factories, and most companies outsource final production. “There are still very, very few brands who know where their stuff comes from in the supply chain, and even fewer of them have entered into active relationships with those suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint,” says environmental scientist Linda Greer.  This complexity and lack of transparency means estimates of the industry’s carbon impact range from 4% (McKinsey and the Global Fashion Agenda) to 10% (U.N.) of overall global carbon emissions.
Like all industries, fashion is nested in a broader system. It is a system premised on growth. While serving as an executive in the industry, never once did a CFO ask me if the business could contract to yield a more durable customer base. Nor did I ever hear from a Wall Street analyst making a pitch for Timberland to prioritize resilience ahead of revenue growth. This unyielding pursuit of growth, of “more,” drives strategies that are specific to the fashion industry. Because it is hard to make a better performing or more efficient blouse, handbag, or pair of socks, to motivate consumption, the industry pushes change. Not better — just different, cheaper, or faster.
Combine the imperative of growth with accelerating product drops, long lead times, and global supply chains, and the result is inevitable overproduction.  Notwithstanding improvements in technology and communications, predicting demand across tens of styles that are launched seasonally is much easier than doing the same for thousands of styles released monthly. Therefore, fashion inventories inevitably accumulate, and 40% of fashion goods are sold at a markdown. “The urge to sell more and get consumers to buy more is still in the DNA of the industry,” says Michael Stanley-Jones, co-secretary for the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. “Clothes have a very short life span and end up in the dump.”
The speed of this hedonic treadmill continues to ramp up exponentially.  Five years ago, McKinsey reported that shorter production lead times enabled by technology and revised business systems enabled brands to “introduce new lines more frequently. Zara offers 24 new clothing collections each year; H&M offers 12 to 16 and refreshes them weekly.” This acceleration and proliferation of “newness” served as a constant draw to bring consumers back to sites and stores.
This level of speed already seems outdated and quaint.  Shein (pronounced She-in) is now “the fastest growing ecommerce company in the world.” According to SimilarWeb, its web site ranks number one in the world for web traffic in the fashion and apparel category. Selling tops for $7, dresses for $12 and jeans for $17, Shein makes Zara and H&M look expensive and slow.  To deliver on low price points for fast changing styles, these “real time” brands rely on fossil fuel-based synthetic materials that are cheaper, adaptable, and more widely available than natural materials. As a result, polyester has grown to become the number one synthetic fiber and now represents more than half of all global fiber production. It is derived from nonrenewable resources, requires a great deal of energy for extraction and processing and releases significant byproducts.
Most discouragingly, increasing environmental damage has come at a time of heightened transparency, NGO persistence and escalating environmental concerns. It’s not as if “sustainability” isn’t on the agenda for fashion companies. Statements from fast fashion brands such as Primark (a retailer of $3.50 T shirts) that promise to “make more sustainable fashion affordable for all” are representative of the shift in zeitgeist.  But several common steps that companies are taking are not having their intended effect:
Transparency:  When Timberland issued its first corporate social responsibility report (CSR) in 2002, it was an outlier. Two decades later, all public fashion companies present their environmental, social, and governance performance in thicker, glossier forms. In this instance, volume is not a good proxy for progress. As a recent Business of Fashion report noted, “with no standardized language or regulated frameworks, deciphering what companies are actually doing is extremely challenging.” Most CSR reports do not accurately quantify the full carbon emissions profile of fashion brands and remain unaudited by external parties.
Recycling: Recycling is oversold. This is due to a host of reasons including the inability to plan design at scale due to the variability of supply; limits to recycling technology (e.g., it remains near impossible to recycle goods made from multiple inputs); limited infrastructure; and shorter, lower-quality fibers resulting from recycled inputs and high cost. As a result of these obstacles, less than 1% of all clothing is recycled into new garments.
Worse yet, recycling does little to limit environmental damage while exacerbating inequality. Recycling bins in H&M and Zara stores are a guilt-free placebo that encourages ever more consumption. Most donated items end up in landfills in poor countries.  At the same time, a recent life cycle analysis (LCA) on cotton jeans revealed that the climate change impact of buying and disposing of a pair of jeans is almost the same as upcycling the jeans into a new pair.
Bio-Based Materials: Another response to address the growing environmental footprint of fashion is the “next-gen materials industry.” Innovators are now fermenting and growing bio-based substitutes for conventional livestock derived materials (e.g., leather) and fossil fuel-based synthetics (e.g., polyester). Some of these new bio-based textiles can be engineered to deliver performance features alongside properties such as biodegradability. Unfortunately, these innovations are plagued by high initial costs (relative to well-established alternatives that benefit from scale economies), large requirements for capital (to fund new production sites), resistance to change, and the lack of pricing for externalities (that allow fossil fuel-derived alternatives to be priced to exclude their true social costs).
New Business Models: Recognition that infinite growth on a planet of finite resources is a powerful impetus to develop new business models for fashion.  As was the case with shared transport, these models tout their ability to dampen consumption of virgin resources and extend product lifecycles — but do they?
While these new business models are attracting capital, it is not yet clear if they are viable businesses. For example, Rent the Runway has burned through hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and remains unprofitable. According to their S1 figures, Rent the Runway lost $171 million on $159 million of revenue in 2020 – more than a decade after it was founded.  threadUp also remains in the red, having lost $48m on $186m in revenue last year
Projections that I have developed forecast that the fashion industry will continue to grow over the next decade. The same trends that have powered its growth will more than overwhelm gains associated with bio-based materials and new business models. Unit growth will continue to be concentrated in lower cost, more damaging synthetics fiber products thereby exacerbating a raft of other environmental challenges including water scarcity and the growth of microplastics.
What then, can be done?
Retire “Sustainability”: Less unsustainable is not sustainable. To their credit, Patagonia no longer uses the term. At the same time, fashion companies should not be allowed to simultaneously profess their commitment to sustainability, while opposing regulatory proposals that deliver the same end. Nike, for example, a brand that has committed to science-based targets, gets a poor rating from ClimateVoice for lobbying (as a member of the Business Roundtable) against the Build Back Better legislation and its provisions to address climate change.
Ultimately, businesses must disclose their lobbying efforts, use their clout to affect positive change while engineering a business system that is regenerative.  To demonstrate progress, stewardship reports should become mandatory, more quantitative, thinner, more attune to planetary thresholds and be subject to annual external audits.
Redefine Progress: GDP was never intended to be the overarching system goal. It is limited in many ways. For example, it counts the number of cars an economy produces, but not the emissions they generate. The OECD is experimenting with a different marker focused on “wellbeing” that includes social, natural, economic, and human capital. India is considering an Ease of Living index. A new goal is needed to better balance societal progress.
Rewrite the Rules: Government rule makers must price negative externalities. Carbon and water, for example, should be taxed to include social costs. This would discourage their use, lead to innovation and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. A governmental committee in the UK has also recommended a tax on virgin plastic (that would cover polyester). For the fashion industry, this would increase the price of synthetics making natural materials more attractive.
At the same time, governments should adopt extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation (as has been done in California for several categories, including carpets, mattresses, and paint). Such laws require manufacturers to pay up front for the costs of disposal of their goods.
Additional legislation ought to be adopted to force fashion brands to share and abide by supply-chain commitments. At present, a law is being developed in the state of New York that would mandate supply-chain mapping, carbon emissions reductions in line with a 1.5-degree Celsius scenario and reporting of wages as compared to payment of a living wage. Brands with more than $100 million in revenue that are unable to live up to these standards would be fined 2% of revenue.
After a quarter century of experimentation with the voluntary, market-based win-win approach to fashion sustainability, it is time to shift. Asking consumers to match their intention with action and to purchase sustainable, more expensive fashion is not working. Were consumers really willing to spend more, sifting through claims, labels and complexity is too much to ask. At the same time, it is also “greenwishing” (a term coined by ex-investor Duncan Austin) to hope that investors, with their short time horizons and index-based performance goals, will pressure companies to respect planetary boundaries.
Fashion is often said to both reflect and lead culture — the industry has a once-in-history opportunity to demonstrate that creativity and respect for boundaries can lead to authentic sustainability.

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A Digital Archive of Black Fashion Delves Into Print – The New York Times

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Black Fashion Fair is releasing a new publication featuring photography, essays and more ahead of New York Fashion Week.

Black Fashion Fair, a digital directory of Black designers started by Antoine Gregory, is taking its project to print.
What began in 2016 with a Twitter thread from Mr. Gregory listing numerous “Black designers you should know” has given way to a robust online library of independent designers and Black-owned brands, as well as a marketplace where people can buy directly from them.
Now, Black Fashion Fair has released its first print product, a nearly 200-page book that highlights designers past and present, and explores Black influence in fashion through essays, interviews and photographs, ahead of New York Fashion Week. (The shows begin Feb. 11.)
“I wanted to give a real worldview of Black fashion, style and culture as it exists right now,” Mr. Gregory, 28, said in a video interview from Long Island, where he lives. “I’m putting value on Black things, value on Black designers, and that’s doing it at the highest level.”
As the fashion industry continues to confront its systemic racism, a number of organizations, including Black in Fashion Council and Your Friends in New York, are working to ensure that Black designers get their due. That includes signal-boosting independent businesses and pushing for more inclusive casting on the runways and in advertising campaigns.
Fashion magazines in particular have been singled out for not including Black creators or Black culture in their pages, and change has been incremental. Mr. Gregory, who is also a stylist, consultant and brand director for the fashion label Theophilio, said that he wanted to create something that would challenge the gatekeepers in the industry. He sees this as distinct from the current rush in the fashion industry, which he described as seizing up Black talent out of “force.”
“There’s no excuses anymore. I think we have too much access in the world, we have too much access to the internet and to each other to say, ‘Oh I didn’t know’ or ‘I couldn’t find,’” Mr. Gregory said. “There’s so many ways to discover all this talent that’s coming out.”
Mr. Gregory grew up in Brooklyn and was inspired to start his archiving project while he was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where there was no curriculum devoted to Black designers at the time. Through Black Fashion Fair, he has hosted various community events and created education initiatives, including a partnership with the Brooklyn Sewing Academy.
Elizabeth Way, associate curator of the Museum at F.I.T. and co-curator of the exhibit “Black Fashion Designers,” wrote in an email that Black Fashion Fair “is an invaluable resource for students learning all aspects of the fashion business and fashion history, and for B.I.P.O.C. people who aspire to careers in fashion. Knowing that people who look like you have succeeded in the industry before you is a powerful motivator in a field still plagued by systemic discrimination.”
Mr. Gregory’s print publication, “Volume 0: Seen,” features the designs of Kerby Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss, Sergio Hudson, House of Aama and Edvin Thompson of Theophilio, who was named emerging designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Its pages feature Black photographers, including Aijani Payne, Amber Pinkerton, Quil Lemons, and Ahmad Barber and Donté Maurice, who are together known as AB+DM.
Mr. Barber, 31, said that fashion shoots often require him to fulfill the vision of a set of magazine editors; here, the photographers had the opportunity to bring all of their ideas to each shoot.
“It was super-freeing to be able to have a project like that,” Mr. Barber said in a video interview. “If we wouldn’t have shot them in this publication, who knows if, not only us, but other creatives would have been able to see their work in print in this way.”
Starting Feb. 7, the book ($95) will be sold on Black Fashion Fair’s website and at Mulberry Iconic Magazine store in Manhattan.
Unlike most fashion magazines, it contains no advertisements, thanks to the support of Warby Parker, the eyeglasses brand.
Neil Blumenthal, a founder of Warby Parker and its co-chief executive, said in a statement that “it’s been an honor to partner with Black Fashion Fair on their first magazine. Every page is an inspiring testament to their commitment to community and creativity.”
Among the publication’s features are behind-the-scenes photos of Anifa Mvuemba’s runway debut in Washington, D.C., for her fashion brand Hanifa; an essay on the importance of Vibe magazine and how it historically highlighted the “richness of Black style”; and a fashion spread featuring Joan Smalls draped in custom Theophilio.
“I think when we don’t own our own stories, that people can really create a very specific and very weaponized narrative about Black culture,” said Mr. Thompson, the 29-year-old Theophilio designer, in a phone interview. “I think within the last two years, the whole creative industry has led so many conversations and I think the launch of Black Fashion Fair: Seen is perfect timing.”
One of the things Mr. Gregory is most proud of, he said, was having captured in the book the most popular designs and trends in the Black design scene today, like Brandon Blackwood’s first ready-wear collection and Pyer Moss’s first couture collection.
“This had to be the most amazing thing that I have come up with to make it worth it,” Mr. Gregory said. “And that’s kind of scary because you see magazines every day that don’t have the type of content this has, but they are global issues.”
The publication, he added, won’t be the last of its kind.
“If I can put all these amazing people in one physical thing, we can have that forever,” he said. “That was my goal with this, to make something that we can have forever.”
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Sustainable Fashion 2022: From Recycled Materials to Secondhand Surge – Sourcing Journal – Sourcing Journal

If you design or sell apparel made with cotton, don’t miss our 2/18 webinar “Transparent Cotton Sourcing: Best Practices for Supply Chain Management,” with U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, TextileGenesis and Customs law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
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Despite supply chain disruptions and Covid-19 confusion, sustainability remained a major theme in fashion throughout 2021. In fact, as the buying power of Generation Z, the most eco-conscious generation, continued to grow, we saw an uptick in secondhand shopping and the use of term “sustainability” increased on product pages. At the same time, however, fast fashion remained extremely popular and the sector’s product turnover soared.
Conflicting behavior, along with the increased attention to sustainability following the Global Climate Talks in November, have made it difficult for retailers and brands to keep up with changing customer preferences. This is where market intelligence comes into play. Retailers who have deep data and insights into how, when and where customers are truly spending their money will find the greatest success in 2022. And based on what we’ve seen, retailers should plan for the increased importance of recycled materials, a shift in popular keywords and a rise in secondhand shopping as they enter the new year.

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Sustainably made products are on the rise in fashion. In fact, according to The Sustainability EDIT 2021, products listed with sustainable keywords have increased 176 percent since 2019 and 52 percent year over year. The initiative is also crossing categories as footwear made up 7 percent of new sustainable products for menswear and 3 percent for womenswear. To ensure their assortment is living up to customer expectations, retailers should use market intelligence to find gaps in competitors’ assortments and fill those gaps when planning their own assortments.
With market intelligence, brands and retailers can understand which sustainable items are more popular and therefore have frequent stockouts. They can also find opportunities for product expansion, globally and locally, by using these insights to break into new verticals that are underserved by other sustainable retailers and marketing them in a way that appeals to sustainable shoppers like members of Gen Z.
Mentions of “sustainability” have become a constant in retailers’ communications to consumers, increasing by 84 percent in customer emails since 2019. Yet, the difficulty comes from how the sustainable items are labeled and if that is resonating with the target audience. Currently, “recycled” is the most common keyword in sustainably labeled product listings. In fact, our research found that the keyword accounts for 51 percent of sustainable products in stock in the U.S., up from 29 percent in 2019.
Meanwhile, there are other terms that can convey eco-friendly manufacturing details like bio-based, net-zero or climate-friendly and more. Market intelligence can help brands and retailers determine what keywords are benefiting the competitors and which words can be used to differentiate their offerings for the eco-conscious shoppers. By using less common language on product detail pages and marketing materials, retailers have a chance to educate their consumers and showcase their sustainability efforts to gain loyalty.
Any stigma once associated with secondhand shopping has all but disintegrated in the last few years with the apparel and fashion resale market predicted to be worth at least $64 billion by 2024 by some estimates. While retailers in the past had to worry about the timeliness of styles on resale platforms, today these seemingly outdated products are selling out before they become stale. For example, we found that 89 percent of the products available at pre-owned fashion company Vestiaire Collective are under three months old, and only 4 percent have been listed for over a year. The trend towards secondhand shopping and a new perspective on the timeliness of fashion offers unique opportunities for retailers to adjust their pricing strategies.
With items flowing off the shelves for pre-owned fashion companies, retailers with secondhand options can be more selective with discounts. Using market intelligence to track competitor pricing, these niche retailers can spot pricing opportunities based on the intricacies of how assortments line up with current trends compared to the competition. Similarly, other retailers can take advantage of this new consumer mindset. For instance, with the current supply chain disruptions, market intelligence can help retailers review competitors’ pricing and assortments to set the most profitable price for inventory that arrived after its designated season.
While it will take time to reverse the damaging effects of unsustainable practices, there is a strong commitment across the fashion industry to evolve and new approaches are being implemented quickly.  As consumers become increasingly interested in eco-friendly sourcing and secondhand shopping, retailers can make a positive change while still delighting customers. The future of fashion is sustainable and profitable if retailers listen to consumer trends and act on market intelligence insights strategically.
Juliana Prather is the chief marketing officer at Edited, the leader in retail intelligence, market strategy and enterprise data. Before joining Edited, she was a principal consultant at Grant Juerey, where she developed and launched the Strategic Greenhouse. Prather was also CMO at The Marena Group and has held high-level marketing roles for brands and retailers including Maidenform and Superga.
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Kim Kardashian and Julia Fox's many matching fashion moments – Page Six

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By Elana Fishman

January 25, 2022 | 5:03pm | Updated
Kanye West clearly has a type.
The rapper and fashion force famously overhauled ex Kim Kardashian’s wardrobe when the duo started dating in 2012, tossing her bandage dresses and bulky designer totes to make way for the sleek, monochromatic styles that still define her look to this day.
And now that West and Julia Fox are an item, it seems the “Uncut Gems” actress is getting a makeover of her own, with her new beau treating her to racks of Diesel duds and whisking her off to Paris Fashion Week.
“Kanye’s doing with Julia what he did to Kim,” a Kardashian source recently told Page Six. “He’s controlling what she wore — making sure she appears as the set image that he has in his mind.”
But in fact, 44-year-old West might not have to work much at all to transform Fox, 31, into the woman of his dreams. A self-proclaimed “die-hard, OG” fan of the Kardashians, Fox seems to have been taking cues from the Skims founder’s closet for years; the two bodacious brunettes have even stepped out separately wearing the exact same outfit on several occasions.
Below, all the twinning moments that prove that while Fox and West may be “kindred spirits,” she and Kardashian are style twins.
Kardashian, 41, paired a black latex Atsuko Kudo bustier with a sheer, shimmering Ralph & Russo Couture skirt for the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards with West. While Fox might’ve opted for different designers at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Uncut Gems” in 2019 — Paco Rabanne, to be precise — there’s no denying the similarities between their styles.
The KKW Fragrance founder took Alexander Wang’s lacy black onesie for a spin in January 2019; that December, Fox picked the same sexy, skirted style for the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
Any real style star knows you haven’t made it until you’ve got access to top designers’ archives. Kardashian and Fox both appear to be fans of vintage Versace in particular, having picked likeminded black gowns with plunging necklines and slit skirts for the 2019 amfAR Gala New York and a 2020 Golden Globes afterparty, respectively.
In 2014, Kardashian’s uniform became a Max Mara coat layered over a matching body-con dress. Fox went for the same fashion formula at the 2020 Whitney Art Party, choosing a look from the brand in bright, eye-catching blue.
Long before linking up with West, Fox stripped down to her Skims to promote the brand’s Summer Mesh collection in 2020.
Getting dizzy? Considering that both Kardashian and Fox have rocked Jean Paul Gaultier’s “body morphing” frock on the red carpet — the former at the 2018 People’s Choice Awards, the latter at a 2021 Christian Louboutin party — we couldn’t blame you.
Remember when West emailed Kardashian instructing her to ditch her oversized shades in 2018? It seems KKW’s still all about tiny sunglasses — and so is Fox. Two months after Kardashian posed on Instagram in a glossy leather Balenciaga look accessorized with narrow frames in November 2021, the actress had a “Matrix” moment of her own.
You can’t hang with West without wearing Balenciaga, the Grammy winner’s luxury label of choice. And Fox took things a literal step further during Paris Fashion Week in January 2022, slipping into the very same pair of thigh-high silver boots Kardashian’s been snapped in since 2016.
During her first NYC date night with West, Fox toted a pint-sized version of Balenciaga’s “Hourglass” bag — the very same purse Kardashian owns in a handful of colors and carries on a near-daily basis. Coincidence? We think not.

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Hermès Sues NFT Creator Over ‘MetaBirkin’ Sales – The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
Hermès is suing the NFT creator Mason Rothschild, who has seen viral success marketing a line of digital assets he calls “MetaBirkins.”
The French luxury house dropped its famously discreet posture in order to come out guns-blazing against Rothschild in a 47-page complaint submitted to New York’s Southern District Court Friday, calling the creator “a digital speculator who is seeking to get rich quick.”
The complaint, which was first reported on The Fashion Law, raises questions about how trademark protections for real-world items will be enforced in the digital realm as commercial activity heats up in the metaverse. Brands including Balenciaga and Nike are experimenting with virtual fashion. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (unique digital assets authenticated using blockchain technology), depicting fashion items have sold for millions in recent months.
Rothschild’s digital dupes of the Birkin, which depict fur-covered bags shaped like the iconic totes, first sold online in December for $42,000. The bags retail for over $10,000 in the physical world and are particularly coveted on the resale market due to their limited production.
A few weeks later, NFT exchange OpenSea removed the MetaBirkins from its online exchange in response to a cease-and-desist letter from Hermès, but Rothschild continued to market them on his website, linking visitors to other exchanges where they remain available to buy and sell.
Rothschild “simply rips off Hermès’ famous Birkin trademark by adding the generic prefix ‘meta’,” Hermès’ counsel alleged in the complaint. “There can be no doubt that this success arises from his confusing and dilutive use of Hermès’ famous trademarks,” the company added.
Rothschild has claimed that as an artist his activities are protected by the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech, calling the MetaBirkins a “playful abstraction of an existing fashion-culture landmark.”
“I am not creating or selling fake Birkin bags. I’ve made artworks that depict imaginary, fur-covered Birkin bags,” Rothschild said in a statement online Monday responding to Hermès’ complaint. “I won’t be intimidated,” he added.
Hermès has pushed back against his interpretation. “Although a digital image connected to an NFT may reflect some artistic creativity, just as a T-shirt or a greeting card may reflect some artistic creativity, the title of ‘artist’ does not confer a license to use an equivalent to the famous Birkin trademark in a manner calculated to mislead consumers and undermine the ability of that mark to identify Hermès as the unique source of goods sold under the Birkin mark,” the company said.
The company argues that without the court’s action, MetaBirkins could “ultimately preempt Hermès’ ability to offer products and services in virtual marketplaces that are uniquely associated with Hermès and meet Hermès’ quality standards.” Hermès wants the court to require Rothschild to cease his activities, surrender the MetaBirkins.com domain name to Hermès, and pay damages including his profits from selling the digital assets.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated on Tuesday, 18th January 2022 at 9:40am BST. Adds comment by Mason Rothschild in response to Hermès’ legal complaint.
Learn more:
How to Market an NFT
Brands will have to navigate how to reach a new kind of audience in order to make their digital assets stand out.

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Junk Kouture – #YouthLead in sustainable fashion – United Nations Western Europe – UNRIC.org

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Demand for fast fashion is greater than ever and doesn’t look like slowing down. Yet, in addition to devastating environmental effects, the fashion industry has a significant human impact. So, what can we do to reverse the trend and support more sustainable fashion?
Junk Kouture is a global platform for young people’s creative expression based in Dublin. It is one of many youth-led projects inspiring climate action by turning fabric into something fabulous. The goal is to empower young people through creativity and sustainability to produce positive change.
Junk Kouture runs workshops, competitions and education programmes combining textiles, design, and dance with the aim of turning old clothes, unwanted materials and even food waste into something beautiful.  In September 2021, Junk Kouture will launch a global competition inviting young creatives from five international cities to get involved and learn about sustainability by doing something fun and innovative.
The fashion industry produces between 2 to 8 per cent of global carbon emissions, with textile dyeing being the second largest polluter of water globally. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Textiles are also estimated to account for approximately 9% of annual microplastic losses to the ocean. Then there is the human cost: textile workers are often paid derisory wages and forced to work long hours in appalling conditions.
Junk Kouture (JK) encourages young adults to challenge the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ linear model of fashion production. By turning “waste” back into wearable fashion, JK is fostering a new generation of circular engineers. Through the JK process, participants become more aware of sustainable development and our role in destroying or living in harmony with nature.
Women’s rights are also key to fighting for positive change as more than 80% of garment workers around the world are women. These workers are some of the most vulnerable, and lowest paid workers across the globe. Being a conscious consumer not only benefits the environment but also the very people who make your clothes.
The past few years have shown how young people can lead the way in climate action and JK is a great example of this happening right now. We can see encouraging trends showing that young people are willing to spend more on ethical brands and buy second-hand clothes. There are many more people buying upcycled products, not just in the fashion industry, and there are real signs of change driven by education about human rights and climate change.
For any budding artists, designers, activists, or schools looking to take part in the Junk Kouture competition, you can sign up now on their website before September. Be sure to follow @junkkouture for lots of updates and inspiration on the upcoming competition in your city!
– Download the JK handbook which has everything you need to get started – available here.
– Follow Jk on social channels @junkkouture for daily updates and inspiration.
– Create an Instagram account for your design and document your journey.
 
Additional Links:
UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter: https://unfccc.int/climate-action/sectoral-engagement/global-climate-action-in-fashion/about-the-fashion-industry-charter-for-climate-action
Stay informed and engaged during #COVID19

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Commentary: We're drowning in a fast fashion ocean of clothes – CNA

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Commentary
Resale platforms must contend with stigma, superstition and lack of trust to change the tides of sustainable fashion in Singapore, says Retykle founder Sarah Garner.
Are you spring-cleaning and emptying closets full of old clothing? (Photo: iStock)
SINGAPORE: The secondhand fashion space has seen a meteoric rise, with the market expected to grow more than 10 times faster than traditional retail by 2025.
The world has seen the growth of secondhand platforms. Thredup and Depop achieved valuations in 2021 of US$1.3 billion and US$1.6 billion respectively. 
Changing consumer behaviours, environmental concerns and the increased sophistication coupled with the digitalisation of secondhand trade have turbocharged this trend. 
Despite seemingly global widespread acceptance of buying and selling secondhand clothing, adoption within Singapore has been slower, with a traditional preference for brand new and a pursuit of fads. 
Barely five years ago, a YouGov survey found one in three Singaporeans throw away clothing after wearing it just once. 
But as environmental consciousness rises, could such trends change – for good?
The Chinese New Year is a litmus test for whether old notions of “out with the old and in with the new” remain.
Cultural apprehensions and a perceived stigma to buying secondhand are considerable barriers. It is believed that the luck of the previous owner is passed forward through the garment to the new owner. 
Many pieces have also been tossed aside once deemed unfashionable or in need of repair – no surprise when brand new clothing is additionally a demonstration of wealth.
This belief is magnified during Chinese New Year when wearing new clothes signifies a fresh start for the new year.
A poll conducted in 2019 by Milieu, a consumer research and analytics firm,  showed that 82 per cent of Chinese Singaporeans usually purchase new clothes for Chinese New Year, with only 38 per cent considering the environmental impacts of their purchases. 
Many are tempted to buy from fast fashion brands such as Zara or Shein due to their inexpensive, trend-driven styles. However, their low prices and constant cycle of producing new trends also ingrain a mindset of disposability and unconscious consumerism.
Despite consumers stating they care about sustainability, overconsumption is still a considerable problem.
A recent study by Globescan revealed a large aspiration-action gap. In Asia, 44 per cent of respondents desired to lead a more sustainable lifestyle but only 23 per cent had undertaken major changes to achieve this. 
Singapore’s love for shopping in Singapore has also come into sharper focus over the festive season when charity donations escalate. 
The Salvation Army recently reported the volume of donations tripling in December as households perform traditional spring-cleaning in the run up to the new year. Workers there say most items dropped off were unusable or soiled. 
It appears clearing away bad luck also means more incinerated waste in landfills, with textile and leather waste peaking in 2018 with 205,800 tonnes disposed of in landfills. 
Carbon emissions and sustainability are still not top priorities when people buy things. In a recent survey by Retykle carried out among Singapore parents, price, quality and style were the main drivers behind purchasing decisions with sustainability only coming in fourth. 
There is also little conversation about the true cost of our fashion choices, and even fewer discussions over sustainable and ethical supply chains, or improving transparency and standards among brands and retailers. 
Fortunately the tide is shifting with an increasing awareness of how our purchasing habits can impact the environment. 
The pandemic has accelerated an otherwise slower transition towards conscious consumerism. As consumers spend more time at home, they have re-evaluated the importance of their health and by extension, the planet: Why do we need so many clothing when most of us work from home most days? 
There is a general realisation that we can all make do with less coupled with a desire to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. A key topic discussed at the annual climate change conference COP26 was the concept of “degrowth” and how we must dramatically reduce consumption. 
Education is paramount to facilitate this coupled with a greater awareness of the environmental issues caused by the fashion industry. 
Local brands and retailers too are starting to focus on how they can help themselves and their consumers reduce their carbon footprint.
Love Bonito, Southeast Asia’s largest omnichannel women’s wear brand started in Singapore, has just started advertising for its first sustainability hire indicating that a consumer shift is being acknowledged in the market.
As customers wake up to the true cost of a fast-fashion purchase, that collective shift away from disposable wardrobes is inevitable.
Resale platforms provide consumers with the opportunity to buy better brands with better quality and durability at more affordable prices while also benefiting our planet. Besides, who would want fast fashion replicas when they can get “the real thing” in the form of designer fashion for an equivalent price? 
Fashion should endure over the years, both in style and condition. Clothing used to be built to last and was purchased with consideration – often with the intent to pass to the next generation, or family, after we are done with them. 
Personally, a few of my favourite wardrobe staples are hand-me-downs from my mom – vintage pieces from her wardrobe in the pre 2000s including a Gucci belt I wear regularly and a timeless Chanel jacket that hasn’t shown any signs of wear. 
The key to unlocking participation in the secondhand market in Singapore is trust. Many consumers are concerned about the quality and authenticity of buying second-hand goods, particularly in Asia. 
They are sceptical about the reliability of listings that have not been verified on other listing platforms. A rigorous and transparent authentication and quality control multi-point check system, where retail teams inspect items to detect defects, and allow for returns can allay consumer fears about quality and counterfeits. 
Online clothing resale has taken off quicker in the West where customers  have been trading secondhand items. Offline consignment shops, shopping at charity shops and the ease of donation and recirculation have made it an integral part of everyday life.
The resale market within Singapore is still nascent and small but growing quickly. Singapore-founded Carousell is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing secondhand market places in Southeast Asia. Last year it reached a valuation of US$1.1 billion. 
The platform has played an important role in seeding the market for acceptance of secondhand and has seen increasing numbers come online during the pandemic as Singaporeans sought to earn some extra cash while finding bargain buys. 
There are also more specialised platforms as well as larger international names, such as Vestiaire Collective, offering ready options for those wanting to shift to buy preloved clothes instead of brand new items. 
As I look ahead to Chinese New Year, I will be shopping from my own closet and not buying anything new to signal that luck can also be awarded for making conscious fashion decisions. 
Sarah Garner is founder of Retykle.
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