Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Blog Action Day: Outfit Post

It's Blog Action Day 2013 and this year we, as a collective, are focusing on human rights. As an ethical fashion blogger I've looked at the Rana Plaza factory collapse in my previous post and now I'm doing an outfit post to show you how you can use fashion to promote the proper enforcement of human rights.

In this picture, I'm wearing a top and a pair of boots both bought from Oxfam. Buying from Oxfam not only promotes the reduction of consumption and waste in the fashion industry but also gives to an incredibly good cause. Oxfam is committed to reducing poverty around the globe and promoting human rights. This top is actually originally from Edun- an ethical fashion brand which uses Fair Trade in its supply chain and promotes use of the African fashion industry. Fair Trade strictly promotes human rights in its labour policies. 

The skirt is from People Tree- pioneer of ethical and Fair Trade fashion and the first fashion brand to be accredited by the WFTO. People Tree is committed to providing long term jobs to those who need them most and creating beautiful items of clothing in the most human and environmentally friendly way possible.

By choosing to shop from ethical, Fair Trade, second hand and charity fashion brands; we can make a positive difference to peoples lives around the world and throughout the supply chain. Our purchasing power should not be over looked. As consumers we hold immense power over fashion brands; their supply meets our demand- if we demand better, they will have to provide.

Join the debate on twitter : )
@onegreendress  |  @MrsWandas  |  @BlogActionDay12  |  #BAD2013  |  #HumanRights

Blog Action Day: Rana Plaza

The Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh opened up the worlds eyes to a problem that has been ignored for too long. The garment industry has been employing labourers around the world without being fully aware of how human rights are being enforced or simply disregarded. This is mainly due to fashion brands out-sourcing labour and refusing to own the factories that produce their garments. In the past, this has relinquished them from any responsibility for factory safety upkeep and working conditions but now people are starting to question this chain of accountability. 

The fashion industry's supply chain is notoriously long and complicated; spanning many countries and cultures, travelling thousands of miles, passing through countless pairs of hands. This is where the problem of accountability and responsibility arises. Who do we look to, to enforce human rights throughout the supply chain? 

Fashion brands? Consumers? Governments?

Well I think that we all need to chip in. When a person's human rights are denied, we have a collective responsibility to speak up. Governments around the world should all be moving towards introducing not only minimum wages but living wages. There are some fashion brands that are already providing this for their employees around the world and I hope to see others follow in this vain. As consumers, what can we do? Well, we can demand more. We can call out the retailers that are disregarding human rights, we can promote the ones that are enforcing them and we can cast our vote with our money by letting our purchasing power do the talking.

After the Rana Plaza disaster, the 'Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh' was drafted by Uni Global Union, IndustriALL and NGWF. It was put forward to all the fashion companies producing garments in the city. Under the accord, garment workers can refuse to work in unsafe conditions and must continue to be paid under these circumstances until the issues are resolved. The fashion brands were not eager to sign, with some major hesitations from; Matalan, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, J D Sports and River Island. We are still waiting for Peacocks and Sports Direct to sign.

The fashion companies complicit in the Rana Plaza disaster were invited to Geneva to discuss setting up a fund for the victims. Of the 29 companies involved, only 9 turned up and only Primark contributed to the fund. It's time for us to call upon these fashion brands to become accountable to their workers. You can call on Peacocks and Sports Direct to sign the Accord via the See Through Fashion campaign here. You can also chose to cast your consumer vote wisely by shopping for clothes using ethical fashion brands that enforce living wages and by buying second hand from charity and vintage shops.

Learn more about human rights and ethical fashion by following the debate today on twitter
#humanrights | #BAD2013 | #ethicalfashion | @blogactionday12 | @MsWandas | @onegreendress

Picture from: Business of Fashion

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Longing for Miista Right...


Miista by ameliaglynn on Polyvore

Don't worry, the long winter nights haven't sent me gooey eyed but this shift in weather has had me hankering after some new shoes. Preferably some boots of the sturdier variety. Miista has the most gorgeous collection of ethical footwear to drool over- I just have to block out the price tags... Ahhh maybe one day : )

Friday, 11 October 2013

Vintage Style with Oxfam

As the seasons change we inevitably end up looking into our wardrobes and altering them to fit in with the new nips and chills that we are challenged with daily. Autumn is probably my favourite season. I love the colours that are thrust upon us in the turning of the leaves; I love how crisp the mornings become with dew and mist and fog. I love seeing my breath in front of me. 

But most of all I love the change to my wardrobe. First of all there are the knits; the woolies, the chunky knits, the bobbly jumpers, the teacher cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves. I love how a knit can be thrown on top of everything else altering the entire outfit or artfully layered to merely enhance ones current look. In my mind, the best knits are vintage 80's- this is the only way to get the best classic vibrant chunky mohair designs that are synonymous with that period of time...

Autumn Knits Vintage

Then of course we have the anticipation of the party season. You know it's coming; it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from halloween. Time to crack out the party dresses- 50's style prom being my winter party favourite, harking back to school discos, slow dances and bowls of punch....

Party Season Vintage

And then there are the grey days. Days where one look out of the window makes you want to bury your head under the duvet and never leave. On these days I go with the flow and let the weather guide my wardrobe with greys, blacks and whites to reflect the stormy skies outside...

Monochrome Vintage

All of the above pieces can be found on the Oxfam Online Shop. What does your vintage winter wardrobe include? What are your favourite autumn pieces? Let me know in the comment section below or tweet me @onegreendress : )

You can also find this post on the Oxfam Fashion Blog

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Balance Diversity: Ethics on the Runway

On this blog I constantly find myself discussing ethics during the manufacturing process of fashion but the ethical credentials of the fashion industry cannot be limited to this one area. Last month Naomi Campbell, Bethann Hardison and Iman brought attention to the fashion industry's limited use of black models on the catwalk. The 'Diversity Coalition' penned an open letter to the heads of the four main Fashion Councils: London, New York, Paris and Milan.

Their message is clear, ethnic diversity on the catwalks is disturbingly limited. And it's not just on the runway- Vogue has been repeatedly criticised for hiring almost exclusively white women for its covers, not only in the early days but in disturbingly recent years too. 

When we discuss ethical fashion, we shouldn't be demanding fair treatment for only those people who manufacture our clothes; we should be demanding fair treatment for all people hired in the fashion industry including those closer to home. Let me know whether you think we need more ethnic diversity on the runways in the comments section below or tweet me #BalanceDiversity