Cabinet of curiosities & Inspirations since 2009

Cabinet of curiosities & Inspirations since 2009
*I Don’t Own the Rights to These Photos*

8 juin 2008

All about Fair Trade and Eco-Fashion in 2008

Dear readers,

I picked for you the best Fair Trade, eco and "Green" Fashion of all this summer 2008.

But before buying, few informations.

All the informations here are my personnal research on eco-fashion.

Are you ready: Just say " VIVA ECO-CHIC"!

Organic today is everywhere. The multinational Brands are launching organic labels. 

It's 'hip to be green' and people are starting to use this as an angle to make money. 

If you are not into organic, you will soon have a problem withyour consumers concerns. Consumers have the power to change things .

Shops and manufacturers are just meeting the demand from shoppers.

Organic food, Hybrid cars, ecological cleaners, bio beauty products....

Beeing "Green" is no more a intelligentsia post hippie trend .

 It's now a global and vital economical concern.

We all know that we have to turn to a new green economy. 

But we also know that the green idea will be slow to be effective.

Think about the petrol prices . Consumers are ready for hybrid cars but

 hybrids aren't produced enough , there prices are still too expensive.

It's of course the same, when you want to eat only organic food- it's also a luxury.

However, rather than running to the shops tomorrow and buying a new pair of jeans,

Consumers could create their own eco wardrobe by recycling and reusing old clothes - 

getting creative with last season's jeans rather thanthrowing them out.

I know that the most environmentally thing to do should  not go shopping.

But beeing a shopping addict i rather inform you about good ethical fashion shopping ways.

It's about standing up for what you believe in.


My best Fashion pics for this summer 2008:


First Katherine Hammet slogan tee-shirt is the trendy pic 

for this summer 2008 (check my post on those slogan tees) 

and read theVery magazine interview. 


People Tree  is a japanese compagny launched in 1997. 

The brand launch Fair Trade on the UK high street in 2006 with

 a concession in Topshop's flagship Oxford Circus store in London.

Other organic pioneers brand Stewart and Brown.

 Mociun based in New York is a fashion must have.

the zig zag print swimsuit and the dress.

 Organic By John Patrick Romper, Skirt & Blouse:

 Recycling and customisation with the Hip Parisian brand Andrea Crews. 

I am not a big fan of the brand but check yourself.

Gabriella gold dress at Fashion Conscience online store.

 About the Not-so-green jeans.

Just over a year ago, Levi Strauss & Co., the top jeans retailer in America, launched Eco jeans, made with 100 percent organic cotton.Levi's explains that the move to organic was a simple response to consumer demand. Retail sales of organic cotton increased 238 percent between 2005 and 2007, and sales are expected to reach more than $2 billion by the end of this year, according to Organic Exchange, a nonprofit trade association.

While certified organic cotton makes up only an estimated 1 percent of the total cotton grown worldwide, the demand for organic cotton is so great that suppliers report escalating prices across the world. However,Organic textiles aren't like organic apples; they don't roll off the farm ready to wear. There are no laws that regulate how a garment made from organic fiber must be processed -- that is, dyed, washed and sewed. The Fair Trade Commission regulates textiles but has no specific laws for organic labeling; manufacturers are expected to make truthful claims. But "truthful" can lead to some surprising omissions.

Another misleading aspect of the lack of product standards is that a garment labeled "made with organic cotton" could contain minuscule amounts, say 3 percent, of organic cotton.denim is dyed with petroleum-based dyes and soften with toxic bleaches. Jeans marketed as eco and organic might use any of these processes.

For now, until textile processing gets an organic certification standard, those concerned with their environmental impact should buy darker jeans, which generally are made with many fewer chemicals.Del Forte reports that it reduces the use of chemicals by hand-sanding its denim for that weathered look. For its fancy Capital E 501 jeans, which retail for around $250, Levi's insists it uses nonpetroleum, plant-based dye (patato starch,mimosa flower) and few or no finishing agents (Marseille soap). Patagonia claims that it uses minimal finishers in its organic cotton jeans.

So far, however, there's no label to identify the standard or a Web site to list companies that adopt the Global Organic Textile Standard.


  You can find Elsom, Serfontaine and Delforte “not-so-green“jeans 

at Adili and Fashion-conscience online stores.



Wood sunglasses by Iwood


Manimal Moccasins made by hand in Rhode Island, USA.


Polka Tote & Swing Bag By Hau Hauz Made by hand in Finland, Scandinavia.

Veja launched the first fair trade trainers


Even famous wear Green labels; Natalie Portman wears

 Sui Generis by Beyond Skin for the Oscars.

This summer choose the lovely  Bella Wedge Heel.

 I. Ronni Kappos Rainbow Multi Disk & Black Bead Necklaces

The glass comes from the famed, but long-defunct 

German glassworks in the Sudetenland region of Bohemia.

Since these beads were made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, 

they are rare and highly collectable.


And at Ndeur shoes you can send the Canadian Mathieu Missiaen 

your own shoes and they will custumize and recycle them for you.



My fav summer shoes are the Toms shoe espadrilles in gold and silver.

The official "Stop Global Warming" Ecoist bracelets ;

Handmade from recycled candy wrappers, soda labels, and food packages,

repurposed glass, vinyl records, and misprinted candy wrappers.

Cool and inexpensive.


All Made jewels are designed by influential designers, 

then sourced and created within disadvantaged communities across East Africa.

Very affordable.

This amazing Kenya Beaded bag by members of the Maasai community.


What should be an Ethical Fashion industry ?

1. Organic standards - Organic clothing is made without the use of toxic chemicals. See article on organic and eco fashion for more details.

2. Fair trade standards - Fair trade means paying a fair wage to workers and making sure they get a fair deal.Using Traditional skills,beeing locally sourced, can participate to a charitable project, having an environmental impact

and respect working conditions and labour standarts.

3. Recycling and customisation - Many designers and companies are now making clothes from recycled clothing or fabrics. You could also consider transforming your own clothes by customising them. See article on recycling and customisation for more details.

4. should use Fair trade cotton, Hemp, Linen, Bamboo, Organic Wool, and natural dyes 

(from plants,vegetable and roots).

5. It's better if the brand belongs to The Fair Trade Association (IFAT,Soil or FLO).


The trade associations:

IFAT is an internationally recognised organisation that aims to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged producers, by linking and promoting Fair Trade organisations and speaking out for greater justice in World Trade. IFAT members take part in regular reviews to ensure that they meet IFAT standards.

IFAT is one way of ensuring that the profits from the sales of goods are going directly to the people who make them, and that workers are paid well and treated fairly.

Other fashion businesses may call themselves 'fair trade' without really having a clear understanding of what this means. If you are buying fair trade fashion, always ask how fair trade standards are guaranteed by the company in question.



The Soil Association organic symbol is the UK's largest and most recognisable trademark for organic produce.

Wherever you see it you can be sure that the food you have purchased has been produced and processed to strict animal welfare and environmental standards. The Soil Association has probably the highest and most comprehensive standards for organic production and processing in the world.

Fairtrade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers and workers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system. If fair access to markets under better trade conditions would help them to overcome barriers to development, they can join Fairtrade.”

Fairtrade Labelling was created in the Netherlands in the late 1980s. The Max Havelaar Foundation launched the first Fairtrade consumer guarantee label in 1988 on coffee sourced from Mexico.


Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) is the international organisation responsible for setting and maintaining the Fairtrade standards that apply to producers and trading relationships. FLO is owned jointly by 20 national labelling initiatives covering 22 countries and producered networks representing certified producer organisations across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. This means that cotton farmers are paid fairly and have fair working conditions.However, growing cotton is only one stage in the process of making a garment, and fair trade cotton standards do not guarantee fair working conditions in the factory which makes this cotton into T-shirts or jeans.

          the Trade Standards:

•        Pay at least a price to producers that at least covers the costs of sustainable production:

          the Fairtrade minimum price.

•        Pay a premium that producers can invest in development: the Fairtrade Premium.

•        Partially pay in advance, when producers ask for it.

•        Sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.

The definition of Ethical trade here.

 It can be difficult for fashion companies to guarantee fair trade standards 

at every step in the chain, especially when the components of clothes

 may have been made in several different countries.

There are currently two ways in which fair trade can play

 a part in the way a piece of clothing is made.


 Why Organic cotton is different?



•  Typically treats seeds with fungicides or insecticides.

•  Uses GMO seeds for approximately 70% of US-grown cotton.

·  Applies synthetic fertilizers.

·  Loss of soil due to predominantly mono-crop culture.

·  Requires intensive irragation.

•  Uses insecticides heavily, accounting for approximately 25% of world consumption.

•  Uses pesticides: the nine most common are  highly toxic; five are probable carcinogens.

•  Frequently uses aerial spraying, with potential drift onto farm workers, neighboring wildlife and communities.

•  Applies herbicides to soil to inhibit weed germination.

•  Repeatedly uses herbicides to kill weeds that do grow.



•  Uses untreated seeds.

• Never use GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds.

•  Maintains a balance between “pests” and their natural  predators through healthy soil.

•  Uses beneficial insects, biological and cultural practices to control pests.

•  May use trap crops, planted to lure insects away from the cotton

•  physical removal rather than chemical destruction.

•  Controls weeds through cultivation and hang hoeing.





Conventional cotton represents 10% of world agriculture and uses 25% of the world's pesticides. 

100 million conventional cotton farmers, from Russia to South Africa, 

are living in conditions of abject poverty and near starvation.

Conventional cotton subsidies funded by American taxpayers are causing poverty

 in the developing world as they lower the world price for cotton. 

20,000 people die every year from accidental pesticide poisoning 

in conventional cotton agriculture (World Health Organisation). 

Death by starvation is alarmingly prevalent and 200,000 cotton farmers 

commit suicide annually due to spiralling debts incurred 

from buying pesticides. A further 1,000,000 people a year suffer 

from long-term pesticide poisoning .

However, if farmers grow cotton organically and can sell it as such, 

this dire situation is reversed.By growing organically, 

farmers get a 50% increase in their income - due to a 40% reduction in costs - 

and the 20% premium they receive for producing organic cotton allows them 

to feed, clothe, educate and provide healthcare for their children.

Organic cotton helps farmers trade their way out of poverty. 

It's the only formula for survival in the cotton sector in the developing world.

more informations about organic cotton on the website of organic exchange.

 Online eco-magazines:

style will save us  

Tree Hugger  

The ecologist  

ethical trading initiative  


Useful Links:

Organic exchange

The Soil Association

Ethical Trading Initiative

organic agriculture


After reading  this post, i hope you had found new informations.

Ethical and eco-fashion is now your concern.

If you know other Eco-Fashion brands, please tell me.