Eco-fashion tips, trend, Uncategorized

HELL NO UNIQLO

Happy April and happy Earth Month.  Let’s talk about Uniqlo … while we have a veritable pig engaging in pissing contests with the wealthiest men all over the world, scheming to build walls in the urinals so he can change the rules of said pissing contest, the new feud between fast fashion earth-destroyer Tadashi Yanai and our own embarrassing guy here raises an important topic.  The problem?  They’re worried about the wrong things.

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Image: Spirited Away

If you recall, a couple years ago, I wrote a letter to Obama asking him to even the playing field in the US market by taxing imports from human-rights violating countries which manufacture clothing at a price point below $50.  He wrote me back, but did nothing to fix the problem. The current face-off has overseas manufacturers whose violations of human rights have left over ten thousand people dead without consequence at Rana Plaza and bumped textiles to the number two source of pollution worldwide, and Trump wants to stop them.  Why? Because they took our jobs.  Yes, they did in fact take our jobs, and that is a very important point, but examining the side effects of sociopathic driven brands Uniqlo, Zara, H & M and Urban Outfitters / Anthropologie, you would understand that this issue is just important to liberals as it is for conservatives.

As a response to taxing imports, Uniqlo’s owner was quoted saying “We would not be able to make really good products [in the U.S.] at costs that are beneficial to customers … It would become meaningless to do business in the U.S.”  But what he fails to explain is the reasons why he would not be able to manufacture in the US.  Could it be that our labor force is unskilled? No, that’s not it.  Maybe it’s because we don’t allow CHILD LABOR in our country.  Probably.  Now let’s get back to the part about “really good products.”  What’s a really good product that Uniqlo makes … the cheap cashmere that if you’re lucky lasts 1/10th as long as authentic Italian cashmere?  Not good in my book, I’d rather pay full price for quality cashmere that lasts years.  Or what about the Heat Tech ™ microfiber, tech means it’s really good, better than anything else, right?  Think again: the first time you wash it, those micro fibers dissolve irreversibly into our drinking water and cannot be filtered out.  Each subsequent wash releases more and more tiny synthetic particles that glob together in the ocean and destroy marine life.  The synthetic-heavy textiles created overseas spew toxic gases into the air and use excessive amounts of water in the process.  Wow if you didn’t know already, you may begin to see we don’t need these inferior products and their planet-devastating side effects.

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Image: Spirited Away

Internationally speaking, I worked a lot with professionals from Japan, and learned about the market from the Japanese consumer’s point of view when I was establishing my business.  When Uniqlo first brought their brand to the US, the Japanese people in my industry all agreed it was a desperate attempt for validation.  It turns out the mediocre brand was doing “meh” in its home country and sought to take on specifically the New York market to add prestige to its brand.  Fast forward to now, their aggressive takeover of the US market has undercut quality goods which have a better cost per wear by bamboozling customers, is well on its way to ruining our water supply just from normal wash and wear, and let’s not forget they left a body count that is comparable if not higher than the number of deaths here on that awful day Sept 11.  WE DON’T WANT YOU UNIQLO.  Please stop messing with us, your aggressive takeover is over, please pack up and go while we can still clean up the mess and do better without you.

Now the brand name, (ironically a portmanteau for Unique Clothing … there’s nothing unique about their basic garbage) is a lie.  So, why are they a fashion brand with no designers?  You always know that a brand is shady when no designer will show their face or put their name on something.  Designers are in a unique point of view because their eyes can potentially see the suffering and damage caused by the work, which consumers often do not see.  Most often when it’s a noname brand (Zara, H&M, UO/Anthro and celebrities who aren’t professional designers,) the silhouettes are stolen from legit designers, a symptom indicative of shady practices from the top all the way down every step of the supply chain.  Only sometimes to fool us, they pick up graphic designers to endorse tee shirts simply as a marketing ploy.  If we are to begin to establish a sustainable future, and move textiles off the list of the top violators of our one and only planet earth, we need to take down these sociopaths and put designers back in charge.

If you care about the planet and want to help end the suffering, or you just want your job in the fashion industry, join me in using the hashtag – #HELLNOUNIQLO in conjunction with earth month related tweets and social media posts.  Stay tuned for next week when we go over the current qualifiers for what makes sustainable fashion brands.

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looks, Uncategorized

Memento Mori Collection raises funds and awareness for artisans globally

On February 16, Alisha Trimble wrapped fashion week her way by hosting a Salon benefiting the NEST organization, hosted by Real Estate Agent Bernadette Mastrangel.

The salon featured a private viewing of evening wear by Alisha Trimble along with a conversation on women and slow fashion with Nest.

Alisha said “I chose the honeycomb motif as my Memento Mori for its significance to this era; we have seen bees and their natural habitat, but future generations might not … We’re not just losing bees.  Our artisans both here and in other countries also deserve protection.”

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Albany (BMG Models) wears Silk charmeuse scallop-neck Gown by Alisha Trimble with silk embroidered honeycomb neck ruffle. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

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Sarina S. (BMG Models) wears the English Wool Crepe Jacket with recycled silk & cotton fur sleeves by Alisha Trimble. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

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fiber-art

Christina C. (BMG Models) wears the Fiber Art blouse blended in Mohair, Alpaca and Mulberrry Silk by Alisha Trimble. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

honeycomb-skirt

Miranda F. (BMG Models) wears the Silk Embroidered Honeycomb Blouse and Honeycomb skirt made from English wool by Alisha Trimble. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

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Sarina S. (BMG Models) wears the Honeycomb beaded silk taffeta cocktail dress by Alisha Trimble. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

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Camryn (BMG Models) wears the Black Star Silk Taffeta Gown by Alisha Trimble. Hair by Younghawk Bautista courtesy of Barba Salon.

donations

SuzyMae Howard and Sondra Rapoport learn more about the NEST organization and their upcoming visit to Haiti.

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hosts

Hosts Alisha Trimble and Bernadette MAstrangel

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pearls

Nail polish by Deborah Lippmann.

NEST

Nest is a 501c3 non-for-profit organization committed to the social and economic advancement of global artisans and homeworkers through supply chain transparency, sustainable business development, and widespread industry advocacy. By providing artisan businesses with replicable, high-impact programs, while also building scalable solutions to challenges facing the sector as a whole, Nest is creating a more inclusive and circular global economy with the power to alleviate poverty, strengthen families, and preserve endangered cultural traditions.

NEST ARTISAN PROGRAMMING

Building off of ten years of experience providing business solutions to help strengthen the capacity global artisan businesses, Nest works to bring its data-driven programming to under-served, early-stage, and hard-to-reach artisan communities. Nest currently services a network of over 300 artisan businesses across 50 countries by providing them with digital support tools including a living library, webinars featuring industry leaders and phone/ video trainings with field experts. However, in order to receive on the ground programming and access to Nest’s robust Professional Fellowship Network of high-caliber professional volunteers, a due-diligence site visit for potential artisan partners must be conducted.

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shop, Uncategorized

Earth-Friendly Fashion Tips

greenwashing vs. commitment
There are several very small brands who have committed their practices to work towards sustainability.  Being locally made is one way a brand can be eco-friendly, because the carbon emissions from overseas shipping of the materials and garments is greatly reduced. On the other hand, big global brands use sustainability as  a title to stage another PR stunt to distract from their very questionable business practices. If these larger brands were truly interested in creating a sustainable product, they would show a commitment storewide. I am skeptical of the larger brands’ so-called sustainable side projects because they take credit away from the brands who have worked hard to make the commitment. Often undercutting the prices by using slave labor, the greenwashing actually makes it more difficult for the smaller brands to assert their sustainable products in the market at a fair price point.

Artisans- real vs. fake
How do you identify signs of real artisan-made details in clothing? Manufacturers have created machines to successfully mimic the effects of embroidery, appliqué, knitting, sequins and other embellishments originally done by hand.  What cannot be made by machine is crochet, beadwork, and draping. If something is in the former group, it my be mass produced at a lower price.  Generally, the poorer the quality, the shorter the lifespan of the clothing and the sooner it goes into a landfill. If you notice a technique that can only be done by hand, then the clothing is usually better quality, more valuable and the price will be higher.

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Local is Better
Mahatma Ghandi’s Swadeshi movement was devised to create a self-reliant local economy.
“According to the principle of swadeshi, whatever is made or produced in the village must be used first and foremost by the members of the village. Goods and services that cannot be generated within the community can be bought from elsewhere.”
One of the results of the movement in India was manual labor being respected, Swadeshi followers could weave their own cloth from a loom that was thought to be obsolete at the time. They set their own prices for the handmade cloth, and no longer needed to rely on Great Britain. Living the Swadeshi lifestyle also means eating locally sourced foods, and in that way it is a life that is in harmony with the natural world. It’s also very noticable that economics and eco-conscious often go hand in hand with this principle.

The Choice is Yours
On Earth Day and Every Day, you can choose better clothing for the earth by selecting clothes with artisan-made details. Steer clear of the PR circus and go for lesser known local brands that have chosen the high road to sustainability. Always buy something that was made nearby first before going to stores which carry imported clothes.  Last, make it a priority to buy quality items only to keep our clothing out of the landfills.

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