Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2009

Last post of the year

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Hoping that you found this little blog somewhat useful and interesting - please leave a comment to let me know what you would like to read more about next year.

Frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
Ich hoffe, dass dieser kleine Blog hilfreich und interessant war und bleibt - über Kommentare, worüber ihr hier nächstes Jahr gerne mehr erfahren würdet, würde ich mich freuen.

Samstag, 19. Dezember 2009

An interview with Brad of Commerce with a Conscience

Aus Zeitmangel ist es mir leider nicht möglich das komplette Interview zu übersetzen, deswegen stelle ich Brad in einer kurzen Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch vor: Brad schreibt den Blog Commerce with a Conscience – Ethical fashion for the fastididous gentleman (Geschäfte mit Gewissen – ethische Mode für den wählerischen Gentleman). Als ich diesen Blog vor einigen Wochen entdeckte, war ich so beindruckt, dass ich Brad zum ersten Interviewpartner von Shopfair gemacht habe. Er ist 28 Jahre alt und wohnt ihn Chicago. Seine Lieblingsmarken sind A.P.C. (nur für Jeans), Schuhe von Allen Edmonds und L.L. Bean. Ansonsten besteht fast seine gesamte Garderobe aus Secondhand Kleidung. (Eine Fotogalerie seiner Lieblingslooks findet ihr auf Ecouterre).

Auf die Frage „Wie können Fair Trade Modeunternehmen besser mit „normalen“ Modefirmen konkurrieren?“ kam von Brad diese Antwort: Wenn sozial verantwortlich agierende Firmen ernst genommen werden wollen, sollten sie weniger Zeit darauf verwenden ihre Produkte als Vehikel zu benutzen, um ihre politischen Ansichten zu verbreiten. Stattdessen sollten sie daran arbeiten Kleidung zu entwerfen, die auch von Leuten gekauft wird, die nicht nur nach strengen, ethischen Richtlinien einkaufen gehen. Wenn ihr damit zufrieden seid in einer Nische zu bleiben, macht weiter eure scheußlichen Slogan-Tshirts und untragbaren recycelten Fummel. Wenn ihr aber ein breiteres Publikum erreichen wollt, solltet ihr euer Design und eure Ideale als Köder auswerfen.

When I
discovered Commerce with a Conscience - Ethical fashion for the fastidious gentleman a couple of weeks ago I was so impressed that I decided to ask Brad to be Shopfair's first interviewee:

How old are you?


Describe your personal style.
Scruffy Prep? Young American? Heritage Inspired? I'm sure there's some widely agreed upon term for it that I don't know. Lots of raw denim, oxford cloth, waxed cotton, and wingtips. Always wingtips.

One of your regular features is the Monday murse - how many do you own?
Surprisingly, very few. I often think about getting a new bag, but after having written about so many, it's become really difficult to settle on just one, which, unfortunately, is all my budget allows for. Currently, I use a very boring (and very dirty) plain cotton tote as my every day bag. Pretty underwhelming come to think of it.

If you could choose a designer to design/make a capsule collection for you which one would you pick?
This is actually something I've spent a lot of time thinking (fantasizing) about. A co-designed, co-branded organic tote made by L.L.Bean would be pretty amazing. I've also thought about organic plimsolls made by Autonomie Project. Of course, the ultimate dream would be to design a pair of jeans. Or, better yet, co-brand an organic version of an existing pair... I'm looking at you APC.

Favorite brands?
Jeans by APC. Shoes by Allen Edmonds (L.L.Bean in the winter). The rest is pretty much all vintage (I do nearly all of my shopping on eBay). Pendleton, L.L.Bean, Woolrich, etc., all back from when it was still made in the US. I do like a fair number of new brands (Engineered Garments, Rag & Bone, Steven Alan, Albam, Gitman Vintage, to name a few) but they're all totally out of my price range. Also, I prefer to own the items on which the current designs are based; I tend to like the source material more than the modern interpretation.

Favorite (online) shops?
Tres Bien, Oi Polloi, Context Clothing and Opening Ceremony.

What prompted you to start your blog?
I have always derived a weird satisfaction from researching my interests to death. Throughout my life, if something has appealed to me, I have done everything I could to learn as much about it as humanly possible. My brain's just wired that way. Over the last few years, my biggest interest has been ethical fashion, partly because of my own personal politics (I get pretty granola when it comes down to it), and partly because ethically made clothes tend to be of a higher quality (more bang for the buck).

While I really enjoy, and am totally inspired by, a number of menswear blogs, it always bothered me that very few of them ever wrote about where the clothes were made or what they were made out of. And, that almost all of them tended to write exclusively about brands that 99% of people cannot afford. I felt like there was a void in the coverage being offered. So, this was / is my attempt to fill it.

What can Fair Trade / Ethically made Labels improve to better compete with "normal" fashion brands?
In my opinion, if socially responsible brands want to be taken seriously on a large scale, they need to spend less time using their goods as a vehicle to advertise their politics, and more time working on designing clothes that people who don't shop only according to their ethics actually want to wear. If you're content to remain confined to a niche market, then keep making your obnoxious slogan tees and unwearable recycled trinkets. If, however, you want to reach a wider audience, then let your designs by the lure, as well as your beliefs.

I think that a lot of the stigma associated with eco / ethical brands is totally justified. Honestly, you wouldn't believe half the crap that shows up in my inbox. Just because your product has recycled content in it doesn't mean people are going to overlook the fact that it's ugly. It's almost as though these brands use their principles as an excuse to avoid taking note of current trends, thus turning their key selling point into their greatest hindrance, and setting the whole movement back that much further.

Thankfully, there are some brands that are picking up the slack. If there weren't, I wouldn't have anything to write about.

If a friend asked you why they should buy Ethical fashion what do you tell them?
Funnily enough, no friend has ever asked me that. And that's probably for the best. I never, ever want to come off as being didactic (despite my tirade in the previous answer). My beliefs are my beliefs, and I have no desire to force them on anyone, or chastise them for not adopting them as their own. I think there are a lot of excellent reasons to shop ethically, but it depends on the individual. It's up to each person to decide whether or not those reasons are good enough to deprive themselves of the easily obtainable, sweatshop made, must-have trend item or not. I like to think that my job is simply to bring those reasons to peoples' attention.

Freitag, 18. Dezember 2009

Celtic Sheepskin Company

Great knits and sheepskin boots, jackets and coats - made in Great Britain. I found this company via Libertylondongirl: "the company has strong ethical policies, is based in Cornwall where it employs local people in an area of high unemployment, and regularly uses organic and recycled products". Click here to shop and read more about the company's commitment to socially responsible and eco-friendly production.

Schöne Strickwaren und Schaffell- Stiefel, -Jacken und -Mäntel produziert in Großbritannien. Hier könnt ihr mehr über die Unternehmensphilosophie erfahren und online shoppen. Gefunden über Libertylondongirl.

Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2009

99th Fair Trade Label added to the shopping guide

How about a shout-out for the 99th fashion label added to my list of fair trade fashion brands?

Ich habe gerade die englischsprachige Liste der Fair Trade Fashion Marken aktualisiert. Jetzt sind es 99 Labels, die darauf warten von euch entdeckt zu werden. Bitte noch ein wenig Geduld wegen der deutschen Version der Liste, die ich sobald wie möglich aktualisieren werde.

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2009

news watch: Triumph fires 3500 seamstresses

Underwear company Triumph fires thousands of seamstresses in Asia (Thailand and the Philippines). Acitivists claim that Triumph wants to get rid of unionized workers. If you can read German click here for an article in the German newspaper taz. The Clean Clothes campaign has followed the struggle between unions and Triumph since Fall 2008. Click here for further information.

Das Mode-Unternehmen Triumph entlässt tausende Näherinnen in Asien (Thailand und die Philippinen). Aktivisten behaupten, bei den Kündigungen seien gezielt gewerkschaftlich organisierte Belegschafen betroffen: "Die Massenentlassungen trafen genau die Fabriken und Abteilungen, in denen sich die Arbeiter gut organisiert und für ihre Rechte stark gemacht haben", so Julia Thimm von der Kampagne für saubere Kleidung. Zum Artikel von Manuel Bogner in der taz, aus dem ich hier zitiert habe, bitte hier entlang.

Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2009

Shop in Berlin: everyday is like sunday, Grünwest, Wertvoll

Fair Trade and Organic fashion shops in Berlin auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

I've been wanting to write a guide to the Fair Trade and Organic fashion shops in Berlin for months but never got around to doing it. Luckily Sonja of Frau Jona&Son did just that for green lifestyle site Gillout so if you can read German go check it out here. Even better: go to these shops in person to find your favourite (Wertvoll also has a webshop):

everyday is like Sunday: Reichenberger Straße 86, open Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 7pm
Grünwest: Friesenstr. 6, open Monday to Friday from noon to 8pm, Saturday from 11am to 7pm
Wertvoll: Marienburger Strasse 39, Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm


Sehr empfehlenswert: "Grüne Modeläden in Berlin: Ein nachhaltiger Weihnachtsbummel durch Deutschlands Metropole" von Sonja Wöhrenschimmel (Frau Jona&Son) auf Gillout. Adressen und Öffnungszeiten siehe oben.

Montag, 7. Dezember 2009

Hall of Shame: Primark faces new claims that it uses sweatshop labour

"2005: Primark named least ethical clothing company by 'Ethical Consumer' magazine. Primark says it has a code of conduct for suppliers which is independently audited abroad
2006: War on Want report finds child labourers in Bangladesh making Primark clothes for 3p an hour. Allegations of beating and sexual harrassment are made. Primarkasks for details and says it will investigate
2008: BBC's Panorama finds Primark using child labourers working gruelling hours in slum workshops and refugee camps. Primark blames third party suppliers and says it will tighten controls on contractors"
2009: "According to new research by charity War on Want, workers stitching Primark clothes in Bangladesh earn so little that they cannot eat properly, and many end up "malnourished"."
(source: www.independent.co.uk, found via www.businessoffashion.com)

Freitag, 4. Dezember 2009

Clothes Swap / Klamottentausch in Berlin

Clothes Swap. What: Swapping clothes, shoes and accessories. When: Sunday the 6th of December starting at 2 pm. Where: Kollage, Yorckstrasse 22, Berlin, Germany.

Klamottentausch. Was: Kleidung, Schuhe, Accessoires tauschen. Wann: Sonntag 6. Dezember ab 14 Uhr. Wo: Kollage, Yorckstrasse 22, Berlin.

photo: http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com

Donnerstag, 3. Dezember 2009

Fair Trade Bag Special II

I found all of these bags (except for the German made ones) on the brilliant blog Commerce with a Conscience (CwaC) - click on the pics above to get to the company websites, click on the names to be led to CwaC's entries:

1) Camou bag by Hack: made with recycled Swiss camouflage fabric in Cologne, Germany; leather handles. 2) Uptown bag by Paz (VEGAN): made with recycled canvas & vegan leather straps in Brazil. 3) Rugged canvas game bag by Buckaroo: made
in Colorado, USA.

4) Black Watch Plaid Utility Bag by Ernest Alexander:
waxwear outer and leather handles; made in New York City, USA. All fabrics and leathers are sourced from local garment district suppliers. 5) Offenbach warm 1 bag by airbag craftworks: leather and wool bag made in Germany. 6) Medium wool field bag by Filson: leather and wool bag made in the USA.

7) 05 bag by Carga: wool felt and chrome free leather bag with aluminum rivets. Both the bag assembly and the leather tanning are done in family owned factories in Argentina. 8) The Letter Bag in gunmetal gray by Moop (VEGAN): canvas bag made in Pittsburgh, USA. 9) Waxed Canvas Tote in olive by Tanner Goods: designed in cooperation with NYC-based 3sixteen; waxed canvas and leather bag made in Portland, Oregon.


Alle Taschen (außer den in Deutschland gefertigten) habe ich über das tolle Blog Commerce with a Conscience gefunden (CwaC) – auf die Bilder klicken um zu den Firmen-Webseiten zu gelangen, auf die verlinkten Namen klicken (im englischen Text) klicken, um zu den Blog-Einträgen von CwaC zu kommen:

1) Camou Tasche von Hack: aus recycelter Schweizer Armee-Plane mit Lederhenkeln; wird in Köln produziert. 2) Uptown Tasche von Paz (VEGAN): wird in Brasilien aus recycelter Baumwoll-Lastwagenplane mit Kunstlederhenkeln hergestellt. 3) Tasche von Buckaroo: produziert in Colorado, USA.

4) Tasche von Ernest Alexander: gewachste Außenseite und Lederhenkel, gefertigt in New York, USA. 5) Offenbach Tasche von airbag craftworks: aus Leder und Wollstoff in Deutschland produziert. 6) Tasche von Filson: Leder und Wollstoff; produziert in den USA.

7) Tasche „05“ von Carga: Wollfilz und chromfrei gegerbtes Leder mit Aluminium Nieten. Sowohl die Gerbung des Leders als auch die Herstellung der Taschen erfolgt in argentinischen Familienbetrieben. 8) Tasche von Moop (VEGAN): produziert in Pittsburgh, USA. 9) Tasche von Tanner Goods: wurde in Kooperation mit dem New Yorker Label 3sixteen designt; gewachster Baumwollstoff und Leder; aus Portland, Oregon.

Montag, 30. November 2009

Fair Trade Bag Special

1) Seabreeze small bag by Dialog (VEGAN): synthetic bag with recycling technique from Malaysia that incorporates small origami folded squares of mixed fabrics. Fairly traded from Asia. 2) Savannah Leather Case by Nkuku: leather dyed with plant extracts, hand made by a co-op in Rajasthan. 3) Patchwork Mini bag by Morelle: the leather is naturally tanned in Italy using vegetable dyes and the surface is finished without the application of chemicals. Made in Greece. Update 11/2011: OUT OF BUSINESS

4) Theia Clutch Bag in Ravishing Red by Bobelle: eel skin bag made in South Korea where eel skin leather is a by-product of the food industry. 5) Chikitsak bag by MKS Kolkata: embossed leather in hot pink made in East India. 6) Monkey bag by Rummelsburg: leather; made in Germany.

7) Venus bag by Royal Blush: Italian vegetable tanned leather. Made in Europe. 8) Cruiser bag by English Retreads (VEGAN):
handcrafted from reclaimed truck inner tubes in Boulder, Colorado. 9) Felicia bag by Ignes: All of the leathers come from animals bred in free-range farms or South American estancias and are by-products of the meat industry. Made in Uruguay.

10) Plover bag by Ashley Watson: Vancouver based Watson began designing handbags with recycled leather in early 2005, inspired by the original features of soft and gently worn jackets purchased from charity thrift stores. Presumably made in Canada (I will check this then update this post). 11) Astra bag by Aehrenkranz: leather; made in Berlin. 12) Anna bag by Monia Herbst: leather; made in Berlin.

More VEGAN bags: tausche taschen, White Capri, Freitag and of course a plethora of vegan bags on Etsy.


1) Seabreeze Tasche von Dialog (VEGAN): Tasche aus Synthetik mit Verzierung aus recycelten Stoffresten, die mit einer Origami Technik aus Malaysien gefaltet werden. Fair gehandelt aus Asien. 2) Savannah Leder-Aktenkoffer von Nkuku: pflanzlich gegerbtes Leder; produziert in einer Kooperative in Rajasthan. 3) Patchwork Mini Tasche von Morelle: das Leder wird in Italien mit pflanzlichen Farbstoffen gegerbt, produziert in Griechenland.

4) Theia Clutch von Bobelle: Aalledertasche aus Südkorea, wo Aalleder als Nebenprodukt der Lebensmittelindustrie hergestellt wird. 5) Chikitsak Tasche von MKS Kolkata: geprägtes Leder in Pink; produziert in Ostindien. 6) Monkey Tasche von Rummelsburg: aus Leder; produziert in Deutschland.

7) Venus Tasche von Royal Blush: italienisches pflanzlich gegerbtes Leder. Gefertigt in Europa. 8) Cruiser Tasche von English Retreads (VEGAN): wird aus Lastwagen-Schläuchen in Colorado, USA gefertigt. 9) Felicia Tasche von Ignes: das von Ignes verwendete Leder kommt von Tieren, die freien Auslauf auf südamerikanischen Farmen hatten. Produziert in Uruguay.

10) Plover Tasche von Ashley Watson: gefertigt aus alten Lederjacken in Kanada. 11) Astra Tasche von Aehrenkranz: aus Leder; produziert in Berlin. 12) Anna Tasche von Monia Herbst: aus Leder; produziert in Berlin.

Noch mehr VEGANE Taschen: tausche taschen, White Capri, Freitag und natürlich eine Riesenauswahl auf Etsy.

Dienstag, 17. November 2009

news watch: American Apparel forced to fire 1/4 of its work force

Old news which appeared in the NY Times on September 29, 2009 but definitely worth reading:
American Apparel "is firing about 1,800 immigrant employees in the coming days — more than a quarter of its work force — after a federal investigation turned up irregularities in the identity documents the workers presented when they were hired. The firings at the company [...] have become a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to reduce illegal immigration by forcing employers to dismiss unauthorized workers rather than by using workplace raids."

Alte Nachrichten aber definitiv wert gelesen zu werden: im Artikel aus der NY Times vom 29. September 2009 wird beschrieben, wie American Apparel ein Viertel seiner Arbeiter entlassen musste, da die Bundesregierung einen harten Kurs gegen illegale Immigranten fährt. Viele der entlassenen Arbeiter waren schon seit Jahren für American Apparel tätig und bedauern es, das Unternehmen verlassen zu müssen. Ich kenne mich bei dem Thema Immigration in die USA zu wenig aus, denke aber, dass diese Aktionen letztendlich nicht viel bringen werden, da die meisten Immigranten wohl nicht in ihre Heimatländer zurückkehren wollen. Durch das Vorgehen der Behörden werden sie aus ihrem relativ gut bezahltem Job, auf dessen Vergütung sie Steuern gezahlt haben, ver- und in Schwarz/Sweatshoparbeit hineingetrieben. Wie immer würde ich mich über eure Kommentare zu diesem Artikel freuen.

Donnerstag, 12. November 2009

Bibico knits / Kilian Kerner x Komodo

available via: www.bibico.co.uk, http://shop.komodo.co.uk, www.ascensiononline.com
images: top row - www.ascensiononline.com, bottom row - http://shop.komodo.co.uk