Sunday, 13 June 2010

Style vs. Ethics

In the world of fashion the term 'ethics' is seemingly most often used lightly and always with quotations around it. Most companies have CSR documents to which they send to their vendors and ask them to sign - and this is the extent of their investment. There are companies out there that try to do a little bit more, and then tout their small improvements as revolutionary.

I was faced with a dilemma today when walking down the street... To buy a new favourite t-shirt, or to leave it there. I have two of my favourite t-shirts - a raglan sleeveless number that has the perfect neckline... the problem is that they come from American Apparel. This 'made in the U.S.A." , "sweatshop free". They tout their labour practices as fair and equitable - but what may I ask is 'fair and equitable' about being subjected to sexual harassment at work? There have been several suits launched against Dov Charney (I am ashamed to call him a fellow Canadian), in regards to his treatment of his female employees. On the blog of the Law Offices of Peter M. LaSorsa there is an outline of some of the horrendous things he has said in legal depositions... According to Wikipedia article on Dov Charney, none of these lawsuits have been proven, but it is safe to assume that the Wiki page has been carefully edited by the staff at American Apparel or their PR firm.

Needless to say, I did not purchase anything - and will refrain from purchasing anything from them in the future - and will make my own new favourite t-shirt, and I'm starting with this awesome shirt from pixielink on BurdaStyle...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Green Products Innovation Institute

I wish the Green Products Innovation Institute was a real place where I could go and study... but I guess it is in its own way... Basically, its seemingly the next step in Cradle-to-Cradle in the creation of a more holistic design economy. It is seemingly being implemented in California in order to create a 'sustainable economy' (sorry for the quotation marks, but I had to - I believe everything to do with sustainability needs to come with quotation marks). Pretty awesome, and I can't wait until the toxicity database is ready to be perused....