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UNIQLO Joins Other Global Fashion Brands In Greenpeace’s Fashion Detox Commitment

UNIQLO, a brand and retail chain known for its casual comfortable style, has just become part of Greenpeace’s Detox Commitment Campaign, along with five other brands – Comptior des Cotonniers, g.u., Helmut Lang, Princesse tam tam, and Theory – all from the Japanese global design manufacturer Fast Retailing.

Photo courtesy of UNIQLO.

On April 23, 2011, Greenpeace released a report – Dirty Laundry 2: Hung Out to Dry - Unraveling the toxic trail from pipes to products – which found that products purchased as samples at UNIQLO stores in Moscow, Tokyo, and Hong Kong were found to contain hazardous chemicals known as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains that, “NPEs are nonionic surfactants that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products. Many of these, such as laundry detergents, are ‘down-the-drain’ applications. Some others, such as dust-control agents and deicers, lead to direct release to the environment.

“NP and NPEs have been found in environmental samples taken from freshwater, saltwater, groundwater, sediment, soil, and aquatic biota. NP is persistent in the aquatic environment, moderately bioaccumulative, and extremely toxic to aquatic organisms.

“NP has also been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine, and is associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents. NP has also been shown to exhibit estrogenic properties in in vitro and in vivo assays. NP’s main use is in the manufacture of NPEs.”

Last November, Greenpeace released another report – Toxic Threads - The Big Fashion Stich-Up – which revealed the results done on 141 clothing items and exposed the link between textile manufacturing facilities using hazardous chemicals and the presence of chemicals in the final products.

One of the key findings was that all tested brands had at least several items containing NPEs, with the highest concentrations at 1,000 parts per million (ppm), in clothing items from Zara, Metersbonwe, Levi’s, C&A, Mango, Calvin Klein, Jack & Jones, and Mark & Spenser.

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HandCrafting Justice Debuting New Collections of Casual & Whimsical Summer Handbags in NYC

Expanding into new styles for a younger and broader appeal, HandCrafting Justice is debuting two new ethical fashion handbag collections – Made for Change and Made for Change KIDS – which are part of the organization’s “Conscious Fashion for the Fashion Conscious” campaign.

Photo courtesy of HandCrafting Justice.

These new summer collections will debut at the 2013 New York International Gift Fair, which will run from Jan. 26-30, 2013.

“Most of what we’re going for is a fun spring and beach collection. The bags are big, and great for casual everyday shopping. They’re also great as weekend bags for short vacations,” said Katherine Leonetti, marketing manager at HandCrafting Justice.

The collections – which will include shoulder bags, duffel bags, totes, and kids’ animal-shaped backpacks – are being made as a collaboration with artisan partners in Thailand.

HandCrafting Justice works with over 3,000 women in over 20 countries around the world, working with Fair Trade initiatives to make sure that they work in clean, safe environments, and are paid fair wages.

These bags are being made by the women of the Isan Weaving Group from the Nong Kahi province of Thailand. The Isan region is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordering the Mekong River. The Isan region is one of the poorest places in Thailand.

In 1983, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd established the Isan Weaving Group to give women in the area the opportunity to globally market their traditional skills of weaving cloth, creating intricate designs native to the region, and using natural dyes.

Leonetti talked a little about the styles in the new collections saying, “Most of the prints are going to be stripped. It’s going to be a very lively spring theme, with some pastels mixed with oranges and blues, sort of beachy.

“Another thing we tried to do was play between neutrals and bright colors. There are some bags that will be neutral on the outside and have a very vibrant color on the inside. All of the fabrics are 100 percent hand-woven cotton.”

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Hot New Trends From Retro Fabrics A Big Theme For Eco-Fashion Week 2013

Vancouver’s Spring/Summer 2013 Eco Fashion Week – to run from Oct. 16th to 19th – has gained so much momentum and popularity since its inception four seasons ago (running twice a year) founded by stylist/buyer Myriam Laroche, that this season (its fifth), there’s scheduled to be nearly a dozen designers, lots more creativity in presenting the runway shows, inspirational speakers talking about caring for the environment and fair trade practices, and lots of industry workshops focused on ecologically conscious and sustainable business practices.

The week will kick off with music, inspirational speakers, and a runway show by local-famed designer Nicole Bridger at the Vogue Theater, on October 16, with doors opening at about 6:00 p.m.

The opening evening will begin with a performance from emerging jazz vocalist Jaclyn Guillou. Born and raised in Vancouver, Guillou is a recipient of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and has recently toured internationally.

Among the opening speakers will be Madeleine Shaw who is co-founder of Lunapads, an East Vancouver-based company that specializes in creating washable cloth alternatives to disposable feminine hygiene products.

Lunapads is also really great in that it operates a unique in-house/international humanitarian aid project called Pads4Girls, which runs a number of programs including – One4Her: Pads for Girls, Jobs for Women.

One4Her is a Lunapads/AFRIpads buy one, give one program supplying girls in need with pads and supporting local employment for women in Uganda.

For every eligible Lunapads One4Her purchase, Lunapads provides a girl in need with a Uganda-made AFRIpad to help her continue going to school during her menses.

The pad donations are managed by AFRIpads and “distributed according to regions and schools where they assess the greatest need,” explains Lunapads.

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Radical Recycling: Designer Brands Transforming Old Tire Rubber Into Beautiful Durable Shoes

Making footwear at Indosole.

Late summer and early fall are some of the best times for shoe fashions because they allow for such a diversity of styles, and always showing your love for the environment with your eco-choices in materials.

Sandals and beach shoes are still great, but you can also start on your fall styles with heaver materials like canvas, suede, and leather – and all made with rubber soles from recycled tires.

Always searching for the best variety of eco-made shoes, I found three fabulous companies – Indosole, soleRebel, and Yellow Port – that are worth taking a look at for their styles and commitments to the environment.


Indosole is a fabulous Indonesian company that makes sandals and canvas beach shoes that all look great, and can be worn as part of everyday causal wear.

The materials used include banana leaves, burlaps, canvas, (man-made) vegan suede, and EVA-foam.

Photo courtesy of Indosole.

For those that don’t know much about materials, burlap is a woven fabric from the fibers of the jute plant, combined with other vegetable fibers. Canvas is a heavy-duty woven fabric usually made from cotton, linen (fibers made from the flax plant) or hemp fibers.

Vegan suede is made-made suede, usually made mostly of polyester and without using any animal products. Natural suede is a kind of animal leather.

Photo courtesy of Indosole.

EVA foam, also called ethylene vinyl acetate, has a lot of great qualities including that it’s soft and flexible, as well as really tough, crack resistant, and waterproof.

 All of the soles are made from repurposed motorbike tires. The company exclaims that, “Indosole is on a mission to salvage old motorbike tires and other trash from landfills and give them new life.”

Indosole also boasts that its “products are handmade by skilled Balinese artisans and the production process does not contain fuel-powered machines.” The company adds that it “conducts fair trade practices in its workshops.”

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Aqua Green’s Eco Swim To Make A Splash At Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach

Aqua Green’s Eco Swim collection is having a big July with both a swimsuit giveaway contest and participating in Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach which will run from July 18-22.

The free swimsuit contest is being held by Haute Mom, a great blog that gives moms a forum to talk about things like fashion, cooking, baby tips, exercise, and generally organizing life.

Porthole Halterkini. Photo by Aqua Swim.

It’s simple and free to enter the contest, which runs until July 23 at 9 p.m. (PST). You need to be a public follower of Haute Mom, take a look at the swimsuits at Eco Swim, leave a comment with Haute Mom about which is your favorite style, and leave your email.

Eco Swim is definitely worth taking a look at. The collection ranges from interchangeable bikini bras and bottoms to tankinis that also coordinate with different bottoms to one-piece swimdresses.

Eco Swim also has a great coverup dress and board shorts that go with everything. One of the things that I like about the collection is that while all of the tops and bottoms have different prints, they all use a similar color pallet of royal blue, khaki, black, and white.

You can buy two tops and two bottoms and make four different swimsuits. It’s great on the wallet and gives you great versatility. I also really like the tankinis and one-piece swimdresses, because they come in a variety of styles that are all designed to hide whatever imperfections we may have.

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