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Fashion Resources: Eco-Fashion & Ethical Fashion

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The Clean Clothes Campaign is an alliance of European organizations "dedicated to improving working conditions and supporting the empowerment of workers in the global garment and sportswear industries." The site provides a number of resources for labor organizers and those interested in garment working conditions including publications, videos, recent news and campaign updates.

An eco-fashion website which provides an online magazine of eco-fashion articles, a glossary of terms, blogs and links to many other eco-fashion resources including an Ecofashion Finder to locate brands, designers and online stores.

The Outdoor Industry Association's created the Eco Index (currently in Beta) as "a ground-breaking environmental assessment tool designed to advance sustainability practices within the outdoor industry. It provides companies throughout the supply chain a way to benchmark and measure their environmental footprint, allowing them to identify areas for improvement and make informed sourcing and product life cycle decisions." Visitors may wish to explore the glossary of terms, links, FAQs and tools in this rich site.

Focusing on style and sustainability, this site includes tabs on fashion, beauty and lifestyle with brief articles and videos on eco-products and trends.

EcoLabs is a "not for profit network of designers and visual artists who create materials, projects and programs that support ecological literacy." Visitors can download a full-color eco-literacy map/poster and a number of papers including the 2012 Imperative which "challenges individuals within education to work towards embedding ecological and sustainability literacy in the curriculum."

Exotextile News, published by Mowbray Communications Ltd promotes itself as "the monthly magazine for the sustainable and ethical textiles and apparel industry." Although the magazine is subscription based, viewers can open a sample copy and access news headlines.

Ecouterre is a popular fashion website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. It's mission is "to follow the evolution of the apparel industry toward a more environmentally sound future, as well as facilitate a conversation about why sustainable fashion matters." Viewers can do a simple keyword search or click on links to short articles on topics including Men's fashion, Women's fashion, Textiles, Technology and Designers. Visitors can also subscribe to receive a weekly newsletter.

Based in the UK, the not-for-profit Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) "aims to develop a collaborative movement which will transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry within a decade." A left-hand menu provides links to a number of reports, resources and campaigns with a particular emphasis on sustainable suppliers and sourcing. The EFF also sponsors an annual Global Sourcing Marketplace event.

Working in Europe, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is "an international verification initiative dedicated to enhancing workers' lives all over the world. We work closely with a growing number of companies that produce clothing and other sewn products and that take responsibility for their supply chain." Visitors to the sight may search brands and companies that participate, review labor standards and examine FWF policy documents and country reports.

FashionMeGreen is a website and blog "for eco-luxe living." Resources of interest includes Eco Chic Guides for some cities as well as fashion eco makeover photoshoots.

"FORA.tv is the leading online destination for intelligent video programs on the people, issues, and ideas changing the world." While viewing some content requires membership, many videos may be viewed without charge. There are hundreds of videos focusing on fashion covering topics ranging from ecofashion to business and design inspiration.

In order to fulfill its mission of promoting sustainable economic development, the non-profit Forum for the Future, partners with businesses in order to help them with "reengineering their operations and changing attitudes and behaviors among theirs customers, suppliers and staff." Several downloadable publications on this site focus on sustainable fashion practices and scenarios, including Fashioning Sustainability and Fashioning Futures 2025. Visitors may easily access these through the site's Library tab.

Academics Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward launched the Global Denim Project in 2007 with the intention of inviting anyone interested in the serious study of denim to contribute. Articles and essays highlight many aspects of denim from historical, sociological, anthropological and economic perspectives.

"The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres worldwide. It defines high level environmental criteria along the entire supply chain of organic textiles and requires compliance with social criteria as well." Visitors to the site may download the current GOTS certification standards. Visitors may also search the public database for suppliers of GOTS certified textiles and products.

Green Cotton is a blog intended to "gather, analyze and publish insightful information on eco-fashion" with a focus on "all emerging eco-friendly fabrics, products, stores and individuals," not just cotton. Menus allows readers to search the archives, bring up popular topics including information on specific types of fabrics, fashion and events. It also provides links to related blogs.

Grist is a nonprofit organization that provides a website, blog and weekly podcast on green issues and sustainable living. Search the site to bring up hundreds of fashion entries from 1999 to the present.

This private health and safety service company offers a series of Consumer Safety document on Textiles and Apparels including an interesting one on eco-textiles.

"Made-By is a European not-for-profit organisation with
a mission to make sustainable fashion common practice and improve environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry." Visitors can examine their scorecard and labeling systems as well as looking at their benchmarking standards.

The National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers (SFD) is a non-profit with a mission "to work with entrepreneurs and other individuals in fashion to provide training and programs that promote sustainable practices, lead projects that create positive social & environmental change and to develop the next generation of fashion leaders." The organization's blog provides information on webinars, events and recommended books.

This page focuses on the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) campaign "to raise awareness about the negative health and environmental effects of conventional and genetically engineered cotton and the institutionalized exploitation of clothing sweatshops." The site provides links to recent news articles on issues of labor in textile manufacturing as well as organic and genetically engineered textiles. There are also links to background articles, a pesticide database and additional topical resources.

The Global Organic Cotton Community platform was "created for active members of the global organic cotton community to share conversations, knowledge and information about organic and fair-trade cotton." Visitors will find a number of educational briefs on both traditional and organic cotton agriculture and markets with links to key organizations as well as an impressive library of downloadable reports.

The Permacouture Institute is an educational non-profit "for regenerative design in fashion and textiles." Visitors to the site can access their blog and read about the Institute's projects including an interesting Fiber and Dye Walk map.

"Wear Organic is a project from Pesticide Action Network UK aiming to reduce the problems from pesticides used in cotton, particularly by promoting organic and fair alternatives." The site offers a list of articles, books and video resources on organic cotton, provides downloadable PDF consumer guides on the topic and an online Organic Cotton Retailer Directory of brands, retail stores (UK) and online shops.

Portland Fashion Week has placed an emphasis on creating a green show and many of the designers featured are promoted as eco-designers. Viewers can look at runway photographs for specific designers and link to designer websites.

This website provides sustainable fabric sourcing and services from a network of suppliers. Visitors may "search through a comprehensive and curated selection of materials and services, review technical and sustainability specs, calculate lead and ship times, connect with suppliers, and source swatches, yardage and products." Membership is free. A site blog also provides updates on eco-fashion internships, jobs, conferences and news.

Based in Central Valley, California, the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP) "provides growers with information about biological farming techniques" and "educates the public about the importance of reducing chemical use in food and fiber production" through its BASIC campaign aimed at growers and its Cleaner Cotton campaign aimed at manufacturers and consumers. Visitors can access information about all of these campaigns on its website.

The Sustainable Style Foundation (SSF) "is an international, member-supported nonprofit organization created to provide information, resources and innovative programs that promote sustainable living and sustainable design." The foundation publishes SASS, its online magazine, four-times a year, which often feature articles on eco-fashion. Searching the site for the term 'fashion' bring up information from the site's magazine, blog, sourcebook and other areas.

TED, a project of Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, attempts to "look at the role that the designer can play in creating textiles that have a reduced impact on the environment and to provide a toolbox of designer-centered solutions." Follow the TED blog for conferences, events and articles of interest.

Textile Exchange is a non-profit, member-based organization dedicated to expanding the organic/sustainable textiles market. While membership is required for access to some features of the site, viewers may access the Marketplace database to search for member companies and suppliers, download the monthly newsletter, and access a number of educational materials through the Learning Zone and Farm Library sections including audio and videos.

This multi-author blog "provides product reviews, eco news and green info to the next wave of smart consumers." Viewers can search by keyword or click on the tabs at the top which include Fashion, Home Decor and Design.

This blog posted by Josh Dorfman, provides information and additional content relating to his radio show, The Lazy Environmentalist in which he discusses eco-friendly products and services and "features interviews with the designers, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are demonstrating how many of today's best choices are green choices." Search the keyword Fashion to bring up many short articles and features.

Ten designers were invited by The Nature Conservancy to create objects using sustainable materials from around the world. The objects they created, including items of fashion, are featured in this online exhibit with the intention to inspire designers and consumers to "reshape our material economy and help advance a global conservation ethic by choosing sustainable materials."

Treehugger promotes itself as the "leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream." The Treehugger site includes blogs, a daily newsletter, video segments and a radio program. It has over 40 contributing writers and covers green news in ten countries. Readers can find information about green fashion by clicking on the Fashion & Beauty tab. An How to Green Your Wardrobe article provides a starting point for many aspects of eco-fashion.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization declared 2009 to be the International Year of Natural Fibres. Although a few years old, visitors can go to this site and click on the link "15 Natural Fibres" to peruse a brief history and learn about the different natural fibers that come from plants and animals, as well as a several educational videos. The "Fibre Stories" link includes stories about new innovations for different natural fibers.

This PDF report produced by researchers at the University of Cambridge's Institute for Manufacturing's Sustainable Manufacturing Group, "sets out a vision of a sustainable clothes industry which at the same time would offer new opportunities to retailers and manufacturers."

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