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Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

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Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

3.5/5 (3 valutazioni)
443 pagine
4 ore
Mar 21, 2016


Slow Fashion offers creatives, entrepreneurs, and ethical consumers alike a glimpse into the innovative world of the eco-concept store movement, sustainable design, and business that puts people, livelihoods, and sustainability central to everything they do.

Safia Minney argues that the future of brick and mortar retail is in the best in fair trade, sustainability, and organic products, together with vintage and second hand goods and local produce. Restorative economics, the well-being of our planet, and our bodies and minds can be inspired by this growing sector, one that is shaping big business.

This book curates pioneering people and projects that will inspire you to be part of the change. International names include Livia Firth, Zandra Rhodes, and Lily Cole. American change-makers include Andrew Morgan, filmmaker (The True Cost, a ground-breaking documentary that asks us each to consider who pays the price for our clothing), and Dana Geffner (Fair World Project).

With full color photography and elegant design, Slow Fashion profiles the people bringing the alternatives to the mainstream: designers, labels, and eco-concept stores across the world; fair trade producers; campaigns that are re-designing the fashion economy; and the fibers and fabrics which are making a difference.

Safia Minney is founder and CEO of fair trade and sustainable fashion label People Tree. She has turned a lifelong interest in environment, trade, and social justice issues into an award-winning social business. She is widely regarded as a leader in the Fair Trade movement and has been awarded Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the World Economic Forum.

Mar 21, 2016

Informazioni sull'autore

Safia Minney is a pioneer in ethical business. She is the founder of Fair Trade and sustainable fashion label, People Tree, and now brings her expertise and experience to help businesses embrace sustainability and transparency in their operations and branding. She is author of several critically-acclaimed books including Naked Fashion and Slow Fashion. She lives in London.

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Anteprima del libro

Slow Fashion - Safia Minney

Credit: People Tree Japan



Building a Sustainable Supply Chain by Safia Minney

What is ethical, Fair Trade, sustainable fashion and why is it important?

Principles of Fair Trade

CHAPTER 1 – Setting the fashion agenda & campaigning for change


Imran Amed, Livia Firth, Andrew Morgan and Lucy Siegle in conversation

Carry Somers, founder of Fashion Revolution Day

Lucy Siegle, journalist and author of To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out The World?

Orsola de Castro, founder of From Somewhere

Annett Borg, Fashion Revolution Germany

Patrick Kroker, human rights lawyer

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association

Kirsten Brodde, head of Greenpeace’s detox campaign

Bruce Crowther, founder of the Fair Trade Towns movement

Dana Geffner, executive director of Fair World Project

Tamsin Lejeune, founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum

Tansy Hoskins, author of Stitched Up – The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion

CHAPTER 2 – Fashion influencers


Summer Rayne Oakes, model and author of Style, Naturally

Lily Cole, model and actor

Thekla Reuten, actor and ambassador for Strawberry Earth Academy

Model and entrepreneur Jo Wood and singer Leah Wood

Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator and activist

Dean Newcombe, model and actor

Io Takemura, ethical fashion promotor and director of Ethical Fashion Japan

Arisa Kamada, model and People Tree ambassador

Stylist Andie Redman and model and People Tree ambassador Rebecca Pearson

Rika Sueyoshi, Arisa Kamada, Yoshiko Ikoma and Safia Minney in conversation

Anoushka Probyn, fashion blogger

Cara Bartlett, fashion blogger

Fritha Strickland, fashion blogger

Francesca Romana Rinaldi, professor at Milan’s Fashion institute

Seyi Rhodes, reporter and investigative journalist

CHAPTER 3 – Designing for a sustainable future


Zandra Rhodes, designer

Mette Te Velde, founder and director of Strawberry Earth Academy

Bora Aksu, designer

Peter Jensen, designer

Chris Haughton, designer, illustrator and author

Alicia Reguera, creative designer and illustrator

Hidekazu Hosokawa, director of Lee Japan, and cotton expert Ken-ichi Kondo

Eileen Fisher, founder of women’s clothing brand EILEEN FISHER, INC

CHAPTER 4 – Social entrepreneurs


Moon Sharma, managing director of TARA Projects

Andrew Morgan, director of The True Cost

Hanako Kakara, founder of Walk in Beauty Bridal

Marieke Eyskoot, sustainable fashion and lifestyle expert

Ute Naumann, ethical fashion agent and founder of Spice Agency

Ben Conard, Fair Trade Winds

CHAPTER 5 – Eco Concept Stores


Vincent Nolan, market researcher

Eco concept stores:


Friedrich, Heidelberg

Ichwareindirndl, Frankfurt

Dear Goods, Munich

Liebschaften, Munich

Fashion & More, Freising

Greenality, Stuttgart

Zündstoff, Freiburg

Soulid, Darmstadt

Czech Republic

NILA Living, Prague


Charlie + Mary, Amsterdam

BrandMission, Haarlem

Geitenwollenwinkel, Amsterdam

Eigen, Apeldoorn


The Keep, London

69b Boutique, London


People Tree, Tokyo

Biople by Cosme Kitchen, Yokohama

Kagure, Tokyo

Neal’s Yard Remedies, Tokyo

Ethical Penelope, Nagoya

Connetta, Nagoya

Kikuya Zakkaten, Kyoto



Building a sustainable supply chain

Safia Minney considers the need for a better, fairer way to do fashion, and explains how each of us can be involved.

Credit: Akio Nakamura

Anyone looking into ethical fashion could be forgiven for thinking it a fringe issue. Far from it That cute organic printed dress, that gorgeous newly opened eco concept store, that fashion company full of passionate people trying to change the world: all are part of a tireless movement to bring sanity and health to the way that we live, consume and do business in the outdated economic system that drives fast fashion.

The Rana Plaza tragedy woke us all to the horrific irresponsibility and violations of the fashion industry. Despite the final compensation being paid by an unknown source, even today, nearly three years into the process of the Bangladesh Accord, H&M has not fulfilled its obligations to address safety hazards in its Bangladeshi factories. More than 50 per cent of them lack adequate fire exits, according to

Over the past 25 years, we have built a global ethical and Fair Trade movement together that is inspiring entrepreneurs, governments and policymakers, and that is putting pressure on transnationals to change the way they do business. The sleeping giants in our investment and finance community are finally waking up to triple-bottom-line economics (which looks at the social and environmental account of a business, as well as its profitability) and to the fact that social impact and sustainability can be delivered through responsible investment. None of this would have come about without the actions of citizens in the ethical fashion and Fair Trade movements who have built new standards for business practice. Their collaborative approach reflects democracy and social justice and can help us drive change.

Safia Minney with cotton farmers in India. Credit: Miki Alcalde

We have huge power to change things for the better, through the way we shop and how we spend our working lives. In 2015, an Ethical Trade Initiative study showed that 71 per cent of senior executives at retail and supply companies believed that there was a likelihood of modern slavery within their supply chains. The Modern Slavery Act passed last year in the UK requires that medium-sized companies (with a turnover of £36 million or more) supplying goods and services in the UK publish an annual report explaining what they are doing to eliminate slavery from their business and supply chains. Many companies are stopping the ‘greenwash’, admitting they have a problem and getting on with fixing it. After COP21 in Paris and the launch of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we see that transnational companies and business practice will have to shift rapidly. Demanding greater transparency will promote better business practice and force companies to clear slavery out of their supply chains. Our conscious consumerism slows down fast fashion.

From dream to reality

The search for fair fashion was what started my journey 25 years ago with People Tree, when I developed the first Fair Trade and organic-cotton supply chain for fashion. As an ethical consumer in my mid-twenties, I was shocked by reports of sportswear and denim streetwear brands exploiting their workers in Southeast Asia. I set out to wear only things that had been made while respecting workers’ rights and the environment, or to buy second hand. We built trusting, long-term partnerships with our Fair Trade groups. We developed Fair Trade standards for cotton and the manufacture of clothing, and we launched the first Global Organic Textile Standard organic-certified clothing made and finished in the developing world. The dream? From field to ginning and weaving through to tailoring and sending the finished garment to the customer, we would produce fashion free of child labour and free of environmental and adult-worker exploitation. Transparency, dialogue and collaboration thrive in a ‘new economics’ or ‘restorative economics’ model, as does social innovation. When you have an open, mutually respectful relationship with your suppliers (not a relationship typical of the fast-fashion industry, which squeezes price and delivery times), when these suppliers are not living hand to mouth, there is an opportunity to innovate for sustainability and social development. The innovation comes in the form of eco-friendly fabrics, designer and retail collaborations, waste-water management systems, clean-water ponds, indigenous organic seedbanks, day-care centres and schools, medical health camps and even legal support for and campaigns against domestic violence and child labour, two of the main scourges of the developing world.

Zandra Rhodes and Safia Minney in Bangladesh. Credit: Miki Alcalde

A Swallows producer, Bangladesh. Credit: Miki Alcalde

A holistic approach

This new business model requires a more holistic approach, joined-up thinking and a long-term partnership between suppliers and consumers to produce truly sustainable and socially responsible products. Twenty years ago, those of us who argued that the ‘Invisible Hand’ described by economist Adam Smith could not work because of imperfect information, will now watch as a new decade celebrates transparency and provides information to help us with our choices. We hope to see an enlightened capitalism.

By joining the Slow Fashion movement, you can help the fashion industry to slow down, check where their production is and be sure that exploitation is not taking place. You will also be helping to build a new fashion industry built on strong partnerships with suppliers through training, design and buying. This will encourage businesses to plan better and make policies to protect their workers and the environment, and to invest in communities.

It is easy to be seduced by fashion imagery and throwaway fast fashion. It’s not your fault! But acknowledging your reaction every time you feel the seduction of fashion advertising is the first step to your liberation. This will liberate not only ourselves, but also the people who toil to make what we wear, and the environment.

The nine-billion question

I don’t advocate high-tech solutions to taking people out of fashion manufacture. The film Blood Diamond encouraged synthetic laboratory manufacture of diamonds, rather than improving mineworkers’ safety conditions, pay and benefits. The responsible manufacture of cotton and clothing provides the answer to putting food on the table for our growing human population – increasingly important given its predicted rise from its current 7 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050. Agriculture and hand-weaving are the largest employers of people in Bangladesh and India, and using appropriate and sustainable technology and craft we can bring prosperity to these communities. After all, the only natural resource we have in plentiful supply is people’s hands. In this book I take you on a journey that will celebrate the new slow-fashion, sustainable-fashion movement and invite you to be part of the campaign to change the fashion industry.

Credit: Miki Alcalde

Safia Minney MBE, FRSA, is the founder of People Tree, the pioneering Fair Trade and sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand. She developed the first organic and Fair Trade clothing supply chain and is recognized by the World Economic Forum as an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur. She initiated World Fair Trade Day and Rag Rage, and is a founder member of Ethical Fashion Forum, Fashion Revolution and Strawberry Earth Academy, which promotes eco design.

Her pioneering work over 25 years has brought sustainable livelihoods and social welfare to over 5,000 economically marginalized farmers, artisans and tailors in the developing world.

Credit: Alicia Reguera

Credit: Safia Minney

What is ethical, Fair Trade, sustainable fashion and why is it important?

The way the Western world – and, increasingly, developing nations such as China and India – lives and consumes is destroying the planet. We are already consuming 1.5 times our planet’s resources, hurtling towards an unsustainable future which threatens our environment and our very existence. If we are to save the planet, we must reduce consumption. If we are to support human rights and sound environmental practice, we must make sure that any new products we do buy are organic, Fair Trade and sustainably produced.

The fashion industry has a key role to play in this sustainable revolution. How? By reducing the amount of water, land and energy that it uses to grow, produce and transport fibres used in the manufacture of clothes; by ensuring that the workers who make our clothes are paid enough to provide a livelihood; and by guaranteeing working and living conditions that help develop these communities. The fast-fashion industry needs to move away from ever-changing trends; consumers need to find inspiration and pleasure in the texture of natural fabrics, the story behind the product and real, honest, ‘face to face’ communication with the people selling them their clothes. These are the challenges for the next decade.


That is our dream. The reality, for the moment, is that the fashion industry relies, in the main, on oil-based synthetics, an outdated manufacturing process that causes environmental pollution, and an unsustainable speed of production that feeds into and encourages our throwaway culture. Garment-factory workers, we are told, should consider themselves lucky to have jobs – and, after all, thanks to the ‘trickle down’ effect, money flows from the rich to the poor and will provide a ‘fair’ chance for people to escape from poverty and improve their lives. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both recently concluded that the ‘trickle down’ effect doesn’t work and that, in fact, inequality suppresses economic growth.

10 Principles of Fair Trade

from the World Fair Trade Organization

1 Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers

Poverty reduction through trade is a key aim of a Fair Trade organization, which supports marginalized small producers and seeks to enable them to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.

2 Transparency and accountability

A Fair Trade organization is transparent in its management and commercial relations. It is accountable to all its stakeholders and finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes.

3 Fair trading practices

A Fair Trade organization trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense.

4 Payment of a fair price

A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can be sustained by the market. Fair pay means provision of remuneration considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men.

5 Ensuring no child or forced labour

A Fair Trade organization adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national/local law on the employment of children. It ensures that there is no forced labour in its workforce and/or members or homeworkers.

6 Commitment to non-discrimination, gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, and freedom of association

A Fair Trade organization does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS status or age. It respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where such rights are restricted by law and/or political environment, a Fair Trade organization will enable means of independent and free association and bargaining for employees.

7 Ensuring good working conditions

A Fair Trade organization provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and/or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and International Labour Organization conventions on health and safety.

8 Providing capacity building

A Fair Trade organization seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers. It develops the skills and capabilities of its own employees or members and works directly with small producers to develop specific activities to help them improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets.

9 Promoting Fair Trade

A Fair Trade organization raises awareness of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade and provides customers with information about itself, the products it markets, and the producer organizations or members that make or harvest the products. Honest advertising and marketing techniques are always used.

10 Respect for the environment

Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment and use organic or low-pesticide production methods and recycled packaging wherever possible. Goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.

For the full text and further details, see

We need to start by educating ourselves; buying local and less; buying used and upcycled; and buying from the independent ethical fashion brands that are the main driver of an agenda for a responsible fashion industry. Fast fashion, an industry in which clothing moves from catwalk to store ever faster, regardless of the true cost, fuels rampant consumerism. Its horrific environmental impact includes accelerating water use and increasing carbon emissions, as well as massive amounts of clothing waste. Even though ‘conscious collections’ are making their way into major fast-fashion retailers, it is clear that fast fashion and sustainability are incompatible.


Conventional cotton crops use 2.5 per cent of global agricultural land, 12 per cent of all pesticides and 25 per cent of insecticides. Over 2,700 litres of water are used in the manufacture of just one t-shirt.

Organic cotton, on the other hand, is a sustainable fibre that brings back fertility to the soil. Investment in drip irrigation can reduce water consumption by over 60 per cent. And if the cotton is Fair Trade as well as organic, it provides a good livelihood for farmers, and schools and clean water projects for their communities.

Synthetic alternatives to cotton, such as nylon and polyester, are made from petrochemicals that do not biodegrade, and their manufacture uses huge amounts of energy. The production of nylon creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

Recycled polyester is in short supply, so at People Tree we are looking into eco-friendly fibres including banana, pineapple and coconut. Milk and soya fibres are also gradually coming onto the market. But even if the fibre is

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