Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Could All Learn a Lesson or Two from Barry Commoner

'Commoner notes….that humans participate as members in Earth’s environmental system, but paradoxically they exploit the environment in an effort to produce wealth for themselves’ (Paulins and Hillery 2009, p.118). Barry Commoner has been trying to make us understand and take control of the weight of our footprints that we each leave on Earth ever since 1971 with his first book Making Peace with the Planet: Nature, Man & Technology. He explains the concept of living in two worlds, the natural world and our own creation the technosphere with ‘homes, cars, farms, factories, laboratories, food, clothing, books, paintings, music, poetry. We accept responsibility for events in our own world, but not for what occurs in the natural one [although] ….droughts, floods, and heat waves may become unwitting acts of man’ (Commoner 1990, p. 3). 

Also his four laws of ecology are astoundingly thought provoking and reign true! Will post those in my next post... 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

FIN Oslo
After exploring FIN Olso's website and reading their philosophy, I haven't managed to get their beautiful work out of my mind.

A brief overview
FIN Olso was established in 2007, with an idea to produce environmentally sustainable high fashion. Per Sivertsen is the head designer and according to the website, colours, shapes and organic fabrics are the main elements that communicate his signature 'effortless look'. 

There is no distinct hint that this label grows on the green side -the design lines, silhouettes and attention to detail all scream high fashion without the eco element. It is in fact the textiles utilised that give this collection their environmentally friendly element -the textile compositions and 'flowy volumes' are what caught and held my attention to this label.

Textiles used by the label include: organic cotton, organic cotton jersey, organic pima cotton, organic bamboo, alpaca, wild handspun silk, milk voile, organic cotton blended with recycled polyester satin.

Price points
Prices are definitely reasonable for high fashion. Organic cotton (and organic cotton jersey) tops cost approximately AUD$ 116 - AUD$ 190, shorts for AUD$260, dresses from AUD$170 -AUD$420. Also knits range from AUD$358 - AUD$460. (All prices are approximate conversions from the Norway Kroner).

    Favourite looks from the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection:

    Favourite looks fromSpring/Summer 2010 collection:

*Also adore this intricate 100% organic cotton batiste long sleeve shirt -seems so comfortable to wear and would easily dress up a pair of jeans or shorts any day. (Available on their online store)

Can't wait to see FIN Oslo's development as a label and concept.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Release Your Wild Side...

The eye-catching drape and luxurious texture of silk is hard to resist, it is so crazy to think that this textile is created from the process of a silk worm cocooning and turning into a moth. Very sadly, the moth never gets to emerge out of its cocoon alive, as this would damage the silk chrysalis and thus the quality of the silk (by destroying the single continuous filament).

I found this process a hard thing to take on board when one of my favourite textiles is silk. The production of this textile means interrupting one of nature's magical processes and killing silk worms.

Luckily there is a more eco-friendly alternative ...it's WILD SILK! Also known as tussah/peace/vegetarian silk. Kate Fletcher's (2008) book Sustainable Fashion
& Textiles, Design Journeys explains that not only does the wild silk protect the life of the silkworm/moth, the production of it protects the forest ecosystem as its silkworms are cultivated in open forests where there is natural food sources and no hazardous chemicals. Fletcher also states that its production can '...provide a major year-round income for millions of tribal people in India' (Fletcher 2008, p.27).

Wild silk is said to be of lower quality compared to conventional silk as the moth damages the silk chrysalis (the outer case of the cocoon) on its exit; forcing the textile to be compiled of short length fibres. If we do not include conventional silk in this comparison, then maybe wild silk would be considered a textile of high quality? The story itself is magical; a silk worm transforms itself, flutters away and leaves us to clothe ourselves with its intricate magic.

Pic. above left: FIN Oslo S/S 2010

wild handspun silk skirt
w/ organic cotton voile shirt

(Couldn't help myself but to post this pic. also -I adore the silhouette and texture of the dress!)

FIN Oslo S/S 2010

Organic bamboo voile dress

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This image is so inspiring for the concept re-use

Gary Harvey's Denim Dress.

'Denim Dress, made from 41 pairs of Levi 501's. Jeans were originally made to be a long lasting workmen's uniform, since becoming a fashion garment they are discarded long before their use is over. Other dresses are made from discarded wedding dresses, laundry bags and t-shirts. All of which have an accompanying statement about why that item of clothing was chosen.' (http://www.stylehive.com/bookmark/gary-harvey-creative-443380)

Fashion and Earth are two contradicting words, but two of my biggest loves.

Borrowed Jewel is a metaphor for the Earth -something that is price-less and precious; and which we only ever truly borrow. We are born on Earth and then leave once again...

I have always considered myself an Earth-loving and caring person, but I only ever had a superficial understanding of Earth's condition/need for sustainability. I never understood HOW I could make a difference to its state until earlier this year when I was introduced to the concept of sustainability in fashion and textile design at UTS, during my third year of the course. I have taken a year off from studying to continue modelling full-time and be able to travel to Europe. This blog is my exploration in understanding how precious our Earth is and finding ways/learning how to protect it, just as I would a borrowed piece of expensive jewellery.

‘Glance at the sun.

See the moon and the stars.

Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.

Now, think.’ - Hildegard Von Bingen’ (McDonough and Braungart 2002)


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