Sustainable Fashion Searches Surged In 2018

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Think of your most recent clothing purchase: do you know where it was manufactured, whether the people who made it were treated fairly, whether any animals were harmed or the environmental impact of its production?

Though most people couldn’t answer these questions, there’s an increasing proportion of consumers that are becoming conscious of what they’re buying.

Ethical spending now accounts for £81.3 billion of the UK retail market, according to Ethical Consumer, and KPMG’s latest annual retail survey noted that almost 20% of shoppers were drawn to retailers that they know ethically source their goods.

Although high street brand

Think of your most recent clothing purchase: do you know where it was manufactured, whether the people who made it were treated fairly, whether any animals were harmed or the environmental impact of its production?

Though most people couldn’t answer these questions, there’s an increasing proportion of consumers that are becoming conscious of what they’re buying.

Ethical spending now accounts for £81.3 billion of the UK retail market, according to Ethical Consumer, and KPMG’s latest annual retail survey noted that almost 20% of shoppers were drawn to retailers that they know ethically source their goods.

Although high street brands such as H&M and Zara have launched conscious lines, shoppers who are clued up on sustainability are growing frustrated with fast fashion brands who only dip into the ethical retail world.

Instead, these are three retailers who provide conscious consumers with a huge selection of clothes, accessories and more, all of which is produced ethically and sustainably.

Gather & See

Every ethical shopper is different: one might care more about the workers behind the products; another might be concerned about buying only environmentally-friendly items.

s such as H&M and Zara have launched conscious lines, shoppers who are clued up on sustainability are growing frustrated with fast fashion brands who only dip into the ethical retail world.

Instead, these are three retailers who provide conscious consumers with a huge selection of clothes, accessories and more, all of which is produced ethically and sustainably.

Gather & See

Every ethical shopper is different: one might care more about the workers behind the products; another might be concerned about buying only environmentally-friendly items.

[“source=forbes]

Fashion: Linger longer in leather

Lisa Hahnbueck, a fashion blogger wears a Chloe dress; Nina Dobrev, centre, a Bulgarian actress in lemon and Claire Foy, right, in a Rosetta Getty shift dress

The fashion elite have a hot new look, and it’s hot in every sense. Leather dresses, once just for hotel bedrooms or Hallowe’en, are the next big thing, and designers want you wearing one in the daytime.

The LDD — leather day dress — was one of the most popular items on the catwalks for autumn-winter 2018. Instead of the flesh-flashing fits of the va-va-voom variety, these dresses are designed with structured shapes, roomy fits and utilitarian pockets and collars.

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No liquidity crisis in any segment barring gems & jewellery sector: Satish Marathe

Barring the gems and jewellery sector, there is no liquidity crisis for any segments in the economy, Satish Marathe, the government-nominee member on the central board of the Reserve Bank, said on November 29.

He also said the spike in the cost of funds is due to an increased risk perception, and not due to lack of liquidity in the system.

It can be noted that different perceptions about liquidity were one of the key triggers for the recent public spar between government and RBI, with the former calling for special windows for the affected sectors like NBFCs, MSMEs among others and the latter not heeding to it.

The issue reached such a flash-point that government initiated a never-before-used Section 7 of the RBI Act to formally direct central bank to implement its instructions but at the November 19 board meeting both the sides climbed down averting a major crisis.

“Concerns were being expressed about lack of liquidity, but no one is shouting for liquidity today,” Marathe, who comes from the co-operative banking sector, said speaking at a seminar at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh here this evening.

He claimed that during the past 15 days, the situation has improved and the only problem is the increase in interest rates, as the cost of funds has gone up from 7 percent in recent past to 8 percent now.

Non-bank lenders used to get support from bodies like mutual funds and insurance companies “easily” earlier, he said, talking about the change in the current scenario.

“The only one sector that has some problems due to liquidity is gems & jewellery. Hopefully, banks will release more money to the sector. If money is not released, then it will be difficult to get exports,” he said.

It can be noted that the government has repeatedly complained about lack of liquidity and sought special interventions from RBI in the run-up to a crucial meet of the central board last week.

In fact, one of the key points among the 12 points agenda that the government had listed in the three letters North Block shot off to the RBI by October 10, was liquidity crunch being faced by NBFCs, MSMEs in particular and the overall system in general.

Marathe said macroeconomic fundamentals are strong enough with fiscal deficit and current account deficit being under control. Our forex reserves are the sixth largest in the world and are sufficient to take care of 10 months of imports, he said and exuded confidence that the rupee will appreciate to 65 against the dollar.

He said headline inflation will narrow to 3.50 percent by November or December.

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Dolce & Gabbana’s Brand Reputation ‘In Rags’ Over China Ad Outrage

Pedestrians are reflected in a mirror as signage for Dolce & Gabbana Srl is displayed at the company’s store on Canton Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong, China. (Photocredit: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg).© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

Trust matters. And, with Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), the Italian luxury fashion house, having its products withdrawn from Chinese e-commerce sites as a backlash grows against a controversial advertising campaign showing videos a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks, one wonders what Milan-based D&G was actually thinking.

China represents one of the biggest luxury markets globally. Indeed, according to a recent report by the consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury goods market in mainland China has been forecast to grow by 20%-22% this year, with the country accounting for the bulk of the global growth this year that has been put at 6%-8% and reach €276-€281 billion (c.$313-$319 billion).

And, by 2025 that number could swell to $390 billion (c.$442 billion), the Bain & Company study has posited. Hardly small fry.

Now this all rather resonated with me as this past week I was in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and one of the so-called “Big 4” along with New York, Paris and London, attending an event focussed on corporate communications and branding.

It is not the first time D&G has courted controversy. D&G sparked controversy in 2016 when it described an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal.”

And, last April the brand posted a campaign on Weibo, which depicted impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with D&G models ahead of a catwalk show in the city. The images were slammed for stereotyping Chinese history by showing old parts of the city, as opposed to more modern depictions of Beijing.

Local celebrities had called for the brand to be boycotted amid brand crisis deepening when messages allegedly written by D&G co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included dubious and offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.

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How Technology Could Revolutionize Online Shopping In The Near Future

GettyGetty

How often are you satisfied with the size and fit of your online purchases? In the past few years, return rates for clothing purchased online have reached close to 40%. In a poll reported on by BBC, 56% of respondents who purchased clothing online six months prior to May 2016 said they had returned at least one item. Apparel Magazine reports that 70% of all online clothing returns are caused by problems with fit.

In the U.S., online apparel sales accounted for more than 25% of overall apparel sales in 2017. But why do people shop online even though they have to return clothing that does not fit? How many more people would shop online if they could be certain about fit and size?

As retailers play with free delivery and free returns even if it hurts their business, the cost of returns continues to grow along with the rate of returns. Currently, each order sent back costs retailers from $3 to $12.

The number of returned goods also has a negative impact on the environment. The destruction of unsold and returned garments, especially in the luxury sector, has caused people to ask questions. The fashion industry is known as one of the largest polluters in the world.

Based on my research into the struggles of today’s retailers and what I’ve learned founding a company that develops 3D body modeling technology, I believe that solving fit problems could result in growth in the number of online shoppers, reduced returns and less waste. Thankfully, I’ve been observing innovations coming out of the technology sector that could help make significant progress in solving this industrywide issue.

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Sustainable Fashion Searches Surged In 2018

Veja trainers

Sustainable trainer brand Veja appeared in the top 10 shoe searches and top 10 Insta brands for 2018Veja

Consumers have been putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to sustainability as Lyst’s year in fashion, out today, shows.

The fashion search engine tracked more than 100 million searches on their shopping site over the past 12 months to analyze the biggest trends and most buzzed about brands.

Lyst has reported a 47% increase in shoppers looking for items that have ethical and style credentials with terms such as “vegan leather” and “organic cotton”.

What’s more, several brands with a strong stance on sustainability made the ‘most searched for’ roundups for the first time.

Trainer brand Veja took the number one spot in the ‘Insta brands’ ranking which looked at search spikes compared against Instagram mentions and tags. Searches have reportedly increased 113% year-on-year. Veja’s V10 sneaker also made the year’s list of top 10 most searched-for shoes, alongside long-established brands including Prada, Nike, Gucci and Balenciaga. The French brand, founded in 2004, works with more environmentally-friendly materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and B-mesh made from recycled plastic bottles as well as supporting fair trade in its supply chain.

Made-in-LA label Reformation has appeared in the top search rankings for Lyst in the past, but 2018’s roundup shows it’s going from strength to strength. As well as coming second on the ‘Insta brands’ list, their Thelma dress was in the top 10 most viewed dresses for the year. Loved by influencers, Reformation uses sustainably-sourced materials, rescued dead stock fabric and upcycled vintage clothing to create its line.

Another new arrival, ranking at number seven on the hottest Insta brands for 2018, was Nanushka. The Budapest-based brand made its New York Fashion Week debut in February and its vegan leather clothing has been a hit with magazine editors and cruelty-free fashion lovers alike. The brand also joined the Ellen McArthur Foundation in May to make steps towards a circular supply chain to cement their dedication to becoming more environmentally friendly.

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Beloved Philippine Designer Randy Ortiz Marks 30 Years In Fashion

A peek at Randy Ortiz’s collection for his 30th anniversary showPhoto courtesy of Randy Ortiz

Three decades ago, there was a small, discreet little dress shop along Kamias Street in Quezon City. Actually, it was more of an apartment which had been converted into a shop. A small salon on the ground floor was where then budding men’s designer Randy Ortiz met with clients. It had a desk and small sitting area where the latest fashion magazines were laid out. Behind it was the workshop. From the client’s chair, the door joining these two areas revealed behind-the-scenes on-goings that would later revolutionize men’s fashion.

This was in the early 90s. Back then, men followed a very contrived style philosophy and color palette. Black was almost the only color they would ever choose for a suit. When it came to designs for shirts, prints and bright colors were elements seen only on the runway shows abroad. Where men’s fashion was concerned in Manila circa 1990, men only wore neutrals and solids. Even women’s fashion lacked the sense of individuality and spirit of adventure it now possesses. I remember this to be a time when the only color for shoes were either brown or black.

Details on his garments were meticulously hand embroidered, mirroring Randy Ortiz’s strong couture sensibilities.Photo courtesy of Randy Ortiz

When I first sat down with Randy to have my junior prom dress made he said, “Wear it with a pair of strappy silver stilettos.” He held up a pink crepe A-line mini dress fresh off the backroom and gave it one last inspection before sending me off. I thought he had lost his mind. I insisted on a pair of black chunky heels. Photos from prom and those horrific pair of shoes have ceased to exist.  This extremely safe and uninteresting style philosophy that dominated throughout Manila changed when Randy decided he would introduce color, print and texture to a man’s—and later women’s—otherwise bland wardrobes. And it has since been an exciting journey since then.

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A Fashion Photographer Shows How To Shoot Nudes In The MeToo Era

NEW YORK, NY – Sadie Newman, Megan Williams, Alexina Graham, and Russell James prepare backstage for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on November 8, 2018. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)Getty

In 2014, fashion photographer Russell James released Angels, a 304-page book of black-and-white nude or intimate photos of top models he met through his work with Victoria’s Secret, including stars like Lily Aldridge, Gisele Bündchen, and Adriana Lima. (The book takes its name from the Victoria’s Secret Angels.) This was, James recently told me, largely an archival project. After a few years working as a photographer in other countries, James, originally from Australia, came to America as a generalist photographer in 1996, struck it big with iconic covers for magazines like Sports Illustrated, and has been shooting for Victoria’s Secret since 1997. So he was sitting on a massive photo trove. But it went over extremely well—especially with models, some of whom apparently told James they were disappointed that he didn’t include any photos of them. So on December 1st, James will release a 448-page collectors edition of Angels featuring new models.

But the cultural climate in 2018, as others have noted, is drastically different than that of 2014. Fashion and nude photography have, like so many other industries, come into the spotlight for a critical reevaluation. Longstanding conversations about whether these art forms empower or objectify their female subjects, contributing to a toxic and patriarchic world, have gained newfound traction. And since the start of the year, major stories have come to light of famous photographers and other art and fashion bigwigs taking abusive advantage of models. “There is certainly not no risk in doing something like this” in the current cultural moment, admits James. So I recently asked him how his awareness of the cultural climate affected the way he produced and positioned this project.

James, it is worth noting, has a solid reputation among his subjects and collaborators. Some of this may stem from the fact that he has never considered himself a “nude photographer,” doing naked or near-naked shoots for their own sake or for male eyes. He is equally fond of landscapes, for instance, and seems to see nude photography through a similar lens. (“I do love the light,” he says, “the form, the shape of the nude.”) Much more of it stems from his personal commitment to only shooting subjects with whom he can build rapport and trust. He has long avoided crude direction and overt sexualization, instead giving models a considerable amount of agency in their own portrayal.

That is clear in most of his work, but should be especially so in this new edition of Angels. Unlike his first archival image-based edition, since 2014 James has been working with each of the 35 new models in this version as full-fledged collaborators. Each of them took as much power as they wanted over the shoot itself, the photo selections, and the editing process. “I was able to really deliberately say, ‘okay, I want to do this,’” says James. “‘We can either work off my ideas or your ideas or a combination of ideas. We can look at the film and edit together.’” That seems to be part of why the book took four years to put together—a lot of scheduling effort with busy folks.

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How This Former Fashion Exec Changed Her Career With A Baby In Tow

Miles and Milan founder, Shennel FullerMiles and Milan

For this former retail executive, becoming an entrepreneur was the realization of a life-long dream. But it wasn’t until the birth of her first son that Shennel Fuller decided to create her own children’s clothing line, Miles and Milan.

And according to TendLab CEO and Co-founder, Amy Henderson, there is no better time to make this decision:

…any parent who leaves their child to go to work—whether it’s a choice or financial necessity—must grapple with the distance it creates. There are times when we want to be with them, and we can’t be. And this forces us to question what we are doing, and why we are doing it. Answering this question forges us, like steel in molten fire, into stronger, more motivated versions of our former selves.

Like other successful entrepreneurs who leave the corporate world beyond, Fuller followed the fire in her belly and refused to take no for an answer. Her tenacity and fortitude were inherited; as she is the daughter of hard-working immigrant parents who instilled in her, an unparalleled work ethic.

With the support of her husband, parents and sister, this founder charted her own course to becoming an entrepreneur and hopes to inspire other women to do the same.

Fuller: My entrepreneurial journey started three years ago after my first son, Jackson was born. My background is corporate, and I’ve held a few executive positions. I was teetering and trying to figure out if I wanted to go back. I was always a very dedicated and hard worker. But now my hard work was focused on keeping this baby alive. I was trying to figure out how I could feel the most fulfilled. I wanted to be doing what I was most passionate about. I knew it was retail and fashion, so I wanted to continue being immersed in that world, while also having the flexibility of being with my son and not missing any milestones.

For a while, I did some consulting. I was helping a major corporation by revamping their whole retail strategy. I loved the freedom of consulting; the flexibility, being my boss, managing my schedule and being able to live in both worlds (motherhood and fashion). I would bring my son to my business meetings. My work was still getting done, so I kind of shifted the narrative. I felt like if I’m going to be giving you great ideas, and developing your strategy, I can also be rocking my son at the same time if he needs me.  Which made me think, not only could I be consulting more but I can take it a step further. My dream was always to have my clothing line, and that’s pretty much the reason why I got into buying and working for those corporate companies, to begin with.

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Wendy Yu: China’s Formidable Force In Fashion Investments

Wendy YuPhoto Credit: Chang Qing

Wendy Yu is the founder and chief executive of Yu Holdings, a cutting edge, globally positioned company that makes strategic investments in areas associated with innovation, creativity and philanthropy through its subsidiaries Yu Capital, Yu Fashion and Yu Culture. Yu’s investments include fashion brands Mary Katrsntzou (who has an upcoming collaboration with the 2019 Victoria’s Secret fashion show), Cefinn (founded by Samantha Cameron), technology giants DiDi (the Uber of China) and Tjia (the AirBnb Of China). Yu grew up learning first hand lessons about drive and vision from her father, the founder of Mengtian Group, the largest wooden door manufacturer in China. At the age of 15, Yu moved to London to study Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion where she began to build her own vision of a career that was more than a profession, but was a way to make a social, artistic, business and cultural impact—a vision she has both realized and continued to expand on. Part of that involves partnering with the Business of Fashion (BoF) to launch the first Business of Fashion China Prize: a global fashion award dedicated to emerging Chinese design talent that carries a cash prize of $100,000, a slot on the official fashion calendars of Shanghai Fashion Week and London Fashion Week and mentorship from industry leaders.

Carrie Hammer: What was behind your desire to create Yu Holdings?

Wendy Yu: Ever since I was a kid, I was pretty sure I’m going to be an entrepreneur, but not the type of entrepreneur like my dad who’s quite traditional. As a kid, he would encourage me to keep asking myself where I wanted to go and how I would get there. At a young age, I had the mindset of not just finding the right position for myself, but also finding the right pathways to get me there. I see myself as being a creative entrepreneur, but on the global stage. I see myself being this bridge to connect investments with creativity. I wanted to do something that was quite new, quite refreshing, something that a millennial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist would do and something that probably nobody had done before.

Hammer: What was something that you learned about yourself as you developed the investment firm?

Yu: I learned so much about myself. I started to become more and more aware of my strengths and weakness. To be a leader you have to really know who you are and you have to find a team that compliments your strengths and weakness. I have learned how important it is to have the right people and a good team around you. Ultimately it shouldn’t be just for your vision. You have to find that perfect balance between what you love and what you are good at and also asking, “does the market really need this?”

Hammer: As a highly accomplished, successful young business woman, you must find yourself in situations where people underestimate you. How do you use that to your advantage?

Yu: I think it is an advantage that people underestimate you. With every ugly obstacle there is an opportunity. When people underestimate you, it doesn’t matter because then you know why you want to achieve that particular goal and what you want to do in the long run. I’m a rebel at heart. I feel like when there are more obstacles, it makes me more excited.

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