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Posts Tagged ‘ethical fashion’

“Blink” Retail: Fur(k) Off

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Today’s issue of the Business of Fashion just dropped into my inbox and this is it’s lead story…

image from the Business of Fashion emailed newsletter, PETA, fur in fashion, fur farming, fashion ethics

image from the Business of Fashion emailed newsletter

It’s a well researched and fact filled article about whether Fur has a place in Fashion (just click on that link to read the full article). If you are a long standing Blink reader, then you’ll know our uncompromising view on this subject and it’s a firm absolutely no thanks to fur from us. No fur, no thanks, on no occasion. Seriously that left hand image just sums the whole argument up for me. How could you possibly wear real fur (yes, that includes you Canada Gooseys and your coyote trimmed hoods, all of you with those rotten fur poms on your hats or handbags, and you wearing that vintage fur coat) if you have any conscience at all? It is simply unacceptable on every level.

Yes you may eat meat (I don’t by the way), but I bet you like to ensure your meat, eggs, fish, milk has come from a happy animal that experienced some quality of like during it’s short time on this earth. Well, most (but not all by any stretch) of the leather and sheepskin that we wear comes from animals that have been farmed for more than just their skins but have also been part of our food chain. Well, that is never ever ever the case with animals who are farmed or trapped purely for their pelts. It’s a miserable existence and often a shockingly disgusting death.

So, we thank the wonderful British Vogue, Selfridges, Liberty, Arcadia group et al for turning their backs on this material choice- and are they any less fabulous for doing so? Nope, we think it makes then super, extra, totally and additionally fabulous actually.

You can check out our previous rants on this matter here and also here. For more fashion retail news, just click here.

“Blink” New Designers: Tengri

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

With all new fashion ventures, success or failure is first and foremost rooted in your product. In supporting roles are your approach, your story and your ethics. In my opinion, many sustainable brands focus too much on their ethics and not enough on delivering fashion relevant, want-able, gorgeous product.

Nancy Johnston, founder of Tengri, seems to have the balance just right with her collection of  100% natural, undyed, hand-combed Mongolian yak wool knitwear that is eco-friendly and sustainable, as soft as cashmere and warmer than merino wool. I think it looks really gorgeous and I can’t wait to get my hands on some, especially in the wake of last Autumn Winter’s horrific angora scandal (you can read more about that here and here). Animal fibres are a tough ethical call in many ways. Even the humble woolly sheep often doesn’t get given the care it deserves at home or abroad.

It seems that the small scale, socially engaged, empowerment oriented Tengri offers us a very clear, open and utterly spotless source to production picture that supports all involved from start (the Mongolian yak herders) to the finish (the UK production is manned by retired industry professionals). It’s a beautiful approach and we’re delighted to share this really great fashion story with you.

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

Tengri AW'14 'Warrior' collection

Tengri AW’14 ‘Warrior’ collection

You can contact the brand and pre-order from this collection on their website.

For more new designers news, just take a look here.

“Blink” Retail: Fashion fantasy versus reality, beyond angora

Monday, January 6th, 2014

A very, very happy new year to you all and heres our first post of 2014. Before I get stuck in to the subject at hand, I’d like to thank you all for your support and for choosing Blink. Keep sharing the love x

So, I have decided to kick off 2014 with a catch up on a subject we started looking at last year; my desire to bust some fashion myths (you can catch up on the state of play so far by having a read here). The great news is that we were exploring these questions at the same time as many, many influential members of the fashion industry. A multitude of very important brands have now decided to boycott the use of angora until they can be assured that the source (ie those rabbits) are being farmed in a humane and ethical manner, after all this is a crucial element in sustainable behavior aside from the fact that we would all hope to behave in a compassionate and conscious manner as members and customers of the world wide fashion industry.

You know, I couldn’t be more delighted that the conversation has been started in such a public way. I’m just looking for the conversation to expand beyond those gorgeous bunnies and incorporate all sources of animal fibres. PETA have already called for shoppers to boycott wool products (read more here.) and accused British wool producers of severe cruelty. Is any of our wardrobe safe from doubt?

So what about the other animals that are farmed for their fluff and feathers? Here’s a selection of some of the main ones, but we’re sure this isn’t an exhaustive list..

Roosters, image with thanks to Pinterest

Roosters, image with thanks to Pinterest

Roosters, chickens and turkeys are the source of much of fashions feather trims (even most of those feathers we call ‘marabou’ come from the humble turkey apparently). Do you hope as I’d like to, that they are collected as they are naturally shed by these little beings? Hmm, sadly this is highly unlikely.

Cashmere goats, image with thanks to Pinterest

Cashmere goats, image with thanks to Pinterest

I have worked with some of Britain’s most highly respected cashmere businesses who describe their goats being taken great care of, but, as with much of the animal fibre production, this stage of production happens in China and in the hilly wilds of neighbouring countries (where the cashmere goat originates from), so how much do we really know about the lives of those precious herds?

Angora goats, the source of mohair. Image with thanks to Pinterest

Angora goats, the source of mohair. Image with thanks to Pinterest

The same questions could be raised about these beautiful angora goats, who rather confusingly are where we get mohair from.

Alpacas, image with thanks to Pinterest

Alpacas, image with thanks to Pinterest

Alpaca is another noble fibre that is mostly seen in very high end collections, along with camel hair. I do hope that these are not treated to some of the same barbaric practices as the humble sheep.

Merino sheep, image with thanks to Pinterest

Merino sheep, image with thanks to Pinterest

Gosh, where would we be without wool? Just glancing around me, I’m pretty much surrounded by it in various forms and roles in my home office. I was really disturbed by the PETA statements on wool production and sheep farming practices right here on our doorstep. This, in fact, is what sparked this whole desire of mine to debunk some of my own myths.

So, the next stage is underway and I hope to have some more facts to replace our fictions. Oh and I really do hope to have some wonderful findings to share with you all. I couldn’t bear it if the whole thing is a horror story. What the bloody hell would we all end up wearing? It’s far too chilly to be a naturist!