Transparency changes the fashion industry
What is the true cost of fashion?
The number of children working globally in the fashion industry is up to 215 million, the clothing production processes are considered the second most polluting after oil, while consumers are now rarely aware of the true cost of what they are wearing.
We are Fashion Revolution! Our mission is to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased. This begins with a simple question: «Who made my clothes?». The global movement Fashion Revolution Day, now active in 83 countries, uses this moto in order to mobilize the consumers and make them question what lies behind the labels of their clothes. Our goal is towards a safer, cleaner, more fair, beautiful and transparent future for fashion.
From 18 to 24 April, the Greek team of Fashion Revolution returns with a series of actions that will make us wonder Who Made My Clothes?
ETHICAL FASHION WALK organised by Fashion Revolution Greece – hosted by The Meet Market
The Meet Market hosts the ETHCIAL FASHION WALK, organised by Fashion Revolution Greece, which will feature brands making efforts towards transparency in their supply chain. Through this walk, Greek designers and producers will reveal stories from their work and communicate their way of being transparent. This either by using eco-friendly materials or controlling their supply chain and supporting fairer working conditions for the people contributing for a piece of clothing reaching the market.
We invite you here to meet them through the stories they share and their views on transparency in the fashion industry.
“I believe transparency across all levels from design and production to marketing of every product we choose to purchase, will be the changing force for a better, fairer and more beautiful fashion industry” Natasha Athanasiadou – Founder Generation Generous*
We are in business to create human-value infused products with a significant positive social and environmental impact. All our products help people in need, respect their makers and protect our earth.
Our iconic TOTE BAG is a timeless version of the traditional paper grocery handbag. Each one of the 5 thread colours we used to make our exclusively ethically sourced handbags (blue, green, nude, red and yellow) symbolises one basic life need. So, with every purchase you make we are enabled to provide a human with access to CLEAN drinking WATER, nutritious FOOD, safe SHELTER, better HEALTH or EMPOWERMENT through education. By including a standard set donation into its cost we support carefully selected on-going projects around the world working to improve lives. And infusion doesn’t stop here. Every handbag we made is from existing ocean and landfill plastic bottle waste; each one saving the planet from 25 plastic bottles.
Through our work we invite people to make ethics, honesty and transparency a priority when they decide to support a brand. We want them to know how we make our bags, who makes them and what is the impact of their purchase.
We invite them to join our mission to change the way products are made and impact the world.
All the factories in our supply chain hold social audit and environmental protection certificates for water and energy usage. We make our bags supporting women and promoting their welfare with fair wages, safe and respectful working conditions. Our London based company is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) and Social Enterprise UK.
For us, transparency is linked to the brand itself and the way we work. We have a small workshop, where the whole production takes place. Marina, the soul of Convert Art, collects the raw materials and creates step by step the final product. Our goal is to create a video and photo collection, describing this procedure.
The protection of the environment was the basic motivation behind the creation of Convert Art. We collect discarded tires and inner tubes – materials that are not biodegradable and pollute the natural environment – and convert them into useful items through the process of upcycling. Furthermore, all our products are vegan, as they do not contain animal tissues. The aim of Convert Art, among others, is the practical enhancement of local entrepreneurship and employment, which is why both the company headquarters and production workshop are located in Xylokastro in Korinthos. We follow the same philosophy in the choice of our partners, who in their majority are local small businesses. Our main concern is to consolidate relations between partners and suppliers and therefore the relationship that we have developed is personal. This ensures the optimal control of the supply chain and raw materials that we use.
There is a small percentage of conscious consumers who are aware and buy in accordance to these values. The positive thing is that this figure seems to be increasing over the years, as the global level of awareness on environmental issues increases as well.
Transparency is very important to exist in all areas. It is a matter of morality, and in such a large industry as fashion we have to support and promote it. Personally, I try to contribute to this, by sourcing my materials from small Greek manufacturers, for which I know the working conditions because of our direct contact with the area and workers. My aim is to promote as much as possible through social media, with several articles and maybe with a relevant photoshoot, transparency and moral values in the fashion industry. We use eco-friendly fabrics in order to contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution. Also, it is very important to respect the people with whom you work and their labour rights. As for strengthening local labour and employment is something that I support strongly, considering that in our country we have remarkable and talented people with whom I am pleased to work! I contact them personally in a daily basis and we share some of my ideas and inspirations.
Regarding consumer purchasing habits, I have noticed that the percentage of young people informed about the values of ethical fashion, is growing and this is indicated by their also increased participation in several events linked to these values. This trend makes me optimistic and very happy!
Transparency is very important to us. For this reason we have created a brochure for our clients mentioning this philosophy and ways with which we strengthen it through our work. We are considering adding, to the information in our brochure, that by buying goods they support socially vulnerable groups and help them survive in the harsh environment of Athens. This may urge consumers to choose products respectively, since unfortunately there is a strong preference to products deriving from labour exploitation and situations of modern slavery. We sell old vintage clothes, and the reason is to promote recycling, reuse and upcycling as a movement and culture. This trend could significantly reduce waste, living expenses and help to redefine the value of things we produce in relation to the quality and durability.
We are a family brand and we make sure that there is fair wage for both our suppliers and us. One of the main reasons why we do not import is because we want to support local Greek communities. We know our suppliers through our long cooperation and we are sure that they belong to socially vulnerable groups that need support.
Our brand is a series of t-shirts printed by hand with silkscreen and a small range of accessories (tote bags, etc.). I consider transparency very important, and that is one of the reasons why I chose as a t-shirt supplier Continental Clothing Co. This company has an elevated sense of environmental and social responsibility. It is certified by Fair Wear Foundation, its principle is to be able to fully trace all textile fibers, it launched Earthpositive line from exclusively organic materials and Salvage line from 100% recycled materials. When the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh, many other companies left the country in order to escape the stigma. But Continental, recognizing that the garment manufacturing industry is important for the local economy, built a new, modern, safe plant and continued its activities there. Also, the silk screen printing inks that I use are water inks, from the Italian company Engler, and do not contain any toxic or hazardous materials in accordance with EU directives.
Failure of being transparent is a reason for us to reject any activity and collaboration. We support it by selecting our partners based on their social and environmental responsibility and the materials we use depending on how friendly they are to the environment. Also, we believe in providing sincere information to our customers about the quality, origin and manufacture of our products. Regarding our small workforce, we try to provide ideal conditions and our goal is to always maintain long term collaborations and personal relationships. Our company holds License for Environment Terms and choses partners with certifications: ISO 9001:2009, OEKO-TEX, ECOSOLVET, SAC, FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION.
Transparency is very important to me, but since I am in the handmade sector only two years now and I make all the products with my own hands, the only way to support it is to know the suppliers of my materials and they come from Greek producers and laboratories. I try to use mostly natural materials, always friendly to the environment, mainly hemp and jute, derived from certified producers.
Transparency in our work is very important and was one of the basic requirements when we first started designing our brand and the way we would like to work. Our goal is for the company to grow and create jobs for people who share the same way of thinking. Since the beginning of the creation of our brand we wanted to enhance the environmental values of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (reduce waste, reuse of materials / objects and recycling). We wanted to create a brand that promotes an alternative lifestyle, that respects people and the environment. In all stages of production we try to use materials that do not pollute the environment.
We have two types of products. The eco-friendly t-shirts and the wooden structures (frames, watches, jewellery). The t-shirts are made of organic fabrics, which we supply from a company devoted to finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions during the production of its products (www.continentalclothing.com). Also, for the printing of the design we use ecological water inks. For the wooden structures we only use recycled wood (recycle, reuse, repurpose) and water colours. We try, as much as possible, to buy our raw materials from local shops so as to strengthen the local economy. Our T-shirt supplier, Continental, is a Fair Trade member, who fights for labour rights.
We want to know personally all the people taking part in our supply chain and therefore we control the entire production line and take care of the entire process. Suppliers, raw materials, labour and finally, the way of promoting and selling. The majority of raw materials are eco-friendly (organic cottons, certified synthetic fabrics, etc.). Also, the construction of our products is handmade and all materials are recyclable.
The design and construction, as well as the entire company’s operation is located in the city of Patra, supporting local entrepreneurship and producers. We know all our partners personally, as well as their product and its origin. From our daily contact with consumers, we conclude that they ignore the usual unethical manufacturing conditions and are impressed with information we provide to them, regarding the difference in the production of our product.
Transparency in the supply chain is very important to us, but not always easy to achieve. Ideally I would like to have full knowledge of the origin of the fabric we use. My goal is to find local suppliers of organic fabrics and create together the designs.
Knowing that the textile industry is harmful to the environment, I often use fabric left-overs from another project and reuse old clothes to construct something different, such as bags and dolls. With the suppliers of my materials (fabric, threads), we have a personal contact. They are local producers from both Athens and Peania.
Although consumers are generally not well informed about the values of ethical fashion, lately a rather increasing percentage bases its purchasing decisions on them. It might just be fashionable, but I hope that the trend will grow…
Transparency in trade has a key role, especially in the market of products where services are essentially a future promise and the whole institution is based on trust between the parties, between the merchant and the client. Especially today’s difficult economic and social conditions, lead to sharp criticism and questioning of client relations. So transparency and reliability can play a crucial part in strengthening these relations. Our brand is a small company, that manufactures 100% hand-made products in a limited number, for which I collaborate with local professionals. Because of my expertise as a Civil Engineer and Energy inspector, I deal a lot with energy management and sustainability. For this reason my company, Tsaroucha Collection, adopts environmentally friendly practises, using fabrics deriving from raw organic materials or recycled fabric, and eco-leather.
The Ecological Fashion that I try to support, is based on three fundamental pillars: environmental protection, health care and ethics. In conclusion, what fashion offers to people, except a possibility of demonstration of vanity and satisfaction, is the fulfilment of the need for beauty. But aesthetics should obey in a certain moral in order to let beauty shine clean.
Transparency for us is a very important issue. The entire production of our garments takes place in our own small industry in Chania Crete, so we have absolute knowledge of the working conditions, labour rights and wages of employees. The establishment was founded in 1978 and has built long-term relationships with its staff and partners.
The fabrics we use are imported and we always control the environmental footprint. We work almost exclusively with natural fibers such as cotton and viscose. The colours used for silk screen printing are mainly water colours and not acrylics. In the future we would like to work exclusively with Greek fabrics, to enhance local production and better control the origin of the materials.
Our company promotes products mainly from industrial hemp and other natural or recycled materials, and transparency in their origin, was always very important to us: our products have identity, they are not purchased by anonymous producers. Furthermore, they do not contain synthetic fibers, chlorine is not used for bleaching and they do not contain toxic substances. Our goal is to contribute to making this practice more visible to the general public. Athens Kannabishop, has long held the richest collection of green products in the country and the largest collection of reusable shopping bags, from natural or recycled materials. We participate in many ecological and other exhibitions, presenting to the public an “ecological proposal.”
Athens Kannabishop, is for many years the exclusive distributor for the company Pure, the largest manufacturer of bags from natural materials with recycled details. We maintain close contact with them and have full knowledge about the manufacturing process of their products, as with other companies from abroad that we have parallel partnerships. Our product range also includes products from small Greek manufacturers, that use only natural raw materials and their products are manufactured by themselves. A large percentage of our public is interested and aware of ethical fashion, due to the nature of our products and the information we share with them. We believe that this figure exceeds 50%.
Our brand is a small local company which creates jewellery from thread and uses natural materials from cotton and wool. Transparency is very important, as we try to know our suppliers and source of raw materials, as well as the buyers of our products, especially in the Wholesale sector. Our goal is to be able to find all the ingredients we need for our creations from local businesses. We are going through a difficult period as a country and we want to support local entrepreneurship, as we wish to be supported ourselves.
We believe that consumers in Greece are now starting to “wake up” from the dormancy of previous years and become interested in learning about the products they purchase and their origin. Of course this still needs a lot of work from family, education and the state. Our opinion is that only 30% of consumers, and this concerns mostly young people, base their purchasing decisions on the values of transparency and ethics in fashion.