Capitalism is evolving. The Internet, like the one offered by ADSL broadband suppliers, has allowed anyone with wireless access to establish their own business on the web, often giving bigger companies a run for their money. And creative ideas abound, none more in these three companies, each challenging the current fashion industry paradigms with thoughtful projects that turn last-century thinking on its head.
CHALLENGE: Conventional Silk’s Cruel and Wasteful Practices
SOLUTION: A different kind of silk :: Moth in the Flame by Georgeson and Tamman
What do you get when you combine music, cruelty-free silk, a film noir aesthetic and a love of hand-painted designs?
You get Moth in the Flame, a wearable art collaboration from Mikey Georgeson and Lucy Tamman. Traditional silk manufacturing actually involves the live-boiling of silk moths, which is hideous. This team of two uses Eri silk, “a type of silk from a clever moth that leaves an opening at the end of its cocoon, so it doesn’t have to dissolve the filament in order to get out. This means longer, more lustrous fibres to be processed into silky radiant fabric… The cottage industry of Eri silk production in North East India, is much kinder, the moths are hand reared, often in the bedrooms of villages in small quantities, and released after they have hatched from the cocoon, the cocoons are then sold on, which creates extra income for these families.”
They are creating a limited-edition collection of scarves, ties, pocket squares and shift dresses, all hand-painted with hauntingly beautiful images.
My favorite piece is the Perception Scarf:
Their Kickstarter page is also definitely worth exploring because they have an original song to go with their project– check it out now and see if you don’t find yourself humming this haunting melody for hours afterwards.
CHALLENGE: Women’s Disempowerment in India
SOLUTION: Providing Women with Stable, Portable, Fair Employment :: Lush Bazaar’s Fashion Mission Fund
The goal of Lush Bazaar is to create unique, fair-trade items to empower women in India. The goal is to give these women stable employment that does not take them away from their children because it can be done anywhere.
The bright colors chosen by founder Timbrel Chyatee symbolize women’s souls and smiles. The material and the manufacturing bring hope to women whose lives can be darkened by abuse, poverty, and lack of education.
My favorite piece from the collection is the Dreamer Scarf; look at those colors!
CHALLENGE: Crazy Textile Waste is Normalized in the Fashion Industry
Solution: Reuse Garment Waste :: Evrnu: The Future of Apparel
There is an astonishing amount of waste in the fashion industry. Landfills are stacked with waste from garment cutting (more than 12 million tons of waste per year in the US alone).
Evrnu founders Stacy and Christo repurpose this wasted product and gives the material new life. In doing so, they discovered that the garments were actually higher quality than they had been in their first life.
The company has made a handful of prototype garments that they will give to contributors who help them meet their financial goals (once the goals have been met, they hope to pair with a major design label and make many more pieces).
The shirts are available to contributors of $73 or more.
Supporting indie fashion designers and manufacturers is the best way to change the industry and to get up-to-the-minute style and quality fashions.