Previously underestimated in terms of its impact on the environment, the record of the $2.5 trillion-dollar fashion industry is now coming increasingly under scrutiny. Not only is it the second highest user of water worldwide, producing 20 per cent of global water waste, and responsible for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, but beyond the environmental impact the industry is also closely linked to labor, gender and poverty issues. And while significant today, it is likely that such concerns will only increase further in the coming decades, which has prompted the UN to call for delegates attending its upcoming High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to debate plans to launch a Partnership for Sustainable Fashion.
For the past eight years, she’s been producing her Ethical Fashion Initiative bags in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre — a joint organization of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization — which supports the work of women micro-producers of marginalized African communities. Westwood was one many European designers to oppose Brexit, too. There’s much, much more to be learned from Westwood — and you’ll be surprised to realize just how many trends (those material and immaterial) she started. In the clip below — one of our favorites from the documentary — the designer narrates her start in the fashion industry, including her relationship with McLaren. Like most great woman designers of our business, she outran him.
it reflects how they help communities grow through fashion: by providing them the tools for a continuous empowerment.
VOGUE Australia – How the UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative provides sustainable work, not charity, for communities
The jet-set head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative touches down in Melbourne to talk fashion with heart for Mimco.
After gaining experience working in the leather industry in Italy, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, China, Tunisia and Morocco, Cipriani relocated to Ethiopia to work for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) setting up service centers for the local leather industry. Meeting and working with micro-producers he saw an opportunity to connect skilled artisans with the fashion industry for mutual benefit, and this was the inspiration behind the Ethical Fashion Initiative.
En Afrique, l’Initiative de Mode Ethique (Ethical Fashion Initiative/EFI), créée en 2009 par Simone Cipriani, exploite la mode comme vecteur de développement. Les artisans locaux peuvent fabriquer des produits de mode éthique à valeur ajoutée pour les créateurs de mode internationaux. En tant qu’initiative des Nations Unies, leur travail est évalué à l’aide d’un outil mesurant l’impact positif et les résultats tangibles pour les communautés avec lesquelles il travaille. Cette organisation encourage les jeunes talents de la mode locale et leur permet de créer des collaborations éthiques, durables et créatives avec des artisants du continent pour ensuite être promues à l’international.
Founded in 2009, the Ethical Fashion Initiative is headed by Simone Cipriani, an industry practitioner with a long history working around the world. In the past, Cipriani has promoted sustainability through working with micro-producers and artisans in Africa, connecting them to the western world, and encouraging successful partnerships.
Thương hiệu thời trang Vivienne Westwood được thành lập bởi NTK người Anh Vivienne Westwood vào năm 1971. Lời phát biểu mạnh mẽ của “nữ hoàng nổi loạn tóc đỏ” đã truyền cảm hứng đến mọi ngóc ngách của cuộc sống: “Chúng ta cần thay đổi đạo đức và bộ máy tài chính cũng như cách chúng ta thấu hiểu thế giới. Đó là phải là thế giới nơi mà con người sống thay vì chết; một thế giới bền vững”.
La moda come strumento di sviluppo economico e avanzamento sociale nelle comunità e nelle zone disagiate della Nigeria: questo è Kinabuti, un brand etico con una mission sociale nato nel 2010 dal sogno di due donne italiane, Caterina Bortolussi, friulana che da 12 anni vive in Nigeria, in partnership con Francesca Rosset.
Activists were vocal about getting businesses and consumers to address worker exploitation in global supply chains. The Ethical Fashion Initiative called on companies to put people above profit at the heart of business models and the Stop Child Labour Coalition launched a campaign for brands to share profits to keep children in school.
The panelists acknowledged an increased interest in authenticity, heritage and social responsibility among consumers. Cipriani said that carefully crafted authentic goods were “what fashion used to be” prior to mass production, standardization of labor, compression of costs and “big” marketing strategies. And preceding standardization, luxury brands were full of artisans, according to Cipriani.
HuffPost – How to Empower Women in Africa’s Fashion Industry? United Nations Forum on Business & Human Rights
Ethical Fashion Initiative is notorious for its inclusive business model which fosters creative collaborations between African, Caribbean artisans and world renowned brands such as: Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Stella Jean.
Ethiopia’s tannery has improved its technical footwear development capabilities while giving access to local artisans and their regional techniques
“El objetivo de este programa insignia del Centro de Comercio Internacional (ITC) es facilitar a los pequeños productores de países en vías de desarrollo la posibilidad de colaborar con marcas reconocidas de la industria de la moda. Esta unión crea empleo digno y justo en Etiopía”, dicen desde Camper. Además, los zapatos están teñidos manualmente por lo que su impacto ecológico es menor.
Camper colabora una segunda vez con Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), lanzando una edición limitada producida completamente en Etiopía. Se trata de una colección que fusiona la estética africana con elementos urbanos para crear el estilo perfecto para el verano.
On a weekday morning, the foyer of the plush Sheraton on the Park hotel in Sydney is filled with businessmen heading to morning meetings and corporate women hunched over laptops. As the jet-setting head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a subsidiary of the United Nations for which he travels eight months a year, Simone Cipriani is no stranger to hotel foyers.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Working with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative in Africa is definitely top of my highlights list. We work with the EFI’s artisans to create accessories using their local and traditional techniques such as beading, embroidery, screen-printing and metal work. After each collection we receive an impact report explaining how the Karen Walker order impacted on the community and the individual. It’s extremely rewarding and humbling to see. Going to Kenya to meet with the initiative and artisans we work with is also a life highlight!
“Not Charity, Just Work.”
That’s the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s motto, and it reflects how they help communities grow through fashion: by providing them the tools for a continuous empowerment. The EFI (a flagship program of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations) connects artisans from around the developing world to the international value chain of fashion, consequently transforming fashion into a vehicle for development.
Moderated by Italy native Simone Cipriani, founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, six leaders at the forefront of sustainable fashion across the world gave individual presentations of how they’re making a difference in the industry, whether through clothing design, journalism, or software.
Inside the central market building of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, with its tiered terraces and concentric staircases, the vendors are arranged in arrondissements: meat and fish at the centre, moving outwards to cooking pots, wooden carvings and musical instruments. At the edge, textile merchants display wax-printed cloths in a cacophony of colours.
Another year, another opportunity to begin afresh. But what does 2017 hold for the fashion industry? We asked more than 40 eco-fashion movers and shakers, including an overseer of a multi-brand conglomerate, Greenpeace campaigner, a founding dean, a fashion compliance attorney, a vegan footwear designer, a “slow fashion” boutique owner, and a few of our media comrades in arms to play soothsayer and offer predictions for the year ahead.
Working with the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre, a United Nations agency, the designer started working with African fabrics handwoven by women in landlocked Burkina Faso and Mali