Monday, 11 June 2012

Ethical Fashion. Do we really care?

Yet again flicking through one of my favourite blogs, The Business of Fashion (BOF), I came across this debate fuelling post.

Can Ethical Fashion Really Be Fashionable? 
My answer to the question would be that I soon hope so! I understand the points that are being put across within the article and I quite agree with the views. When I wake up and get dressed in the morning, go out shopping and purchase new items, I very rarely ask myself how and where these items have been made. And unless really forced to ask the question, I am unlikely to wonder whether the items have been made with an ethical focus.

Whenever faced with this topic, I find myself becoming very emotionally involved and concerned for a short time afterwards. But it doesn't take long before I go back to buying products and having no knowledge as to where they have come from.

I believe that I and many other people fail to ask this question when buying items is because we shouldn't have to. In my opinion, we as the consumer should not have to worry about the ethical and or immoral manors in which these high and mighty companies go about conducting themselves in, because all companies should conduct all business activities in an ethical manor. So, when I do see items labelled as being 'ethical' or 'green'  or what have you, yes I will look at them, but I am then more likely to bypass them as I assume that all other collections have been produced in the same or similar way. Or that the whole business is operating in the same way. Yes, I know, this can be seen as a very naive view.

What baffles me, is how the individuals who run these large and minor scale companies, are able to continue producing products well aware of the unethical operations that are carried out throughout their production line. 

Ethical fashion can and will become fashionable. But it will only happen when all companies as a whole take it upon themselves to operate in an ethical manor from the offset. And not to merely appeal to a small niche market of consumers. When all companies are able to meet this, then ultimately all fashion related products that are made will be both ethical and fashionable.

Easier said than done. I know. 
But, someday in the near future, when I am able to start my own brand and fashion label, I hope and aspire to create all products with the best ethical and moral background possible. Not because it is the current market trend, but because to me, that is the only way in which a business should really be run. As an individual, I would not be able to let these factors pass my conscience.

What are your views on this subject and topic? Do you enquire into company CSR policies before purchasing from them? What factors work to affect your purchasing process? 

TheGoldSmith. x

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Home & Grown

Scrolling through one of my much loved blogs, The Business of Fashion (or BOF as some may call it), I came across this article from a few days ago.

Made in Britain's new wave - Telegraph

It talks of how the manufacture of British fashion is slowly beginning to creep back to shore. I find the topic of oversea manufacture and the UK's real position and influence within the fashion market to be very interesting as I always seem to get riled up and passionate when it pops into topic.

The real question I always seem to pose though, is how long will it take before we are reunited with the prosperous textile industry that the UK was once home to? And what will be the effects of this? As much as I hope to see this change happen for the good, I'm sure that it will have some kind of effect on the fashion industry that may not work for the better.

For example, when manufacturing moved overseas to. countries of cheaper labour, yes, fashion companies were now able to supply products at low prices, but it was at the expense of employee exploitation. By bringing manufacture back to the UK, will we then face the cost of higher priced garments? Yes, quality is now a factor that consumers are beginning to look for and pay more attention to in their purchases, but are we as a country really ready and willing to pay these higher prices?

So many more questions and potential scenarios arise when I debate this topic. How will this effect fast fashion? How will it effect the economy? What will be the new world pecking order? As the BRIC economies emerge and begin to take greater stances on the fashion industry, will the UK be forgotten? Are we soon to be exploited in a similar way to those before?

But despite the sceptical questioning, I know that the UK is home to many of the worlds most innovative and creative designers. We hold heritage of past ancestors and generations who were and still are highly skilled in textile manufacture. So why not be proud of our heritage and share that with the world?

I have no hesitation in our ability to produce quality goods. I have hesitation in our ability to sustain the production in quality goods. But I would not be so passionate on the topic if I didn't want to have an impact on it myself. With the hope and ambition to one day start my own company and clothing brand, I want to be a part of the new generation that believes in home grown manufacture and recognises the significance of heritage.

Just some food for thought :)

TheGoldSmith. x

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Sartorialist

So recently I've really been dwelling on the major rise and dominance of Street Style and it's major impact on where our current fashion influences stem from. The age of the blogger has been upon us for quite a few years now, so I'm sure that by now most fashion savvy folks have that one blogger that they obsess over. Mine is most definitely Scott Schuman. No doubt about it.

He is definitely the worlds most popular street photographer and if you've ever seen his work or visited his site, I'd say it's rather obvious why!
His images are powerful and truly influential in some kind of unspoken way. He doesn't need to write a paragraph of text to accompany his images because they speak for themselves.

As I'm currently at a stage of desire for my own professional camera and undergoing a growing interest in photography, I thought I'd share some of my favourite images off Scott Schuman's blog.

And here they are...

   I love these images firstly as I have personal fascination with Men's fashion and tailoring. I love seeing how different generations and people can take one genre of style and twist it to make it their own.

I find it interesting seeing the similarities between the styles of generations. The Elder gentlemen's style in the top left image, with his trouser just exposing his socks, the bowler hat and handkerchief in pocket has been replicated with the two younger men, but with jeans and patterned socks bringing a modern edge to the look.

I must admit that I do though have a personal love and obsession with old school hats, fedoras and bowler style especially, as they remind me of my own Grandfather.

The braces, crisp white shirt and bow tie of the gentlemen in the top right image are flawless. he just looks like such a Gentlemen!

Below are few more images that I have kept of Scott Schuman's work that act as inspiration for me.

When you go out and about your everyday life, look at and take in all things around you. There will always be something to inspire you.

TheGoldSmith. x