Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.
A Slow Fashion House combined with a Design Incubator that employs previous slave labor workers in a nurturing atmosphere. American designers produce collections overseas alongside local workers, sharing skills & knowledge necessary to enable locals to eventually open their own fashion house.
WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"
What if we empowered slave labor workers & American designers to work together to create environmentally & ethically conscious fashion ?
Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
The project addresses problems of the fast fashion industry, from slave labor to environmental concerns. American designers are literally & figuratively far removed from production. Low wages, poor working conditions & a system that isn't set up to further the lives of the workers is oppression at it's finest. The environmental damage the industry causes mirrors the struggles of the workers.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
This project pairs American designers with oversea workers in a supportive way that allows designers to witness first hand the impact their products have on the people & environment producing them. It creates well paying jobs to previous slave labor workers, allowing them to use skills learned in the trade in a nurturing environment. This model is inspired by the first fashion houses in Europe, where the designer worked closely with sewing hands, with the intention of sharing their skills & knowledge to the next great designer. Everyone in house took pride in the work, knowing that garments would last lifetimes as statement pieces. Fashion inspiring the world to consume consciously, investing in their wardrobe & the creative culture.
Impact: How does it Work
Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
I have been learning from others and teaching myself how to make zero waste fashion. I pay myself well and make sure the product I'm producing will last a lifetime. When I produce creating no waste (& non toxic chemicals), and in a way that the buyer will keep the item forever, there are no negative environmental impacts. This provides me with a skill and job for the rest of my life, and the buyer with an amazing fashion statement that they can wear forever. An investment in all parties involved. Investing in the culture of artist as fashion designer and craftsperson, and the culture of the wearer needing and wanting to express his well vested personal taste in a brand that cares about the environment and the people they employ.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
"Sew" far the work has provided me with an income, and above and beyond that, a hunger to help heal the fast fashion industry. The sewing skills I have learned have enabled me to obtain the best paying day job I have had so far, with benefits. I continue to create zero waste couture on the side to earn extra income. I see the gap that needs filling to create a sustainable fashion industry. After working a minimum wage production job at a local clothing company, I see how effective it is to go overseas & employ less advantaged individuals while being able to pay them a higher wage than usual. I imagine my stateside fashion house still producing higher end, luxury, zero waste couture pieces, while producing a more affordable line overseas that would sustain business. By empowering and investing in all individuals involved, a strong and conscious fashion forward community would evolve.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Promotional videos showcasing the model would work as an education tool to the public, as well as marketing & advertising to the consumer. This would inspire other American designers to do the same. Eventually, the negative effects of the fast fashion industry will die out. This model would provide production workers a long term sustainable job, while being able to employ more American & overseas designers in a transparent setting. This has the ability to move the fashion industry to a cottage industry, making fashion more specialized than ever before.
Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?
Selling higher priced, luxury, custom made / couture items stateside that pays stateside designers. Selling ready to wear, zero waste, ethically made clothing produced overseas in the United States, paying for overseas production at a fraction of the cost it would take to produce stateside, while supporting the abolishment of slave labor.
Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
Tonle design (www.tonledesign.com) produces a zero waste fashion product. Maison de Rose differs from Tonle by incorporating the European fashion house model & by having a brick & mortar home base stateside that functions as an atelier & boutique. Melanzana Outdoor Clothing (www.melanzana.com) inspires consumers to produce & buy stateside & local, but does not train their sewing production team to design & run their own business, which would allow for financial independence & creative freedom within their craft.
Baily Rose has been creating fashions as an artistic medium and statement to heal the fast fashion industry and women's psyches concerning their body image. She weaves the metaphor of stories into her garments, asking consumers to question "What woven story am I weaving into my life ? Literally & Figuratively" ( ( ( see Bio for the long story ) ) )
Baily Rose - Designer / Everything - Full Time : Psychology & Advertising Degree from CU Boulder, Sewing Certificate from Emily Griffith Opportunity School Denver, Independent Designer for 10 years, Sewing Production 1 Year, Professional Seamstress / Tailor 3 years
Kathy Bacon - Production Manager : Philanthropist & resident of Thailand with local connections. Will oversee production when Baily is stateside
Matthew Novak - Photographer, Friend, Eco & Ethical Fashion Supporter / Enthusiast, Travel Buddy, Documenter, Editorial Staff
Luke Bender - Videographer, Friend, Eco & Ethical Fashion Supporter / Enthusiast, Travel Buddy, Documenter
Coming Soon : Thailand team ! , Salespeople, First hands stateside and overseas
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]
Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]
Advocate/Organizer, Brand Representative, Consumer, Designer, Supplier - subcontractor, Other [please specify].
Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]
Brands, Consumers, Corporations, Designers, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Specialty Store, Supplier - subcontractor, Women.
Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.
Organizing, Standards, Training.
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?
Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?
Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.
Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?
If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?
● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?
Yes! Conscious Design & Conscious Consumerism
● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?
Film & Photographers that help tell the story to the wider public in a free, accessible way online