Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Slow Series Part III ft. Textilehaus

Thrifted Shirt, Textilehaus Sack Pant, Intentionally Blank Temple Loafers


-Part III-
Sustainable Vs. Unsustainable Fabrics.

      Today I am resuming my Slow Series and will be talking about sustainable and unsustainable fabrics. Growing up I've always been specific with fabrics I liked to wear. It was something my mom had trained me to do. When we went shopping, she would always make sure the fabric of a garment was made of one she liked, and it turns out that the fabrics she encouraged me to wear were natural ones. At some point, I was able to determine the content of a fabric solely from touching it. Now more than ever I am very particular with what fabrics I wear since I am aware of sustainable fashion. Below, I have created a list of textiles that I either do or do not consider sustainable.

Unsustainable Fabrics                                                                     Sustainable Fabrics
-       Cotton (Inorganic):
-       Uses pesticides and a lot of water due to poor soil quality
-       Can irritate skin from chemicals
-       Nylon:
-       Made from petrochemicals that pollute the environment
-       Non-biodegradable and releases nitrous oxide when manufactured
-       Poly Cotton:
-       Treated with toxic formaldehyde
-       Polyester:
-       Made from petrochemicals
-       Lasts long in landfills
-       Rayon:
-       Non-environmentally friendly manufacturing process (uses chemicals and heavy metals)
-       Viscose:
-       Made from wood pulp of eucalyptus trees but treated with chemicals
-       Wool (Inorganic):
-       Dipped in toxic chemicals to ward off ticks/lice
-       Alpaca:
-       Don't require insecticides/ antibiotic treatments
-       Long lasting, wrinkle resistant, durable
-       Warmer than wool, has no lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic
-       Bamboo:
-       Newer methods produced without toxic chemicals
-       Cashmere:
-       Truly green cashmere is lasting and durable
-       Cheap cashmere is produced with chemicals and carcinogenic dyes
-       Hemp:
-       Easily grown without chemical pesticides
-       Cotton (Organic):
-       Still use a lot of water but less than inorganic cotton
-       Safer for farmers because it does not use toxic chemical treatments
-       Maintains healthy soil
-       Linen:
-       From flax which doesn’t require pesticides
-       In its most green form when it's in a natural shade or dyed with natural dyes
-       Cheap linen is treated with chemicals in fast fashion retailers
-       Modal:
-       High yield cellulose biodegradable fiber from beech trees
-       High wet strength and extra soft
-       Machine washes and tumble dries without shrinking
-       Absorbs 50% more moisture than cotton which keeps it odor free and uses less energy from washing
-       Can be dyed with harsh chemicals
-       Lenzing modal is sustainable and bleached in an environmentally friendly way
-       Ramie:
-       Harvested 3-4 times/year
-       Less water than cotton
-       Naturally resistant to bacteria
-       Grows healthily without pesticides
-       One of the strongest natural fibers (8 times stronger than cotton)
-       Stain resistant
-       Silk:
-       It's a natural fabric because it's made by silk worms
-       Vegan silk uses worm casings after moths have emerged
-       Soy Fabric:
-       Made from byproducts of soy oil processing
-       Good for bras and panties because its soft and silky
-       Can be certified organic, sustainable, eco-friendly
-       Watch out for soy blends with polyester and inorganic cotton
-       Tencel/Lyocell:
-       Non-chemical alternative to viscose
-       Uses solvents that are 99.9% reclaimed and reused
-       Biodegradable and recyclable from eucalyptus trees (grow quickly without pesticides)
-       Production uses less energy, water, and fabric
-       Doesn't get bleached, manufacturing is environmentally friendly
-       Absorbs perspiration, doesn't allow bacteria growth, remains odor free
-       Fewer washes to save energy
-       Dye process can be with chemicals
-       Naturally wrinkle free
-       Wool (Organic):
-       Renewable and durable from sheep
-       Made according to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)

*Fabric information sourced from New Classic's The Ethics of Fabrics.   

       A few of my favorite fabrics include alpaca, organic cotton, linen, silk, and wool. I've always really liked alpacas and when I went to Portland, Oregon, I visited an alpaca farm. I was able to pet the alpacas and they were combed of their fur to spin into yarn. A few years after my visit, my boyfriend gifted me an alpaca sweater and I love it because it's so soft and not prickly. Organic cotton is also on my list of favorite fabrics because it can come woven or knit and casual or dressy. It's great that it's a comfortable fabric and also come in various textures! I love linen because it's a very wearable fabric year round. It's breathable for the summer and great for layering when it gets colder. Being the lazy person I am, I love that linen is machine washable and can be worn with wrinkles! Another fabric I love is silk because it feels so luxurious against the skin. Sometimes when I wear silk garments I forget that I'm even wearing anything! Lastly, wool gives me a nostalgic feeling because my grandma used to knit me wool sweaters when I was younger and they would keep me warm in the cold, San Francisco weather. Up until today, I still have the sweaters and wear it when the weather dips or when I visit home. Although I am not sure if they were made of organic wool, I am now aware that organic wool exists and will try to look for that option. Now that I've shared my favorite fabrics, I'd love to read what yours are and why? Also, are you interested in knowing which fabrics I personally don't like and why?

TEXTILE HAUS' STORY: Anastasiya Yatsuk is the founder Textilehaus, a women's clothing line that embraces timeless styles and exceptionally high quality. Anastasiya grew up in Russia where she was allowed to shop for new clothes twice a year for the winter and summer. Before she could buy anything, her mother had her create a sample of what she wanted to buy. From then, Anastasiya learned to appreciate the skills needed to make clothes and would choose to purchase pieces that would work with her existing wardrobe. Anastasiya studied fine arts in the US and then went on to start Textilehaus. This season, her pieces are made of responsibly imported fabrics from high quality factories in Japan. She specifically chose the raw silk fabric for this collection because of its soft touch. All of her pieces are designed and made in Cincinnati, Ohio where she works with local manufacturers to sew each garment. I love the fabric of the Sack Pants and the fact that they were sewn with french seams which makes them more durable!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


MY STORY: This week I'll be taking a break from my Slow Series. It's been a pretty intense process writing out the series in addition to having a heavier load in school time around. Today I'll be giving an update on what I've been up in the weeks I've been sharing the Slow Series.

This past weekend my parents visited and it was nice to just hang out with them again. Before I moved to LA, I really didn't hang out with my friends too much and instead would go out with my parents during the weekends. We have similar interests (mainly eating) and enjoy each other's company. It was nice to revisit that but at the same time I enjoy my friends and lifestyle in LA.

This week 2 of my middle school friends are visiting and it's so exciting to see them again! I still have school and work so we don't have too much time together but I'm looking forward to catching up with them.

Lastly, I've just been busy with school work since there are a few projects with many parts due throughout the week. I've been getting closer to a few friends in school which makes the process a lot easier to endure. I've really been enjoying the presence of my friends and continuing to get to know them better. I'd love to hear something you've been enjoying lately!

MODERNATION'S STORY: Dawn Oakes is the founder of Modernation, a women's clothing line that offers an alternative to fast fashion. This all started when Dawn worked in the interior design industry and was introduced to sustainability in building materials, water efficiency, and environmental quality. After learning this, she felt that there was an opportunity to create while making a positive change. In her latest capsule collection, she offers 5 pieces that can be worn in several ways. They are all made in tencel which is a natural fabric that looks and feels luxurious. It takes a few months to create a collection and she focuses on neutral colors and a timeless design. I love the blush color of the Lyanna Dress and the way the tencel feels against the skin. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Slow Series Part II ft. Tales of Anyday

Tales of Anyday Lu Shirt, Father's Daughter Jett Jeans in Biscuit, Nisolo Mariella Mule in Black


-Part II-
Defining Slow Fashion.

       In my previous post, I explained the process of garment making and grazed on what slow fashion was. Today I'll be breaking down what slow fashion is from my perspective. Slow fashion is composed of two large umbrellas: ethics and sustainability.

       Ethically made clothing focuses on the people who contribute to the process of making garments. Clothing made ethically can entail various meanings and details. Here is a list of what I have seen brands share as to why their company is ethical.

- Workers are paid a fair wage. This means workers are being paid minimum wage or above. I have also encountered the term 'living wage' which is an amount above minimum wage that allows workers to live comfortably. 
- The work environment is safe. Often time places such as dye or wash houses use chemicals that are detrimental to the health of workers. Natural dyes made from vegetables are an alternative to harsh chemicals used traditionally. 
- Workers receive paid time off.
- Workers receive worker's compensation. Physical work such as sewing can lead to muscle injuries. For businesses, workers compensation is costly and therefore, not always offered.
- Workers are satisfied. A slower production schedule allows workers to take time to do their work accurately removing the pressure of constantly being pushed to work faster. 

       The sustainability aspect of a brand focuses on the durability of a garment through time. I created another list to break down the different parts that contribute to a lasting garment.

- Quality. A garment will last longer when it is stitched together a certain way. This is something new I learned from taking my sewing class. In sewing, there are different number of stitches per inch. The higher the number of stitches per inch, the longer a garment will last, which makes sense because it is more difficult to rip out 10 small stitches within an inch compared to 5 large stitches within the same length (from experience). Also, the higher the number of stitches per inch, the longer it takes to sew. When I learned about this, I became more aware of the differentiating factors of slow and fast fashion. This is also a good way to tell whether a garment will last or not.
- Design. When garments are designed to last, they aren't about the latest trend but instead, have a timeless style.
- Eco-conscious. This can be taken in several ways. Zero waste is something that is always good to strive for even though in reality it is not always possible. Cutting fabric to maximize the amount of garments that will be produced, maximizing the amount of paper used when creating patterns or designs, and using reusing bags for packaging are great ways to decrease waste. Another idea would be to purchase fabrics and materials locally as to lower the carbon footprint in modes of delivery.
-Fabric. I feel that there is a wealth of information to be shared about fabrics which is why I will be going more in depth about it in the following Slow Series next Wednesday.

       To sum this up, it is not to say that all companies that claim they are ethical or sustainable comply with all these points. I applaud any company striving towards even 1 of these points because it is already taking a large step away from fast fashion. I hope this information was insightful and helped build your knowledge on slow fashion. I am still learning and would love to hear any of your thoughts/comments!

TALES OF ANYDAY'S STORY: Sintija is the founder of Tales of Anyday which offers beautiful sustainable and ethical women's wear. She is originally from Riga, Latvia but is now based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has a masters in Sustainability in Fashion and dedicates her work to sustainability through production, materials, and design. Sintija believes that design can be sustainable when it is timeless and made of high quality fabric and construction. In making her clothes, she believes that production methods should be under fair working conditions. She also designs and develops environmentally friendly textiles. She tends to work with fabrics that are natural such as linen, organic cotton, and lyocell. I love that her pieces are made with high quality fabric and construction and that her mission is focused on sustainability.

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