Posts Tagged ‘ethical fashion’

As much as I stopped myself from writing this post, I just had to.  I have led myself into brawls with quite a few “change-makers” recently and today I’m writing to you about just one of the many incidences that I decided to avoid.

The season of fashion weeks has begun. This is the time most people from the industry wake up from their deep slumber. Fashion writers want stories and the designers try hard to create these stories. By hook or by crook- they try hard to get a few media mentions and a couple of a hundred sales. That’s how the industry works and I have no problem with it. It has become a familiar scene and hardly matters today. Then why am I writing about it?

I advocate a “niche” segment in fashion- The Ethical fashion industry, Fashion that is made with a conscience, has no guilt involved. The kind that has a heart and soul, for real!  It starts with an emotion and turns into a habit and yes- I am an addict now.

A journo friend called me this morning to give me “news I can use”. A designer who I dreaded (from a past experience) has surfaced again and has started branding herself as an “Ethical fashion designer”. She has paid all the possible media resources back home to get this printed in every leading newspaper. What’s better? A renowned person In Bangalore is now her God father. Well, this Godfather apparently can endorse anyone who sends a fat cheque his way (or maybe use cash to be safe). “Money rules!” said my friend and money rules, I agree. She has succeeded in her attempt and the godfather has made a few bucks for his dope. I am not unhappy about that. I don’t think I care now- “To each, his own”

That said, I have questions in my mind and I don’t even know if I’m looking for answers anymore. Call me a cynic, but I’ve just come to understand that I can’t change the world; maybe I can change the way I live and be an example for people who care.

I can’t stop from wondering, why would you try to brand yourself as an “ethical” fashion designer, first of all? Doesn’t being just a designer do the trick?  You can use the branding for a while to earn you those five minutes of fame but in the end- how will you answer yourself?

Contribution by Brian Li to "The things I have learnt" project.

What will you gain from these articles in the newspaper? Is the end consumer blind not to check that you make garments illegally at home without running a commercial set-up? Or would the consumers fail to see that the silk used is the toil of the poorest of the poor, mostly women and kids who barely make a few bucks a day? Think again.

Of course, there is a market for everything and so there will be a market for such spin doctors too, but I believe in Karma and Karma shall take care of the rest. For me, I need to check and check again before I can vouch for someone. May be you should too. It is impossible to check each and every detail of the stuff you use each day but there is no harm in checking the things you can!

I really wish you would.

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So Ethic, Australia’s first not for profit ETHICAL FASHION STORE is at Rebecca Walk, Corner of Kings St and Flinders St, Melbourne 3000.

Spanning along Flinders Street between King and Spencer Street,On the north side of the Yarra Opposite Crown Casino with frontages to Batman Park.

Google Maps: Click here 

Facebook: So Ethic

Twitter @SoEthic

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Young designer from India, Samant Chauhan has brought a new dictionary of words to the fashion industry in his country and abroad with his passion for the “Silk route”. A household name in India, Chauhan is highly regarded for his passionate dedication towards the revival of the rich Indian silks and hand woven fabrics from Bhagalpur in Bihar, India. The designer wants to make these wild silks famous throughout the world with his fashion statements that have already quite a storm in most European countries.

He has now taken up the task of promoting the patented AHIMSA silks from India and proposes to make an entire range of garments from this ambassador from India to present them at the fashion weeks and trade shows in the west.
Samant Chauhan is an Alumnus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India. Having won three awards in 2004 for most innovative fabric development & best design collection, he worked on multiple projects right from his college days. He worked for an export house RMX Joss for a period of one year where he gained managerial skills and learnt the tastes of international big names like Armani exchange, Tommy Hilfiger, Marlboro Classic among others.

2005: He made his first international mark at the SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK – Asian Young Designer Contest ‘05 where he presented his prize winning collection – “Changing pattern of Buddhism along the silk route” which invited rave reviews from international fashion journalists including Collin Mc Dowell.

2006: Samant debuted at the INDIA FASHION WEEK and received remarkable encouragement for his creations from the biggest names in the fashion fraternity. The same year he was also one of the finalists for the WOW, New Zealand competition. He was a part of the IMFF in Bangalore India. The response from the fashion fraternity to his collection made it clear that Chauhan was here to stay.

2007: He presented his first catwalk show – “Kamasutra” at the India Fashion Week – A/W ’07 & received an overwhelming response from the media & international buyers. This collection was recognized by all as the most promising talent of India in the years to come. Subsequently he got an opportunity to be a part of “Esthetica” at the London Fashion Week SS’08. Since then it has been no looking back & Samant has shown at the last 2 consecutive season’s of the London Fashion Week. He carried his hand made, hand woven ethical silk garments to the international market and created a unique place for himself in the fashion industry. This brought him the invitation to showcase at a solo show at the CARROUSEL DU LOUVRE, PARIS

2008: Oxidized Street at India Fashion Week, AW’08
Samant Chauhan created simple cut jackets for men with eye – catching organic motifs which crawled from back to front. The color palette was inspired by nature and showed earthy shades of brown, beige and sand which were juxtaposed with silver and zinc.
YOUNG FASHION ENTREPRENEUR: In 2008, he won the runner up award at the Young Fashion Entrepreneur organised by British Council.

Continuing his commitment to ethical fashion & taking a leap forward Samant showcased his SS’09 line at the Ethical Fashion 2008, Paris on the 10th October. This woman’s wear eco line – SS’09 collection consists of hand-woven and knitted 100 percent raw silk, linen and cotton linen blends – using all eco-friendly dyes and processes.

Wills India Fashion week-Spring/summer 09 :
Autumn Wedding
This collection is a marriage of Indian craftsmanship with western silhouettes. The jewel tone dresses blended with the use of leaves in the prints, embroidery, headgear and accessories gives one an autumn feel. Samant Chauhan has continued his romance with the silk and textiles that are hand woven and hand knitted with embellishments that are hand made by the village craftsmen of India. He was covered by the Wall Street Journal’s mint and featured on the cover page for bringing the Khadi back to limelight.

2009: He started the year with the showcasing of his AW09 at the LONDON FASHION WEEK’s Esthetica and WILLS INDIA FASHION WEEK AW09.

His whole collection shimmers a pale biscuit gold pool of sunlight and sanctuary in a crowded and noisy fashion spectacular. The pieces are statements in shape or contour, although most take their key design elements from the classic Indian silhouettes but the simplicity and monotone of the women’s wear garments have been set off with elegant appliqué and embellishment in pastel colored silk flowers and subtle embroidery ( Courtesy

On the 25th of February 2009, Samant Chauhan speaks in front of an eager audience comprising of fashion journalists, stylists and buyers about his work, the ethical part of these and the way forward at the London College of Fashion in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s Shared Talent India Competition with a celebration of ethical movers & shakers working in India.

Taking his motivation to promote the dying textiles forward, Samant Chauhan has started a project with his Irish friend to revive the dying linen in the village of Monivea in Ireland. Under this project, chauhan will be creating a marriage of the linens from the Irish Village Monivea and the silks of the Bhagalpur Village in India. Samant Chauhan’s capsule spring collection being created for the Spencer retail’s HYPER stores is dedicated to this endeavor with the Monivea Village in Ireland.

Samant Chauhan’s unusual and contemporary creations have created a unique name for him in the industry. What Chauhan has done to the fashion industry and the mind-set can only describe him as a genius of sorts. His knitware work is obvious in its ingenuity.

His collection Kamasutra, showcased at WIFW, was one of the best seen on the runway at the indian fashion week and now he is showcasing an extended version of the same at the London Fashion week Fall collection.

He has received extensive coverage from media. The critic reviews have been most encouraging.

We look forward to welcoming this genius to SO ETHIC in Melbourne.

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