1. Orsola de Castro (Estethica, From Somewhere, Reclaim to Wear)
2. Judy Gearhart (International Labor Rights Forum)
3. Jason Kibbey (Sustainable Apparel Coalition, PACT)
4. Ilze Smit (Greenpeace International)
5. Summer Rayne Oakes (Source4Style)
6. Christina Dean (Redress HK)
7. Chrissie Lam (The Supply Change)
8. Oceana Lott (Fashion Revolution Day)
9. Sass Brown (Fashion Institute of Technology, Eco Fashion)
10. Timo Rissanen (Parsons The New School for Design)
11. Carmen Artigas
12. Deanna Clark (Fashion Institute of Technology)
13. Leah Borromeo (Dirty White Gold)
14. Elizabeth Cline (Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion)
15. Anthony Lilore (Restore Clothing, Save the Garment Center)
16. Bob Bland (Manufacture NY)
17. Safia Minney (People Tree)
18. John Patrick (Organic)
19. Aurelie Popper and Jade Harwood (Wool and the Gang)
20. Karen Stewart and Howard Brown (Stewart + Brown)
21. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (Vaute)
22. Tara St. James (Study NY)
23. Eliza Starbuck (Bright Young Things)
24. Carrie Parry (Carrie Parry)
25. Meghan Sebold (Afia)
26. Joshua Katcher (Brave GentleMan)
27. Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bèdat (Zady)
28. Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo (Of a Kind)
29. Amisha Ghadiali (Provenance)
30. Rachel Kibbe (Helpsy)
31. Anna Griffin (Coco Eco0
32. Amy DuFault
33. Jessica Marati (Tout Le Monde)
34. Starre Vartan (Eco-Chick, The Eco Chick Guide to Life)
35. Johanna Björk (Goodlifer)
36. Greta Eagan (Fashion Me Green)
37. Emma Grady (Past Fashion Future)
ORSOLA DE CASTRO (CO-FOUNDER, ESTETHICA AT LONDON FASHION WEEK; CO-FOUNDER, FROM SOMEWHERE, RECLAIM TO WEAR)
As we move into the ’90s revival, grunge will be back, and upcycling will fit that look perfectly.
I predict modern upcycling will actually look “upcycled,” but with a much edgier feel.
I believe that in the high-end sector there will be a rush to re embrace artisans and manual skills, and that crafts will become a tool for modern luxury once again.
I also see transparency becoming more important as consumers become aware and more curious about who makes their clothes.
Watch out for Fashion Revolution Day on the April 24 and wear your clothes #insideout to show your support.
JUDY GEARHART (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS FORUM)
2014 will show that global apparel brands and trade unions can work together to build a safer industry, grounded in human rights.
In 2013, more than 120 global brands signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, making a binding commitment to work with their suppliers and local and international trade unions to ensure factories are made safe and workers have the right to speak up and refuse dangerous work.
Apparel production is the first step towards industrialization and often the first formal sector job for women in so many developing countries.
Just as women have come to lead all aspects of the apparel industry, we now need to ensure the women who make the clothing are able to rise to their full potential, as well; that their rights are respected and they have a voice at work.
In 2013, more than 1,132 workers died in the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Workers questioned the safety of the building, but managers, at risk of losing orders from global apparel brands, told workers they had to go in to complete orders. This was the loudest in a series of wake-up calls to the apparel industry.
The time is now for sustainable and ethical designers and manufacturers to lead the industry back to valuing the individuals who craft the clothing they design.
JASON KIBBEY (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SUSTAINABLE APPAREL COALITION; CO-FOUNDER, PACT)
My hope and expectation is 2014 will be the year that we start to see these tools and partnerships translate into impacts on the ground such as improved environmental efficiency in factories and investments that improve the lives and safety of workers in Bangladesh.
When the industry shows real progress, it will make consumers optimistic and willing to engage on this issue in their daily lives.
ILZE SMIT (DETOX CAMPAIGNER, GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL)
2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse, a year of success, improvement,and progress. This year will see the Detox revolution continue to sweep across the textile industry, leading the charge for toxic-free fashion.
In 2013, Greenpeace International published the “Detox Catwalk”, revealing how 14 brands are already acting as leaders on the path to Detox.
2014 will be the year that these brands show the world what they have achieved so far and make even more progress towards their Detox commitments.
The industry knows how to stop polluting our rivers so it’s time they walked the talk.
I hope that that this year more brands like Gap and Armani that are yet to sign up to Detox will listen to the people that buy their clothes and make a lasting commitment to clean up their supply chains.
The next generation has the right to grow up with access to clean water and clothes free of hazardous chemicals, and people around the world have the power to make that a reality.
2014 will see the global movement of fashion lovers, shoppers, and bloggers continue to grow, pressuring the industry to take the urgent steps we need to build a toxic-free future.
SUMMER RAYNE OAKES (MODEL; AUTHOR; CO-FOUNDER, SOURCE4STYLE)
Fashion and politics have been bedfellows since textiles were first traded, but this relationship starts to take on a new form in 2014.
Progressive governments like France and Canada are beginning to become more involved, introducing legislation around Extended Producer Responsibility to encourage and enforce upcycling and recycling of clothing and textile products.
Companies with extended foresight will be disclosing measurable environmental impacts in preparation for future transparency requirements via the Securities and Exchange Commission, and city centers that have vibrant textile and clothing manufacturing centers will continue to work with organizations and companies to ensure that local fashion businesses and manufacturers have the necessary benefits available to thrive.
CHRISTINA DEAN (FOUNDER/CEO, REDRESS HK)
Looking back at 2013, we have seen increasing conversations about waste reduction across multi-sectors. This was also true in the fashion and textile industry.
Looking forward, this much-needed conversation is likely to increase further, fueled by the growing wall of textile waste that continues to mount from the industry and from consumers, as a lust for fast fashion lunges on.
More specifically, in 2014, we will continue to see more focus on the innovative use of textile waste in more mainstream-appeal collections, as designers for the small brands and for the high street tackle this agenda and opportunity.
This will be particularly prevalent in emerging fashion designers entering the industry.
For them, sustainable design education will be especially important as their external climate becomes more focused on the need for designers’ core ethos to value sustainability as much as style.
Fashion courses will need to grow their capability to incorporate this into curriculums in order to plant a widespread vision for a more sustainable fashion industry amongst those who ultimately are tomorrow’s industry.
CHRISSIE LAM (FOUNDER/DIRECTOR, THE SUPPLY CHANGE)
Taking a stand. Witness more brands exploring long-term, social impact sourcing partnerships and creating trend-right products with social enterprises.
- Whole Foods x CTC international (Kenya)
- Kering/PPR group’s x Wildlife Works (Kenya)
- Levi’s x Mercado Global (Guatemala)
2. Consumption levels
Plan on seeing more unique media messaging and tech advancements geared towards changing mindsets from constant consumption to conscious consumerism.
- Patagonia’s “Responsible Economy” campaign
As China’s influence and spending power continues to grow, one of the many challenges will be how to raise awareness and steer consumer demand there for more sustainable products.
As more factory fires and workers’ protests make headline news, brands are increasing measures to create more transparency through their supply chains.
Three stellar examples of brands bringing transparency to the table.
Innovate with waste. The first world will draw more inspiration from how developing countries cleverly recycle/upcycle their waste.
Ocean Sole works with communities across Kenya and East Africa, educating them to see the worth in collecting discarded flip-flops and recreating them into unique products.
- Ocean Sole effectively cleans beaches and slums, creates jobs and supports marine conservation efforts.
- Green Village Bali: I just recently returned from an inspiring trip to Bali where I visited the Green Village. This community epitomizes barefoot luxury at its best. Spearheaded by Elora and John Hardy, each bespoke bamboo home is hand-built to embody the inherent strengths and versatility of bamboo. That being said, I’m excited to collaborate and create my bamboo bungalow in Bali this year!
OCEANA LOTT (U.S. REGIONAL COORDINATOR, FASHION REVOLUTION DAY)
The full impact on the fashion industry regarding horrible disasters that occurred this past year in third world countries is still to be realized.
More consumers are going to be actively looking for fast-fashion alternatives, starting with the people who already buy healthy organic food.
Bangladesh is going to be for fair and ethical fashion what apple pesticides were for the organic food business.
It will become the tipping point for a shift in mainstream consumption.
Another aspect that is contributing to this shift is the way that what’s considered stylish is moving away from following trends point by point to more of an eclectic blend of self-expression.
More tastemakers are talking about timeless classics mixed with family heirloom or vintage pieces. This thoughtfulness about wardrobe choices will continue to increase in the coming year, fueling desire for artisanal pieces that have a story that can be told.
Everyone likes a good story.
SASS BROWN (ASSISTANT DEAN, FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY; AUTHOR)
I think that 2014 will see gross consumerism well on its way to becoming a thing of the past.
Fashion as a form of entertainment will be on its way out. It will be considered far cooler to tell the considered and valued stories of those who knitted, farmed, or wove our clothing; using our purchases as a means of expressing our values, not just our personal aesthetic.
Moving more companies towards greater transparency in their supply chains, telling the stories of the growers and makers along the way.
I think that many people will come to realize the power they wield with wallet, as well as through their social networks, and conscious consumerism will become much more commonplace.
There will be an increased interest in purchasing quality over quantity, and more concern about whether those that made our clothes were treated fairly and paid well, or if our fashion “steal” was at the price of someone else’s life, or at a cost to the environment.
2014 will be the year that fashion corporations can no longer get away with the excuse that they don’t own their factories and thereby cannot be held responsible for their labor practices;
brands will be held responsible by consumers for the labor they employ directly or indirectly, as well as for their ecological footprint.
Just as the slow-food movement grew out of the understanding that what we put in our body affects our health and wellbeing, a greater number of people will start to question the relationship between the chemical ridden textiles we cover the single biggest organ in our body (our skin) with 24 hours a day, from birth to death.