Friday, July 10, 2009

Ethical Fashion Show

Ethical fashion' is a subject that has been grabbing the headlines in fashion circuits in recent times. As awareness about the concept is rising, more and more brands are coming up with products that adhere to it, and more and more customers are adopting the same. The 'Ethical Fashion Show' that is being conducted every year since 2004 is a step in the same direction.

The concept of ethical fashion is simple. It refers to fashion that incorporates positive ethical practices such as environment conservation, fair trade and fair wages, healthy and safe working conditions for labourers, limited use of pesticides, use of recyclable material, ensuring no harm to flora and fauna, preservation of traditional skills, etc. The Ethical Fashion Show aims to promote the concept of ethical fashion and spread awareness about it.

This Fashion Show is an attempt to inspire people to give a thought to social and environmental factors before deciding to go for a particular fashion product. It also aims to inculcate among fashionistas a sense of sympathy for everyone and everything directly or indirectly associated with the fashionable products that they use. In other words, it attempts to convey the message - 'Fashion is possible even with high ethical values.'

The Ethical Fashion Show was launched in the year 2004 by Paris-based designer Isabelle Quehe, which was very well accepted by fashion designers all over the globe. The event has consequently been held every year, with enthusiastic participation from designers worldwide. Continuing this tradition, the Ethical Fashion Show has been organized this year at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, in the year 2008. It has been scheduled for the period from 9th to 12th October, 2008, of which the first two days have been reserved for trade shows and the next two have been slotted for the general public.

In the year 2007, the event was attended by over 4500 visitors in total, 48% of which were comprised of national and international buyers, 25% of media, 22% general public and 5% other categories. It is anticipated that approximately 100 fashion designers from all over the world would attend the event this year. The best ethical designer would be awarded by a jury, consisting of professionals from the fashion industry.

Apart from ramp shows, the Ethical Fashion Show 2008 will also feature conferences and round table discussions among industry experts on the subject of ethical fashion. The exhibition this year is planned to be on the theme of 'Globe-trotting colour'. Danish fashion designer Leila Hafzi and Betty de Paris, a natural colorist, are scheduled to present their collections as a part of this event. This would be followed by a show by Takashiro Senko, indigo master from Japan, among displays by other experts.

The Brazilian brand Modafusion would be presenting a collection of colourful dresses for women produced by co-operatives from Rio. UK-based designer Ada Zanditon would present her collection of ethically produced garments, accompanied by a display of designs for working women by French designer Cline Faizant. Eliza Gabriel would be showcasing the special kind of cloth produced by her, by the name of 'Petals', which are available in the shape of flowers. This cloth can be used to make various kinds of items, such as purses, hats and belts. She would also be presenting her 'Noir Tropical' collection, which is based on the romantic costumes of Spanish heroines.

Jewellery designer Estrella Bijoux would be presenting her collection of fashion jewellery made from recycled material. This would be accompanied by Marcello Toshi presenting his collection of fashionable shoes.

To commemorate the 5th anniversary of the show, it is planned to launch a special fashion magazine by the name of 'Ethical Fashion'. It will focus on articles, reports as well as photographs on ethical fashion and its adoption all over the world, as well as on adopting sustainable lifestyles.

The event would be a wonderful step in the direction of creating awareness about and increasing the level of involvement of people in a worthy cause - sustainable fashion - a concept most relevant in today's times, with the rising levels of pollution and environmental damage.

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