Get the Free Hip Hop Fashion Review widget for your site

You can now get our blog as a widget (news feed) and plug it right into your own site or blog. In order to set it up,  just follow the link below and get your widget in the size and colour which best fits in with your site. 

 Adds great value to any site with regular articles and current trends in the urban fashion scene.  Get the widget here. You can embed into Myspace, WordPress, Digg, Facebook etc…. Get the code and follow the instructions. It’s easy.

Support Hip Hop Fashion, Urban fashion, streetwear and design. Get the widget here.

October print New Deadmau5 merchandise

deadmau5

Designed by Hannah Morrison, in a departure from the usual band merchandise, bamboo fabric T-s were printed using soft water based inks to create a retail look for Deadmau5. The garments were then re-labelled and presented in organic canvas bags, also printed with water based inks.  In a music download culture, it looks like artists are not just recognising the increased importance of merchandise, but also wanting to present a high street quality product.

hannah4

hannah2

For more details:
www.deadmau5.com
www.hannahmorrison.blogspot.com

Also vist our main site: www.october.co.uk
t shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery

2010 October Organic clothing and Tshirt collection

Organic clothing

The new 2010 collection from October Textiles Ltd will not only see the introduction of new garments and fresh photography, the new look book, features the first in a series of both Organic and Sustainable products.

The ORGANIC COTTON label by October is a stock collection of the highest quality blank garments produced in 100% pure organically grown cotton. It is certified by the Control Union World Group, to the Organic Exchange 100 guidelines and the Skal International standards for sustainable textile production, which verify conformity with organic regulations of Europe, Japan and the United States. The cotton is cultivated in the Aegean region, wholly without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, in “Living Soil” that has been free from any toxic substances for at least 3 years and enriched by organic compost and other organic matter. This means that the soil and water supply are cleaner, which in turn protects the local population and wildlife. The resulting cotton fiber is processed into fabric without the use of harmful chemicals or bleach.

October Textiles Ltd offers both undyed and dyed organic cotton items, and to achieve organic certification only azo-free dyes that meet the requirements of the Global Organic Standard are used in the dyeing process.

The SUSTAINABLE label centers round naturally sustainable BAMBOO which is gaining popularity in the fashion world due to its light, almost translucent yarn that has a natural quality that feels like silk, but with the practical advantage of being machine-washable.

This natural fiber is hypoallergenic, absorbent, and is naturally anti-bacterial so will not hold odor. It also is the most sustainable of the natural fibers, reaching a mature height of 75 feet in just 45 to 60 days. And, because of its natural antibacterial properties, it needs no pesticides.

It regenerates naturally through an extensive root system that sends out an average of four to six new shoots per year and can be harvested repeatedly.

Finally, when your bamboo garment finishes its useful life, it can return to nourish the earth, as it is 100% biodegradable.

“We are simply following in the footsteps of other forward thinking companies that are trying to lessen the impact they have on the environment. We’re not here to preach or convert – just to do what we can to conduct our business responsibly and encourage others in our market to do the same”.

Visit our main site: www.october.co.uk

The ethical fashion revolution

As London Fashion Week approaches, the hype behind ethical fashion is going through the roof. But how many of our favourite high street shops offer fairly traded clothes? Amita Mistry investigates.

“Young girl working fairtrade Young girl working on a loom in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco in May 2008” - image is courtesy of NationMaster.com

“Young girl working fairtrade Young girl working on a loom in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco in May 2008” - image is courtesy of NationMaster.com

Are you wearing or do you own anything from the high street giant Primark? If so, find the label and read where it was made.

Done? If you’re still looking, it’s because Primark’s labels don’t reveal the location of the garment’s origin. The company argues that there is no law requiring retailers to state where the clothing is made.

Primark is every bargain hunter’s candy shop, full of cheap clothes that can be thrown away when the latest trend is phased out. Last June, it was investigated by undercover reporters from the BBC who revealed that the retailer used child labour (allegedly without their knowledge) to make their products. It was claimed that clothes were created by underpaid factory workers, many of whom took their work outside the factory to family members and children.

After BBC1’s Panorama made the issue public, the head of Primark spoke to a journalist about the allegations. Primark director Breege O’Donoghue said: “We detest that children have been used; we do not support that children should be used in our supply chain. These children are not in our factories. These three factories had stringent audit and inspection in the last 18 months these children were in unauthorised production.”

She added: “It’s against our terms of trade to employ children. Our code of conduct was breached, our standards were breached – this is why these factories will no longer be doing business with Primark.”

Developing countries reportedly rely on the forced labour of thousands of 10-to15-year-old children, who pick cotton to create clothes for western countries like ours. Each September, school children are forced to miss classes for up to two and a half months for cotton-picking. The children spend up to 11 hours a day working in the fields and earn less than two US dollars.

I decided to visit Primark in Nottingham to find out what the paying public thought about this. Hordes of shoppers wondered around with trademark blue baskets full to the brim with clothes. The long queue for the tills made it feel like it was Christmas Eve, while the staff stood at their folding stations as customers sifted through the piles of jeans desperate to find their size.

Asked about Primark’s reputation on garment production, one student shopper from Nottingham said: “I do wonder how they can charge so little, but I’m well into my overdraft and can’t afford expensive clothes. Primark has high fashion at affordable prices, which is what draws me in.”

Another customer remarked: “I guess ‘throw-away fashion’ is a bit of a waste, but in the current economic climate people are hunting for bargains more than ever before. It’s a shame, but I suppose we are keeping the people who make the garments in employment.”

Although Primark has made changes to stop child labour by shutting down the factories in India, this now leaves thousands of people unemployed. It seems as though they are more concerned with the reputation of the business rather than the need to help and support these underprivileged workers.

Fortunately, some people are doing their best to change the situation. At this season’s forthcoming fashion events, movers and shakers from the high fashion world are creating, promoting and showcasing ethical clothes.

Along with London Fashion Week’s estethica, which exhibits fashion by eco-loving designers (February 21-24), Pure London has also introduced Ethical Pure as part of its campaign to promote the designers who produce clothing that follows eco-friendly guidelines (February 8-10).

Meanwhile, February 23 to March 8 sees the annual fortnight dedicated to highlighting the work of the Fairtrade Foundation, a charity that seeks to ensure everyone can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood. Since its launch, the Fairtrade mark has not only changed the way in which corporations deal with their suppliers and how consumers shop on the high street, but it is also transforming the lives of millions of farmers, workers and their communities.

The desire to make even a small contribution towards helping the environment and the social welfare of others is a trend that has been embraced by many companies, from small specialist stores to big high-street chains. Debenhams, Monsoon and Marks & Spencer, for instance, all stock a Fairtrade cotton range.

Another outspoken campaigner is Jane Shepherdson, the retail guru who catapulted Topshop to star status. Now chief executive of the Whistles chain, she is also the non-executive director of People Tree (www.peopletree.co.uk), one of country’s first eco-chic brands. In addition, Shepherdson is transforming Oxfam’s charity shops into must-have destinations for eco-fashionistas.

These are just a few of the examples of people making waves in the ethical clothing movement. Yet, while much progress has already been made, there is still a significant way to go. Does the future of fashion lie in fairly traded clothes? Only time, and our shopping habits, will tell.

Let us know what you think by posting your comments on our MySpace page www.myspace.com/freeqmagazine.

For more information on Fairtrade Fortnight, visit: www.fairtrade.org.uk or http://www.bbc.co.uk/thread/blood-sweat-tshirts.

http://www.freeqmagazine.com/

The Hemp Trading Company

 

came runner up in the 2006 Observer Ethical Awards for ‘Best Fashion Product’, and was also shortlisted for ‘Environmental company of the year’ at the ‘Re:Fashion Awards in November 2009′

THTC

THTC’s CEO Gavin Lawson was also listed in the ‘Future 100′ social entrepreneurs of 2008. Visit the Future 100 Here

THTC is a member of Ethical Junction Visit Ethical Junction Here

THTC also use Bamboo:

Some of the THTC range is made from 70% bamboo, mixed with 30% organic cotton. The company we source our bamboo fibre from has Oeko Tex 100 certification, which is an internationally recognised standard in sustainability. Bamboo is one of the few plants that grows faster than hemp, and as it comes from an interconnected subterranean root system, the plant is not killed, just the shoots harvested. The supplier is internationally recognised for its sustainable processes regarding not only harvesting but also production of the bamboo. The fibre is a bamboo viscose (as is 99% of the bamboo fibre found in the textile industry) meaning that it is an extruded fibre made in the same way as other viscose fibres, so there is a chemical and energy footprint, however the raw material is bamboo cellulose which is very sustainable

The last range of men’s bamboo t-shirts have been sourced from Continental Clothing, a London-based supplier. Continental have full certifications of all their fabrics on their website, which can be found on their website:

(Plain bamboo garment also available from www.october.co.uk)

  • All factories that THTC uses comply with ISO 9000 standards – (international organisation of standardisation) The hemp is trucked to the mill for de-gumming and processing into fibre. No caustic soda is used during this process, keeping it as environmentally sound as possible.
  • The clothing is manufactured by people who receive full safety training, and belong to a labour union. The minimum age of employees is 19, the maximum age being 54. They work 8 hour shifts and have weekends off – (That’s more than us at THTC central!)
  • All our Hemp is grown on small family farms in North Eastern China. It is and always has been grown organically
  • All our certified organic cotton is also grown in China. This is a fledgling industry that THTC supports and saves the energy and expense of shipping in from Europe or India.
  • THTC now uses water based inks (comply with GOTS) with a discharge screen printing process for almost all new designs.
  • Eco Paper is used for poster printing, and will soon be used in all THTC flyers, swing tickets and catalogues.

Currently, THTC is working endlessly in order to join forces with the Fair Trade Foundation. Although already doing so, attaining the Fair Trade Mark will signify the THTC products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal. For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark it must meet international Fairtrade standards.

Your tshirt and fashion choice

Vote for your choice and help us to provide better content.

Visit our main site: www.october.co.uk
t shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery

Organic Tote Bags – EarthPositive

This is the latest addition to the EarthPositive® product range: organic and low carbon, screen printable, Tote Bags.

earthpositive1

There is a growing demand for ethically and environmentally credible bags, as more and more retailers, brands, corporate and promotional users are no longer content with using cheap cotton carriers as an alternative to plastic bags.

The rising levels of awareness mean the users of such products demand the same high values of the bags as they do of their cotton clothing.

Corporate and retail brands wish to communicate their ethical messages using an equally ethical communication medium.

The EarthPositive® Organic Shopper Tote (code EP70) is a plain weave, fine gauge canvas bag in undyed natural cotton, in the standard shopper tote dimensions (38x42cm) with long shoulder straps. The smooth fabric provides an ideal surface for screen-printing. This is the ultimate ‘sustainable’ shopper bag.

The EarthPositive® Organic Fashion Tote (code EP75) is a premium weight, twill weave cotton bag, with quality stitching detail, produced in a range of seven vibrant colours. This product is designed to meet the demand for a bag as a ‘fashion accessory with a conscience’ in a market place where the vast majority of similar products are produced in cheap quality raw fabrics of unknown origin. Again this bag is perfect for screen printing.

View our main website: www.october.co.uk
T shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery

Share this post :

Jewellery industry – Sting behind your bling

Whether future heirloom or fun trinket, jewellery is one of life’s luxurious pleasures. Even if you aren’t decked out in multiple carats, a bit of bling can make you feel a million dollars. But the path your jewellery takes to reach your earlobe, neck, wrist or finger can be harrowing.

 

 

Bling warfare

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but these sparklers are fuelling plenty of hate in war-torn areas of Africa, where the trade in illicit rough diamonds and gold has funded rebels in decades of devastating conflicts aimed at undermining legitimate governments in places like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (download pdf here) was set up in 2003 to prevent these ‘conflict’ – or ‘blood’ – diamonds filtering through to the mainstream market. ‘Conflict-free’ diamonds are now widely available, but sadly jewellery production is still an ethical minefield. Check out www.conflictneutral.com for more information on avoiding conflict stones.

 

Clean Canadian sparklers?

To avoid the bad publicity of African diamonds, there’s been a huge rush for stones from Canada – one of the world’s biggest producers – which some companies are promoting as a ‘clean’ alternative. While these mines aren’t funding bloody conflicts, many would argue that some of them are damaging the livelihoods of the indigenous communities living in mining areas, and the fragile ecosystems they depend on.

 

Sweat behind the sparkle

Worldwide, the people – including about a million children – employed on minimal wages to mine and process supposedly legitimate diamonds, gemstones and precious metals often endure some of the worst working conditions imaginable. Toiling in Asian and African countries with little or no union support means health and safety precautions are slender at best. There’s a serious risk of work-related death, injury or chronic illness as workers scratch out a living in remote mines extracting precious and semi-precious stones.

 

Once out of the mines, jewellery is often manufactured in sweatshop conditions. Most of the world’s diamonds are cut in India, often by child labourers working 12 to 14-hour shifts to pay off family debts. And in China many migrant workers are crippled by silicosis, or ‘dust lung’, after cutting semi-precious stones.

 

A toxic minefield

The jewellery industry’s impact on the environment is far from sparkling. Gold-mining can leave a shocking trail of destruction, with the production of a single gold wedding band leaving behind up to 20 tonnes of mine waste. Cyanide and mercury compounds are used to separate gold from its ore. As well as harming workers, they can pollute land and water, often affecting an area long after the local mine has closed. Then there’s the ‘acid-rock drainage’ of acidic water – out of gold and silver mines and into local groundwater. One bar of gold looks much like any other, so it can be near impossible to track the green credentials of specific pieces of jewellery.

 

What’s the alternative?

The British Ethical Jewellery Association is being set up to help jewellers and customers navigate the ethical jewellery minefield. It will set clear and externally audited standards to help customers make ethical choices. Meanwhile, to sparkle with a clear conscience, insist on certified non-conflict diamonds, look out for recycled metals, and try out some of the alternative materials used by the new breed of ethical jewellers.

 

Author: Joanna Yarrow is a broadcaster, writer and consultant specialising in green living. She’s GMTV’s eco expert and presented BBC Three’s Outrageous Wasters

Organic Clothing Labels – October Textiles Ltd

Having made the commitment to use organic garments and water based inks, the next obvious question is ‘What about my labels, are they organic too?’

Well now the answer can be ‘Yes’. Obviously they have to be printed as a woven label uses man made fibres, but add an organic swing ticket, and the garment is well presented while ticking the right ecological boxes – long live the polar bears.

www.october.co.uk
t shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery


A-Z of Ethical terms

With ethical issues dominating the headlines, we’re constantly being bombarded with cryptic acronyms that are difficult to decipher and words like ‘sustainable’, ‘green’ and ‘eco’ are banded around on a regular basis.

To try and diffuse this ethical minefield, Epona’s Juliet Bacon has broken down some of the more common terms into an easy to use A-Z guide and looked at why you might, or might not, choose to go for some of the eco options available

A

Azo free dyes. The manufacture and use of synthetic dyes are two of the world’s most polluting industries and azo dyes make up around 70% of all dyes used to colour fabric. There are serious concerns about the safety of azos. Most azos are water-soluble and there is the risk that carcinogenic chemicals from these dyes can be absorbed by the body through skin contact. Dye house workers have been know to suffer from asthma, allergies, birth defects and reproductive damage. Alongside the human cost, considerable environmental damage is caused by chemicals from these dyes. GOTS prohibits the use of all amine releasing azo dyes and many companies are choosing to ban azos themselves.

B

Banned substances lists cut out or cut down on harmful chemicals used to manufacture clothes. According to Greenpeace, among the most hazardous substances commonly used in the textile sector are lead, nickel, chromium IV, aryl amines, phthalates and formaldehyde. Marks & Spencer is the first major retailer to set its own standards that ban or restrict chemicals on the products it sells and has an Environmental Code of Practice for dyeing and finishing. Manufactures in the promotional industry have the opportunity to lead the way by introducing their own banned substances list.

Bamboo is an innovative ‘eco-textile’. It grows naturally and is sustainable, thriving without pesticides or fertilizers, and reproduces rapidly across large areas where it is known to improve soil quality in degraded and eroded areas of land. It is not really seen as a replacement for cotton, more as an alternative fabric that is particularly suitable for high end garments, due to its silky feel, and sportswear because it has a natural antibacterial quality which means the fabric stays around two degrees cooler in hot weather. On top of this, the garment will biodegrade, so it won’t clog up landfills once its product lifecycle is complete.

Biodegradable plastics degrade through naturally occurring micro organisms, such as bacteria, but there is no requirement for leaving “no toxic residue”. If you want a more environmentally friendly product, it is better to opt for a compostable plastic. Compostable plastics biodegrade and then disintegrate within a set period of time, without producing any toxic material and the compost left can support plant life.

Bluesign standard is a business-controlled environmental scheme to remove any substances that are potentially hazardous to human health or the environment from the entire textile supply chain. The standard takes into account chemicals from the ‘restricted substance list’, water and air emissions, resource consumption and workplace conditions.

C

Codes of Conduct. Most manufacturers now agree they have a responsibility to help improve the labour conditions of their suppliers. Many have developed codes of conduct or lists of labour standards they say they are meeting in their workplaces. The reality behind these codes however, is often still quite grim. Wages are too low to live on, 80-hour working weeks are common, and the health and safety of the workers, the majority of whom are women, is constantly being undermined. Workers have no security of employment, women are discriminated against and harassed, sometimes sexually. Workers are often not allowed to form trade unions. Sometimes this is because the right to organise is not recognised in the zone or country where they work. However, more often obstacles are put up specifically to prevent workers from exercising their right to collective bargaining. Some companies opt to sign up to one of the many multi-stakeholder ethical trading initiatives that oversee the implementation of specific codes of conduct based on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) conventions. Some of the better known initiatives include:

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

This is the largest UK-based initiative and is partially supported by the UK government. The main idea of the ETI is for companies to work in collaboration with NGOs and trade unions to learn the best way to implement codes. The ETI has its own code which is used as the basis for pilot projects. Corporate members must participate in ETI activities and provide the ETI secretariat with annual reports on their progress with respect to the code implementation.

Fair Labour Association (FLA)

The FLA grew out of the Apparel Industry Partnership (AIP), an initiative of US President Bill Clinton, established to address labour standards of clothing sold to US-based colleges and universities. Approximately 1,100 suppliers are taking part in the FLA’s licensee program. The FLA is governed by a board of companies, universities and NGO’s, but trade union organisations pulled out after disputes over code content. The FLA accredits independent monitors that verify compliance through factory inspections and filing reports that are accessible to the public. Where non-compliance is identified, participating companies are required to implement a remediation plan.

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) aims to promote humane labour conditions in the garment industry. It is an initiative of business associations in the garment sector, trade unions, and NGOs. FWF was founded in The Netherlands, but is currently working hard to join similar initiatives in Europe.

Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) is an independent labour rights monitoring organisation, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who make apparel sold to the United States.

But does this really work? While it is positive that manufacturers are starting to sign up to these initiatives, it is hard to tell the extent companies are practicing the principles they’ve signed up to behind closed doors. Primark joined the ETI in May 2006. In December that year, War on Want published a report on workers at factories in Bangladesh that supply to ETI members Primark, Tesco and ASDA/George. These workers were typically paid 5p an hour and worked 80 hours a week. Sam Maher of Labour behind the Label says: “None of the companies can guarantee that all parts of their supply chain implement the ETI Base Code. The main issue is that there is no transparency – the reviews, criteria for inclusion and exclusion in the ETI are all confidential, so as a pressure group it is hard to know what to try to hold them to. However, when there is an urgent issue involving a specific violation, it’s much easier to get the companies involved to sit around a table and discuss it.”

Multi stakeholder initiatives are clearly a good start in encouraging companies to address problems with their supply chain, but the success of these initiatives is heavily dependent upon the genuine commitment of the company to implement and uphold significant changes.

Carbon Reduction refers to finding ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your company. If your organisation spends more that £50K per year on energy, the Carbon Trust will send out agents free of charge to suggest ways of reducing the amount of carbon you produce. The aim is to become as energy efficient as possible by using renewable energy, shipping rather than flying goods and cutting down on energy intensive processes.

Carbon Neutral: Once you have done this and worked out how much carbon you are still producing, you can become carbon ‘neutral’ by offsetting this amount. One way of doing this is to work with an organisation that funds projects to prevent other companies from producing carbon. To give an example, you might help a school in Africa to put in a wind powered generator rather than a diesel one. By preventing carbon from being produced, you are balancing out the carbon your company produces.

D

E

Eco-label is a European voAndyary certification scheme, represented by a flower logo, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of products, taking a ‘from the cradle to the grave’ approach. Products and processes are independently tested according to ecological criteria that includes: reducing the amount of toxic residues found in fibres, water pollution in fibre processing and the use of heavy metals and formaldehyde.

Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is a campaigning group that makes a direct link between the need for environmental security and the defence of basic human rights. They are responsible for the ‘Pick your cotton carefully’ campaign that encourages manufacturers to state where they buy their cotton from; White Gold, which highlights the plight of cotton farmers in Uzbekistan; and reporting on child labour throughout the world.

Environmentally Friendly? It takes around 8,000 chemicals to turn raw materials into clothing. Many of these cause irreversible damage to people and the environment. The bleaching, dyeing, sizing and finishing of textiles all result in large quantities of effluent, often containing highly toxic heavy metals that pollute the soil and water and damage aquatic life. Each year, the global textile industry discharges 40-50,000 tons of dye into rivers and streams. Add to that the carbon emissions and impact of growing non-organic cotton, which uses petrochemical fertilisers and leads to reduced soil fertility, soil erosion, water pollution and reduced biodiversity. Then there’s the high-energy manufacturing process and the clothes miles in transporting the fibre/textiles/garments around the world. Once bought, how an item is cared for and disposed of also has an impact on the environment. Manufacturers of promotional clothing have started to take these environmental factors into consideration by producing clothing that is both kind to the environment and to the garment workers.

Continues next month

For more information contact: Juliet@eponaclothing.com or go to the Epona website: http://www.eponaclothing.com/

Published: 01 May, 2008 Printwear and Promotion magazine

www.october.co.uk
t shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers