Must watch! Jarracharra: The Art of Country

Have you seen the trailer for the documentary ‘Jarracharra: The Art of Country’ yet? The documentary is currently a work in progress and tells the incredible story of how a group of remote Indigenous fashion enthusiasts from the Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Arnhem Land, a historical region in the Northern Territory of Australia, crowdfunded their way to Paris in 2019! While in Paris, they organised their own exhibition during Fashion Week, did a photoshoot with Vogue and met with major players in the world of fashion and art.

These Bábbarra artists came together in 1989 to create their own label, @BabbarraDesigns after procuring a post-war screen printing press. They specialise in fabrics and textiles that tell the ancestral stories of each artist’s local country and culture. Their success was relatively moderate for decades until their trip to Paris. What an incredible and inspiring journey! We can’t wait to see the full documentary, please see that the trailer can be viewed here.

Fashion & Climate Change: What impact do our clothes have? Food for thought series…

What is all of this talk about decarbonising the fashion industry about? Well, decarbonising refers to the process of reducing the amount of gaseous carbon compounds released in or as a result of (an environment or process), and right now it has been estimated that the fashion industry emitted around 2.1 billion tonnes of GHG emissions in 2018, equating to 4% of the global total? An emissions’ share that is larger than that of France, Germany & the UK combined! We know that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are being emitted throughout the fashion value chain, from agriculture and production to retail stores, and use and disposal of textiles.

Studies, including work carried out by the Global Fashion Agenda and McKinsey, have shown that some of the ways to reduce these emissions include at the upstream (production) end by shifting away from wet towards dry processing, transitioning from coal to electric energy, using less fertiliser (nitrogen linked GHG emissions) and pesticide (carbon) in cotton cultivation and introducing new more efficient technologies and equipment upgrades. From the upstream (consumer) end they include encouraging sustainable consumer behaviours including washing and drying clothing more efficiently, in addition to more circular clothing use models including renting, mending and customising garments, plus extending their use! Did you know that extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months of active use would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20-30% each of an item? This is the single most significant intervention in the lifecycle of clothing!

10 Trailblazing Young Environmentalists from Around the World

Autumn Peltier

One endless fountain of hope in sustainability is our youngest generation. In 2019, teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg took the world by storm through a scathing speech at the United Nations. Greta continued to make waves for her passionate environmentalist, ultimately being named Time Person of the Year. And while she’s the most famous young person of the movement, you’ll find other amazing kids and teenagers who are voices of change.

We want to honour some of these incredible young people by bringing awareness to who they are and their causes. Many other brave teens are fighting for change, so don’t let this list be the end of your rendezvous with young environmentalists!

1. Autumn Peltier (Canada)

A member of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation from Northern Ontario, 15-year-old Autumn Peltier is one of the most vibrant voices in clean water today. Peltier lives on Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes of North America, and she considers herself lucky because she and her people always had access to clean water. She became an activist after learning of other indigenous communities who can’t drink their contaminated water. In the past few years, she’s met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even addressed world leaders at the UN General Assembly.

You can follow her here.

2. Mari Copeny (USA)

Known as “Little Miss Flint,” Mari Copeny is a 12-year-old native of Flint, Michigan. Since she was much younger, Copeny and her family have suffered the city’s ongoing water crisis. When she was 8, she sent a letter to then-President Barack Obama, demanding a government response. After declaring that “letters from kids like [Copeny] are what make me so optimistic about the future,” Obama headed to Flint in a visit that resulted in declaring a federal state of emergency, authorizing $100 million to fix the crisis. Copeny has continued to be one of the most recognizable faces in the fight towards improving Flint’s water crisis.

You can follow her here.

3. Xiye Bastida (Mexico-USA)

18-year-old Xiye Bastida was born in Atlacomulco, Mexico, and raised as part of the Otomi-Toltec indigenous group in San Pedro Tultepec until 2015. At that time, she and her family had to emigrate to the United States due to extreme climate conditions: their hometown was severely flooded after a three-year drought. She began her activism soon after moving to New York City. Bastida led her high school in a climate strike and spoke about Indigenous Cosmology in the United Nations’ World Urban Forum. Bastida currently sits on the administration committee of the People’s Climate Movement.

You can follow her here.

Read more

The RCGD Surveys

For us at RCGD, cultural sustainability is the foundational element of sustainable development as it is intricately entwined with the social, environmental and economic spheres. At RCGD, we are very keen to understand your cultural references for sustainability and are happy to see this becoming a topic of greater significance in the industry. We have devised a single-question survey that we would love to share with our followers, Please click HERE  to redirect to submit your response!

Our other survey about global sustainability is also live, and thank you to all those who have already completed it. We are on the home stretch now and still gathering as many responses as we can. We would love for you to take a few moments to complete the survey if you haven’t already done so! A global lens has always been vital to us and now, more than ever, we want to make sure that our work speaks to all of you, where you are in the world. This survey will help us to do that, and do it in a way that makes our global community feel, and be, included. Please click HERE to redirect to the ‘Sustainable Fashion And Language Survey‘ (12 mins).

Thank you!

Cellulose & Cotton: Where do our clothes come from? Food for thought series…

Here are some things you might not know about where our clothes really come from…

To produce cotton, viscose and other natural fibres we are vastly altering habitats through agriculture.

Global deforestation contributes to 150 million trees logged per year to create the cellulose-based fabrics, such as viscose (and this figure is climbing). Derived from the wood pulp of fast-growing, this includes regenerative trees such as eucalyptus, beech and pine, as well as plants such as bamboo, soy, and sugar cane. When responsibly sourced, these materials provide a means to clothe the growing population sustainably. For example, Lenzing’s Tencel is known as a pioneer for manufacturing from the renewable raw material beech wood, sourced from sustainable forests in Austria and neighbouring countries. Fully integrated pulp and fiber production at the Lenzing site in Austria makes it possible to produce fibres in an eco-responsible way. However, when cellulose-based fabrics are harvested to extremes in other non-responsible ways, it can impact precious and critical ecosystems and biodiversity including the Amazon, especially when the pulp is sourced from endangered and ancient forests.

Cotton – is the most common natural material used in clothing and constitutes one-third of all textile fibres, and uses 2.4 per cent of the world’s cropland. Used to make Jersey Knit, Denim, Chino, Poplin it has currently damaged natural habitats by replacing indigenous vegetation through heavy monocultures and is responsible for full 16 per cent of the world’s insecticides and fertilisers. In the search for a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them, there have been rising calls within the fashion industry for regenerative agriculture, which is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm. It does this by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management and fertilizer use, and other important considerations.

Happy New Year

Dear RCGD Family,

We wanted to wish our community a Happy New Year ahead. We also wanted to take a moment to appreciate the fact that we have all made it through one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes. We feel gratitude and humility in equal measure.

As an organisation, we want this new year to bring a renewed and intense focus on value and values. The fashion industry must move towards forming new, more respectful, load-sharing relationships with all of the people within its value cycle. It is time to commit to measuring progress and success with new people-centric metrics, specifically we are talking about the care economy, authentic representation, quality of the environment and the equitable distribution of revenue across the value cycle. It is time that we normalised an imperfect journey which includes sharing our vulnerabilities and failings. No one and no organisation is perfect, and so it is time that we started sharing the truth about the elements we have not mastered in this sustainable space, and not continue to only put a spotlight on the areas where we excel. It is time to be transparent about how we are trying to be better and where we are trying to get to.

It is time for considered conversations to give way to fast-paced action. The time for game plans from the bench is over. We have an opportunity to show up as more determined humankind, especially after the year that we have all had. We truly hope that we do this work, in 2021 and far beyond.

Suzy, Samata and Team RCGD

Back Once Again! RCGD Presents The Workshops

A journey into sustainable fashion through learning and understanding…

A series of workshops aimed at educating on the topic of sustainability. Curated for beginners, or those who are simply curious and ready to go on a journey of learning and understanding.

Back on Thursday 29th October 2020 after a successful launch on 8th October 2020, RCGD Presents The Workshops Episode 1 is back!

What to expect…

The Workshops will be hosted by RCGD CEO Samata with a range of guest appearances, including RCGD Founder Suzy Amis Cameron, covering key topics including:
Sustainable Design
Responsible Consumption
Fashion’s Impact on Nature
Intersectional Environmentalism – Human Rights & Social Justice
Communications Messaging & Terminology
Garment Care & End of Use
Sustainable Materials and Technologies
Size and Price Inclusivity – Size, Price, Category

Read more

Red Carpet Green Dress™ announces 2020 Global Design Contest winners

The RCGD Global Design Contest 2020, in partnership with TENCEL™ Luxe, has awarded an exciting opportunity of a lifetime for two winners within the international fashion design community. Open to emerging and established designers over the age of 21, this year, applicants submitted a digital sketch of their sustainable red carpet design before the international contest closed on the 30th of July 2020. One gown and one suit design were selected by a judging panel which com-prised of Suzy Amis Cameron (Founder of Red Carpet Green Dress); Harold Weghorst (Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG); Nazma Akter (Founder and Executive Director of AWAJ Foundation) and Laura Basci (Founder of Laura Basci Couture).

Jasmine Kelly Rutherford and Sanah Sharma (L-R)

The two chosen designs by Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford will commence in early 2021 with sustainable eco-couture textiles from the recently announced RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe collaboration. Two prominent VIPs from the fashion and entertainment industry will wear the designs. These RCGD ambassadors, to be announced, will be attending the 2021 Pre-Oscars Gala in the winners’ designs. Sanah and Jasmine’s work will also be presented to a global sus-tainable fashion and entertainment audience from across the globe. Alongside a monetary award of $1000 each, the winners will also receive a three-month business mentorship with CEO Samata Pattinson, and internship experience with couture designer Laura Basci in her LA-based atelier.

The campaign has directed funds towards two crucial organisations: Awaj Foundation in Bangladesh and The Fifth Pillar in Myanmar, as provision for the disproportionately vulnerable garment workers severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samata, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress, comments: “Announcing the winners brings back memories of when I was in their position, and won the contest back in 2011. It completely changed my life. The winners have such an incredible and exciting journey ahead of them. RCGD has been raising awareness of sustainability in the fashion industry for over a decade, changing people’s mindsets and creating a conversation about the issues and leading action. Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford will not only dress ambassadors but will receive first-hand experience and mentorship. I am grateful to be a part of the journey they will be embarking on.”

This years winning gown has a zero-waste design plan. Designer Sanah Sharma graduated from the Pearl Academy in 2015 with a BA in Fashion Design before launching her namesake label. She is the recipient of numerous design accolades across Asia and authored a chapter in the eco-handbook ‘Models for Sustainable Framework in Luxury Fashion: Luxury and Models’, published by Springer Publications in 2018.

Sanah Sharma comments: “Fashion is among the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet owing to the primarily linear supply chain that has become the global industry’s standard. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles are landfilled or incinerated. Most of these comprise synthetic fibres produced from non-renewable resources like oil, releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the environment. While sustainable materials have existed in the past, we have not seen luxury evening wear textiles developed with high sustainability indices. To make fashion circular, we must revolutionise its primal resource, textile. This is where materials like cellulose-based RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe can help close the gap.”

Harold Weghorst, Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG, comments: “Sanah’s dress is a perfect symbiosis of fashion and sustainability. The elegance of the design and the smart concept of zero-waste makes Sanah the deserved winner of this contest.”

The winner of the 2020 suit design is Jasmine Kelly Rutherford. A recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Jasmine’s past roles include stints at Kendall + Kylie, and Cinq à Sept. She has worked at Nordstrom Inc since 2012. Her tailored design will be created ex-clusively using an RCGD x TENCEL™ Luxe cashmere fusion fabric that is lightweight and strong enough to hold pleats and smocking.

Jasmine Kelly Rutherford comments: “Having a textile that is both sustainable and long-wearing is a huge asset. I always try to design with the wearer in mind; I want the client to be comfortable and not feel like they are wearing something confining. While wearing my design, I want them to not only look luxurious but feel it too. Winning the RCGD global design contest is beyond exciting because I believe that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. As I create, I want my designs to not only tell a story but to have a voice and speak on issues that affect us around the world.”

Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG, comments: “Jasmine’s suit is a strong statement of how fashion serves people and planet and not the other way around. A suit that makes the wearer feel comfortable, confident, and conscious of doing the right thing.”

EDITORS NOTES:

The Contest Winners’ designs will be produced and worn at the Red Carpet Red Dress Pre-Oscars Gala in 2021.
Each look will be created using RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe fabrications.
The two winners are available for interview on special request.
Further commentary available from Samata, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress, and Harold Weghorst, Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG.

For more information and imagery, please contact Lois@In-Addition.com

Thank you to all of our entrants, we have something special lined up for those who entered but did not win, so please stay tuned! 

SEE WWD PRESS BREAK.

RCGD Presents The Workshops

A journey into sustainable fashion through learning and understanding…

A series of workshops aimed at educating on the topic of sustainability. Curated for beginners, or those who are simply curious and ready to go on a journey of learning and understanding.

Launching on Thursday 8th October 2020
What to expect…

The Workshops will be hosted by RCGD CEO Samata with a range of guest appearances, including RCGD Founder Suzy Amis Cameron, covering key topics including:
Sustainable Design
Responsible Consumption
Fashion’s Impact on Nature
Intersectional Environmentalism – Human Rights & Social Justice
Communications Messaging & Terminology
Garment Care & End of Use
Sustainable Materials and Technologies
Size and Price Inclusivity – Size, Price, Category

Read more