Green is the New Black: Long Live Green!

I’m serious. The fair trade clothing movement needs to capitalize on the “green rush” and nurture the energy and interest in all things sustainable and worker friendly.

Kitty pointed me to an article in this Sunday’s Washington Post that profiled a 25-year-old World Bank analyst who established Fashion 4 Development, a subcommittee at the World Bank that promotes socially conscious designers and brands. Priya Patel also served as an organizer of D.C. Fashion Week’s fair trade runway show last month which showcased designers from Africa, Asian and Latin America. (Shameless plug: Scroll down to the fifth image at the bottom of the article; she’s a fan of Ten Thousand Villages’ embroidered jewelry box)

I found her comment on a World Bank blog post rather thoughtful:

Fashion may appear to many in the development world as frivolous or irrelevant when in fact it is at the center of critical issues concerning cultural representation, body image, design aesthetics, global trade and production, and professional and consumer ethics. With the development of Make Poverty History campaign and the emphasis on Africa, there is no better time for fashion to make a political statement on development.

I’m fully aware of the fact that fads will come and fads will go. IMHO, a reasonable long-term victory is to have raised awareness and educate say 5 percent of the predisposed consumer base who will go on to continue making conscious decisions about their fashion spend.

To that end, the Texas Fair Trade Coalition is screening “China Blue“:

“China Blue,” a heartbreaking and meticulous documentary about life inside a blue-jeans factory in China, reveals more than we may care to know about the provenance of our most beloved item of clothing. Employing smuggled equipment and outright deception, Micha X. Peled and his crew infiltrate a plant owned by Guo Xi Lam, a former police chief who is clearly proud of his success. “We are happy to make the jeans for the whole world,” says his beaming sales manager, while clients like Wal-Mart and Levi Strauss suggest the factory is well on its way. (Source: NYT)

When: Tuesday, May 15, 7pm
Where: Congregational Church of Austin, 408 W. 23rd St. (map it)
Running time: 87 minutes
Release date: January 26, 2007

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