Thursday, 5 September 2013

£225 buys an exclusive view of ethical fashion

in their own words... slideshow for the summit

07.07.2013 17:45

Ethical Fashion Forum's slideshow to promote the £225 event

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In their own words... Ethical Fashion Forum

07.07.2013 17:50

In their own words... Ethical Fashon Forum's Source Summit
In their own words... Ethical Fashon Forum's Source Summit

In their own words... Ethical Fashion Forum
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there was a link from but it's down just now

08.07.2013 07:42
There was a link from but it's not online just now. The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at Dray Walk in London was part of University of the Arts' London College of Fashion. It worked within the industry and so was constrained in talking about tariffs or governments, but did have an influence in training fashion students and offering consultancy. To see the story in their own words click below
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tweets will use the hashtag #sourcesummit

08.07.2013 14:05
tweets will use the hashtag #sourcesummit

planB4fashion #sourcesummit
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Response from the Ethical Fashion Forum

08.07.2013 19:13
Dear Indymedia,

I am a fan of what you do and what you stand for. As Managing Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum, I am writing to give our side of the story on the Ethical fashion Forum and the SOURCE Summit.

We are a small not for profit organisation, absolutely committed and dedicated to better practices in the fashion industry. You quote £225 as the price of attending the SOURCE Summit- in fact our prices started at £65, and we are also live streaming the event - free for people to attend from anywhere online. However, we are determined to be heard with this event- and that means running it in a higher profile way. You can't do that without any money- even if you run an event at cost, which is what we are doing.

As a forum for collaboration in the industry, we have always been inclusive- by bringing together individuals and businesses from every part of the industry , we are able to get constructive debate going, and this has catalysed some very effective partnerships and initiatives. There is no question that the majority of the industry is not doing enough to address the appalling conditions for workers that remain endemic in many parts of the world. There are organisations whose remit it is to campaign against this and expose the companies that are not doing enough about it- this is important, and it needs to continue.

Our remit is to work with companies, offering them the tools, access to information, inspiring and motivating their staff, building connections and fostering collaboration across the sector, in order to meaningfully improve standards and conditions.

We recently launched a Call to Action on Bangladesh, and it has had a very wide response from the professional fashion sector:

We would be very interested to work with you, PlanB4fashion, and take on board your ideas.

We would also absolutely welcome speakers from the European Parliament to this and other events. Panel speakers do not pay to attend- they do normally ask for expenses if travelling though- so, as a social enterprise, we do need a business model for our events! Which means charging a fee to attend. Our fees are a fraction of the event fees of other mainstream industry events. If anyone has bright ideas on how we can run an event like this without charging fees to delegates, they are most welcome!

Finally, we really welcome the voices of the readers of Indymedia at SOURCE Summit- attend online, FREE of charge, by registering here -

Hoping to connect with you there, and welcoming you to join the debate,

Tamsin Lejeune
Managing Director
Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE

Tamsin Lejeune
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The difference between us is on your "made in england" page

09.07.2013 18:06
Dear Tamson Lejeune
the difference between us is on the "issues ... made in britain" page of your web site, at the bottom.

"trade in garments and textiles has created a springboard for industrial development all over the world- with Britain and America being amongst the first to benefit followed by the “Asian Tiger” economies of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, and more recently, China and India. Producing garments or components of garments outside of the UK to sustainable standards can assist development in some of the poorest communities in the world, create sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty for thousands of people."

I think that national insurance, secondary schools, hospitals, accesss to justice, and votes should happen before or during an industrial revolution and be forced to happen.

Votes, for example, happen in Taiwan and Hong Kong but not in China. People in China have been waiting rather a long time, I think, and are unlikely to get universal pensions or healthcare until they have votes. It's an odd country because the single child policy has forced wealth to spread a bit - there is not the population explosion that's happened in Bangladesh.

Thinking of other ways to reduce a population explosion, I think that pensions, healthcare and health education, contraception, and girls' secondary schools all help; if girls are more assertive and there is less pressure to have children to look after you in old age, then the population might not explode so rapidly. People in Bangladesh have been waiting rather a long time national insurance, given that the UK had a National Insurance Act in 102 years ago in 1911. The prime minister of the UK could simply have telegrammed the Viceroy of Inda, Lord Hardinge, (pictured if the upload works) and floated then idea but apparently it didn't work like that. I don't think that Bangladesh or Pakistan are going to change any time soon while some people in the country do very well out of their neighbours being poor. There is even enough money in government for an export subsidy, but not enough for a heath service. There is a risk that Bangladesh could loose market share if other countries do not introduce a national insurance system too. Cheap labour, and the flow of aid, both happen when there are a lot of poor people.

"It is only by raising standards and wages outside of the UK that the UK garment production sector will again be in a position to compete on equal terms with production in what are currently low wage economies."

If you are convinced that there should be national insurance or high tariffs built-in to the prices of clothes from Bangladesh, then we can agree on this last paragraph. And such a large change of position would prompt you to re-write the first part of the page as well,

- stating that goods made in welfare states are more expensive for good reason, offering better conditions for their workers than a fairtrade scheme. You might become interested in
- how people who live in welfare states can seek-out goods made in them, which will probably be by mail-order rather than high street chainstores. An example is the one that your "made in Britain" swing tag logo came from, which has since had to lay-off its staff. You will want to
- criticsise London Fashion week for the way it puts UK factory workers out of work by offering free PR to companies like Terra Plana which made its shoes in China and made rediculous claims. You would
- explain how companies in South Europe now, or the UK in 1979-2009, were devistated by whimsical changes of exchange rate dictated by central banks rather than the goods market. That's why their designs are mainstream and their sales methods geared to particular markets.
- mention how the UK needs a rebalanced economy to pay the taxes that pay for a welfare state, now that payments from financial services have dropped by billions.

I'm sure you would want to do some of those things if we agreed with each other.

Meanwhile, I'll type another draft of your "issues/made-in-britain" page in case you can use it for the moment as you're busy with a trade show, and Bangladesh is the hot topic at the moment rather than Middleton or Rushden or Rossendale or Nottingham or Hinckley or Northampton.
John Robertson

John Robetson, blogging as planB4fashion
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dear indymedia?

09.07.2013 22:59
Oh dear, you claim to be a "fan of indymedia" but start your comment "dear indymedia" as if addressing a single organisation, without understanding that indymedia is a platform.. rofl


China "arguably more democratic" than the UK: who approved that?

10.07.2013 14:29
From Ethical Fashion Forum's "founding members" page...

"Terra plana is a shoe company focused upon innovative, sustainable shoe design.Terra Plana uses a variety of eco friendly materials ... ... ..."

From Ethical Fashion Forum's "business leaders" page ...

"Jules went on to set up Inside Out agency working with hemp pioneers THTC along with a variety of other innovative brands.

Jules has been joined at Foundation by ethical fashion consultant Rosie Budhani, who will head up the PR and marketing division of Foundation, Rosie also has extensive experience in mainstream and ethical fashion and most recently ran the PR department for award winning ethical shoe brand Terra Plana."

From Ethical Fashion Forum's "founding members" page...

"From Somewhere

From Somewhere is a designer womenswear brand. From Somewhere collections are made from left-over fabric from garment factories which would otherwise be discarded."

"Filippo Ricci and Orsola De Castro, founders of From Somewhere, are dedicated to promoting and facilitating sustainable practices in fashion, and were responsible for initiating the Estethica exhibition which is now an established part of London Fashion Week, as well as a number of other projects in the sector."

Conclusion: the claim about China "arguably more democratic" was made on Terra Plana's web site from 2008, while they were getting taxpayer-funded PR from part of London Fashion Week, called Estethica. Both the Terra Plana company and the company of the person who manages Estethica, Orsola De Castro's "From Somewhere", were founder members of Ethical Fashion Forum. Orsola De Castro also worked for a year or so as a Director of Ethical Fashion Forum. And the PR agent for Terra Plana, Rosie Budhani, gets a promoted on the Ethical Fashion Forum's site amongst "New Entrepreneurs". So the editor who allowed this brand to be shown, the brand itself as a company, and the PR agent they had at the time, all get promotions on the Ethical Fashion Forum web site.

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You are invited to an ethical fashion PR masterclass

27.07.2013 16:52 is a link to a fake checklist of techniques to make Chinese and Bangladeshi imports sound more ethical and UK-made clothing harder to talk about. Well the list is fake, but the quotes are real.

Ethical Fashion PR Masterclass
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