"My grandfather Dolmic dreamed that three coffins floated through the door of his brother's house. So, he rode to the next village to investigate, and found his brother, his sister-in-law and their servant girl dead of cholera. The baby, still alive, was sucking at its mother's breast. He built three coffins and arranged the burial, and returned home with the child in his arms. And they say dreams don't come true." Ukrainian Grandmother, Wood Mountain Poems
On May 3 of 2012, Copenhagen welcomed the largest sustainable fashion conference yet seen in the contemporary world. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are buzzwords in the consumer industry, and are integrated more and more into every sector of the economy. What was once merely one percent of the fashion industry in 2007 – when estimated global sales of the sustainable fashion market were at three billion dollars – would increase exponentially, culminating in the 2012 Copenhagen Fashion Summit with the investment of over one thousand key industry stakeholders.
One of the largest industries, fashion product lines contribute to the spread of over eight thousand chemicals and twenty five percent of the world’s pesticides into the natural environment. Not only that, most of the environmental impact is made after the consumer has purchased the materials. Yet, sustainable fashion is one growing eco-trend that is challenging the largely unsustainable fashion market by employing alternative textiles with less carbon footprint.
Organic cotton is effectively transforming one of the most commonly grown crops, and so in doing, is spearheading the eco-fashion movement. Other cellulose materials include hemp and bamboo. Materials, however, are only part of the eco-equation. Renewability and source factor, as does labor conditions. The idea is to create what Rossella Ravagli, Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility Manager at Gucci, proposed during the 2012 Copenhagen Fashion summit, as a “good compromise between style, quality and new material.”
Arguably, bamboo fiber is especially capable of meeting the demands of the new eco-fashion market. With an absorptive quality that captures greenhouse gases, bamboo grows in abundance without irrigation or pesticides. As the fastest growing woody plant in the world, bamboo holds a unique place in the fast-paced consumer market. Although, there is controversy regarding bamboo’s claim to fame in the eco-fashion market, as the process required to turn bamboo into wearable fiber, also known as Rayon, is marred with chemical-intensive labor. Yet, relatively speaking, bamboo as a source material for clothing is a more sustainable option than most.
Yet another alternative textile, hemp, is potentially more eco-friendly than bamboo. Also easily grown, hemp clothing is often a composite of other organic materials. With such diverse uses as building materials, paper, jewelry, and fuel, hemp is largely responsible for complementing the greater trend of sustainable fashion with style. Hemp clothing is often designed with respect to traditional eco-fashion trends, opening interest in ethnic-inspired lines.
This piece of commercial writing on eco-fashion was originally written for a client in China, and is also published as a blog on The Media Co-op
The week began with the resonant mergence of harmonic mastery still ringing in my ears. A meeting with contemporary legend, Amir Amiri opened my mind to the brilliant challenge of a distant sound's arrival. The shores of my thought curled and folded in a slow tide as I acquired the bittersweet taste of a traditional music's refinement into the beautiful wholeness of world.
The quick hum of the Persian santur danced behind my eyes with the lifted personification of an artist's temptation to unite with the all-breathing life of unity. Yet, nostalgic and principled, remained steadfastly earth-bound to the homely traditions of mother, father, and self. At once, another meeting with the unbound truth stared me in the face through the transfixing metallic song of the HandPan under the voice of LIRON MAN.
After Man's show, Puertas, at the Calgary International Flamenco Festival, I then met the opening musicians, one of whom, Tamar Llana is featured in the video below. She sings next to her mother, Judith Cohen - an ethnomusicologist with a special focus on Sephardic music - playing the frame drum. The joyous union of ancestry, tradition, and contemporaneity through music led to a revelation of harmony as the voice of continuity, belonging and meaning.