Global Action Through Fashion Annual Report

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3 20 1 Annual Report

2013 ANNUAL REPORT Global action through Fashion (GATF) is a non- profit founded with the vision to create a more equitable and sustainable world through fashion. We provide education & informational resources for consumers, producers & fashion industry professionals.

Consumers are the most powerful asset in shaping a better world; their decisions drive the behavior of corporations whose supply chains directly affect lives of millions and the health of our planet. GATF works to help consumers realize that power and use it to drive positive social and environmental change. in addition, GATF seeks to equip fashion producers to respond to that demand quickly, efficiently, and effectively by providing innovative open source solutions and a database of information.

Global Action Through Fashion Annual Report 2013 Published by Global Action Through Fashion Designed by Debbie Berryhill for in conjunction with Global Action Through Fashion

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


Letters from the Founders a n d A dv is o r y B oa r d c h a i r


A b o u t G lo b a l A c t io n T h r o u g h F as h io n ( G AT F )


t h e f i r st b ay a r e a e t h ica l fas h io n n ig h t april 4, 2010


10 1 6 the 25th street collective, october 5, 2010

r ec o n st r u c t , r e i n ca r n at e , and re-cool yo u r t - s h i rt w i t h gat f , j u n e 24, 2010

8 1 2010 Programs a n d P r oj ec ts


the future of cotton farm tour. november 4,2010


O n l i n e r e s o u rc e a n d n e ws s o u rc e ( t h e w e b si t e )

17 u n i v e r si t y C o l l a b o r at io n

l ec t u r e s e r i es and c o n f e r e n c es

18 23 Team


wo r k s h o p s

F u t u r e G oa ls fo r G lo b a l A c t io n T h r o u g h F as h io n


24 a dv is o r y t e a m

25 2 0 1 0 F i n a n c es

26 2 0 1 1 b ec o m e a pa rt n e r

27 gat f pa rt n e r s , a l l i es , a n d c o l l a b o r ato r s

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

“While we may be sick of hearing about green, one thing’s for sure — it’s not going away anytime soon. the bay area’s own Global Action Through Fashion is keeping eco-friendly fun and relevant with fashion events...the nonprofit do-gooders offer educational workshops and networking events as well, so keep your eye on their calendar and know you’ve done your part to create a healthier world.” – Named “Best of San Francisco 2010” by San Francisco’s 7x7 Magazine

Letter from the Founders

It‘s hard to believe that only one year has

ly grateful to them and our sponsors for their

the world of individual consumers.

passed since we started Global Action

support. We are confident that ethical fashion

number of for-profit social enterprises with

Through Fashion. We have made great

is the “gateway drug” to consumer supply

environmental and social missions is on the

strides in furthering our mission to make the

chain consciousness. By opening people

rise, but for-profits alone are not enough. In

world a better place through fashion and

up to the realities of where their most prized

the for-profit realm of ethical fashion, Global

we have done it on a shoestring budget of

and fashionable garments come from, who

Action Through Fashion is the facilitator of

less than $20,000. We created a compre-

makes them, and what they are made of,

growth and the moral compass of the ethical

hensive online database of ethical fashion

people will begin to think about the impact

fashion industry. Endless thanks to everyone

resources, brought together thousands of

of their purchases on the world. Our work in

who believed in us and continues to have

practitioners to learn from each other, began

ethical fashion fosters and guides the growth

faith in our work. Our success is only possi-

working on a documentary film, and man-

of sustainable and ethical marketplaces. We

ble through your continued support.

aged dozens of programs striving to improve

strive to provide comprehensive technical

Domenica Peterson & Grant Ennis,

the world through fashion. Our dedicated

assistance regarding ethical supply chains

Founders Global Action Through Fashion

and mostly volunteer team has worked hard

to producers and to provide resources and

to achieve our shared goals. We are deep-

information to the fashion community and


Message from the Advisory Board Chair The importance of networking to support,

importance of GATF in interpreting and pro-

ethical fashion resources. I am honored to

educate, and instill the morals and values

claiming the change that fashion must make

be working with Tierra, Anthony, Lynda, and

of sustainable product development to the

to sustain humanity and the environment is

Morten on the advisory board as we support,

global society are at the core of the mission

paramount. In their first year, Domenica and

advise and work with GATF.

of Global Action Through Fashion (GATF).

Grant have reached out and connected a

Dr. Connie Ulasewicz, Advisory Board Chair

The act of getting dressed is a process we

global network of followers and leaders to

Global Action Through Fashion Domenica

each participate in, often several times a

assist in this challenge. Their work in 2010

Peterson & Grant Ennis, Founders

day, as we change clothes between roles

has touched thousands, and their capacity

Global Action Through Fashion

and activities. Fashion is an enabling pro-

to meet their critical objectives for next year

cess that allows us the opportunity to adapt

is within reach. The website they created is

to the changing world around us. The vital

outstanding, with particular attention to the

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


about Global Action Through Fashion (GATF) The $450 billion global fashion industry is one of the most important sectors of the global economy, creating jobs and clothes for people all over the world. Unfortunately, as of 2007, only $3 billion or half of one percent of this $450 billion is fair trade or environmentally sustainable. The reality of the industry is that many individual producers in the developing world work long hours under strenuous conditions for pennies on the dollar, far less than a living wage. The products they make are often produced using unclean energy sources and environmentally damaging materials and processes. Lack of consumer awareness and insufficient industry know-how allow these problems to continue and worsen. Global Action Through Fashion is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that strives to facilitate and catalyze an ethical fashion movement in order that consumers and producers alike become a driving force in achieving global, sustainable development. Consumers are generally unaware of how the clothing they buy hurts the environment or how its production exploits the laborers who made it. The fashion industry needs increased access to tools and support in using them, and consumers need to know what they are buying. By promoting consumer awareness and providing technical assistance to producers in the industry, we can bring about a shift in the way the world works by making production and consumption more ethical. Through education, industry building, and consulting, we aim to provide producers and consumers with best practices and resources needed to make global change. GATF provides education and informational resources for consumers, producers, and fashion industry professionals as well as lectures, e-resources, videos, international conferences and state of the industry reports. These programs and workshops serve to build the ethical fashion. industry and allow it to grow its impact in the world. Large retailers and brands, through their sheer scale, have the greatest capacity to improve the lives of workers and protect the planet. By making their businesses more sustainable, they can create models for best practice in the fashion industry and have a positive impact on our world. While the industry currently advocates ethical fashion through a number of pioneering blogs, magazines, and organizations, GATF goes a step further to serve as the hub for key information and resources regarding ethical fashion. Furthermore, the content delivered by most ethical fashionindustry advocates often unquestionably praises the growing ethical fashion community of for-profit companies. GATF maintains an objective and critical posture, serving as the moral compass and information hub of this emerging industry and providing producers and consumers with valuable knowledge and best practice guidelines.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


GATF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization financed entirely through tax deductible donations of generous donors such as yourself or others you may know. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. We do not sell clothes, run profitable fashion shows, or compete in the industry for market share. While this means it is often a struggle to finance our work, we do not face the conflicts that arise from following profits and a bottom line. Instead, we are able to focus one hundred percent on our mission to make the world a better place and provide an honest and unbiased perspective about the state of the industry and best practices. Fashion and consumerism create waste. Ethical, recycled or fair trade goods do not always have a positive impact and there are serious challenges to associating “buy� with positive impact to the world. We address these concerns as a non- profit and aspire to serve as the industry’s barometer for conscious consumerism.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

A f i r s t i n S a n F r a n ci s c o , GAT F ’ s F i r s t B ay A r e a E t h ica l F a s h io n N ig h t b r o u g h t to g e t h e r 4 0 0 k e y e t h ica l fa s h io n s ta k e h o l d e r s u n d e r o n e r o o f to l e a r n f r o m e ac h ot h e r , c o n n ect , a n d fo s t e r a c o m m u n i t y . I n d u s t ry p r o f e s s io n a l s a n d c o n s u m e r s ca m e to g e t h e r fo r t h e u lt i m at e n ig h t o f n e t w o r k i n g a n d l e a r n i n g at t h e H u b S o M a i n t h e S a n F r a n ci s c o C h r o n ic l e b u i l di n g . P a rt ici pa n t s l e a r n e d f i r s t - h a n d a b o u t t h e i n t r icaci e s , c o m p l e x i t i e s a n d o p p o rt u n i t i e s i n e t h ica l fa s h io n , f r o m fa i r t r a d e a p pa r e l p r o d u ct io n i n P e r u to r e fa s h io n i n g h o s pi ta l s c r u b s i n to s t u n n i n g c o u t u r e g o w n s . E v e ry d e ta i l a l ig n e d w i t h t h e va l u e s o f e t h ica l fa s h io n . S p o n s o r s g e n e r o u s ly p r ov i d e d o rga n ic , lo ca l a n d fa i r t r a d e fo o d a n d b e v e r ag e s , i n c l u di n g



A lt e r


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2013 Programs and Projects Seventeen

The First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night. April 4, 2010




participants included Indigenous De-

improving the global apparel industry.

companies, non- profits, and academ-

signs, Escama Studio, PACT, Vagadu,

At the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion

ic institutions networked and educated

Stuart+Brown, VIE PR, Eco Citizen Bou-

Night, we achieved producers together

participants about how their work pos-

tique, Medium Reality, Teens Turning

to meet and collaborate. We created

itively impacts the world. Visual media

Green, Blank Verse Jewelry, The San

the opportunity for leaders to meet on

discussed the challenges and opportu-

Francisco Academy of Art, California

a large scale and, as a result, new

nities of ethical fashion, fair trade, social

College of the Arts and San Francisco

partnerships formed.

entrepreneurship, and more. The goal

State University. Participants left with a

of the night was twofold: first, to educate

greater understanding regarding the

GATF is particularly passionate about

people about the many approaches

impact of their fashion choices on the

empowering students who are the future

one could take as a consumer or a

planet. Professionals left with increased

of the fashion industry. It was our goal

producer to have a positive impact on


of the opportunities

that students would not only learn at

the world through fashion; and second,

available to improve industry practic-

our event but also feel ownership of it.

to create a community where these

es with the knowledge that the support

University of the Pacific researched and

companies and institutions could work

network was in place to follow through

created a display on Social Entrepre-

together to create change. Participants


neurship and Fashion. San Francisco




had the opportunity to speak with in-

State University created an interactive

dustry leaders one-on-one to learn,

The location in San Francisco was ide-

map for participants to learn about what

network and collaborate. Discussions

al. San Francisco is a recognized hub

part of the world their clothing came

ranged from the complex, such as

for the Green movement, social initia-

from. California College of the Arts and

how fair trade supply chains can help

tives, and socially and environmen-

San Francisco Academy of Art featured

thousands of producers get themselves

tally responsible design. The problem

innovative designs and educational

out of poverty, to a simpler explanation

facing San Francisco is that there is no

tools created by fashion design stu-

about how used plastic bottles can be-

support network for the ethical fashion

dents. The overwhelming success of

come new clothing. Attendees had the

community and no united movement.

this endeavor established GATF as a

opportunity to handle environmentally

There is very little opportunity for dif-

leader in the community. Four hundred

responsible fabrics and learn about the

ferent actors to network, collaborate,

participants left engaged, inspired, and

detrimental impact many conventional

share best practices, and work to-

empowered to take action in making the

textiles have on the environment. A few

gether to have significant impact on

world a better place through fashion.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


2013 Programs and Projects Reconstruct, Reincarnate, and Re-cool your T-Shirt with GATF. June 24, 2013 Global Action Through Fashion reminds the world that they indeed can reuse, repurpose, up-cycle and recycle. That is something you are unlikely to hear from a for- profit company interested in their bottom line. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 2.5 billion pounds sumer

of postcon-

textile waste in the U.S. represents 10 pounds for every person, most of which goes into land-

fills. The idea that dressing ethically is not only about conscientious buying but also about combining waste and creativity to make new things served as the inspiration for our second project on June 24, 2010.

Everyone owns t-shirts, usually many. They

sell every day in the U.S. alone. At Recon-

garment, participants learned to make some-

are staple items, worn as undergarments,

struct, Reincarnate and Re-cool your T-Shirt,

thing new with it. This keeps old garments

given as gifts at events, and used to convey

a team of tailors and printers helped partic-

out of the landfill and makes something new

messages ranging from what musicians

ipants up- cycle their old t-shirts into some-

without using more resources. Through the

one likes to messages advocating ethical

thing exciting and new. Participants who

reconstruction process, participants learned

fashion choices. The social-environmental

had never before used a needle and thread

how to sew, enabling them to repair, alter, and

statistics on t-shirts alone are shocking. It

learned to turn old t-shirts into new shirts,

prolong the lives of many more garments to

takes about a third of a pound of pesticides

scarves, dresses, hats and more. Partici-

come, saving thousands of gallons of water,

and fertilizers and up to 10,000 liters of water

pants cut fabric, wove fabric, embellished,

and reducing the use of harmful chemicals.

to produce just the cotton to manufacture a

and silkscreened “Global Action Through

Along with cutting, sewing, and refashion-

single t-shirt. This is not even taking into ac-

Fashion� onto t-shirts along with the GATF

ing, ethical fashion designers Joui Turandot

count the chemicals and water poured into

logo and an image of the globe as a heart,

of Vagadu and Dustin Page of Platinum Dirt

the dyeing and finishing process, the carbon

making old clothes into something new.

spoke, educating and inspiring participants.

footprint of shipping that garment around the

This workshop was much more than a fun

They are leading Bay Area ethical fashion

world, the human labor required to sew it to-

evening of arts and crafts. It addressed some

gether, and the impact of all those chemicals

of the solutions to the larger fashion threats

on the people along the production line. An

facing our world. It taught participants to use

overwhelming 1.2 million brand new t-shirts

less for more. Instead of disposing of an old

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


“Amid sewing machines, cutting tables and silk screens, the hipster fashion crowd is enthusiastically ripping, braiding, printing and appliqueing their t-shirts into new looks. stopping only to dance a little and flirt (a lot) they listen to speeches from designers from sustainable lines Vagadu and Platinum Dirt, who encourage and inspire the fervor with details of the reconstruction techniques they utilize in their designs. Maybe it was the Veev, but in that moment i wondered if i’d been transported to a marvelous green utopia from the future. and it was a brief shining spot that won’t be forgotten by any of us that attended.”

– Rowena Ritchie, Eco Salon

2013 Programs and Projects Online Resource and News Source (the Website) Throughout the course of this first year, the online presence of Global Action Through Fashion has expanded immensely. The website now provides the most comprehensive critical resources available for producers and consumers, as well as blogs and reporting on the news in ethical fashion. A team of professionals, academics, and writers meticulously update the site, the blogs, and news articles regularly.

The fashion industry is not evil. We believe fashion retailers, large apparel companies, producers, and consumers do want to have a positive impact on the world through fashion but, most of the time, lack the technical know-how. Complicating matters further, ethical fashion is not a black and white field. The many sources of available information are often conflicting and difficult to filter and understand.

There is no single other resource available that helps consumers, fashion retailers, and manufacturers make educated decisions about fashion. For example, what is the best fiber with which to produce a line of t-shirts? What certifications are available for fair trade supply chains stretching from India to the US? What companies produce ethical blue jeans? GATF’s online resource is the solution.

Resources for producers include information about how to reduce their impact on the environment and be fair to people working along the entire production supply chain. The resources include information about fiber production to spinning, weaving, dyeing, cutting, sewing, finishing, shipping and more. This detailed resource outlines the definition of ethical fashion, information about textiles, a guide for all types of social and environmental certifications, resources for sourcing ethically, and links to other great organizations and companies in the field.

Resources for consumers include educational articles about the issues and a guide on how to be an ethical consumer. Many consumers are overwhelmed by what they read about sweatshops and are largely unaware of the environmental impact fashion has on the earth and workers. The website lays it out for them in an understandable way and provides consumers with the information they need to dig deeper and learn more. Also provided is a guide for how consumers can make a positive impact through fashion. This resource covers how to care for your garments (2/3 of the environmental impact of a piece of clothing happens after you buy it!), how to recycle and reconstruct used clothing, and ethical decision-making for shoppers.

The news and blog sections cover issues ranging from the real impact of fur and faux fur on animals and the environment to recent apparel labor riots in Bangladesh and related government policies. Also included is the Week in Review that eloquently sums up the top news each week to keep everyone current with the global fashion industry. A team of industry professionals and academics maintains the news section. The online resource guide addresses one of the biggest obstacles facing consumers and producers: the lack of information and education. This guide provides visitors the opportunity to be educated and empowered to make choices that will positively impact the world.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


2013 PROGRAMS AND Projects The Future of Cotton Farm Tour

Conventional cotton cultivation uses large

tries withstand the worst of pesticide’s

turers like Banana Republic, represen-

amounts of toxic chemicals and wastes

evils, making up 25 percent of the world’s

tatives of interior goods companies like

massive quantities of water. It is vital that

pesticide use and experiencing 99 per-

Restoration Hardware, fashion students

we find alternative methods to grow cot-

cent of pesticide-related deaths. Cotton

from California College of the Arts and

ton — one of the world’s most popular

is responsible for the release of at least

San Francisco State, government officials

fibers — which are not harmful to the

$2 billion dollars of chemical pesticide

from the USDA, journalists, fabric suppli-

environment. This project supports that

spraying each year, at least $819 million

ers and more.

future by providing an educational tour

of which is classified as mortally hazard-

of sustainable cotton farms in California’s

ous by the World Health Organization.

This tour is a powerful way to educate

central valley. Hosted by GATF, GAP Inc

In India, home to over one third of the

and advocate to large apparel compa-

and the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP),

world’s cotton farmers, cotton accounts

nies to switch to better cotton. These tours

participants experienced grass roots

for 54 percent of all pesticides used an-

have informed large companies which

sustainable cotton growing. The tour in-

nually despite occupying just five percent

now use better farming practices and

cluded industry professional speakers,

of land under crops. This is an enormous

serve as a great tool for educating em-

university professors, and discussion

problem. With organic products and

ployees and management about the im-

facilitators who introduced participants to

practices, less chemicals, and improved

portance of reducing water and chemical

the growing and critical field of sustain-

watering systems, a solution is in sight.

use in cotton cultivation and the fashion

able fabrics.

industry. On the Sustainable Cotton Farm tour,


Current consumption of cotton is higher

participants visited farms, cotton growers,

than ever before, with annual demand

ginning facilities, watched cotton harvest-

over 25 million tons. Ten percent of all

ing, and heard local doctors speak about

chemical pesticides and 22 percent of all

health issues related to cotton growing

insecticides go into growing cotton. The

and pesticides. The two full buses of par-

World Health Organization estimates at

ticipants ranged in backgrounds. There

least 20,000 farmers die each year from

were small-scale fashion designers, rep-

agricultural pesticides. Developing coun-

resentatives of large clothing manufac-

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

2010 ProgrAms and ProjeCTs

The 25th Street Collective. October 5, 2010

In order to foster a local community of ethical fashion producers, Global Action Through Fashion co-founded the 25th Street Collective, an Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Business Incubator in downtown Oakland. Many of the greatest innovations in sustainable design come from small independent designers and recent fashion graduates that have the freedom to risk, to test and to play beyond the limits of the current market. Unfortunately, it is difficult to establish a small design business and it is even harder to sustain one. GATF has teamed up with Hiroko Hurikara Designs to establish a collective studio space and storefront for small sustainable businesses in the Bay Area. This collective will be a center for ethical fashion design and production, and will provide employment opportunities to many throughout the SF Bay Area.

The large, well-lit warehouse space will provide the tools and workspace designers need to support their own sustainable businesses. Part of the space will be a shared commons, including a conference room, a collective sewing space equipped with cutting tables and industrial sewing equipment, a storefront, access to marketing and business services, and a collective set of people with shareable skills and knowledge. The first Friday of every month, the sewing collective will open its doors for the Oakland Art Murmur where thousands of social activists and artists venture through the spaces while providing collective members an opportunity to share their work. Rental space will be available for private workshops in 5x10’, 10x10’, and 20x10’ studios. This space will house small sustainable fashion designers like B Spoke Tailor and Platinum Dirt. The collective will also provide non-profit office space in addition to GATF’s office.

The mobile walls of the space will permit a spacious open area for large workshops and events. GATF will host workshops at the 25th Street Collective on a regular basis, ranging from ethical fashion reconstruction, to environmentally friendly dyeing, methods of evaluating fair trade supply chains and much more. The grand public opening of the space is scheduled for April 2011. It is our goal to empower small fashion designers to have greater impact and create a replicable model for ethical innovation and collaboration.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


GATF works to empower and educate fashion’s future leaders by working with university students and academic institutions.

University Collaboration

The future of the fashion industry is cur-

and lectures on Ethical Fashion, and assists

students researched social entrepreneurship

rently in the classroom, in fashion design

faculty to create integrated curriculum on

in the fashion industry and helped hands-on

and merchandising programs around the

ethical fashion. GATF also provides students

at the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night. In

world. It is vital that students are empow-

with volunteer and internship opportunities.

the process, they learned about how fashion

ered and provided with the tools they need

GATF provides internships to students and

can be a social entrepreneurial industry and

to integrate sustainability into their studies

recent graduates, giving them professional

related it back to their studies. SFSU students

and future work. In an ideal 2020, ethical

experience and knowledge in the field. In-

created an interactive educational display at

fashion will not be a separate class, but it

terns take ownership of specific projects and

GATF’s First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night

will be an integrative part of every class

give significant creative input.

that educated and engaged participants

and everyone’s life.

In 2010, GATF presented at the following

about clothing production around the world.

GATF promotes the innovative designs of

Universities: (i) University of the Pacific, (ii)

CCA and San Francisco Academy of Art

students developing the field of ethical fash-

San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) Ap-

University students also presented their sus-

ion. The future of ethical fashion is dependent

parel Design Merchandising program and

tainable design innovations to participants at

upon sustainability as an integrated part of

its Graduate Business program, and (iii)

the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night.

fashion. In order for this to be the case, it

California College of the Arts (CCA). GATF

must begin while future fashion designers

founders served as judges in the California

and industry are in the classroom. GATF

College of the Arts sustainability critique for

works to empower and educate fashion’s

fashion students’ designs. GATF collabo-

future leaders by working with university

rated with the University of the Pacific Inte-

students and academic institutions. GATF

grated Development Program to create the

energizes students through presentations

ethical fashion company database. Pacific

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


2013 Programs and Projects Lecture Series and Conferences The GATF team lectures on ethical fashion

and Meghan Connolly Haupt of C5 Jewelry

Brazil the weekend of October 9-11, 2010. At

and the role of fashion in making the world a

Company for a panel discussion titled “Eth-

SWU, GATF connected with other specialists,

better place. Along with the multiple universi-

ical Supply Chains in Luxury Goods: Excit-

thinkers, politicians, businesspeople and

ty lectures, GATF has participated in lecture

ing, Green and Fabulous“ in San Francisco.

representatives of NGOs to discuss the main

series and conferences including the Net

The four speakers discussed sustainable

themes of sustainability that affect the world

Impact Lecture series and the Start’s With

supply chain complexities and the chal-

in the 21st century. This Concert-Sympo-

You (SWU) conference in Sao Paolo Brazil.

lenges of starting ethical fashion compa-

sium featured 60 high profile bands includ-

GATF is an active participant in the Net Im-

nies. Participants included apparel industry

ing Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, Kings of

pact lecture series. On May 13th, 2010,

professionals as well as professionals from

Leon, Linkin Park, Os Mutantes, Pixies, Rage

GATF founders Domenica Peterson and

all industries interested in sustainability.

Against the Machine, Regina Spektor and

Grant Ennis joined Heather Franzese of

GATF presented at the Starts With You Glob-

many more.

Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA)

al Sustainability Symposium in Sao Paolo

Workshops Workshops are essential to creating permanent consumer habits. They teach best practices and show how individuals can take action in their own lives. Workshops provide people with the skills and knowledge they need to have a positive impact individually and collectively. In 2010, GATF conducted two ethical fashion workshops in addition to our large t-shirt reconstruction event. These included an ethical fashion jewelry-making course and an ethical fashion workshop for kids. At the “How to Make it Eco” ethical jewelry making class, GATF collaborated with Do Good Lab to show how global change can be made through local eco fashion. Co-founder Domenica Peterson managed a recycled jewelry-making workshop on June 26 with proceeds donated to the kids of the Kenyan non-profit Champions in order to purchase a school building in Nairobi, Kenya. Champions works in Mathare, the oldest slum in Nairobi, second largest in Kenya, and with a population of 700,000 and growing. Thirty participants created jewelry out of waste, including old electronic waste, yogurt containers, and old jewelry pieces. The event took place at Press Club in downtown San Francisco. On November 20, Domenica Peterson taught a class for young girls aged 10-14 on Ethical Fashion in San Francisco. The class began early in the day with a presentation, videos and a question and answer session about what ethical fashion means, what the fashion industry is like, and how to be an ethical fashion consumer. The second part of the day consisted of a trip to purchase environmentally friendly fabric and a sewing class in which the girls realized designs they had prepared and illustrated ahead of time. The purpose of the course was to empower people to integrate sustainability into their fashion consumption habits from a young age while providing them with skills to make their own creations and enabling them to refashion and repair used clothes, extending their life and keeping them out of landfills.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


fUTUre goALs for Global Action Through Fashion GATF plans to go beyond what we have accomplished in our first year. We will continue to host educational lectures and workshops. We are also in discussion with large apparel companies to provide fellowships for recent college graduates to develop innovation in sustainable design that is applicable to large supply chains and retailers.

International Ethical Fashion Conference This first ever ethical fashion conference in alliance with San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts will bring together all of the key local and international actors in ethical fashion. It will be a participant-led conference with plenary and breakout sessions with participant speakers. As an outcome of this conference, GATF is drafting an Ethical Fashion State of the Industry Report. This document will work to unite the ethical fashion community through shared, documented, best practices and increase in the impact of ethical fashion on society and the environment worldwide.

Ethical Fashion State of the Industry Report This comprehensive document aims to unite the ethical fashion community through sharing documented best practices, increasing the impact of ethical fashion on society and the environment worldwide. It will thoroughly outline the social and environmental challenges and opportunities of the fashion industry exhaustively in a format easily accessible to consumers, while staying useful to producers and designers. As a non-profit in a field of for-profit social enterprise fashion companies, we are the likely and ideal candidate to produce this report. Maintaining an objective stance on the issues, we have the knowledge, staff, and expertise to make these documents and others like it centerpieces for the growing field of ethical fashion.

Ethical Fashion Documentary Film, for Release in 2012 The medium of film enables GATF to educate the largest audience possible in order to change perceptions about fashion and consumerism. This documentary will positively inspire and empower the fashion industry, consumers, and hopefully governments to take action through fashion and consumerism. This is a culture of fast fashion, where clothing is readily available as something that is cheap, trendy, and disposable. In October 2010, GATF began filming with cinematographer Mark Leibowitz at London and Milan fashion weeks. The film will not only be delightful and exciting for all people to watch, but it will also highlight the realities of the global fashion industry and inspire action to make the world a better place. The framework of the picture is a provocative series of five questions each triggering a chapter of the tale we have to tell. The answers often turn surprisingly serious with per-


Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

sonal stories that resonate clearly with the audience. To get a wide range of responses, open ended questions are asked to a broad array of people – from celebrities and top models to men and women on the streets around the world; from workers in garment centers to the CEOs of major corporations. We will ask the rock star, the roadie, and the girl who treasures the T-shirt from the ‘89 Steel Wheels tour. We will ask not just the young women passing the velvet rope at a trendy club, but also the club’s ladies’ room attendant and the valet in the parking lot. The Keith Richards, The Prince Charles, The Lady Gaga, and The Oscar de la Renta or personalities of their standing will all be featured. The method is to find clues that take us deeper into the mystery of what we wear and why, and what that says about our future. Will we accept responsibility for the true costs of our clothing choices? Does it really matter if the clothes we put on our bodies are made with respect for the people who produced them and the environment that protects us all? This documentary film is an international exploration of how the practice of fashion, on an every-day level, from the most public to the most personal, affects the globe’s people and its environment. This film speaks to how we see ourselves, how we want to be seen, and what we most desire. The film empowers the audience, making vital connections between what we wear and how fabrics, trims, and clothes are produced. It aims to reveal how each purchase we make affects the lives of others. The film becomes a call to action, portraying the hidden costs of bargain goods and investigating the global supply chain that can lead from exploitation to elegance. It also shows how fresh choices and expanded awareness can result in permanent and substantial impact. Through the lens of fashion, the consumer economy can change for the better of the environment, and humanity.

Presentations and Lectures at interna-

How-To Guides

tional conferences and Lecture Series

On our website, GATF will provide “How

Facebook and post a question/comment

• San Francisco EcoTuesday

To” manuals on ethical fashion written

so the rest of the community and or GATF

• SF Fashion and Merchants Alliance

by experts in the field.

can post answers.

Blog, Twitter, and Facebook

Technical Assistance

Video Series and YouTube Channel

Our team will actively update our

Gl o bal A c t i o n T h r o u gh Fas h i o n pro-

GATF will upload videos on our YouTube

blog, Facebook, and twitter to keep

vi des t ec h n i c al as s i s t an c e t h at t he

channel about ethical fashion. These will

the public in the loop. In 2011, we

f as h i o n i n du s t r y c an r el y on f or

include interviews with those working in

want to create a community of 5,000

h i gh - qu al i t y i n f o r m at i o n s er vice s f or

the ethical fashion industry, spotlights on

advocates on Facebook interacting

i m pr o vi n g l abo r an d en vi r o n m e nt al

leaders, and latest news on innovation in

with us and telling their story. We will

pr ac t i c es .

the field.

encourage people to come on our

• Many more

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


The reALiTy of the fashion industry is that many individual producers in the developing world work long hours under strenuous conditions for pennies on the dollar, far less than a living wage.

TeAm Domenica Peterson, Chief Visionary Officer and Co-founder Domenica’s professional career has focused on using fashion as a tool to solve global problems and she has worked with industry leaders in Fair Trade Fashion. She has led social entrepreneurship organizations, coordinated international aid projects and worked for the U.S. based Fair Trade pioneer TransFairUSA on the first certification standard for Fair Trade apparel and textiles in the US. She worked in London doing public relations for the Fair Trade Fashion label PeopleTree and in Brussels sewing for the couture fashion label NATAN. In addition to GATF, Domenica serves on the SF Global Green Committee and is a contributing writer for Coco Eco Magazine.

Grant Ennis, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder Grant has over 5 years experience working with international nonprofits both in the field and in the U.S. He has a background in youth livelihood development and microfinance and sees ethical fashion as the ideal framework for promoting supply chain consciousness among consumers.

Laura Russell, Research Associate, and UK Representative Currently working for a large UK apparel company, Laura’s interest in ethical fashion developed during her study at Nottingham Trent University, England in B.A. Fashion and Textile Management. She met Domenica at People Tree and from there became involved with GATF. Laura’s university thesis explored how mainstream fashion companies in particular could adopt fair trade fashion. Laura enjoys dressmaking and constructing items from recycled materials.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


TeAm Continued Melissa Hook, Research Associate Melissa joined Global Action Through Fashion to learn and provide insight on textiles and environmental business consulting. Melissa has worked in the fashion industry as a fashion consultant. She loves to sew and produce designs made of recycled or discarded materials. Melissa graduated fron SF State with Fashion merchandising major and Marketing minor with an emphasis in Environmental Studies.

Kestrel Jenkins, PR and Research Associate Whether the driving force was language or fashion, Kestrel’s interest in global issues has led her around the world. She worked as a journalist with El Diario Austral in Chile, did PR for People Tree in London and taught English to elementary students in Madrid, Spain. She found all of her interests collide in Fair Trade Fashion, where her energy and spirit inspire a thirst to understand more and more about the field. She has a B.A. from Hamline University in Global Studies, International Journalism, and Spanish. Her blog Make Fashion Fair is fantastic. She currently works in NYC at

Jo Gruszka, Marketing, and Research Associate Jo’s passion for fashion and desire to impact the world through her work drew her to Global Action Through Fashion. She also works for local SF Bay Area designer Babette and in her free time creates collages of others’ stories. Jo graduated with a BS degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising with a minor in Marketing from SF State.

Adele Reeves, Graphic Designer Adele is passionate about art and Japanese culture. A recent graduate of Ohio State University with a major in Japanese language and a fine art minor, Adele works as GATFs Graphic Designer. She is also an amazing seamstress and plays a key role in assisting at our events.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

Advisory boArd Under the inspired leadership of Board Chair Connie Ulasewicz, the five-member professional Advisory Board is truly a force to be reckoned with. Our board members provide time, talent and treasure to GATF’s program and operations. The uniqueness of this board, whose experience ranges from academia to business to international development to fashion design and beyond, sets us apart and provides us with invaluable guidance and feedback. Board members also provide resource networking and funding opportunities.

Connie Ulasewicz, San Francisco State University (Board Chair)

Morten Simonsen, Entrepreneur

working for the denim brands Mudd

Morten Simonsen earned his MSc in

this time, Tierra developed an aware-

Trondheim, Norway before completing

ness of the destructive impact that the

Connie Ulasewicz is an Associate Pro-

his MBA from Denver University in 1982.

apparel industry has on the environment

fessor at San Francisco State University

After working in the shipping business in

and the people who make the clothes.

in Apparel Design and Merchandising.

Norway and USA for 25 years, he moved

This awareness motivated her to launch

Her research interests include social

to the SF Bay area in 2006. Morten now

Del Forte Denim Inc. — a line of pre-

entrepreneurship, community engaged

works with several start-up companies

mium denim made from 100% certified

scholarship and extending the lifecycle of

in the area and invested recently in the

organic cotton and produced under eth-

sewn products. She is also co- author of

all-organic restaurant Gather Restaurant

ical conditions in the USA. In 2009, Tier-

the 2008 book Sustainable Fashion Why

in downtown Berkeley. He is also in-

ra joined Fair Trade USA to help launch

Now, and speaks at conferences and

volved in a project in Nicaragua helping

the Fair Trade Certified™ Apparel and

trade shows to spread the word. Connie

the rural poor. Through his network and

Linens pilot program.

has over 25 years of garment industry

business experience, Morten hopes to

experience managing production, mer-

add support to the business perspective

chandising, and sales. She is a founding

of Global Action Through Fashion.

Jeans and Younique Clothing. During

member of ESRAB, Educators for Social

Wear SF, a Bay Area non-profit sewn

Tierra Del Forte, Fair Trade USA

product industry association. Dr. Ulase-

Tierra Del Forte is Senior Manager

wicz earned her BS in Education/ Clothing

Business Development, Apparel, and

and Textiles at Syracuse University, her

Textiles at Fair Trade USA and brings

MS in Historic Textiles at the University of

over a decade of apparel industry ex-

Maryland, and her PhD in Human Devel-

perience to our board. Tierra spent the

opment at Fielding Graduate University.

early years of her career in New York,

Responsibility in Apparel, and people


Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


Advisory boArd


Antony Waller, People Tree Anthony started at Paul Smith, and has since worked at D&G, the Ben Sherman account and is currently Head of Press at the London office of People Tree. Antony knows how to make ethical fashion mainstream, successful, in turn improve the lives of producers, and protect the environment. Antony earned his Fashion PR degree from London College of Fashion and brings over 10 years experience of high fashion, high street fashion, and ethical fashion.

Lynda Grose, Designer, Consultant, and Educator, California College of the Arts Lynda Grose has been working on sustainability in fashion for 20 years. She cofounded ESPRIT’s e-collection line, launched in 1992. This line was the first ecologically responsible clothing line marketed internationally by a major corporation. As a practicing designer, consultant, and educator, Lynda now works in a range of capacities from advising farmers and artisans, to private companies and NGO’s. Lynda has been teaching sustainability in fashion for ten years. She developed the groundbreaking curricula for Fashion Design Sustainability at California College of the Arts (CCA) and currently serves as Assistant Professor in CCA’s fashion design program. Lynda’s is a contributing author to Sustainable Textiles, Woodhouse Publishing and is currently co-authoring the book Fashion Sustainability Incubator, with Laurence King Publishers. A frequent speaker at trade conferences, colleges and museums internationally, Lynda was identified by London’s Financial Times as one of their ‘green power brokers’. She is most passionate about embracing sustainability as the core of innovation and the potential of design to bring form to a sustainable society.

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


In 2010, year one, $19,570.85 was raised.



went towards

w e n t di r ect ly i n to p ro g r a m s


office rent




went to the IRs or legal corsts

or $1,206 was spent on transportation over the course of the year. this


or $4,250 went to payroll, an

insignificant n u m b e r gi v e n the amount of work accomplished. as one can see, little or no remuneration was paid to the staff for their work this year.


includes metro, the bus, and gas for the various vehicles used to transport materials, move offices, and get to meetings.





went towards administrative costs

G lo ba l A ct io n T h ro u g h F as h io n S p e n di n g Programs/ Projects



Administrative CostsUtilities, Internet,Website Costs, Meetings, Rent






Legal & IRS Fees






Rent for Office + Ethical Fashion Incubator Project




$19,571 100%

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


2014 With the support of donors like you, we hope to fundraise over $100,000 more in 2011 in order expand our programs, pay program associates, directors, and positively impact the environment and the lives of workers around the world on a greater scale. as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations to GatF are tax deductible.

Become a partner of Global Action Through Fashion. Become a member of our advisory board and join an exceptional group of people in enabling our work to scale! • Connect us with the fashion community • Connect us with the philanthropic donor community • Connect us with the international development community and more

ed States, but we do not work alone. As a

Become a Project Sponsor

non-profit organization, we rely on the part-

• $100,000 - Help us grow this year. This

nership of a visionary community of donors

number includes all of the operating costs for

who give to support the growth of ethical

our organization for one year.

fashion. Millions of people — from garment

• $10,000 - Bring the industry together in the

workers in the developing world to local US

same room for the first time and take action

industry — will share the benefits. As an of-

to create a unified movement to make the

ficial 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dona-

fashion industry better. This money will go

tions to GATF are tax deductible. Here are

toward our international conference, aimed

some of the ways you can give to the future

for Fall 2011.

of Ethical Fashion:

• $5,000 - Support the Bay Area’s largest

Become an Annual Sponsor

and most fun Ethical Fashion experience.

• $25,000 and up - Platinum Sponsors

Be the sponsor of our 2011 Bay Area Ethical

• $10,000 and up - Gold Sponsors

Fashion Night.

• $5,000 and up - Silver Sponsors

• $4,000 - Sponsor a space for us to do our

• $1,000 and up - Bronze Sponsors

work and host workshops and lectures.

Volunteer • Become a full-time writer for GATF working our publications, research, news or blogs • Become an on-call program volunteer for our 1-3 day conferences and workshops

Sponsor Global Action Through Fashion GATF is the leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing educational and infor-

• $100 and up - Friend Sponsors To learn more about sponsorship benefits visit our website at

mational assistance to fashion consumers, manufacturers, and companies in the Unit-

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013


gATf PArTNers, ALLies, and CoLLAborATors We are extremely grateful to the following donors, advisors, staff members, and volunteers who helped us accomplish so much this year:


25th Street Collective

Christine Hilberg

Hunter Tanaous

Mark Leibowitz

Robert Reynolds

The UpToYouToo

Academy of Art

Christy Gerhart

Indigenous Designs


Rowena Ritchie



Coco Eco Magazine

James Pollard

Mate Veza

Ruth Vitale

Tony Glorioso and

Adina Energy

Cordes Foundation

James Toney III

Medium Reality

San Francisco

Brand 46


David and Susan

Janet Labberton

Melissa Pongtratic

State University

University of

Adria Peterson


Jean-Marie Stratigos

Meredith Willa

Sallumeh Torabian

the Pacific

Aida Peterson

Debbie Berryhill

Jeffrey Perlstein

Michael Barlow

Schauleh Sahba


Alex Simonsen

Diane Lerman

Jennifer Biringer J

Michele Gates and

SF Indie Fashion


Alter Eco

Dorothy Compeau

erry Hildebrand

Fashionbla Fun

Sherry Koyama

Vie PR and

Andrea Cesar


Jessica Welborn

Michelle Forshner

Spencer Ton


Blank Verse

Eco Citizen

John Ruszel

Najia Khan

Sarah Guldenbrein

Vishaka Henrietta


Eco Salon

Josh Friedman

Naomi Feger

& House

Whitney Ferris

Bonnie Greenberg


Joy Mackay

Neil Goetz

Stacy Scott Catering

William Reeves

Bonnie Loyd

Escama Studio

Kathryn Tanis

Net Impact

Stewart + Brown


Fairhills Wine

Kirk E. Peterson &

Nila Salinas

Stockton 2020

California College

Fair Trade USA


Oak and Co

Stu Newton

of the Arts

Friends of Hue

Kirk Cruikshank

PACT Underwear

SWU (Starts With

Caitlin Bristol


Kudra Kalema

Peery Foundation


Caroline Fantozzi

Global Center for

Lane Becker

Peter Labberton

Tatyana Dorokhova

Casey Mixter

Social Entrepre-

Laura Lambrecht

Platinum Dirt

Teens Turning

Catarina Bronstein


Lessa Manotti

Rainforest Eco


Catherine Markman

Geraldine Rushton

Linda Loudermilk

Raphael Peterson


Celestyna Brozek

Gitika Mohta

Love Culture

Raub Foundation

The Designer Lab

Charles Raub

Green by Design

Mannequin Madness

Rex Righetti

The Hub SoMa

Christina Espinosa

Hub Bay Area

Marco vangelisti

Rickshaw Bagworks

The Ki

Global action throuGh Fashion AnnuAl RepoRt 2013

Cotton is responsible for the release of at least two billon dollars worth of chemical spraying each year.