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Global action through fashion 2010 Annual Report

“ Achieving sustainable development is perhaps one of the most difficult and one of the most pressing goals we face. It requires on the part of all of us commitment, action, partnerships and, sometimes, sacrifices of our traditional life patterns and personal interests.” • Mostafa Tolba Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development

2010 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 2010 Published by Global Action Through Fashion



Letters from the founders and advisory board chair


about global action through fashion (gatf)

2010 programs and projects


the first bay area ethical fashion night april 4, 2010


reconstruct, reincarnate, and re-cool your tshirt with gatf june 24, 2010


the future of cotton farm tour november 4, 2010


online resource and news source (the website)


the 25th street collective october 5, 2010


university collaboration


lecture series and conferences



23 24

future goals for global action through fashion

28 30 32



2011 become a partner


gatf partners, allies, and collaborators

advisory board 2010 finances



Letters from the Founders and the Advisory Board Chair

“ 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

Message from the Founders

It‘s hard to believe that only one year has passed since we started Global Action Through Fashion. We have made great strides in furthering our mission to make the world a better place through fashion and we have done it on a shoestring budget of less than $20,000. We created a comprehensive online database of ethical fashion resources, brought together thousands of practitioners to learn from each other, began working on a documentary film, and managed dozens of programs striving to improve the world through fashion. Our dedicated and mostly volunteer team has worked hard to achieve our shared goals. We are deeply grateful to them and our sponsors for their support. We are confident that ethical fashion is the “gateway drug” to consumer supply chain consciousness. By opening people up to the realities of where their most prized and fashionable garments come from, who makes them, and what they are made of, people will begin to think about the impact of their purchases on the world. Our work in ethical fashion fosters and guides the growth of sustainable and ethical marketplaces. We strive to provide comprehensive technical assistance regarding ethical supply chains to producers and to provide resources and information to the fashion community and the world of individual consumers. The number of for-profit social enterprises with environmental and social missions is on the rise, but for-profits alone are not enough. In the for-profit realm of ethical fashion, Global Action Through Fashion is the facilitator of growth and the moral compass of the ethical fashion industry. Endless thanks to everyone who believed in us and continues to have faith in our work. Our success is only possible through your continued support. Domenica Peterson & Grant Ennis Founders Global Action Through Fashion

Message from the Advisory Board Chair

The importance of networking to support, educate, and instill the morals and values of sustainable product development to the global society are at the core of the mission of Global Action Through Fashion (GATF). The act of getting dressed is a process we each participate in, often several times a day, as we change clothes between roles and activities. Fashion is an enabling process that allows us the opportunity to adapt to the changing world around us. The vital importance of GATF in interpreting and proclaiming the change that fashion must make to sustain humanity and the environment is paramount. In their first year, Domenica and Grant have reached out and connected a global network of followers and leaders to assist in this challenge. Their work in 2010 has touched thousands, and their capacity to meet their critical objectives for next year is within reach. The website they created is outstanding, with particular attention to the ethical fashion resources. I am honored to be working with Tierra, Anthony, Lynda, and Morten on the advisory board as we support, advise and work with GATF. Dr. Connie Ulasewicz Advisory Board Chair Global Action Through Fashion



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 fashion industry 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 a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization 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.



2010 ProgrAms and ProjeCTs

The First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night April 4, 2010 A first in San Francisco, GATF’s First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night brought together 400 key ethical fashion stakeholders under one roof to learn from each other, connect, and foster a community. Industry professionals and consumers came together for the ultimate night of networking and learning at the Hub SoMa in the San Francisco Chronicle building. Participants learned first- hand about the intricacies, complexities and opportunities in ethical fashion, from fair trade apparel production in Peru to refashioning hospital scrubs into stunning couture gowns. Every detail aligned with the values of ethical fashion. Sponsors generously provided organic, local and fair trade food and beverages, including VeeV Vodka, Alter Eco Chocolate, Mate Veza Beer, Adina Beverages, FairHills Wine, and Stacy Scott Catering, seventeen for-profit ethical fashion companies, non- profits, and academic institutions networked and educated participants about how their work positively impacts the world. Visual media discussed the challenges and opportunities of ethical fashion, fair trade, social entrepreneurship, and more.


The goal of the night was twofold: first, to educate people about the many approaches one could take as a consumer or a producer to have a positive impact on the world through fashion; and second, to create a community where these companies and institutions could work together to create change. Participants had the opportunity to speak with industry leaders one-on-one to learn, network and collaborate. Discussions ranged from the complex, such as how fair trade supply chains can help thousands of producers get themselves out of poverty, to a simpler explanation about how used plastic bottles can become new clothing. Attendees had the opportunity to handle environmentally responsible fabrics and learn about the detrimental impact many conventional textiles have on the environment. A few participants included Indigenous Designs, Escama Studio, PACT, Vagadu, Stuart+Brown, VIE PR, Eco Citizen Boutique, Medium Reality, Teens Turning Green, Blank Verse Jewelry, The San Francisco Academy of Art, California College of the Arts and San Francisco State

University. Participants left with a greater understanding regarding the impact of their fashion choices on the planet. Professionals left with increased understanding of the opportunities available to improve industry practices with the knowledge that the support network was in place to follow through and implement those changes. The location in San Francisco was ideal. San Francisco is a recognized hub for the Green movement, social initiatives, and socially and environmentally responsible design. The problem facing San Francisco is that there is no support network for the ethical fashion community and no united movement. There is very little opportunity for different actors to network, collaborate, share best practices, and work together to have significant impact on improving the global apparel industry. At the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night, we achieved just that, by bringing key designers and producers together to meet and collaborate. We created the opportunity for leaders to meet on a large scale and, as a result, new partnerships formed.

GATF is particularly passionate about empowering students who are the future of the fashion industry. It was our goal that students would not only learn at our event but also feel ownership of it. University of the Pacific researched and created a display on Social Entrepreneurship and Fashion. San Francisco State University created an interactive map for participants to learn about what part of the world their clothing came from. California College of the Arts and San Francisco Academy of Art featured innovative designs and educational tools created by fashion design students. The overwhelming success of this endeavor established GATF as a leader in the community. Four hundred participants left engaged, inspired, and empowered to take action in making the world a better place through fashion.



2010 ProgrAms and ProjeCTs

Reconstruct, Reincarnate, and Re-cool your T-Shirt with GATF June 24, 2010 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 of postconsumer textile waste in the U.S. represents 10 pounds for every person, most of which goes into landfills. 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 are staple items, worn as undergarments, given as gifts at events, and used to convey messages ranging from what musicians one likes to messages advocating ethical fashion choices. The social-environmental statistics on t-shirts alone are shocking. It takes about a third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers and up to 10,000 liters of water to produce just the cotton to manufacture a single t-shirt. This is not even taking into account the chemicals and water poured into the dyeing and finishing process, the carbon footprint of shipping that garment around the world, the human labor required to sew it together, and the impact of all those chemicals


on the people along the production line. An overwhelming 1.2 million brand new t-shirts sell every day in the U.S. alone.

many more garments to come, saving thousands of gallons of water, and reducing the use of harmful chemicals.

At Reconstruct, Reincarnate and Re-cool your T-Shirt, a team of tailors and printers helped participants up- cycle their old t-shirts into something exciting and new. Participants who had never before used a needle and thread learned to turn old t-shirts into new shirts, scarves, dresses, hats and more. Participants cut fabric, wove fabric, embellished, and silkscreened “Global Action Through Fashion� onto t-shirts along with the GATF logo and an image of the globe as a heart, making old clothes into something new.

Along with cutting, sewing, and refashioning, ethical fashion designers Joui Turandot of Vagadu and Dustin Page of Platinum Dirt spoke, educating and inspiring participants. They are leading Bay Area ethical fashion designers who create their lines out of postconsumer waste and discarded fashion. Turandot refashions fabric scrap and old clothes to create couture garments of the highest quality for both men and women including vests, shirts, and dresses. Page creates his line of high-end leather jackets from salvaged leather from the car seats of luxury vehicles he buys at the junkyard.

This workshop was much more than a fun evening of arts and crafts. It addressed some of the solutions to the larger fashion threats facing our world. It taught participants to use less for more. Instead of disposing of an old garment, participants learned to make something new with it. This keeps old garments out of the landfill and makes something new without using more resources. Through the reconstruction process, participants learned how to sew, enabling them to repair, alter, and prolong the lives of

Both designers prove that used materials, which many consider waste, can indeed be made into high-end new products that are competitive with any conventional luxury product. Participants networked and met designers, producers, industry professionals, and academics working in the ethical fashion arena. Once again, this GATF event left consumers and industry leaders empowered to have a positive impact on the world through fashion.



“ 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




The Future of Cotton Farm Tour November 4, 2010 Conventional cotton cultivation uses large amounts of toxic chemicals and wastes massive quantities of water. It is vital that we find alternative methods to grow cotton — one of the world’s most popular fibers — which are not harmful to the environment. This project supports that future by providing an educational tour of sustainable cotton farms in California’s central valley. Hosted by GATF, GAP Inc and the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP), participants experienced grass roots sustainable cotton growing. The tour included industry professional speakers, university professors, and discussion facilitators who introduced participants to the growing and critical field of sustainable fabrics.



Current consumption of cotton is higher than ever before, with annual demand over 25 million tons. Ten percent of all chemical pesticides and 22 percent of all insecticides go into growing cotton. The World Health Organization estimates at least 20,000 farmers die each year from agricultural pesticides. Developing countries withstand the worst of pesticide’s evils, making up 25 percent of the world’s pesticide use and experiencing 99 percent of pesticiderelated deaths. Cotton is responsible for the release of at least $2 billion dollars of chemical pesticide spraying each year, at least $819 million of which is classified as mortally hazardous by the World Health Organization. In India, home to over one third of the world’s cotton farmers, cotton accounts for 54 percent of all pesticides used annually despite occupying just five percent of land under crops. This is an enormous problem. With organic products and practices, less chemicals, and improved watering systems, a solution is in sight. On the Sustainable Cotton Farm tour, participants visited farms, cotton growers, ginning facilities, watched cotton harvesting, and heard local doctors speak about health issues related to cotton growing and pesticides. The two full buses of participants ranged in backgrounds. There were small-scale fashion designers, representatives of large clothing manufacturers like Banana Republic, representatives of interior goods companies like Restoration Hardware, fashion students from California College of the Arts and San Francisco State, government officials from the USDA, journalists, fabric suppliers and more. This tour is a powerful way to educate and advocate to large apparel companies to switch to better cotton. These tours have informed large companies which now use better farming practices and serve as a great tool for educating employees and management about the importance of reducing water and chemical use in cotton cultivation and the fashion industry.


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

2010 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 certifica-

tions, 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.



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.

University Collaboration The future of the fashion industry is currently in the classroom, in fashion design and merchandising programs around the world. It is vital that students are empowered and provided with the tools they need to integrate sustainability into their studies and future work. In an ideal 2020, ethical fashion will not be a separate class, but it will be an integrative part of every class and everyone’s life. GATF promotes the innovative designs of students developing the field of ethical fashion. The future of ethical fashion is dependent upon sustainability as an integrated part of fashion. In order for this to be the case, it must begin while future fashion designers and industry are in the classroom. GATF works to empower and educate fashion’s future leaders by working with university students and academic institutions. GATF energizes students through presentations and lectures on Ethical Fashion, and assists faculty to create integrated curriculum on ethical fashion. GATF also provides students with volunteer and internship opportunities. GATF provides internships to students and recent graduates, giving them professional experience and knowledge in the field. Interns take ownership of specific projects and give significant creative input.

In 2010, GATF presented at the following Universities: (i) University of the Pacific, (ii) San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) Apparel Design Merchandising program and its Graduate Business program, and (iii) California College of the Arts (CCA). GATF founders served as judges in the California College of the Arts sustainability critique for fashion students’ designs. GATF collaborated with the University of the Pacific Integrated Development Program to create the ethical fashion company database. Pacific students researched social entrepreneurship in the fashion industry and helped hands-on at the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night. In the process, they learned about how fashion can be a social entrepreneurial industry and related it back to their studies. SFSU students created an interactive educational display at GATF’s First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night that educated and engaged participants about clothing production around the world. CCA and San Francisco Academy of Art University students also presented their sustainable design innovations to participants at the First Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night.



2010 ProgrAms and ProjeCTs Lecture Series and Conferences The GATF team lectures on ethical fashion and the role of fashion in making the world a better place. Along with the multiple university lectures, GATF has participated in lecture series and conferences including the Net Impact Lecture series and the Start’s With You (SWU) conference in Sao Paolo Brazil. GATF is an active participant in the Net Impact lecture series. On May 13th, 2010, GATF founders Domenica Peterson and Grant Ennis joined Heather Franzese of Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA) and Meghan Connolly Haupt of C5 Jewelry Company for a panel discussion titled “Ethical Supply Chains in Luxury Goods: Exciting, Green and Fabulous“ in San Francisco. The four speakers discussed sustainable supply chain complexities and the challenges of starting ethical fashion companies. Participants included apparel industry professionals as well as professionals from all industries interested in sustainability.


GATF presented at the Starts With You Global Sustainability Symposium in Sao Paolo Brazil the weekend of October 9-11, 2010. At SWU, GATF connected with other specialists, thinkers, politicians, businesspeople and representatives of NGOs to discuss the main themes of sustainability that affect the world in the 21st century. This Concert-Symposium featured 60 high profile bands including Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, Os Mutantes, Pixies, Rage Against the Machine, Regina Spektor and many more.

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 cre-

ated 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.



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.

Video Series and YouTube Channel

GATF will upload videos on our YouTube channel about ethical fashion. These will include interviews with those working in the ethical fashion industry, spotlights on leaders, and latest news on innovation in the field.

How-To Guides

On our website, GATF will provide “How To” manuals on ethical fashion written by experts in the field.


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.

Blog, Twitter, and Facebook

Our team will actively update our blog, Facebook, and twitter to keep the public in the loop. In 2011, we want to create a community of 5,000 advocates on Facebook interacting with us and telling their story. We will encourage people to come on our Facebook and post a question/comment so the rest of the community and or GATF can post answers.

Presentations and Lectures at international conferences and Lecture Series • San Francisco EcoTuesday • SF Fashion and Merchants Alliance • Many more

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 personal 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 per-

sonalities 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.

Technical Assistance

Global Action Through Fashion provides technical assistance that the fashion industry can rely on for high- quality information services for improving labor and environmental practices.



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.




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.


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.

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

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.



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.

shipping business in Norway and USA for 25 years, he moved to the SF Bay area in 2006. Morten now works with several start-up companies in the area and invested recently in the all-organic restaurant Gather Restaurant in downtown Berkeley.

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.

He is also involved in a project in Nicaragua helping the rural poor. Through his network and business experience, Morten hopes to add support to the business perspective of Global Action Through Fashion.

Connie Ulasewicz, San Francisco State University (Board Chair)

Tierra Del Forte is Senior Manager of Business Development, Apparel, and Textiles at Fair Trade USA and brings over a decade of apparel industry experience to our board. Tierra spent the early years of her career in New York, working for the denim brands Mudd Jeans and Younique Clothing. During this time, Tierra developed an awareness of the destructive impact that the apparel industry has on the environment and the people who make the clothes. This awareness motivated her to launch Del Forte Denim Inc. — a line of premium denim made from 100% certified organic cotton and produced under ethical conditions in the USA. In 2009, Tierra joined Fair Trade USA to help launch the Fair Trade CertifiedTM Apparel and Linens pilot program.

Connie Ulasewicz is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University in Apparel Design and Merchandising. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, community engaged scholarship and extending the lifecycle of sewn products. She is also co- author of the 2008 book Sustainable Fashion Why Now, and speaks at conferences and trade shows to spread the word. Connie has over 25 years of garment industry experience managing production, merchandising, and sales. She is a founding member of ESRAB, Educators for Social Responsibility in Apparel, and people Wear SF, a Bay Area nonprofit sewn product industry association. Dr. Ulasewicz earned her BS in Education/ Clothing and Textiles at Syracuse University, her MS in Historic Textiles at the University of Maryland, and her PhD in Human Development at Fielding Graduate University.

Morten Simonsen, Entrepreneur Morten Simonsen earned his MSc in Trondheim, Norway before completing his MBA from Denver University in 1982. After working in the


Tierra Del Forte, Fair Trade USA

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.



2010 FINANCES 4%

went to the IRS or legal costs.


or $1,206 was spent on transportation over the course of the year. This includes the metro, the bus, and gasoline for the various vehicles used to transport materials, move offices, and get to meetings.


went towards office rent.


went towards administrative costs.



or $4,250 went to payroll, an insignificant number given the amount of work accomplished. As one can see, little or no remuneration was paid to the staff for their work this year.


went directly into programs.



2011 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 develop ment community and more


• Become a full-time writer for GATF working our publications, research, news or blogs • Become a non-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 informational assistance to fashion consumers, manufacturers, and companies in the United States, but we do not work alone. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the partnership of a visionary community of donors who give to support the growth of ethical fashion. Millions of people — from garment workers in the developing world to local US industry — will share the benefits. As an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations to GATF are tax deductible. Here are some of the ways you can give to the future of Ethical Fashion:


Become an Annual Sponsor:

• $25,000 and up - Platinum Sponsors • $10,000 and up-GoldSponsors • $5,000 and up-SilverSponsors • $1,000 and up-BronzeSponsors • $100 and up - Friend Sponsors To learn more about sponsorship benefits visit our website at:

Become a Project Sponsor

$100,000 - Help us grow this year. This number includes all of the operating costs for our organization for one year. $10,000 - Bring the industry together in the same room for the first time and take action to create a unified movement to make the fashion industry better. This money will go toward our international conference, aimed for Fall 2011. $5,000 - Support the Bay Area’s largest and most fun Ethical Fashion experience. Be the sponsor of our 2011 Bay Area Ethical Fashion Night. $4,000 - Sponsor a space for us to do our work and host workshops and lectures.

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 Academy of Art University Adina Energy Beverages Adria Peterson Aida Peterson Alex Simonsen Alter Eco Andrea Cesar Blank Verse Jewelry Bonnie Greenberg Bonnie Loyd Branch California College of the Arts Caitlin Bristol Caroline Fantozzi Casey Mixter Catarina Bronstein Catherine Markman Celestyna Brozek Charles Raub Christina Espinosa Christine Hilberg Christy Gerhart Coco Eco Magazine Cordes Foundation David and Susan Fetcho Debbie Berryhill Diane Lerman Dorothy Compeau Earthsite Eco Citizen Eco Salon Ecofabulous Escama Studio Fairhills Wine Fair Trade USA Friends of Hue Foundation Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Geraldine Rushton Gitika Mohta Green by Design

Hub Bay Area Hunter Tanaous Indigenous Designs James Pollard James Toney III Janet Labberton Jean-Marie Stratigos Jeffrey Perlstein Jennifer Biringer Jerry Hildebrand Jessica Welborn John Ruszel Josh Friedman Joy Mackay Kathryn Tanis Kirk E. Peterson & Associates Kirk Cruikshank Kudra Kalema Lane Becker Laura Lambrecht Lessa Manotti Linda Loudermilk Love Culture Mannequin Madness Marco vangelisti Mark Leibowitz Pictures Mate Veza Medium Reality Melissa Pongtratic Meredith Willa Michael Barlow Michele Gates and Fashionbla Fun Michelle Forshner Najia Khan Naomi Feger Neil Goetz Net Impact Nila Salinas Oak and Co PACT Underwear

Peery Foundation Peter Labberton Platinum Dirt Rainforest Eco Raphael Peterson Raub Foundation Rex Righetti Rickshaw Bagworks Robert Reynolds Rowena Ritchie Ruth Vitale San Francisco State University Sallumeh Torabian Schauleh Sahba SF Indie Fashion Sherry Koyama Spencer Ton Sarah Guldenbrein & House Stacy Scott Catering Stewart + Brown Stockton 2020 Stu Newton SWU (Starts With You) Tatyana Dorokhova Teens Turning Green TempleBar The Designer Lab The Hub SoMa The Ki The UpToYouToo Foundation Tony Glorioso and Brand 46 University of the Pacific Vagadu VeeV Vie PR and Showrooms Vishaka Henrietta Whitney Ferris William Reeves



“ The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.” • Ross Perot

Donate and Get Involved! As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations to Global Action Through Fashion are tax deductible. (510) 693-5453

Make checks out to: Global Action Through Fashion 5253 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618

Annual Report  

Annual Report

Annual Report  

Annual Report