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SUSTAINABLE

ECO-CHIC IS OH-SO EASY

FEATURING

THE NEW LUXURY DESIGNERS: DULL IS OUT, DARING IS IN RISE AGAINST THE GRAIN ACTIVATE INTERACTIVITY ON THE iPAD!

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CONTENTS

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Happy 2nd birthday to us!

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E-MAGINE THE FUTURE e-Readers versus books

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THE NEW LUXURY Aesthetic vision meets viable production

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ECO-PHILE DESIGNER PROFILE Sustainable style that’s anything but boring

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{R}EVOLUTION APPAREL The search for versatility and sustainability

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FINDERS KEEPERS Recycled images become works of art

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PIECES OF ME (EDITORIAL) Vegan, cruelty-free beauty

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PUNK ROCK ACTIVISM Rise Against takes a stand for LGBTQ youth

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TIME TO GET PUNKY Punky style makes vintage shopping modern

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BLOSSOM (EDITORIAL) Vintage elegance

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SUSTAINING FASHION’S NEW MOVEMENT Niche market to permanent trend?

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ECHOED SPACE (EDITORIAL) Beginning in reality, ending in a dream


IN THIS ISSUE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hayley Maybury CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Bechard MARKETING & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Jamall Oluokun ADVERTISING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Shomari Miller FASHION EDITOR & COPY EDITOR Jessica Young WEB DEVELOPER Jason DePeaux INTERACTIVE MEDIA DESIGNER Lucy Nersesian INTERNS Sarah Scolaro social media Stephanie Wilcinski graphic design

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alyssa Davis Nora Elizabeth Sofia Gilligan Lee Hershey Danielle Sipple Adia Trischler Jessica Young Lindsay Zgonina GUEST BLOGGERS The Jealous Curator Directory B CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/ PHOTOGRAPHERS Iga Drobisz Lydia Hansen Karina A Jønson Madeleine Lithvall Ari Magg Alvin Nguyen Xi Sinsong Andreas Waldschütz

ON THE COVER Photographed by ALVIN NGUYEN Styling ALVIN STILLWELL (CELESTINE) Hair by NIKO WEDDLE Makeup by ERIN SKIPLEY For OCC Model BRITTANY MCPHEE (ELITE | HEFFNER) Brittany wears shirt & pants by PRAIRIE UNDERGROUND and vintage hat from BEN THANH MARKET (SAIGON)

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FROM THE EDITOR HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY TO US!

Woah! Another year has passed and it feels like just yesterday that the Papercut team sat down to have our first meeting. When we first started this publication, we always had very high expectations for its success. After two years and 19 issues, it’s crazy to see how far we’ve come. We get so much love and support from our readers. It’s so appreciated and keeps us inspired. Keep sending us your feedback. It helps us tremendously, and it makes you part of our team! You, our readers, are the reason we continue on. Our goal for Papercut Magazine is always to provide you with the most up-and-coming talent and news throughout the creative world. Because of all the amazing creative talent out there, and their dedication to our magazine, we have been able to succeed. Every other month we send out an insane idea for an open-call shoot, and these geniuses never cease to amaze us! We love keeping things fresh and new and it’s wonderful to know that they are right there with us. We are so thankful! For this issue, we focus on what is becoming quite a movement for our generation: Sustainability. Many times, “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” often is associated with earthy, crunchy, bland and boring. These assumptions could not be further from the truth! With more and more people looking for more sustainable solutions in their everyday life, it’s surprising that sustainable clothing companies have not made a bigger splash onto the scene. Nora Gilligan gives us more insight into the higher end eco-fashion landscape and reveals which companies are taking action in her “The New Luxury” article. We also get to meet a band that not only has a passion for punk rock, but who also has a passion for making a difference. Danielle Sipple introduces you to the influential members of Rise Against. Oh and did I mention one of the most exciting things about this issue?! We now have an interactive edition available for purchase on the iTunes store!! See behind the scenes videos, popup slideshows and different photo selections from our amazing editorials! You can even watch me tell you about this issue! I think I speak for myself and the rest of the Papercut team, when I say how fantastic this experience has been. It’s incredible to think of all the interesting people we have met and projects we have worked on, from London to L.A.. Some of our closest friends have become the people who have submitted to our magazine. Perhaps because we have such an affection for creative art, and those who create it! Again, many thanks to all of you who have supported and helped grow our magazine. We look forward to continually bringing you the publication that you love to read and that we love to put together. Two years down and many more to go! Happy Birthday Papercut!!! xx

PS: Make sure to purchase the digital edition for the iPad! If you don’t, you are truly missing out! 4

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E-MAGINE THE FUTURE E-READERS VERSUS BOOKS. Written by ALYSSA DAVIS Imagine twenty years from now: the e-Reader takes over. Having the paper delivered to front doors is a thing of the past; libraries are comparable to museums with books more like artifacts than actual products with a purpose and one would be fooled if they ever see a kid lugging around a heavy backpack overstuffed with textbooks. These premonitions aren’t far off as universities have already begun replacing textbooks with the Kindle, making it not only convenient but an affordable alternative to print material. Most of us are aware of the hype surrounding e-Readers and realize that they’re part of a technological development that forgoes the nuisance of carrying books. However, our precious e-Readers are producing more than weightless novels. They hold the power to either have a positive impact on the eco-system as a sustainable method of reading or, on the contrary, let loose massive electronic waste and intrusive consumer tracking systems. Fortunately, this power lies in reach of the user. Read on to find out how one can responsibly use an e-Reader in a sustainable fashion and lessen the potential negative implications. READERS MAKE THE SHIFT Statistics show that readers are all aboard the e-book train. Amazon announced Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more books for the Kindle than print books—including hardcover and paperback—combined. Since last year, for example, for every 100 print books that were sold on Amazon.com, the site sold 105 Kindle e-books. The numbers have only grown from there. For a better visual understanding, check out the following graph (right) that forecasts e-books as a percentage of total books sold (source: David Houle) which reveals how dramatically the print versus e-Reader mentality will shift over the next decade. ADOPTION OF E-READERS INTO SOCIETY AND SCHOOLS Anyone who has ever bought a college book knows that they are excessively 6

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overpriced. New editions are published almost every year, leaving a student’s wallet dry, as they maybe get $30 back for returning over $500 worth of textbooks. On the second hand, numerous college students get by in several courses with study groups, professors’ lectures and lecture notes while textbooks are left behind. For many it’s not that they don’t want to buy textbooks, it’s the expensive price tag that breaks the deal. If only there was an inexpensive alternative. Low and behold, the e-book! “They’re more convenient, interactive and so much better for the environment than paper books. I don’t see why we should buy paperbacks ever again,” says Connor Battin, an English major from West Virginia University. He describes how a college friend’s biology textbook was made more interactive by being put on the Internet. “It [is] much better for the students to learn from and it [is] a lot cheaper. Instead of paying $140 for a biology book, students [are] paying $50.” Being able to purchase books for the e-Reader would not only cut the cost but also the weight. College students have crazy schedules including back-to-back classes or part-time jobs in between. Who has time to make multiple trips back to the dorm room to switch out books? From my own college experience, I recall having to pick and choose which books are most important—that’s not the way it should be. Carrying a whole load of textbooks anywhere can 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20%

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The predicted forecast of e-books as a percentage of total books sold. (source: David Houle)

be possible and still weigh only 1-1/2 pounds with an e-Reader. MARKET RESEARCH: FRIEND OR FOE? e-Readers will also eventually have a huge impact on market research. Most e-Readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, have an antenna that allows users to instantly download new books. However, this technology also makes it possible for the device to transmit information back to the manufacturer. This can be considered a huge benefit among publishing companies who will have the ability to track how quickly readers progress through different chapters, when they skip pages and when they abandon a book—information that has never been accessible before. This information can possibly be helpful in writer’s workshops. The possibility of tracking a reader’s progress through various sections of a manuscript may be effective for use in early drafts of a story or novel. Instead of solely relying on a reader’s criticism and notes, imagine as a writer being able to answer impossible questions such as, “On which page did your readers decide to put your story away?” Yet, this breakthrough research is sure to uncover privacy issues among consumers. Are book lovers ready to have their reading tracked? “They know how fast you read because you have to click to turn the page,” says Cindy Cohn, legal director at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It knows if you skip to the end to read how it turns out.” And it’s not just what pages you read, it may also monitor where you read them. “Kindles, iPads and other e-Readers have geo-location abilities; using GPS or data from Wi-Fi and cell phone towers. It wouldn’t be difficult for the devices to track their own locations in the physical world,” says Martin Kaste of NPR. It’s hard to find out what kind of data the e-Readers are sending. Most e-book companies refer all questions about this to their posted privacy policies which can be difficult to interpret. One may think this kind of page-view tracking seems innocuous, but if the company keeps


the data long-term, the information could be used to check someone’s alibi or used as evidence in a lawsuit! ARE WE CAUSING ELECTRONIC WASTE? Upfront e-Readers look like an easy solution—eliminate paper and eliminate the destruction of forests. But it’s not quite that simple. We must also take into consideration the new ecological problems that e-Readers can cause such as electronic waste. When buying electronics are we looking for a device that will last a long time or are we spontaneously impulse buying the next best thing? The public is used to upgrading new mobile phones, iPods and now e-Readers that can unintentionally hurt Mother Nature. Buying a new e-Reader every year will give the satisfaction of having the most updated version; however, it will also significantly increase the environmental footprint and is ultimately an inefficient use of resources. THE SOLUTIONS Considering the largest part of an e-Reader’s footprint comes from its production, much of its footprint is already attached when a new e-Reader is purchased. Although that

can’t be changed, one can still reduce their e-Reader’s footprint by using it as much as possible. First of all, read as many books and magazines possible on an e-Reader instead of on paper (like how you are reading this article on Papercut Magazine’s new digital issue!) thus avoiding carbon emissions from printing new books will be successful. Try to keep an e-Reader for at least 3-4 years rather than constantly upgrading to the next model. Then, either recycle it or sell/donate it for someone else to use. Renting books, whether through the local library or through one of the online lending services now available, is a great way to make e-Reading more affordable resulting in better, greener use of e-Readers. What to do? Check if a local library provides this option. Also, explore the various lending services available online— eBookFling, BookLending and Lendle. Buy e-books from independent bookstores. In return, it will make your local economy and community stronger. That can’t be said about the local Barnes & Noble or Borders stores and certainly not about Amazon.com. Remember, social sustainability is not less important than environmental sustainability!

TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER: LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD Ask Amazon and B&N to follow Apple and disclose the carbon footprint of their e-Readers. Unlike the Apple iPad, neither the Kindle nor the Nook provides any sort of information on the carbon footprint. Thus, we have no way of knowing how eco-friendly these devices really are! Any sustainability journey begins with transparency. This is especially true when it comes to Amazon, which sells the most popular e-Reading device. For these companies to be sustainable, we’d have to know that, as a company, they have a positive, measurable impact on all stakeholders impacted by their businesses—including workers, community and the environment. In other words, there is no way to tell the difference between a good company and simply good marketing! If you own a Kindle, email Jeff Bezos (jeff@amazon.com), founder and CEO of Amazon.com, letting him know you own a Kindle and would appreciate it if Amazon discloses the Kindle’s footprint just like Apple does. If you own a Nook, write the same request to their customer service at nook@barnesandnoble.com. 7


THE NEW LUXURY

PERFECTING THE BALANCE BETWEEN AESTHETIC VISION AND VIABLE PRODUCTION. Written by NORA ELIZABETH SOFIA GILLIGAN Illustrated by MADELEINE LITHVALL Eco-conscious. Ethical. Sustainable. In the world of fashion, green terminology rarely brings to mind connotations of luxury. Often smacked with a granola reputation, it’s not easy to find brands that blend seamlessly the organic and the extravagant. As London-based designer (and Ethical Fashion Forum Innovation Award winner) Lu Flux noted in an interview with United Arab Emirates’ The National, “You tend to get put in a box as an ‘eco designer’—luxury still has to look and feel superior. The distance between those stances will break down in time, but [for now] there are stereotypes on both sides to overcome”.1 When I mentioned this to a friend who works with The JBG Companies, a Washington, D.C.-based development firm, he was surprised. JBG is committed to a corporate philosophy of “Building Smart, Thinking Green,” and prides itself on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and ENERGY STAR-certified buildings. Real estate seems to see “green” as a driving force of innovation, sans the compromise on luxury. As does the auto industry (think: Tesla), and even the food industry (think: Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and other locally-sourced fine dining). So, why isn’t high-end fashion yet following suit? Vanessa Friedman, fashion editor of the London Financial Times, thinks it’s decidedly an image thing: “Because an industry predicated not on need but desire is one that is often associated with indulgence and excess. To add a moral dimension is to invite charges of hypocrisy”.2 There are hints of a move towards more ethical high-end design, with the launch of companies like Suno (vintage textiles sourced, produced and tailored in Kenya, India, Peru and New York; sold at Barneys and Opening Ceremony) and this Oscar season’s Green Carpet Challenge (through which Italian film producer Livia Firth helped to showcase Valentino couture and a custom Lanvin gown, made respectively from recycled polyester and other eco-certified fabric). Whether or not these high-profile examples are helping to permanently soften the dividing lines between high fashion and green business practices remains to be seen, but it seems safe to say that the production, business and consumer ends of the industry are starting to feel a shift. PRODUCTION: A RETURN TO “SLOW” FASHION The standard for luxury fashion lies in the old-guard houses that have been around forever—Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Louis Vuitton et al. The price and quality of their products are obvious—but only secondary—factors to these labels’ exclusivity. Their draw first and foremost is the heritage of the brand. Hermès, for example, originated as a small, family-run saddlery. When, decades later, 1 Sims, Josh. “Top-end eco-friendly fashion is slowly becoming a reality”. The National. 8 May 2011. Accessed 11 April 2012 from http://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/fashion/top-end-eco-friendly-fashion-is-slowlybecoming-a-reality#page1. 2 Friedman, Vanessa. “Sustainable fashion: what does green mean?” Financial Times. 5 February 2012. Accessed 11 April 2012 from http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/2b27447e-11e4-11df-b6e3-00144feab49a. html#axzz1rmkv2EUZ.

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the company evolved into sales of ready-to-wear, leather handbags and silks, it managed to maintain its impeccable craftsmanship, a point of pride for the brand (as well as for any lucky Birkin or Kelly owner). Steeped in equestrian history, Hermès has a long-established reputation and modus operandi. The question then is, how do you ingrain sustainable practices in such larger-than-life, longstanding cultures? When Friedman surveyed a range of designers on their definition of sustainable fashion, she received an equal range of answers. To Gucci’s Frida Giannini, sustainability means, “Quality items that stand the test of time... a timeless handbag that you wear again and again, and can pass on.”3 To Oscar de la Renta: Sustainable fashion implies a commitment to the traditional techniques, and not just the art, of making clothes. I work today in the same way that I first learnt in the ateliers of Balenciaga and Lanvin 50 years ago. We need to ensure that the next generation of seamstresses and tailors have the skills necessary to develop clothes that are not only beautiful but extremely well made.”

While neither answer makes reference to locallysourced or organic textiles, both imply that luxury fashion has, at some level, intrinsically “sustainable” values. Without set “green” standards for the industry to aspire to, maybe one means of integrating eco-consciousness into indulgence is by starting small, returning to the artisanal roots that these haute houses were founded upon. Hermès has taken this a step further with its “Petit h” line, salvaging cutting-room scraps and defective merchandise to create intricate jewelry, crystal dumbbells and other “unidentified poetic objects”. While unlikely that the brand will give up its leathers anytime soon (and I’m not sure I’d want them to), it’s a start.4 BUSINESS: DOES “GREEN” BRING THE GREEN? In November 2007, the World Wildlife Federation-United Kingdom (WWF-UK) called for luxury companies to, “Do more to justify their value in an increasingly resourceconstrained and unequal world...to bring to life a new definition of luxury, with deeper values expressed through social and environmental excellence.” In attempting to quantify measures for the environmental, social and governance issues that such brands face, WWF-UK released “the first systematic analysis of luxury brands’ social and environmental responsibilities, performance and opportunities.”5 The report, titled Deeper Luxury – Quality and Style When the World Matters, surveyed the ten largest, publicly-traded luxury brand-owning companies 3 ibid. 4 ibid. 5 Bendell, Jem and Anthony Kleanthous. Deeper Luxury - Quality and Style When the World Matters. World Wildlife Federation-United Kingdom, November 2007. Accessed 15 April 2012 from www.wwf.org.uk/ deeperluxury.


worldwide (including Gucci, Tod’s, YSL and L’Oreal); not one ranked higher than a “grade C+”. Although Deeper Luxury received its fair share of criticism (like this), the report symbolized a time for macro-level change (or at least a time to start thinking about it). Arguably, much has changed over the last five years, and on the business end of the industry spectrum, luxury conglomerates have begun to hold their own brands responsible for green initiatives and sustainable practices. Richemont’s website, for example, highlights case studies of Cartier’s investigation into eco-friendlier fibers for production of the jeweler’s iconic red boxes, and of the energy-efficient construction of Jaeger LeCoutre’s expanded manufacturing facilities. Chief Executive Officer FrançoisHenri Pinault’s PPR Group (www.ppr.com) has taken things a bit further with the March 2011 launch of PPR HOME, an initiative tasked with bringing expertise, creativity and support to forward-thinking models of sustainability. Under PPR HOME, the company offset its 2010 global carbon dioxide emissions, and developed a comprehensive cost

model and reporting system for PUMA’s ecological footprint (the Environmental Profit and Loss account statement). 6 To redefine the question: maybe it’s not whether luxury companies are raising their social consciousness, but what the cost of sustainable practice is worth to their bottom line. Says Sergio Loro Piana, co-chairman of his family’s namesake company, in the aforementioned The National article: Sustainability is going to become more and more important in the luxury fashion market. A company like ours, which uses tons of water, lakes of water in production, has to take steps, for example. It’s not just a marketing tool. Increasingly it’s going to be part of the purchase decision for more mature consumers—especially those who have experience of wealth—because the eco story can give as much pleasure to the consumer as the product itself. And those companies that pursue it now will have a competitive advantage. The question now is whether consumers are ready to pay 6 Ahern, Mich, Paul Michon and Charlotte Judet. “PPR Group’s Sustainability Initiative PPR HOME to Set New Standard in Luxury, Sport & Lifestyle and Retail Sectors”. PPR Press Release. Paris, 21 March 2011. Accessed 18 April 2012 from http://www.ppr.com/sites/default/files/press-release/CP_PPR_HOME_03.21.2011_EN.pdf.

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extra for sustainability in luxury products when they’re already paying high prices. 7

In other words, luxury will take bigger-than-baby steps toward green business when the consumer demands it. CONSUMER DEMAND: HERALDING IN THE “NEW GUARD” OF LUXURY Sass Brown, Fashion Institute of Technology professor and author of Eco Fashion, is a proponent of “trickledown theory” as it relates to fashion. What is done at the higher-end, luxury side of the industry has the potential (and, some might argue, the responsibility) to influence mass market producers and consumers. This is seen in the way Forever 21 makes Diane von Furstenberg and 3.1 Phillip Lim available to all; it could also be a means for disseminating sustainable business practice and widening awareness of eco-conscious consumerism. But, without any standard benchmark for green, or any real tried-and-true way of measuring consumer response to actions, where do established companies start? In an essay for Three Squares Inc., writer Kristina von Hoffmann offers the following take:

sacrificing design and aesthetics. Perhaps most importantly, businesses have started to recognize promising green practices as an integral part of their long-term vision (and revenue). As PPR Group’s Pinault asserts: My deep conviction that Sustainability creates value is part of my strategic vision for PPR. Sustainability can—and must—give rise to new, highly ambitious business models and become a lever of competitiveness for our brands. PPR HOME will provide us with novel, more sustainable approaches to contribute to a better world for the long run.9

In Papercut’s first-ever issue, Fashion Going Green questioned whether eco-fashion was a passing trend, or inevitable as a new consideration for designers, consumers and the industry as a whole. Two years later, whether out of choice or necessity, it’s clear that the latter is the case. Sustainable luxury has dropped its hippy associations and reached a tipping point; for the luxury industry, the issue now becomes how—and how quickly—this is happening.

There is no LEED certification system in place for clothing. There isn’t even a true arm of the Council of Fashion Designers of America that reviews “green clothing” (though the World Wildlife Fund tried). What you have is a talented crop of up-and-coming designers whose boutique clothing lines are slowly but surely building their reputation, not only because they are made in a sustainable manner, but because they are beautiful.8

Maiyet (www.maiyet.com) is one such “up-and-comer” that, from a consumer angle, I would invest in in a heartbeat. Featured in Vogue’s March 2012 issue, and founded by genius leadership from across the business, fashion, social entrepreneurship and human rights worlds, Maiyet “partners with and sources from companies and artisans in Colombia, India, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia and Peru, and marks a return to the roots of luxury while elevating an emerging generation of master craftsmen.” The company’s philosophy creates its own definition of ethical production, revisiting the idea of artisanship as sustainable luxury and redefining consumer standards. This, maybe, is where the “new guard” of luxury fashion steps in—young designers with collections that perfect the balance between aesthetic vision and slow, sustainable production and textiles. Labels that may not yet carry the history of older, more pedigreed houses, but that match their focus to the story behind the pieces you buy, emphasizing quality in every way (typically at a slightly more affordable price point). Brands like Maiyet appeal to the eco-aware, discerning consumer, highlighting sustainability in a more obvious way than the “old guard”, while retaining the exclusivity that sets “luxury” apart from, well, everything else. SUSTAINABILITY WITH A CAPITAL “S” Although far from a comprehensive overview of luxury going green, a focus on quality, locally-sourced materials paired with expert, artisanal production is key to holding sustainable practice to luxe standards. Heightened consumer awareness has made a market for new luxury brands, that hold sustainability as a core value sans 7 Sims. 8 von Hoffmann, Kristina. “What is Eco-Fashion?” Three Squares Inc. Blog. 4 August 2011. Accessed 19 April 2012 from http://www.threesquaresinc.com/blog/food-for-thought/what-is-eco-fashion.

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9 Ahern et al.


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ECO-PHILE DESIGNER PROFILE SUSTAINABLE STYLE THAT’S ANYTHING BUT BORING. Written by JESSICA YOUNG

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BARBARA I GONGINI Aesthetic: Intellectual Neo-Goth Urbanite Provenance: Copenhagen, Denmark Collection: The Main Line (high-end), The Black Line (diffusion), Women’s Ready-To-Wear, Outerwear, Accessories Harkening a post-apocalyptic sensibility, Barbara I Gongini’s conception of sustainable fashion annihilates stereotypical earth mothers and crunchy granola types with a starkly intricate blast of androgynous, monochromatic silhouettes. Hailing from Denmark, Barbara I Gongini strives to overthrow the conventional notion of clothes and push the boundaries on contemporary style informed by Nordic cultural preferences—the merging of minimalism and complexity as one. Avant-garde and cerebral, she synthesizes inspiration from the artistic milieu of music, photography, film, etc. into the design process underscoring her collection as a continuation of the Nordic creative atmosphere. Although aesthetically informed by the intangible threads of Nordic creativity, the production of the collection is informed by earthly environmental concerns. Using mostly technical and organic textiles, Gongini manufactures her line under fair trade conditions while consistently working towards safer production processes. She discloses the percentage of sustainability for each collection, each season. Being accountable to both local and global responsibilities remains a central value in Gongini’s products. Eschewing high volume and fast growth, Gongini prefers to preserve the highest level of innovation and sustainable quality by choosing to remain exclusive among concept boutiques rather than expanding distribution and marketing through mainstream retail channels. Decidedly black and white, The Main Line SS 2012 collection plays upon the concept of deconstructed menswear and the abstraction of a simple square. Complicated by folding techniques, string attachments and zip functionalities, the simple square evolves into liquid and voluminous shapes. Focusing on negative space, SS2012 challenges the wearer to re-imagine and experiment with the garment’s spatial relationship on the body as well as in its setting. Texturally explosive, Gongini’s solid fabrics are expertly marred with distressing, shredding, twisting, draping, netting, angular offshoots and appendages. Never to fall flat, these interesting arrays of tactile techniques add yet another dimension to the conceptual experience. Photographed by KARINA A JØNSON

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GUDRUN & GUDRUN Aesthetic: Ethereal & Enveloping Country Coziness Provenance: Faroe Islands Collection: Womenswear, Menswear, Kids, Accessories, Shoes All about taking it slow Gudrun Ludvig and Gudrun Rogvadottir, the two Faroese women behind Gudrun & Gudrun, thrive on the isolation the Faroe Islands provide its inhabitants, drawing inspiration from the inherent silence and solitude. Instead of the hustle and bustle energy many creatives crave in European fashion centers; these two women infuse their knitwear with their most valued resource—time. And take their time they do. The basis of Gudrun & Gudrun is the concept of slow clothing. Every step of their clothing’s production is natural and sustainable. From the wool originating from Faroese sheep grazing on unfertilized grass; to the yarn, lambskins and fish leather harvested from food waste product; to finally the Faroese and Jordanian women (more about that later) spending hours in their houses hand knitting every single garment—the collection caters to the conscious consumer that cares about humanity, the environment and natural resources without sacrificing style. While sustainability is often linked to environmental concerns, Gudrun & Gudrun takes it a step further and incorporates social responsibility as a hallmark of their company culture. Through their own women’s empowerment project their handmade production is jointly produced by both Faroese and Jordanian women. Standing behind their conviction “that women empowerment all starts with the opportunity to earn your own money,” the two designers seek to improve the lives of women beyond their homeland by promoting the belief that everyone should be capable of fulfilling their dreams. Through this Faroese governmentsupported startup, all which is required to join the project is a previous knowledge of knitting with a commitment to quality. While earning money from day one, the women are able to knit within their homes enabling them to also fulfill their domestic duties. In exchange for their paid services, they ultimately learn to build and manage a micro-business. With “comfort, conscience, slowness and oceans of time knitted into the clothes”, Gudrun & Gudrun’s knitwear is as soothing as it is stylish. Offerings include both traditional sweaters as well as conceptual pieces that utilize various stitching techniques to infuse an impossibly tactile and texturally compelling quality. Playing on volume and sculptural sensibilities, the more directional garments are never weighty and instead imbue an airy sense, as if they could float up into the nether like heavenly clouds of spun solace. Of course, the collections are born out of simple, earth-bound inclinations whether it’s the “extreme light on the islands, from nature, old stories and daily life”. Taking in the surroundings, their SS 2012 collection spotlights a midsummer night during a 3:00 a.m. celebration with a bonfire burning bright. In contrast, the FW 2012 collection focuses on colorblocks representing different patterns of the sky during Faroese early winter mornings. Mirroring the shades of the rising sun, the colors range from grey to brown to light blue and a pale rose—a quiet time often of reflection, this is a moment one can get wrapped up in before facing the day. Photographed by LYDIA HANSEN & ARI MAGG 16

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PELT Aesthetic: Sumptuous Sculptural Art Provenance: Brooklyn, New York Collection: Made-To-Order Knitwear Visually demanding, PELT is both at once attentioncommanding and protective as its oversized knots and bobbles create a sort of sculptural shield over the wearer. A project of knitwear designer and fiber artist, Julia Ramsey, PELT seeks to reclaim the dialogue between human form and animal fiber lost in mainstream manufacturing. Upon receiving a BS and MS degree in Knitted Textile Design from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, Ramsey has a heavy history in knitwear from apprenticing with hand-knitter, Kaffe Fassett in London to designing within the cashmere industry for big-name brands such as Neiman Marcus and Holt Renfrew. With the desire to strike out in a more artisanal direction, Ramsey’s custom knitwear celebrates handwork, craftsmanship, raw materials and the techniques used to transform them. Synonymous with skin, hide, fleece, coat and fur, PELT is an experiment in “material estrangement”. Beginning with raw, un-spun sheep’s wool, the garments—ranging from an oversized scarf and outerwear to an enveloping evening gown—stand on their own, apart from the figure. In a dialogue between the wearer and the animal, an interdependent yet autonomous relationship is established reminiscent of the primitive notions of clothing. Although meant to cover and serve the body, the integrity of the material is preserved through minimally processed fibers and Ramsey’s handwork techniques retain its natural independence. Without masking the material’s origins or complying with the contours of the body, each piece is a second skin, a source of comfort and temporary shelter—a reminder of the animal’s gift to the human wearer. Super soft, dense and exceedingly warm, the collection arises from 100% organic superfine merino wool roving and superfine merino fleece to take center stage as an artful ode to the mutual respect between man and animal of traditions past. Photographed by XI SINSONG

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{R}EVOLUTION APPAREL: THE SEARCH FOR VERSATILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY Written by LEE HERSHEY

An idea to create a sustainable fashion business originated with two girls both traveling and living in Australia during 2008. Shannon Whitehead and Kristin Glenn met while they both worked as bartenders. Glenn walked into Whitehead’s bar and they instantly struck up a friendship. It started off simply enough: sketchbooks full of designs, a smattering of talks and ideas and a copy of Kathleen Fasanella’s designer-bible, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. Their adventures transformed into shared ideas as they traveled through developing countries. Since they were constantly on the go and living out of a suitcase there was no more room for consumerism. As they packed for South America, they realized how much they needed versatile garments that reduced quantity. This experience led to the Versalette, designed to allow minimalists and travelers live with less. The multi-functional dress meshed with their own personal philosophies to supply products that are recycled and locally-made. “We learned that we can live happily with less,” Glenn says, recounting her travels. “Our backpacks taught us that. We learned that the world at large does not live like 24

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we do—and we can’t see a reason why SUV’s and walk-in closets need to be a part of our lives back home. Put simply, we realized there are aspects of life that are more important than the newest pair of jeans or the coolest phone.” This philosophy developed into {r}evolution apparel. Glenn and Whitehead decided to make it a call-for-action: a company which incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions and also one that creates environmentally friendly products. Moreover, they want to develop a company that could possibly resolve an aspect of consumerism which infests the fashion business. Why, they asked, do we need so many articles of clothing? So, Glenn and Whitehead proposed to simplify the needs of consumers by offering a practical product that offers versatility as well as a guilt-free conscience regarding its production. SEARCHING FOR SUSTAINABILITY Searching for sustainable business practices in the fashion industry led Glenn and Whitehead to travel to Central America where they explored the challenges of incorporating sustainability into a fashion garment. Sustainability and minimalism, they felt, are an oft-


talked about subject in the fashion industry but seldom acted upon. Thus, the designers were determined to create a business dedicated to cutting down on chemical use, utilized fair-trade practices and, in the long-term, benefits the environment rather than deplete it. Across countries and continents, the pair visited American farmers in Texas, an organic cotton cooperative in Nicaragua, they interviewed professors and experts within the field of sustainability and researched recycled fabrics and alternative textiles. In Central America, they started their journey with the desire to research what they needed for their business and bring back fair-trade fashion items. While exploring Nicaragua, they discovered that working with overseas suppliers adds an extra challenge that they were not yet ready to take on as “first-timers.” Methods to sustain a sustainable company are fraught with difficulties. Glenn says, “We love any business that is genuinely trying to make a difference in their corporate social responsibility. We realize that you can’t ‘do it all’ and it’s all about continually setting intentions to better business policies (and following through). There are over seven billion people and we all get dressed every morning—this is why fashion’s impact is so huge and important.” One of the compromises {r}evolution apparel faces is the opportunity to go global with their product and maintain their standards as a sustainable company. From a sustainable standpoint, “it doesn’t make much sense,” Glenn says. “We have to compromise sometimes and live with the fact that we aren’t ‘zero waste’ and our company still has an environmental footprint. We’re always looking at different ways to work on that.” Conflicts in the creation of the business crop up from time-to-time testing their sustainability; however, the designers search for the best solutions while remaining faithful to their philosophy as well as being cost-efficient. Typifying this conflict is when the designers were confronted with the packaging and shipping of their Versalette debut to 800 backers and pre-sale customers. Considering that packaging creates a lot of waste after initial use, the designers detail on their blog the challenges of utilizing biodegradable and recycled packaging all made in the USA.. Forget paper thank-you notes; pre-sale customers received appreciation via e-cards to save paper. Most companies just stop with the sustainable product. But {r}evolution apparel makes the biggest impact through every means possible. MADE IN THE USA Not only will “Made in the USA” affect the quality of the clothing, it will determine budget costs and staying true to the mission behind {r}evolution apparel. Starting a company—furthermore, one that practices sustainability— is a noble and difficult process. At first, contacting people in the fashion industry often resulted in unreturned phone calls or emails. “We met a lot of dead ends—relationships that didn’t last with suppliers and the like on that path!” Many industry people tended to be closed-off about their suppliers but they managed to find others sources that were willing to help. Since neither had studied fashion, they worked doubly hard to understand the business while incorporating sustainable practices. However, they consider this lack of background a good thing. Glenn notes, “We were able to think outside the box of what’s possible in terms of our line as a whole.”

Opportunity led them to North Carolina, where the state is trying to revive the textile industry. Chances are that if you purchase clothing made in the USA, North Carolina is where it came from. The two linked up with SustainU to work with their private label. The organization helped set up their supply chain. {r}evolution apparel had difficulty at the start sourcing and finding a fabric and production method that they believed in from an environmental and ethical standpoint. In North Carolina they discovered a textile mill that could help them achieve their objective of “locally made in the USA.” The yarn is spun, knitted into fabric and sent to a sewing factory all within a 200-mile radius. They made a video of their trip and interviewed people along the way learning about how recycled fabrics are developed and how the drawstrings are hand-dyed with compostable dyes. The trip also refined and answered some of their questions and decisions. For example: Is it better to print the labels on the pieces or to hire someone to embroider them on with organic twill tape? Furthermore, creating American jobs leads to a very real trickle-down effect in the economy. But it is also important for sustainability reasons. The more “local” products one buys, the smaller the carbon footprint and a higher percentage of that money goes back to the economy. THE VERSALETTE The Versalette, the creators say, “gives us a platform for starting a discussion about the way we consume (and throw away) our clothing. The design process involves brainstorming, testing, sewing, editing and finally enlisting outside help and opinions.” {r}evolution apparel aims to “create the ideal wardrobe for women like us looking to simplify our lives, reduce our footprint and look damn good in the process.” With that in mind, the Versalette, a multi-functional piece that can be worn 15 different ways—from various dress styles, a shirt to a skirt, to a scarf, purse or headscarf. The Versalette along with the rest of the collection are made in the USA from 50% recycled cotton (recycled from cutting-room floors of sewing shops) and 50% recycled water bottles (PET). The debut collection aspires to offer 10 pieces later in 2012. Future pieces in the collection include: a maxi dress that can also be worn as a short or long skirt, a pair of pants that can be worn in four different ways and a vest/tank that can be converted into several looks. The design process largely constitutes “lots of trial and error,” says co-founder Kristen Glenn as {r}evolution apparel sought ways to create the most wearable possibilities from a single garment. Still in its early stages, {r}evolution apparel is planning its fall collection before they move on to anything else. For the future, they want to make more sustainable impacts on fashion in different ways and are developing plans towards that. For example, they definitely would like to work on influencing consumers to think twice about their shopping habits. KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN To jumpstart their business, the designers looked to Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced fund raising platform that has helped aspiring businesses and other creatives raise over $75 million dollars in crowd-sourced capital. Historically, only 44% of Kickstarter projects achieve fully-funded status (only fully funded projects gain access 25


to the funds). Luckily for {r}evolution apparel, they led a successful campaign from the outset raking in $2,000 in their first eight hours of launching on Thursday, November 17, 2011, and then reaching 49% of their $20,000 goal within five days. They successfully reached their goal on December 22—only fourteen days after getting started on Kickstarter. At the time this article was written, they raised $64,246 to fund their business with 796 backers. THE PHILOSOPHY OF SHARING The Kickstarter campaign highlights their communitybased philosophy to engage their supporters. Since {r}evolution apparel originated as a blog, fans championed the two designers throughout the years of business planning and development. That shared enthusiasm remains strong and is continually growing as more and more learn about {r}evolution apparel. The designers continue to blog about the process. They feel accountability to their followers to disclose about the business even on the frustrating or grimmer days. Their online community offered an outlet for them not only to share but to engage their audience, inviting participation in the design process and encouraging photo submissions of customers modeling the Versalette.

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The designers invite followers to read the blog, comment, suggest, continue to back them in their campaign and join Profit Share—another method to raise money (interested investors can email info@revolutionapparel. me). The designers promise to keep investors informed about other investing opportunities available as well as their business development. Stemming from their original name, All of Us Revolution, the business maintains a communal mind and states, “We created All of Us to share our journey as we take off on a global adventure to start a sociallysustainable business. But it’s not just about the two of us; it’s about ALL of us. We know there are others out there who want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves or the corporation we work for…share the differences you’re making too. This is a place for ‘All of Us.’” All it took was two girls with similar passions who love to travel. Combining their fashion interests, beliefs in sustainability and minimalism, they carved out an authentic niche in the apparel industry. From the yarn to the employees to the packaging your Versalette arrives in, {r}evolution apparel proves sustainability is a possibility. www.revolutionapparel.me


eco-sustainable swimwear with stretch

available at Kaight 83 Orchard Street NYC www.kaightnyc.com or at www.shopcalaossidiana.com 27 view more info on our sustainable philosophy www.shopcalaossidiana.com/sustainability.html


FINDERS KEEPERS

ARTIST JAVIER PIÑÓN RECYCLES FOUND IMAGES INTO NEW WORKS OF ART. Written by THE JEALOUS CURATOR

There are a lot of found-imagery-collage artists out there but few do it as well as Brooklyn-based artist Javier Piñón. He finds images from days gone by and using his trusty scissors, makes them his own. Seriously, cowboys riding chairs and swinging on chandeliers? Sexy, snakey pin-ups? Yes, I love them all. He had me at “howdy” the first time I saw his cowboy series and with a little more digging I found (pun intended) his super sassy, vintage Medusas. I can’t decide which I adore more so you’re getting a sampling of both! www.javierpinon.com

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PIECES OF ME Photography by ALVIN NGUYEN Hair by NIKO WEDDLE Makeup by ERIN SKIPLEY for OCC www.occmakeup.com Model TEELA LAROUX (TCM)

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WANT THE LATEST IN FASHION, ART, CULTURE & NEWS? DON’T FORGET TO VISIT US ON THE WEB

WWW.PAPERCUTMAG.COM

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PUNK ROCK ACTIVISM RISE AGAINST TAKES A STAND FOR LGBTQ YOUTH. Written by DANIELLE SIPPLE

Punk rock music has always been definitively political. The platform of this specific musical genre is generally a calling to arms for disenfranchised communities around the world. The structure of punk has gone through many evolutionary changes, but the most influential impact continues to be the lyrics of anthem-based songs. Chicago-based punk rock group Rise Against has carried the torch of political activism in all of its songs since the very beginning. Rise Against started in Chicago, Illinois. The initial members of this four-piece band bonded over similar political values: animal rights, deforestation, climate change as well as support for presidential candidates. All of these values merged effortlessly with their mutual interest in punk rock. The most recent band line-up has the same connection with their internal band politics. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim Mcllarth, lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe, and drummer Brandon Barnes all aligned themselves with the animal-rights group PETA and three of the core members adopted hardcore straightedge lifestyles. In 2011, the band chose to align themselves musically with the It Gets Better project. Starting in the fall of 2010, this grassroots campaign is a direct response to the increasing rate of LGBTQ teen suicides. The project promotes the basic ideology that life does get better as long as you stay alive. The It Gets Better project carries this powerful message across the Internet to many youth as a beacon of solidarity in the struggles of growing up. Tim Mcllarth has commented that rock bands often do not address the issue of bullying in any of their music. He also comments on the fact that rock, with its ubiquitous testosterone undertones, can perpetuate the spread of homophobia. The rampant spread of homophobia is a pressing topic that Rise Against felt the need to address

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in their music. Inspired by the It Gets Better project along with the strong musical platform that Rise Against can command, a collaboration seemed like a natural merging of similar ideals. The band wrote and recorded the song ‘’Make It Stop (September’s Children)”. The song details the struggle that a young LGBTQ youth goes through with incessant bullying from classmates. The song’s chorus calls for a change to the treatment of these youth and creates an audiobased memorial for specific youth that took their lives. When Mcllarth calls out the names of five LGBTQ youth

STRAYING FROM THEIR NORMAL POLITICAL PLATFORMS, RISE AGAINST TOOK A STANCE AGAINST BULLYING IN A MUCH STRONGER WAY THAN MOST OF THE MUSICAL COMMUNITY. who’ve taken their lives along with their ages, the effect is spine chilling. The music video for “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” conveys the dire reality of the effects of bullying on LGBTQ youth. Depicting their lives, the video shows the persistently volatile climate that LGBTQ youth can experience in high school on a daily basis. Each is driven to a ledge where they are convinced that ending their lives is the only way to stop the violence. Rise Against carries the emotional topic with their musical energy to express equal parts anger towards the bullying and tenderness to the ones experiencing it. Incorporating elements of submitted videos by youth around the country giving words of encouragement to those feeling pain, the video ends positively with each individual’s revelation of the full life they have ahead of them if only they stay alive. Straying from their normal political platforms, Rise Against took a stance against bullying in a much

stronger way than most of the musical community. Their determination to use their ability to reach their fans in a positive format around this extremely important topic shows the loyal connection that the band carries to the political climate of the nation. In 2009, the band’s first single “Ready to Fall” from their fourth album The Sufferer and the Witness addresses environmental issues including climate change and deforestation. Their activism is effortless in their music. All parts in the creation of “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” reflects this, from the fan-based video snippets, to calling out youth that are no longer alive, to the fact that the whole video was filmed in the high school that Mcllarth attended in Illinois. The attention to detail that Rise Against drives into their activism allows them to carry the tender undertones with fervent intensity. Rise Against never fails to carry this ferocity in all of their albums. Their tender attacks can off-set some into thinking their music is lacking in true political content but those who dissent are a bit off track in this case. Since the release of their first album The Unraveling in 2001 to their most recent release Endgame in 2011, Rise Against taps into the temperature of the political climate and responds with relevant commentary. In 2004, they took part in Punk Voter to help raise money for the John Kerry presidential campaign. In 2008, they fully endorsed Barack Obama for president. When musicians take a stance for what they believe in, this can bleed into their fans. Rise Against creates a space for their fans to find their own voices in political situations. Despite their growing mainstream notoriety, Rise Against pushes itself musically and politically to stay true to its roots. Recently they recorded a remake of Bob Dylan’s tragic song “Ballad of Hollis Brown”. This song depicts the hard fall of a small-land


farmer and the eventual murdersuicide of his family in hopelessness. Rise Against recognized the need to comment on the fact that small-land farmers were losing their land and homes due to the economic depression. Rise Against is considered part of the mainstream sector of punk rock music. They headline national tours and sell out large venues. The band signed with Geffen/DGC/ Interscope after being represented by independent labels. Although they are subject to mainstream label characteristics, somehow Rise Against maintains the freedom to curate their sound and their musical messages. They are lucky in this regard but their motivation to maintain their band’s integrity is always a driving factor. Rise Against shows no signs of slowing down. On the business side of the industry, they are about to embark on a 2012 tour that will pull into major cities around the US. They released their sixth album last year. Their latest lineup is some of their strongest music to date. Still, the most powerful current in their entire group is the political commentary that they never fail to carry. The need to integrate their beliefs and views into music is the main connector to their fan base. A solid political tether that is both angry and educating can be the strongest change of all. Rise Against is this and more.

VICTORIA MORSE (VICTORIAMORSE.NET)

BRENNAN SCHNELL (WWW.EASTSCENE.COM)

BRENNAN SCHNELL (WWW.EASTSCENE.COM)

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TIME TO GET PUNKY PUNKY STYLE MAKES VINTAGE SHOPPING MODERN. Written by DIRECTORY B

TOP LEFT Punky (a.k.a. Amy Lynn Chase) with her vintage shop, The Haberdash; TOP RIGHT & OPPOSITE shoppers browse each others closets at a Swapaholics party.

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Punky (a.k.a. Amy Lynn Chase) is a local celebrity in the Boston area—not only for her addictive blog, Punky Style (www.punkystyle.com), but also for founding America’s very first mobile vintage shop, The Haberdash. Since 2009, Punky has been hitting the streets (think festivals, private parties, open-air markets) with her silver Bellwood trailer filled to the brim with gems she’s uncovered while rummaging through estate sales, thrift stores and yard sales. Her recently redesigned blog showcases many of her delightful finds (a teaser for many of us during the colder months) as well as a ton of useful DIYs—hello cute flower crowns, chalk-pastel hair coloring, party garlands, ring displays, tie-dye tips and more! As if her bad-ass traveling shop (and impeccable style) wasn’t enough, she also co-founded an event company, The Swapaholics, with friend Melissa Massello from Shoestring Magazine. What on earth is a Swapaholic? Under the ageold belief that one woman’s barely worn dress is another’s new go-to, Punky and Melissa co-host parties where people get to do what many of us have always wanted—shop each other’s closets! Teaming up with companies like Goodwill, Lulus and ModCloth, they’ve hosted countless parties across the country—and participants show up in droves, armed with bags of pieces they no longer need. What a wonderful way to re-use and re-purpose! The best part? Being able to check out how the new owners rock their finds, many of which can be found on The Swapaholic’s blog (www.theswapaholics.com).


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BLOSSOM Photography & styling by IGA DROBISZ Model ALBE (TUNE MANAGEMENT) White dress (as seen on page 44) by MARCEL OSTERTAG Remaining wardrobe consists of vintage pieces

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SUSTAINING FASHION’S NEW MOVEMENT CAN THIS NICHE MARKET BECOME A PERMANENT TREND? Written by LINDSAY ZGONINA When you hear the term “sustainable fashion”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, I think of “hippie” types wearing hemp and making tie-dyed maxi skirts and rebelling against the fashion status quo. Okay, so maybe this idea of “sustainability” is a stereotype that has been shaped by the socioeconomic factors that I have been exposed to and not exactly an accurate definition of the phrase. But in a sense my idea does hold some truth. Hippies were a large part of the sustainability movement at one point in history, natural fibers such as hemp are sustainable materials, and tie-dying your own maxi skirt with eco-friendly dyes is a sustainable method of production. But fashion sustainability is about more than just being one with the Mother Earth while attending a sit-in for world peace. This new “it” trend has evolved since the days of the hippies. Its appeal has spread to a much larger demographic of people, all with different motives regarding the subject. And it seems apparent that there is a direct correlation between the state of our nation’s economy and the popularity of sustainable fashion. However, even amongst all the renewed interest surrounding this topic, one can only wonder if sustainability can really “sustain” a permanent place in the consumer marketplace this time around.

EVEN AMONGST ALL THE RENEWED INTEREST SURROUNDING THIS TOPIC, ONE CAN ONLY WONDER IF SUSTAINABILITY CAN REALLY “SUSTAIN” A PERMANENT PLACE IN THE CONSUMER MARKETPLACE THIS TIME AROUND. To really understand the sustainability movement, it’s important to first define it. If you were to look up the definition of sustainability, it would read, “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged”, according to “Merriam-Webster”. But that still doesn’t give a good indication as to what is driving this trend. In the face of hard economic times, the facets of sustainability that have really taken a front row seat are those that help stretch a dollar and boost our local economies. It was no accident that secondhand stores suddenly surged in popularity over the past few years. Fashionistas had to get creative when their bank accounts took a hit during the recession and took to thrifting, a sustainable practice, as their new form of retail therapy. From thrifting came repurposing, or up-cycling, which is taking a garment already in existence and giving it a facelift of sorts to make it into something totally new. And is it even necessary to discuss the DIY websites that have sprouted like weeds all over the Internet, a certain pin board site in particular, which shall remain unnamed? As people are discovering

new ways to create fashion from what already exists, they are networking through social media and sharing their ideas with others. And so, sustainable fashion has gone viral. It goes without saying that the motives behind the new sustainability movement are less focused on the environmental benefits and more on its financial assets. But although the sustainable factor may seem like just a nice perk, could it actually make consumers more aware of the presence of sustainable fashion in the commercial market and the importance of eco-fashion as it pertains to our environment? Will it help to cement a permanent place for sustainable fashion in the future? Maybe. But there are still other factors to consider. Sustainable fashion is still sort of a niche market in the consumer marketplace, appealing to those who are socially and environmentally aware and concerned with reducing their carbon footprint. It’s not easily accessible, although that seems to be changing as more and more brands and retailers are beginning to offer materials such as organic cotton in their collections and other eco-friendly benefits. But sustainable fashion for the most part still has to be sought out by the consumer. It is not available in every store by every brand. And it often comes with a hefty price tag. In order to avoid commercializing a product and succumbing to harmful production practices which would compromise the integrity of sustainable products, many designers of eco-fashion have chosen to limit the size of their production. This means that many sustainable products and brands are being produced at the hands of a small staff often doing labor-intensive work, yielding higher prices for consumers. But for advocates of sustainability, the higher prices aren’t a deterrent. In fact, by paying more for these types of products, they are actually helping to drive their local economies by supporting local workers, another motivating factor for these types of consumers. So how can sustainable fashion go from being just a niche market to earning a permanent spot in the mainstream? Just like anything else in life, fashion comes with choices. There is no shortage of brands and designers from which to choose, stores from which to shop, and price points from which to buy. The consumer has to make a responsible choice when confronted with sustainable and non-sustainable options. But it’s not all up to the consumer. Sustainable fashion choices have to be more readily available so that they don’t need to be sought out. Most importantly, for sustainability to compete with global brands already firmly rooted in the marketplace, sustainable fashion has to adapt and change with the changing face of the consumer. It has to offer the consumer what it wants. This is where the movement has failed in the past. Consider the times that sustainable fashion has been the most popular in the past century in our nation. Most of 49


them have been during times of war. The Great Depression is a prime example. Americans weren’t out shopping for new clothes. They couldn’t even afford to eat. They relied on what they could produce themselves. They mended old garments and younger children wore hand-me-downs when they outgrew their clothes, or they just wore clothes that didn’t fit. During World War II, sustainability wasn’t even an option—it was mandatory. Rations were imposed on everything from food to fabric in order to supply the troops, so people were forced to make do with what they had. And after Vietnam, our country once again sank into a recession. Enter the hippie stereotype. As history has shown, from the decline in the economy emerges the trend of sustainable fashion, so it’s really no surprise that it’s so popular again right now. The problem is that each of these periods of economic recession was followed by periods of excess. After WWII, Dior introduced “The New Look” to bring relief to women who had endured fashion imprisonment under the confines of rations and implement luxury back into their lives. The Hippies were later followed by the Yuppies complete with their far-from-eco-conscious Armani suits and sports cars. So when this recession finally draws to an end, are consumers going to go from one extreme back to the other and abandon the trend of social responsibility? All signs point to yes. It’s all about psychology really. When you’re deprived of something, it becomes the one thing that you can’t stop thinking about. You know you can’t have it, so now you want it more than ever. If you were stuck on a deserted island with little to no food, all you’re going to think about is what you would eat when you get rescued. Yet you’re still going to try to trick your mind into believing that tree bark tastes good right now. It’s the same with fashion and the recession. Suddenly everyone is struggling financially, so casual shopping has escaped our grasp and sustainable fashion has moved in to fill that fashion void. But in our minds, we’re imagining just what we’ll buy when we have a little extra spending money and don’t have to resort to crafting our own clothes or wearing second-hand merchandise anymore—unless of course, you’re just one of those people who enjoys that type of thing. And just what is it exactly that the consumer will want when the economy is back on the rise? That’s simple— luxury. A chance to reward themselves for enduring such trying times. It’s what consumers have always gravitated toward after periods of economic hardship. For sustainable fashion, this means transforming from a recession-friendly trend to being the new trend in luxury in order to compete. Is it possible? Absolutely. Consumers have already been “inceptioned” with the idea of sustainability with their current practices. It’s in the back of their minds, hiding in their subconscious as they are making a skirt from a bed sheet. They are being eco-friendly however unintentional it may be. So the idea has already been presented. Consumers should be comfortable with it. And so, when the last thing consumers want is home-crafted fashion and they are lusting after frivolous, high-end items, BOOM—sustainable brands need to be right there offering up the best of what they have to offer. Enter those earlier-mentioned brands working with small staffs and producing one-of-a-kind pieces with handmade, artisanal qualities and high prices. Those are the ones who are going to appeal to the luxuryseeking consumer after the recession, and they are the ones 50

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who can secure a permanent spot for sustainable fashion in the mainstream market. Maybe it sounds a little far-fetched seeing as how “luxury” and “sustainability” are terms rarely used in conjunction with one another. However, Dana Thomas, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster”, seemed to agree last month during an industry panel discussion at the Frist Center in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of Nashville Fashion Week. According to Thomas, she believes that the South is going to be a hot-spot for luxury items in the next few years due to its emphasis on slow processes and its abundance of artisans. Another panelist present at the event, Natalie Chanin, is certainly already proving that to be true. Natalie is the owner of the couture brand, “Alabama Chanin” (www.alabamachanin.com), and is paving the way for other sustainable luxury designers from her outpost in the Deep South. Her business model allows for her merchandise to be mass-produced while still remaining sustainable and at the same time providing jobs to boost the local economy and allow local artisans to practice their craft. Channin’s limited-edition designs maintain an exclusive, luxurious feel while incorporating eco-friendly methods of production, and appealing to high-end customers who are truly looking for something unique. It seems like a no-brainer that someone who is interested in luxury items would prefer to have something handmade and one-of-a-kind over something that is mass produced and available to anyone with a credit card. Sustainable fashions have the ability to bring an air of exclusivity back into the luxury sector that seems to have been lost in recent years. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy for luxury sustainable brands to claim their place in the market. It’s still going to be an uphill battle once the economy is back on the rise. Change never comes easy. The changing zeitgeist will be the real test on this trend in the future, and only time will tell whether or not sustainable fashion really can sustain a lasting place in the consumer market once and for all.

OPPOSITE Fabric details and looks from sustainable luxury brand Alabama Chanin by Natalie Chanin’s latest couture collection (images courtesy of the designer). Photos by Peter Stanglmayr; model is Katia Inamo.


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ECHOED SPACE Photography by ANDREAS WALDSCHĂœTZ Photo assistant FARUK PINJO Creative direction/styling by ADIA TRISCHLER Styling assistant IVANA ALEKSIC Hair/makeup by STEFFI LAMM Models JANA & LORENZ (WIENER MODELS) Retouching CHRISTIAN FRIEDRICH Polyester cocoons created by ANDREA CAMMAROSANO Special thanks ASTA KREJCI-SEBESTA, GERLIND MOESER & EPPEL BOOTE

This story begins at the place and time where our contemporary world has ended. It could be considered as a moment of dark humor in a post apocalyptic state. After consumption has ended the lives that we once knew, it is at this point that we become products of abandoned spaces, recycled armor, and archived wardrobes. It is also at this point that we introduce, Mr. and Mrs. Bugg; a short narrative of such an example. Beginning in reality and ending in a dream. Adia Trischler

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THIS SPREAD AND FOLLOWING Shirts by UTE PLOIER ARCHIVE; raincoats (Caritas) and socks are vintage; shoes from flea market

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Entire outfits (both) by UTE PLOIER ARCHIVE; shoes from flea market

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THIS SPREAD AND FOLLOWING Antique night gowns from flea market; long johns are vintage; organic slippers by GRUENE ERDE

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THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS Cotton pajamas by WOOD WOOD

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May 2012 issue  

Eco-chic is oh-so easy. Papercut explores the many facets of sustainability spearheaded by creatives, technologists and travellers alike. Fr...