minimizing waste and conserving water,” she says. “As overwhelming as the commitment might seem today, I am confident that tomorrow it will become the new normal, embraced with optimism and pride of achievement. Even the smallest effort contributes significantly to the collective movement.” Textiles and clothing are a fundamental part of everyday life and an important sector in the global economy. Beginning in the 20th century, clothing increasingly has been considered disposable. This trend has been further accentuated over the past 15 years with the emergence of the fast fashion phenomenon, leading to a doubling in production over the same period. Congressman Greg Stanton, former mayor of Phoenix, addressed the role textiles play in our environment in a 2017 report produced by Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “Each year more than 18,000 tons of textiles find their way into the City of Phoenix waste and recycling streams. Our city is working on creative solutions to redirect textiles from the waste stream and back into the circular economy as a valuable resource, to ultimately stimulate the local economy.” Sustainable fashion practices have caught the attention of scientists, tailors, researchers and citizens, who are engaging locally, nationally and globally to promote a more conscious and ethical fashion industry. They are building the future of fashion, here in Arizona.
Model wearing one of Laura Tanzer’s Frammento garments—a vest in red 4-ply silk. The fabric remnants are from a gown she designed
creates well-made clothing that expresses
Frammenti Collection of wearable art.
ustainable shouldn’t be a word
personal style. She pays close attention
The company also makes fun accessories,
that immediately evokes images
to sourcing—buying only natural fiber
some of which she donates to K-12 schools
of oatmeal-colored fashion or
textiles, using vintage textiles, “dead stock”
for art classes.
THE CONSCIOUS DESIGNER
oversized, shapeless garments. Of course,
The concept of sustainability extends
any stereotype can
similar ideal. “Natural fibers will breathe
beyond clothing collections. The
be hard to banish.
on the body. Natural fibers will eventually
company’s employees receive respectable
return to the earth from whence they came,”
wages and have flexible work schedules.
Finally, Tanzer’s studio was painted
Fashion brand Laura Tanzer produces
and small runs from companies sharing a
Consequently, Tanzer’s collections are
using zero VOC paints, the lighting is all
limited editions. “When the textile stock
LED, and it is located in a centenarian
is used up, the collection is sold out,” she
building with thick walls that maintain a
says. All remnant pieces of every textile
temperate environment and second-hand
are utilized, as demonstrated in her
60 / THE RED BOOK MAGAZINE
NEIL PETERS FOTOGRAPHIE
Arizona designers, retailers, consumers, buyers, influencers,