Friday, July 30, 2010

Discover the Top 10 Fashion Innovations Ever

Tall natural redhead Erika on a North Devon be...Image via Wikipedia
By Sam Qam and Jack M Mack

Fashion has been through a lot. Since the first cave woman selected the skin of an antelope to wear on her body for the first time, through to the latest big four fashion weeks around the globe with giant icebergs as backdrops and global media coverage, fashion has evolved into a glorious beast with a many faceted character.

At a recent fundraising event hosted by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) during New York Fashion Week thousands of fashion types voted to decide what were considered the top fashion innovations in history. Here is the Top Ten:

10. The 60's - Hippy Look - With the 70's Disco look at No.23 it is clear that people hold these particularly iconic fashion decades in high esteem. The 60's brought us bell-bottom jeans, tie-dyeing and batik fabrics, and paisley prints.

9. Little Black Dress - This type of dress, first designed by Coco Chanel in the 1920's has become a staple of any wardrobe for its versatility. The dress should be simple so as to stay in fashion for as long as possible.

8. Push-up Bra - Better known as its popular incarnation: the 'Wonderbra'. With padding of foam or rubber, or sometimes gel in the cup, the push-up bra did exactly that, pushed everything up or even in or both. This provided a boost to the bust and to the confidence of underwhelmed women everywhere.

7. Casual Fridays - This was invented in the post-war period in Hawaii as people were allowed to wear loud flowery silk shirts for some of the year. The idea expanded around the globe to the delight of stifled fashionistas everywhere.

6. Denim - This American invention has been a part of the fashion world since forever. Where would you be without your jeans?

5. Pants for Women - This will make sense for American readers but for UK readers, it's the trouser type of pants to which this refers. It was during World War 2 that women really started wearing men's trousers a lot for work. The 1960's finally saw trousers made to fit women properly, even up to sizes such as plus size 22 from retail establishments such as plus size clothes shops and in modern times - online clothing stores.

4. Bikini - A symbol of women breaking free through emancipation in the 1960's and the most popular beach wear for women around the world. It is now almost a billion dollar industry.

3. Luggage on Wheels - This innovation made it easier to take more stuff on holiday. No wonder it's at number three!

2. Online Shopping - A massively growing industry which will eventually overtake high street sales in market value. The opportunities for price comparison and bargain hunting are much greater and easier than running round loads of shops, plus lower overheads will make sure it will be the way of the future.

1. Wash and Wear Fabric - The creation of artificial fibres was a revolution in fabric and clothing as before this invention everything would have to be ironed to be useable or wearable. Basically no wash and wear = no fashion industry.

Sam Qam is a plus size clothes retailer with clothing options from plus size 22 to plus size 30.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fashionable Eco-Friendly Organic Clothing is Available For You to Become an Eco-Chic!

MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
By Steve Evans

There are plenty of good, fashionable organic fashion products on the market these days. A few of these are very promising, and well worth an additional look. Some of these have distinguished themselves amongst their users, and are being spoken well of on the fashion world. Understandably, these designers are growing rapidly in user acceptance.

Among those that appear to be very good in the product category of eco-friendly organic clothing, are ranges of fashion products which are made from organically fertilised crops, which are not sprayed with weed-killer or pesticide chemicals during their growth.

The developers of these very sustainable, natural fibre products are able to provide the materials for great fashion clothing made by green friendly designers such as Tierra Del Forte and Stella McCartney.

What is so great for the eco-conscious is these products offer their users products made from organically fertilised crops, which are not sprayed with weed-killer or pesticide chemicals during growth. What this provides to its growing numbers of buyers is that they can at last follow-through on their ideal, from their organically grown (usually vegetarian eating choices, to their clothes - without looking dull and out-dated).

3 specific elements distinguish eco-friendly organic clothing as way in front of whoever's considered to be in 2nd place.

Those elements are for their advocates, important principles that go far beyond the fibers which are used to create the clothing itself, and also involve using safe and environmentally sound practices in at every stage of manufacturing from sowing the seed to fashion department shelf.

Secondly, they abhor the use of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon; both of which are made from petrol based products. They wish not to associate themselves with the use of non-renewable sources that deliver havoc on the environment. Our landfills are stuffed daily with unbelievable tonnes of non-biodegradable items such as plastics polyester which will sit there and never rot away naturally.

Furthermore, these people do mostly also realize that clothes which are made from synthetic fibers aren't the only cause of environmental degradation. Cotton for example, if drenched in pesticides while being grown is risking the lives of cotton pickers and endangering the local eco-systems. Let's round off this article now and discuss every one of those features, in turn.

Firstly, it is entirely logical for the idealistically and environmentally conscious among us to both eat organically, and wear clothes which minimize damage on the environment. Another quest then follows if one wishes to avoid use of "fossil fuel devouring", "landfill choking", synthetic fibers, while also helping protect the health of the cotton pickers

And the biggest downside to organically fertilised crops, which are not sprayed with weed-killer or pesticide chemicals during growth, is most likely also the main disadvantage in the quest for Eco-Friendly living. That is, that it's still very hard in some areas to find Organic Clothing on-sale, but it is much harder when it comes to shoes and accessories.

There is no denying that clothing accessories are also a vital element in any Eco-chic's fashion wardrobe. But, most shoes are still made from plastics, resins and non-organic leather, and are almost never recycled.
However, an expanding core of more sustainably based companies are beginning to manufacture footwear from recycled materials. Some are using innovative raw material sources for these products, like discarded seat belts, and bicycle tires. Some names of companies following this path are Terra Plana, Vegan Essentials, and Jade Planet plus others.

In the final analysis, buying clothes and accessories made from organically fertilised crops, which are not sprayed with weed-killer or pesticide chemicals during growth, seems to be an important step toward sustainable living, and is far superior to using fossil fuel based alternatives, and for now it seems that the present growing popularity for natural cures is likely to continue and get larger.

If you have similar views about organic farming, it could be smart for you to have a closer look at it and maybe give it a try. That so many happy eco-chic individuals are following this trend, surely means that they have to be onto something good... But, do not take my word for this, look for yourself at the latest fashion ranges of eco-friendly organic clothing.

Discover how to enjoy eco-chic hemp jewelry by visiting our Hemp Bracelets web site at hempbracelets.org.
The Marriage and Families Blog is well worth a visit for EVERYONE planning to get married! Much invaluable additional reading is available on that site.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Gucci's Iconic Symbols of Elegance

By Debbie Holland

Gucci styling is unmistakable offering luxurious touches to the finest materials is what Gucci does best. Through diligent design, this Italian watch maker has incorporated some timeless features. The GG, the Horsebit, and the Bamboo are all important elements of their creations. These iconic symbols give their collections a common theme of opulence and artistic flare.

The GG symbol was inspired after Gucci's founder Guccio Gucci, and was introduced into the line in the early 1960's. The double G design was infused into Gucci handbags, scarves, and timepieces. The GG would show up as either a monogrammed pattern or as hardware and metal accents to the pieces. Today, Gucci's watches may have the GG displayed on the dial, as a link of the bracelet, or as a monogram. This figure has been transformed several ways, appearing in abstract, inverted positions, back to back, and assimilating as a circle. The Gucci double G is a strong and powerful design element in all of Gucci's creations, including their timepieces.

Another legendary ingredient of Gucci design is Bamboo. Originally used in Gucci creations during World War II, bamboo was added to Gucci's pieces out of necessity. The craftsmen were challenged to design products, which met Gucci's high quality standards, but times were tough. The addition of bamboo in their collections brilliant and showed to the world, just how talented these Italian craftsmen were. The bamboo accent was taken from handles to their handbags in 1947 to becoming part of their beautifully printed scarves. This look has even made appearances in their watch lines. The bamboo bangle bracelet watch is one of Gucci's most recognizable designs.

Finally, one of Gucci's most vintage designs comes in the form of the Gucci horsebit. The horsebit element was first born in the 1950's. Initially the horsebit would be seen on heave leather item, which Gucci produced. The horsebit style made an appearance on the leather moccasins, which Gucci produced in 1853. The style was so popular that it was worn by Hollywood legends, such as Fred Astaire, John Wayne, and Clark Gable. The horsebit element can be seen in many of Gucci watch designs, crafted into unique and elegant watch straps.

Gucci's style is timeless, and the relevance of these iconic symbols, today, is proof of that. Pick from many stylish Gucci watches at Variety Watches!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stylish Boho Clothing

By Ruchi Rastogi

Boho clothing is a very beautiful and colorfully stylish casual outfit that is in vogue for people of style and class. This fashion trend is for individuals who understand the language of fashion and the act of looking good. Boho clothing is one unique trend that stands you out of the crowd anywhere you go.

This fashion clothing gives you a certain kind of confidence and charisma when you wear it, because of its colorful and feminine elements and features. Both men and women can wear this fashion trend clothing although it is known to be worn and adored mostly by women. This piece of fashion is a must have for every feminine wardrobe. It comes in many different colors and patterns, which allows you to explore and mix match the clothing anyway, and anyhow you want.

Boho clothing is also popularly known as street clothing trends, gypsy or hippie clothing. This fashion clothing has a rich combination of ethnic flavor and a colorful casually unstructured style. The best way to pull off this fashion clothing is to accessorise it. A complete Boho clothing look includes the use of dangling and flashy accessories to bring out the very essence of the stylish outfit. This clothing is worn with long dangling "beads made" earrings, and scarves. Some people especially men wear boho clothing with knitted hats.

This is a very special fashion trend that allows you to be creative "fashion wise". Depending on your fashion sense, you could create styles that are over the edge with ethnic flavors or you could go for a calmer peasant style. When creating your own style, you could also introduce embroideries or ruffles to the neckline or sleeve to attract eye-popping attentions. Creating your own design for this fashion clothing helps you concentrate more on your best body features.

You will love the beautiful Boho clothing available at the online boutique AsraiStyle. You will practically love everything you find in the store, because they are all of very good qualities from the bests of hands, and they are very affordable. Visit http://www.asraistyle.com for some unique finds.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

In Search of a Hawkwind T-Shirt

By Don Break

Real Hawkwind fans always have a Hawkwind T-shirt (or two) either actually being worn daily, or in a drawer waiting for an occasion to get it out.

I know this is true, because I'm like this myself. I own such clothing. But wait - why would a grown man want to wear a T-shirt with the album cover or festival logo of a band from the 1970s?

Or why would a younger music fan want a Hawkwind T-shirt? This is a band which has had only one hit single (Silver Machine - as long ago as 1972), whose mainstay (Dave Brock) is a man in his sixties, and whose musical style is so out of step with the modern pop charts that on the rare occasions it gets radio play it sounds as if it has arrived from another, louder planet.

This question - why do people continue to buy and wear Hawkwind T-shirts - has been puzzling me over the years. I suspect the answer is to do with the philosophy of Hawkwind itself - the philosophy which has engendered a kind of love for and loyalty to the band in its fan base. Despite the incessant personnel changes, the long periods of inactivity, the release of some mediocre albums, and the recent unpleasant member and ex-member squabbling and litigation, Hawkwind is an independent force - beyond the appeals of money and fashion, going its own way and being true to itself.

Someone who wears a Hawkwind T-shirt is saying something about himself (or herself, but a wearer is usually male) - I've not been seduced by a logo or by corporate values, there is another world beyond commercial chart music and consumer culture, and that's what I want to support.

Though the counter-culture philosophy of the band Hawkwind is debatable, and ironic, considering they sell their music and their concert tickets and their (official) T-shirts like every other band, this alternative ethos must be part of their appeal.

The other reason is the artwork, which is unique and unmistakable. Hawkwind has been blessed over the years in getting the services of some very talented artists for its album covers. This is still evident on Hawkwind T-shirts which are available today, featuring album covers such as In Search of Space, Doremi Fasol Latido, Roadhawks and Masters of the Universe (a true classic).

Other artwork on Hawkwind clothing features festival logos along with the band's name - and who wouldn't want a Stonehenge T-shirt? If anything speaks of who the wearer really is, a free festival T-shirt does.

Inspired to get your own? Check our page for the easiest way to get your Hawkwind t shirt today.

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Bamboo Clothing - Fashion Made Eco-Friendly

By Andrea Dilea

Bamboo along with being one of the tallest grasses in the world is also the fastest growing. The growth characteristics of bamboo make it a valuable resource. Fast growing and quick spreading, it improves the soil and stops erosion. Bamboo is grown naturally, without pesticides or chemicals, making it a totally organic, eco-friendly resource.

Bamboo has long been used by many cultures for housing and furniture. A fast grower, it has become a valuable organic, eco-friendly resource since it grows naturally and requires no pesticides or chemicals. In fact, bamboo is pest and disease resistant by nature.

The inner part of the hard bamboo cane consists of plant fibres that can be processed and made into fabric. The idea for bamboo fabric is a relatively new process developed at the Beijing University in 2001. Continuing research has revolutionized the process and bamboo clothing and fabric has found a well-deserved spot on department store racks and boutique shelves.

The bamboo fabric is described as a cross between silk and cashmere. It is soft, breathable, and contains the bamboo Kun substance making it naturally antibacterial and antifungal. The thought of having clothes that actually resist pests and insects is truly amazing and these properties are not lost during the processing stage and even with repeated washings.

Bamboo fabric has other unique properties that can keep you warm in the winter and cool during summer. Bamboo clothing takes moisture away from your skin, has remarkable effects on circulation and keeps you fresh, dry and odour free. That is why it is highly recommended for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Bamboo clothing does not need any special care and requires no dry cleaning or bleaching. You can simply throw them into the washer and run a delicate cold cycle then tumble or spin dry on low. So does it get any better than this?

Definitely. Bamboo clothing is reasonably priced and can be either stylish, casual or dressy. They're no longer limited to the standard tees - now there is bamboo sleepwear, jackets, dresses, slacks, tops and shorts, plus specialty bed and bath sheets and towels. Bamboo has come a long way and measures up to today's eco-friendly advocacies. So save the planet - go bamboo.

Andrea has written articles on many different aspects of life for more than 3 years and suggests that you might want to check out coupon organizer or perhaps marketing strategies if you are interested!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Go-Go Boots - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

By Janet Alexia

The term "Go-Go" originated from the French expression a-gogo. Go-go boots are a low-heeled style of women's fashion boot worn since the mid-sixties when fashion silhouettes focused on accentuating the leg in a new way. The concept of a woman's mainstream fashion boot was brand new and extemely revolutionary. Before the introduction of go-go boots, women's boots were generally worn during bad weather, rugged activities, or horseback riding, but not as the street shoes they have become.

This new style of footwear was designed to complement the shorter hemlines of the new, modern look. Go-go boots drew attention to the legs, accentuated the simple A-line silhouettes but also offered some modest coverage for less daring but fashion-minded women. Also it is no coincidence that these boots came to prominence in an age where women were finding a new liberation and freedom never seen before.

Nancy Sinatra is probably one of the most notable personalities associated with go-go boots. It's not very difficult for many to remember a vision of her look in the 1966 video for her number-one pop hit These Boots Are Made For Walkin'. Jane Fonda's Space Age go-go boot look in the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella is also just as memorable.

Go-go boots have made a huge comeback recently as the concept of "costume" has come back into fashion in full stride. Now that the world is long past the toned down doldrums of 90's fashion, skirt lines are again rising along with the height of footwear bringing back ladylike sex appeal with an edge. Both new and old, go-go boots are highly prized by both mod fashion lovers and other boot aficionados.

To see the latest and best go go boots available visit the Strap-On Sweetie website

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

1960's Fancy Dress is Perfect For a Casual Look or a Costume Today

By Ivan Kandol

Everything old is new again should be the fashion slogan. 1960's fancy dress is a very popular trend at the moment. Of course most people do not subscribe to the trend it is largely left to the young and the young at heart.

A lot of people turn to these clothes for costume purposes wearing them to themed parties more as a joke than as a serious form of dress, although they are a very hip fashion statement. 1960's fancy dress is a great way to make a fashion statement, or simply to have a bit of fun dressing up.

1960's Style

The sixties was a powerful time in history, there were so many changes that were happening all at once. Fashion went from being rather sedate in the 50's to simply blooming during the 1960s. Psychedelic colors were favored. Much shorter hemlines also took hold. The dresses of this era were flamboyant by any standards. They were great fun to wear and really are a great reflection of the times. They also drew plenty of attention. Today the 60's fancy dress is still sure to grab some attention, whether you are headed to a themed party or simply want to have a little retro style.

Where to Purchase

Of course most apparel stores will not carry this great retro style. You will have to either visit a specialty shop or you will have to shop online. Shopping online is clearly the better choice. A lot of times you can find websites that offer free shipping, which only adds to the ease of shopping online.

You can easily find the perfect 60's fancy dress online. There are plenty of online shops that will carry this type of clothing. Shopping is a lot of easier online as most people already know.

The prices are better online, the selection is much wider and you can easily compare prices when you shop online. The prices will vary from site to site. Many shops will carry actual vintage clothes from the 1960s; these of course will be the most expensive options. New dresses that are designed to look like the 60's fancy dress are going to be much cheaper.

Fashion should be fun. Dressing up is always great fun; you should try to be unique in your clothes. You can easily wow your friends with a great 60's fancy dress.

A 60's fancy dress may be the perfect piece of apparel for your next costume party or casual day out. For less of a blast from the past, 70's fancy dress is a little more viable today, but essentially has the same uses.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

How Could Your Decision to Buy Organic Clothing Have Changed This Farmer's Life?

By Adrian Desbarats

In the village of Kot Samaba in the southern Punjab area of Pakistan, Ghulam Hussain is like any father. He has a wife, Khursheed and two doting children. Like any father, he works hard to provide for his family. To bring in enough money to purchase food and shelter and hopefully to provide something more for his children such as an education. Like any father, his desire is to keep his family safe, happy and fulfilled.

So when Kursheed became seriously ill with classic symptoms of severe pesticide poisoning the feeling of powerlessness must have been very profound. Her symptoms - profuse sweating, loss of color, diarrhea and shortness of breathe were symptoms Hussain had seen before and so he was acutely aware of what it meant.
But how could his wife have become exposed to pesticides? She did not work in the fields but rather remained home to care for their children? It wasn't until a Field Assistant of the Pakistan Agriculture Department visited Hussain that the answer became known.

For many days prior to her illness, Khursheed had been collecting cotton sticks from a nearby field that had already been harvested. This field had received multiple spraying of the pesticide Bifenthrin. The cotton sticks were soaked in the pesticide and as Khursheed handled the sticks, the pesticide entered her body through skin contact.

Taking this information to the landlord, Hussain hoped to get compensation. A very important undertaking given that rural workers in Pakistan do not enjoy the healthcare, medical care or insurance options that we take for granted. They are completely at the mercy of their landlords.

Unfortunately, the landlord refused to take any responsibility and Khursheed's condition worsened. Eventually, she developed pulmonary edema or liquid on the lungs. Not a good prognosis. Soon after, Hussain disappeared with his wife and children presumably in a desperate attempt to find medical assistance somewhere. And so, the father who took pride in his ability to keep his family safe and secure has had his life and that of his wife and children forever altered. And for what?

This is a tragic tale but only one of many that occur every day in the cotton fields of the Punjab and in other third world countries. Cotton farming is big business with third world countries such as China, Pakistan and, India providing over 50% of all global cotton demand. And the pesticides used to rid the crops of pests or defoliate the crops prior to harvest are big business too.

So the next time you pick up that $5 cotton shirt and wonder how the big box store can sell it so cheaply, you will have your answer. Workers like Hussain paid for it through their cheap labor with zero benefits and, through the use of pesticides designed to maximize crop production at the mercy of the workers and their families.

Every time we don conventional cotton clothing, we are literally helping to create tragic stories like Hussain's. I can see some logic in the argument that pesticides are needed to keep feeding the world. It is not a view I agree with, but I can see the argument. But where is the justification in the destruction of lives and habitat just to keep us in cheap fashion?

So I ask - do you want to make a difference? Do you want to be one of those who can wear their clothing with pride knowing that they are doing their part to effect positive change both in their life and the lives of others? Then join the growing sustainability movement and say yes to organic clothing. Do you want to learn more about organic clothing? Visit our blog here - Organic Clothing Blog.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sustainable and Ethical Materials to Look Out For

By Kevin S Longworth

New, upcoming and established designers don't necessarily shout about their ethical credentials anymore, probably due to a combination of awareness that the subject bores some people to death or conjures up images of hair shirts and the fact that really, in their eyes, all fashion should be ethical. As a consumer it's worth knowing what to look out for in terms of sustainable and ethical materials so you don't get sucked in by labels claiming to be green.

Sheep's wool is one of nature's most sustainable, durable and comfortable materials and is not only an ethical material in terms of how it is grown, manufactured and refined but also for the fact that it demands to be washed far less often than a lot of other materials and at a lower temperature. Wool has a natural capacity to repel moisture and odours, meaning that unlike cotton it stains less easily and stays fresher for longer.

Linen is a material that has been produced from flax by humans for a long time and it remains a popular choice for mainstream and ethical fashion labels alike, in fact, it would be very difficult to tell the difference between a garment from each based solely on the linen used. The flax crop requires very little human involvement as it grows well and happily without the aid of pesticides and fertilisers and this not only makes it sustainable but also largely organic and therefore better for the environment and for our skin and respiratory systems.

Just like the flax crop from which linen is produced, bamboo requires very little human interruption and grows quickly and easily without the need for chemical enhancements. Ethical clothing brands are pioneers of this hypoallergenic and fast drying material and it is definitely one to keep an eye out for in the coming years.

We all know that a lot of clothes are made from cotton and we're often led to believe that a garment which carries the label 100% cotton is better for us than a man made equivalent but unfortunately, cotton crops often require pesticide treatments because they are prone to disease and pests. It takes a lot more effort to produce organic cotton than not and you'll probably see a slight premium as a result until producing it organically becomes as cost effective and non labour intensive as the non organic version.

So rather than searching for ethical clothing that won't cost the earth (in both senses of the saying), try instead to look for the ingredients label as this will give you an idea of how sustainable, ethical and organic the item really is. So called organic clothing can be misleading so rely on your own research not what the marketing company have manipulated.

There are many ethical mens clothing items now made from fairtrade sourced materials and organic clothing for garments that haven't cost the earth to get to us.

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The History of Organic Clothing

By Kevin S Longworth

It all started back in the hedonistic 1970s when the war was long over and the polyester era was beginning to chafe the thighs of the younger generation. Make do and mend was still clinging on in the older generations but stories about chemicals and sustainability started to leak out and the health conscious used this as an excuse to demand more environmentally friendly materials.

Fashion labels picked up on this shift in attitude and the words 'organic' and 'natural' began appearing on clothes labels in an attempt to rid the high street stores of chemically infested materials which were causing a health concern to the people of Britain.

Since then organic clothing has become the talk of the town, with high street brands making sure they cover that particular requirement. While it has by no means taken over from man made fibres, you could if you were so inclined build an entire wardrobe from organic cottons, sheep's wool, hemp, linen and various other ethically sourced and organically grown materials and you wouldn't end up with a collection of sack dresses, hair shirts and ill-fitting t-shirts.

You can tell a lot about a brand by looking at the label, it's not all about simply looking for your own size, it's about checking the 'made in' and the 'made of' and we're split between the highly aware and the £2 top brigade. But even the £2 top can be made of organic cotton and while it is probably not ethically sourced, it is at least not the devil child of the natural world. One step at a time as they say and buying organic is one step towards buying ethically, if we're happy to save the environment we should really be standing up for human rights, worker rights and the whole sewing kit and caboodle of the ethical fashion forum.

These days top fashion designers are ethical, some shouting about it and some quietly getting on with it because quite frankly, that's just how fashion should be. Whether they're using it as a selling point or not, consumers need to realise that not only are they damaging their bank accounts by buying ultra cheap clothing but they're also likely to be unknowingly exploiting low paid workers abroad.

Buying cheap clothes is a false economy, with cardigans becoming shrunken and misshapen after a matter of one wear or one wash and t-shirts, trousers and coats with weak seams and loose button threads and shirts and jumpers with faded colours, leaving you to replace it all a lot and often. Organic clothing and ethical fashion have come a long way and no sit proudly beside their cheap decadent counterparts - no doubt one day they'll eclipse them and the fashion world will be a place with a clearer conscience.

There are womens and mens clothing that are made from fairtrade sources and production, ensuring that your wardrobe is filled with ethical fashion items where everyone has benefitted from the sale.

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Why Buying Into Ethical Fashion is a Really Good Idea

By Kevin S Longworth

Unfortunately it's not as straightforward as saying, don't buy your clothes from the big boys, stick to independent retailers that source everything ethically and organically because even the supermarket giants are making sure they've got an ethical range. Not wanting to be seen to be outdone or above helping the planet and workers in the Third World, they've jumped right in and used their cash to make sure they're in the organic thick of it.

But look closely and you'll see that one of the largest supermarkets to stock clothes offers two ethically sourced dresses out of a collection of 110, less than two per cent. Smells a lot like a token gesture to me but better that than nothing at all, Rome wasn't built in a day and all those other appropriate clich├ęs.

What is clear is that just as organic and free range chicken became the full time hobby of Jamie Oliver a few years ago, first in schools and then in supermarkets, so too can ethical fashion become just as much of a hot topic.

A lot of people now um and ah in the fresh poultry aisle these days and don't automatically dive for the cheapest or the ones on offer, often the free range meat is the first to sell out. It's true that there is still less choice when it comes to the fairtrade and British meats but it has dramatically increased since all the publicity and if we can keep that going there'll soon be only free range and British to choose from and wouldn't that be quite something.

Buying clothes that are made from ethically produced and sourced materials helps crop farmers and textile workers across the third world from living in absolute poverty as it provides a fair and stable income that doesn't just see all the profit go to Western designers and stockists. The problem with this practice is that it's easy to ignore what we can't see, ignorance is bliss as they say. So while we're happily buying hundreds of new items of clothing at every opportunity, most of us don't even consider the consequences or how those items came to be so incredibly cheap in the first place.

Buying fair trade clothing and organic clothing not only helps workers in the third world to benefit from their hard work but also helps the environment and our health. Growing organically means drastically cutting back (or stopping altogether) on the use of chemical pesticides and stimulants, reducing harm to the environment but also to our skin and respiratory system and while it may be more labour intensive and therefore at slightly more of a premium, just as with free range meat, the more we choose it, the more the demand and the cheaper it will become.

For ethical fashion items such as womens fairtrade clothing look online for the best retailers selling clothing made from fairtrade sourced materials.

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