Content warning: This article discusses human trafficking.
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Christina Tung created the brand SVNR to sell ethically-made pieces of jewelry that each have their own unique stories. Before founding SVNR in 2018 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Tung worked at her PR showroom, House Of. Tung is described as having an “eclectic, globally-influenced style,” which carries through to each handmade jewelry piece and their wide variety of materials.
Girlfriend Collective is an athletic and loungewear brand that uses recycled materials like polyester, fishing nets and used water bottles to create its pieces.The company was founded by a husband and wife duo, Ellie and Quang Dinh. They noticed that it was difficult to find activewear that was created in an environmentally sustainable way and also that many of the activewear brands used the same exact materials. So, Ellie and Quang began to search for alternative fabric choices, which is how they found a fabric mill in Asia that creates fabric from 100% recycled bottles and an SA8000-certified factory in Vietnam. The SA8000 certification means that the factory meets a standard developed by Social Accountability International to protect workers’ conditions and wages. Thus, once the sustainable fabric factory and the production factory were discovered, the husband and wife duo began the design process and Girlfriend Collective was born.
This week’s column is dedicated to my love for those shoes that are ugly enough that they are cool. Think Birkenstocks, dad sneakers and now, the new addition to the list: Asportuguesas shoes. Asportuguesas started their shoe design process with the explicit intention to create sustainable footwear. They achieve this by using sustainable materials and a small, manual production process.
HEADLINES: Brands who deserve your dollars: Elvis & Kresse
This week’s brand, Nynne, is more upscale and expensive than the brands highlighted thus far, but the company’s approach to sustainability is unique since it outlines eight clear focus groups. This tactic makes the sustainability objective clearer for the company itself, but it also helps the brand be more transparent with consumers, because they will have a better understanding of how Nynne is approaching sustainability.
As temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to turn, it is time to break out your fall wardrobe and, perhaps, look for some new additions for your closet. If this is the case, here are some fashionable fall options from Black-owned clothing brands.
Denim jeans are an item that most people have in their closet, but they are also one of the worst offenders in the apparel industry when it comes to polluting the environment.To grow just enough cotton to make one pair of jeans, 1,800 gallons of water are required. Furthermore, the additional dyeing process and machine washing used to make jeans means that one pair uses around 9,982 gallons of water. So while it is clear the industry needs to change to help the environment, it is sometimes unclear what steps in the production process can be changed to make improvements.
New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022 kicked off on Sept. 7 after three seasons of virtual shows due to the pandemic. Despite the barrier of required proof of vaccination, the show was a welcomed return to normalcy.
“Anti-Racism: A Year of Creative Activism at Tufts” highlighted initiatives that have sprung up across the university over the past year. It was sponsored by the Daynard Microgrant for Collaborations in Racial Justice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and brought together individuals from all corners of the Tufts community. The event, which took place on April 20 on Zoom, underscored the versatility of the anti-racism initiatives and the power that art has in society to actively fight against racism.
Serena Williams is both a fashion trailblazer and one of the greatest athletes of all time. She has a history of using fashion to support her activism, with her most recent statement coming in the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open in February. While she has always pushed boundaries and broken glass ceilings with her supreme athletic ability and talent, Williams has used her platform to support women in a variety of ways.
Paris Fashion Week Fall 2021 kicked off on March 1 and will run until March 10. Even though the shows were a little different this year due to COVID-19, there were, as always, amazing collections showcased. Thankfully, designers were able to adjust their usual shows in creative ways. There were some shows with small, socially distanced audiences, but the majority of shows were primarily viewed in digital formats. Many designers chose rather nontraditional locations for their shows which created unique and engaging experiences. Many were even pre-recorded. One of the best uses of this alternative showing experience was from Courrèges.
In the midst of recent political drama, there was cause for excitement for another important reason. The first and second families and other attendees of the 2021 U.S. presidential inauguration pulled out all of the stops when it came to their fashion. With high media attention, every fashion choice was intentional. The attendees succeeded in looking amazing and used their wardrobes to send messages.
While the holiday season is going to look a little different this year, your ability to watch classic holiday films from the safety of your residence prevails. Here's what the Arts & Pop Culture editors have to say about their favorite holiday movies:
Last week, Isuggested how you can use purchasing power to support Black-owned brands. Purchasing power is when a consumer directs their purchases to brands that share their values or support a particular issue that they care about. While we focused last week on supporting brands that were Black-owned as a small way to work on racial injustice issues in America, consumers can utilize their purchasing power to have their voices heard on a variety of issues. Today, we will look at some environmentally sustainable brands that consumers can purchase this holiday season.
While many of you might be new to the concept of exercising your purchasing power, it is perhaps one of the simplest and most effective ways to fight for racial justice in America. The clothing and footwear industries are enormous. Globally, the clothing and footwear market is estimated to be worth around $1.9 trillion dollars, and the United States constitutes a sizable portion of this: Revenue for American apparel in 2019 was nearly $360 billion. This gigantic industry is unique in that it is driven by ordinary consumers who make the choice to buy these products.
Running from Tuesday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 25, the 2020 Seoul Fashion Week boasted its usual creativity not only on the runway but with the incredible street style that, as usual, rivals and maybe even outshines the runway looks. Similar to other fashion shows that have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul Fashion Week was held virtually. Itfeatured 45 designers, 35 of whom were veterans to the show and 10 of whom were new and a part of Generation Next.
Wearing masks has become the new normal;according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks “help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.” The CDC came to their recommendation of wearing masks because of the large role thatrespiratory droplets play in the spread of the infectious disease. Additionally, there has been evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows that wearing masks is an effective tactic for reducing the spread of the droplets. In response to CDC’s recommendation, Tufts is requiring all students “to wear face coverings that cover their mouth and nose at all times when another person is within six feet of them, in both indoor and outdoor spaces, both on and off campus,” according to the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for students in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. Since people are now wearing masks for a large portion of their days, there has been an impressive response from the fashion community to aid in the production of masks and provide masks that have elevated style from the average blue medical masks.
Wolf x Rose by Prophetik is an up-and-coming underwear brand that sustainably makes non-toxic products from soft hemp. The company’s goal is for as many people as possible to have access to its non-toxic underwear to help prevent prostate and breast cancer, which can be caused by toxic dyes and chemicals with carcinogenic properties found in other underwear brands. To combat this serious issue, American fashion designer Jeff Garner founded the Wolf x Rose brand.
To be more deliberate with my time and help diversify my literary world, I committed to only reading authors of color during my quarantine time and throughout 2020. I first read April Sinclair's“Coffee Will Make You Black” (1994) and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1965). Two very different books, but both so important to read. The first is a fictional story told from a young girl's point of view as she examines colorism and her own femininity and sexuality. Malcolm X’s autobiography paralyzed me with the knowledge that I did not actually know anything about this crucial and complex man before, and I am so glad that I was able to really learn about him now. I journeyed from Malcolm X to James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time” (1963), a perfect follow-up to the autobiography as Baldwindiscusses Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam in this short nonfiction piece. Staying on the nonfiction side of things, I read “Between the World and Me” (2015), a striking and important letter written by a father to his son about holding on to his Black body. Ready for some fiction, I consumed “Kindred” (1979) by Octavia E. Butler and “A Mercy” (2008) by Toni Morrison both in a span of two days. Most recently, I have read “Girl, Woman, Other” (2019) by Bernardine Evaristo which was a simply stunning composition weaving together so many non-male Black lives and experiences into one complete and breathtaking story. Celeste Ng's“Little Fires Everywhere” (2017) is currently on my bedside table, along with “In the Castle of My Skin” (1953) by George Lamming and “On Beauty” (2005) by Zadie Smith.