Sunday, 18 September 2011

London Fashion Week – Estethica

It's London Fashion Week this month and Estethica is showcasing another collection of eco fashion from international designers.

This year is the 5th anniversary of Estethica, an exhibition founded by the British Fashion Council to showcase eco fashion; fashion designers committed to sustainable eco principles. The exhibition is running from the 16th – 20th September, alongside London Fashion Week.

This year there are 19 designers featured, all of which must meet at least one of three criteria to be included in the collection: fair trade and ethical practices, the use of organic fibre and recycled or up-cycled materials. Their guidelines expect designers to give thought to the entire life-cycle of their products from design and use of raw materials, to packaging, transport and end of life.

The Spring/Summer 2012 Estethica Exhibition Designers:

Up-cycled Tote - Lost Property of London

Ada Zanditon
Aiste Nesterovaite
Dr Noki’s NHS
Environmental Justice Foundation
Eva Zingoni
From Somewhere
Henrietta Ludgate
Joanna Cave
Junky Styling
Lost Property of London
Michelle Loewe-Holder
Rajkumar Dyeing & Printing Works
Soil Association Certification

The collection is not limited to fashion, but includes accessories such as the photo above by Lost Property of London who create unique, earthy totes and bags from recycled fair trade coffee bags. On the jewellery front there is Joanna Cave who's easy-to-wear collection of earrings and necklaces is made from among other things, recycled silver and describes her pieces as 'ethnic chic'. Another of the featured designers is Charini, a Sri Lankan designer who's high-end lingerie is crafted from silks and lace using traditional Sri Lankan techniques.

For more coverage of the exhibition and designers, the Ecologist has reviewed the exhibit and profiled a number of the fashion designers in their article: Fashion special The Ecologist guide to Estethica.

- by O2wear Australia - style basics | specialising in women's bamboo clothing under layers

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Top 10 benefits of Bamboo Clothing

Black Footless Bamboo Leggings - $39.95

I've been making a few updates to the O2wear website and among them was a closer look at the reasons why bamboo clothing, and eco friendly fashion in general, is becoming increasingly popular. Below is a list I compiled of the Top 10 Benefits of Bamboo Clothing based on all the information I have read over the past couple of months. So as not to be completely biased, I've also addressed some of the criticism of bamboo clothing and its eco-credentials, namely the use of chemical treatments in the manufacturing process.

  1. Eco-Friendly: bamboo is considered eco-friendly primarily because of the crop, which grows organically without the aid of pesticides, fertilisers or irrigation.
  2. Softness: super soft and gentle on sensitive skin - you can buy our leggings and camisoles online and feel for yourself!
  3. Sensitive Skin: the rounded fibres, antibacterial properties of bamboo and chemical free fabric (our products are certified with the Okeo-Tex 100 Standard) means that many allergy and eczema suffers find bamboo clothing particularly comfortable.
  4. Easy Care: machine washable, and a cool iron or tumble dry if necessary.
  5. Moisture Wicking: bamboo clothing is particularly good at wicking moisture away from the body, evidenced by the popularity of bamboo fibre in sporting and active wear.
  6. Biodegradable: when disposed of, bamboo clothing will break-down in land fill much faster than synthetic fabrics.
  7. UV Protection: A study by Deakin University showed that bamboo clothing is 60% better than cotton at protecting the wearer from the sun's harmful UV rays.
  8. Breathable: Because it is derived from plants, bamboo fibre is naturally temperature regulating - cool in summer, warm in winter.
  9. Insulating: When woven into fabric, bamboo clothing helps to trap a small layer of air against the skin. This layer acts as insulation, helping to regulate your temperature.
  10. Antibacterial: Bamboo plants are naturally antibacterial, resisting fungi and pests. It's believed that this characteristic is also a property of the fibre, but this hasn't been proven.

So here are 10 more reason's to check out our online store! You can read a more extensive review of each of these benefits on the O2wear bamboo clothing page.

I should say however, there is still some debate as to what extent bamboo clothing really is environmentally friendly and that is because of the manufacturing process. To manufacture the yarn, the leaves and centre pith of the bamboo plant are crushed, pulped and put through various treatments, some of which involve the use of chemicals. The end product is bamboo viscose, which is spun in to yarn to make bamboo fabric. It is the use of these chemicals that means some people question the eco credentials of bamboo clothing.

While these are legitimate concerns, the organic and environmental way in which the crop is grown has many advantages over water intensive and genetically modified crops such as cotton. In China where the bamboo is sourced, the industry is tightly controlled, with only one company owning the patent to manufacture the yarn, ensuring a much higher level of regulation than many other industries there.