Fair fashion and sustainability… These are hot topics, and something every designer should try focus on in one way or another.
Most people probably know that the fashion industry, and ‘fast fashion’ in particular, is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to the oil industry. As for fair wages and decent working conditions of people working in the industry… Well, you only need to look those up in your browser to find out just how much suffering hides behind the clothes we all love to buy….
Now, what can Rosies Art do about this? Well, we cannot change the world all on our own… But the fun thing is, we can do our part and love it too!
The ‘Wastelander / Post Apocalyptic style’ in itself is in fact, perfect for producing clothing in a more eco-friendly way.
What do and don’t we do at Rosies Art to make our designs as eco-friendly and fairly produced as possible?
The materials our clothing is made from: About 60% of our fabrics are cottons. Now, this may seem like a perfect way to showcase just how eco-friendly our designs are, but surprisingly, it is not. Even the nowadays popular ‘organic cotton’ is -although usually produced at fair wages, very environmentally unfriendly due the the huge amount of water and pesticides that have to be used to grow cotton. Cotton is extremely vulnerable to fungi and insects, so a lot more pesticides have to be used in producing it, than in most other fabrics.
How do we try to counteract that?
We recycle. A lot. Many fabrics we use are from second hand fabrics or clothing, often purchased at our local 2nd hand (Dutch) army shop.
Another way we try to diminish our ‘carbon footprint’ at the workshop, is to not let anything go to waste. Are there leftover scraps of jersey on the cutting table? Hell no, we do not do ‘leftover scraps’! Gather into a big bag, mix, stitch the scraps of different fabrics back together again and re-use as an entirely new fabric! That way, only about 3% of our fabrics actually end up in the trash, instead of the usual 15-20%.
The materials we use to dye and bleach our fabrics:
This is where it gets a little tricky. You see, there is no way you can bleach a fabric without bleach, and bleach is simply nasty stuff. In our defense, we do dilute the bleach quite a bit, and have been experimenting with home-made, organic fabric dyes as well. So far, tea, beets and red cabbage work best, just try and get that out of your clothing once it has had the chance to ‘set’ properly!
The way we produce our designs:
Our fabrics and second-hand clothing are sourced locally. Our designs are made locally in our own workshop. The number of people working at the Rosies Art workshop varies over time, from 5 at most, to just 1; your friendly neighbourhood designer. Teammembers are (former) interns or friends, so NO childlabour from a ‘low-wages-country’ involved!
Leather and fur:
When it comes to this, we are not saints, but we try to make our designs as environmentally friendly as possible.
Yes, we use leather, and sometimes even ‘fur’ in our designs. We DO NOT condone the fur-industry! In our case we only use fur from recycled 2nd-hand or antique garments or the still-hairy hides that are leftover from the meat-industry. The same applies to the leather we use; we buy our leather from a local market that sells small sheets of leather that are left over from making couches, chairs and and car-seats.