Week 4: Continued research

May 21, 2021

This week I attended the “Sustainable Fashion, Explained” webinar as part of Yale’s Earth Week 2021 program. The webinar was an interview with Laura Melendrez, who founded her own clothing brand called, “Amor and Rosas.” The brand focuses on having fair practices for their workers, as well as using sustainable materials. Melendrez discussed the challenges she faces trying to maintain a sustainable brand, focusing on the different sustainable fabrics and dyes she tries to use, as well as the challenges of hiring local artisans.  

For example, one fabric that Melendrez had looked into using for her clothing was bamboo, which has been on the rise as an alternative fabric. Bamboo is very sustainable as a plant, it grows in many environments and grows quickly. However, in order for bamboo to become usable for clothing production it has to be chemically treated using harsh toxins. The negative long term effects of the chemicals that are used to treat bamboo, outway the initial sustainability of the material. It became clear, listening to Melendrez, that education in sustainable practices is the key factor to creating more conscious consumers. Since many materials that are oftentimes advertised as sustainable, such as bamboo, in fact have a large environmental cost. 

Another challenge Melendrez mentioned was hiring local artisans. She works with local artisans in Mexico, to create and produce her brand. Some of the challenges mentioned were that many of the women don’t have access to bank accounts or aren’t able to commit to the traditional 9-5 working hours. Additionally sourcing labour from local artisans increases the cost of production and in turn the cost of the clothing.

This week was also spent continuing to research different sustainable brands adding to the collection of stores and products from the previous week. Focusing specifically on products from higher end stores, to offer monetary diversity throughout the list of items, as well as researching sustainable lines from global brands such as Adidas’s “Prime Green” and “Prime Blue” collections.

One Reply to “Week 4: Continued research”

  1. Kamie A. says:

    It’s very interesting to learn more about the negative aspects of utilizing bamboo for clothing production, I was not previously aware of this. I’ll ensure to investigate the background behind all products which I purchase from now on, including those which are labeled as sustainable. Perhaps it would be helpful in providing consumer clarity if brands labeled as sustainable provided a further explanation of what sustainability truly means for their brand (and their brand’s practices) in particular on their website.

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