Ethical Emma

When Emma Watson isn’t advocating for gender equality as a U.N. Women goodwill ambassador or asking men to fight for feminism, she can be spotted on the red carpet promoting her films. But for Watson, a movie premiere is also the perfect place to showcase her newest cause: ethical fashion.

For press junkets and international screenings of her upcoming film Regression, Watson is taking part in the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative that’s raising awareness about sustainability, ethics, and social welfare in fashion. Watson’s clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry are all from designers considering all parts of the production process, from environmental impact to workers’ rights, British Vogue reports. And she’s Instagramming it every step of the way.

Each event outfit she posts on the photo platform is accompanied by a description of what makes an item fit the bill—for example, designers who refuse to use harmful chemicals, or those that directly oversee their factories to ensure safe working conditions.


Photocall complete with this ‘crazy tweed tulle skirt’ beauty by @christopherkane ! The fabric was screen printed by hand and the garment was made at the Christopher Kane studio in London by the brand’s own Atelier. @PaulAndrew shoes back in action because wearing something you love over and over is the real beauty of fashion– and sustainable! Rings and earrings by @Repossi who certifies the origin of it’s diamonds through certificates with Kimberley Process. Repossi through its conscious approach to sustainability is committed to ensure craftsmanship is well preserved, which is part of the heritage and values of the House. Cuff by @K/LLER COLLECTION which is made in the U.S.A– most pieces are handmade in the designer’s Brooklyn based studio. In October 2014, K/LLER COLLECTION was the grand prize winner of the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge. Beauty– @charlottehayward @visapyyapy 🙌🙌🙌 @emmawatson

Watson points to The True Cost, a documentary about human rights violations and environmental damage created by the fashion industry, as her inspiration for getting involved in the challenge, which is headed by eco-fashion activist Livia Firth.

The film revealed that as fast-fashion chains such as H&M and Forever 21 have pushed down prices, they’ve come to rely heavily on factories overseas. Of the 40 million garment workers worldwide, the majority earn less than $3 a day. Along with low wages, factory employees—85 percent of whom are women—work in hazardous structures. Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 killed more than 1,100 workers, and there have been several major factory fires in the years since.


Regram @sarahslutsky Day 2 kicked off with this @WesGordon dress! Love the print which was created in collaboration with London based artist and then produced in New York and Italy! @AlexanderWhite shoes are crafted by hand by artisans in Italy. Alex does not use fur and refuses to use chemical agents that could harm the environment! @Wwake jewelry uses recycled gold whenever possible, and our diamonds are either destruction-free antiques OR conflict-free stones and has developed an in-house studio practice with proper ventilation systems to protect employees health! #PayItForward

Along with the human cost, the film also looked at the environmental cost of purchasing and discarding clothing. Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries, second only to the oil industry.

The film called on designers and corporations for additional oversight into the supply chain, but individual consumers can take a stand by purchasing brands that have committed to responsible, sustainable fashion. And with a little help from stylist Sarah Slutsky, Watson shows us that caring about local artisans and sourced fabric looks good.


Final look of the #Regression press junket! This gingham beauty from @isa_arfen who produces a majority of her garments in the United Kingdom and sources fabric from suppliers in Italy & France. The espadrilles from @EmmaWatson ’s closet by @StellaMcCartney. Stella is committed to being a responsible, honest, and modern company. Pledging to find innovative and ecological materials, #StellaMcCartney is pushing the boundaries of what sustainable products can look like. The jewels for this look by @jadetrau who works with responsibly sourced @forevermarkdiamonds (read more about #Forevermarks : ). @charlottehayward on makeup @visapyyapy on hair 😍


The True Cost

True-Cost5-620x330I have considered myself a relatively well-informed person, but there was a lot of information in “The True Cost” that surprised me. The documentary travels around the world to show the impact of the fashion industry on both human rights and the environment. It’s shocking and horrifying – far worse than you ever dreamed. In other words, the true cost of the clothes we wear is extreme.

We’ve all heard of “sweat shops” around the world, but filmmaker Andrew Morgan puts a face on those sweat shops by interviewing some of the workers. They talk about their lives and what has happened to them – in tears. He also interviews Stella McCartney, Livia Firth (Colin Firth’s wife) of Eco-Age, and Indian environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva.
True-Cost4-620x349 - CopyHere are just a few of the tidbits I learned from the film:

  • In the past two decades, clothing consumption has increased 500%. It’s called “fast fashion,” and it’s deadly – literally – in several different ways.
  • In the 1960s, the U.S. produced more than 90% of our clothing, but now we only produce 3%. Why? Because corporations go where the labor is cheapest and where there are no regulations to protect the workers. Why do governments allow it? Because if they didn’t, corporations would pull out and go someplace that does allow it.
  • The average garment worker in the Third World makes the equivalent of $2-$3 per day. And no, that is not a living wage in those countries.
  • Prior to the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh that killed more than a thousand garment workers, they had told management many times that there were cracks in the building.
  • The year after the tragedy at Rana Plaza, the fashion industry had its most profitable year of all time.
  • If workers dare to complain to management about their working conditions, they are often beaten.
  • The fashion industry is the most labor-dependent industry on earth.
  • Demand for cotton is causing farmers – both in the U.S. and elsewhere – to turn techniques with terrible health and ecological effects.
  • Due to the chemicals used in farming and in factories, children of workers are often born with horrific mental and physical defects. The workers themselves, both in the U.S. and abroad, often develop cancer and other illnesses.
  • In 16 years, more than 250,000 farmers in India committed suicide – one every 30 minutes. They often kill themselves by drinking the pesticides used on their crops.
  • The cheap clothing we buy is now overflowing our landfills. They do not biodegrade for 200 years.
  • Only about 10% of the clothes we donate to thrift shops are actually sold.
  • The fashion industry pollutes the planet more than any other industry except oil.
  • According to the documentary, the major clothing corporations (H&M and The Gap among them) don’t directly own the factories or employ the workers, so they can pretend to be blameless in all this. Yet, when legislation was introduced to make sure workers abroad are treated fairly, these corporations fought it.

These are just a handful of the things I learned from “The True Cost.” I recommend that you see this film if you care at all about the environment and global human rights, and if you don’t want to buy clothes without knowing the true cost of them. Opening worldwide on May 29th. Visit for more details.  Look for it in your city, and if it isn’t playing there, watch for it on VOD and DVD.

Source:  True Cost Movie, Reel Life With Jane

2 Euro T-Shirt

A vending machine placed in a busy Berlin square offered interested pedestrians shirts for two euro – about $2.19 CAD – but the apparel came with a shocking backstory.

On April 24, 2013, Dhaka, Bangladesh was forever changed when more than 3,000 people were killed or injured in the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse.

To mark the second anniversary of this tragedy, the non-profit group behind the vending machine, Fashion Revolution, decided it was time to speak up about poor labor conditions such as those in Bangladesh.

Before dispensing the cheap t-shirt, potential buyers were confronted with images and stories of the workers who produce inexpensive “fast fashion” garments sold across Europe and North America.

The video, posted on the group’s YouTube page, has more than 4,000,000 views and has been shared all over the internet. According to the video’s description, eight out of ten buyers decided against buying the shirt in the end.

The group has designated every April 24 as Fashion Revolution Day as a means of bringing attention to the true cost of low-cost clothing, and to create an industry that “values people, the environment, creativity and profits in equal measure.”

Sources: Our Windsor, Fashion Revolution 


On April 24th, 2015, people from over 60 countries around the world will come together to celebrate the second annual Fashion Revolution Day. The movement marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

In Toronto local schools will be encouraging students to wear their clothes inside out in order to build awareness about the supply chain and ask questions about where their clothes come from.

In addition, Toronto University’s have done their part by hosting Sew-Ins at Seneca, George Brown, Ryerson and OCAD. At these Sew-Ins, individuals are encouraged to write meaningful words, questions and phrases in support of ethical fashion. The chain of fabric is both symbolic for the supply chain and acts as a petition encouraging transparency in the fashion industry.

For the Canadian press release, click here: FRD15 Press Release 


Shop window at Here Today, Here Tomorrow in London

If you can’t join the Sew-In, then please wear your clothes inside out on April 24th and ask your favourite clothing brands, “who made my clothes?” over social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using the hashtag #FashRev.

For more information about Fashion Revolution, please visit:


Thank you American Apparel workers for making my clothes!  Sending love from Toronto!