Drawinterview with Tammy Fenech, coordinator of Fashion Revolution Malta

In 2018, Tammy was studying Sustainable Fashion when she launched the Maltese branch of Fashion Revolution, a global movement for a more Ethical and Sustainable Fashion. Tammy has kindly answered my questions about her journey, her favorite outfit and Fashion Revolution Malta.

drawing of Tammy, coordinator of Fashion Revolution Malta

Who are you?

I am Tamara Fenech, but everyone calls me Tammy. In 2013 I graduated with a Fashion Design degree which is where I found my passion for sustainable fashion & communication. After that I did a few internships with sustainable fashion brands and also gained some work experience in the field, in a few places around the world. Two and a half years ago, I moved to Berlin to start a Masters degree in Sustainability in Fashion, which I graduated in last October. A year ago I became the country coordinator of Fashion Revolution Malta, a global movement calling for a fairer & cleaner fashion industry – a non-profit organisation with a presence in over 100 countries around the world. Our vision is a fashion industry that values people, the environment, profit and creativity in equal measure.

What gave you the idea to launch Fashion Revolution Malta?

Last year I was going to be in Malta during FR Week. A few opportunities came about and it felt like the right moment to bring the conversation home. So I thought, I may as well set it off.

Could you tell me the story of your outfit?

This is one of my favourite outfits, from a few of my favourite brands. My jeans are from a Dutch brand called MUD Jeans, a brand that has built a business model that allows customers to rent jeans on a subscription model, were you can return your jeans for a new pair, should you wish to exchange them. I love their concept. My dress, which I wear as a top too a lot of the times, is from my all time favourite brand Reformation. I love their style, their look, their message, their everything. I find this piece so versatile and adaptable to different occasions, depending on how it is styled.
What I love about this outfit, from the pair of jeans to the black slip dress down to the Doc Martins shoes, is the fact that it is timeless. These are all items that do not follow any particular trend and will always be wearable and adaptable to present times. They are pieces that will last in my wardrobe.

Do you know good places (shops or fashion designers) to shop ethically in Malta?

In Malta it is slightly challenging – but also Malta is going through a time of change – I would firstly recommend to get to know the local designers on the scene – supporting them is always a great way to start. With regards to other high street brands, there are a few that are making more changes than others towards a more sustainable fashion future – so supporting those brands over others that do less, would be another way to go. For example some brands have more sustainable collections or are beginning to offer more sustainable materials – so its great to look at labels for the material contents & at the swing tags for any additional information should they be sustainable.

What events are planned in Malta for Fashion Revolution Week this year?

We are super excited to say that we have a whole week of events lines up for our second year running. This year we have managed to partner and team up with a variety of other organisations likes Zibel Malta (a local NGO organising clean-ups in Malta), Friends of the Earth Malta, Salt & C Malta, Malta Creative Collective, Levis and many more. On the agenda are a couple of Screenings & panel discussions, a clothes swap, 3 workshops and a Repair Cafe, were together with Levis we are offering free repair services for up to 5 pieces each. We are every excited about the whole week and cannot wait to see their outcomes!

Thank you Tammy! For more information on Fashion Revolution Malta:
* Fashion Revolution Website
* Fashion Revolution Malta on facebook
* Fashion Revolution Malta on instagram
* Tammy’s instagram page

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Slow Fashion: my favorites (1)

This article is the first of my new favorites format. I’m changing my favorites posts in order to write thematic articles. I start today with my latest Sustainable Fashion favorites:

* The red gown worn by Danielle Macdonald at the Academy Awards

This glamourous gown was created by Christian Siriano with recycled tulle. The bright red color was made using vegetable dye. Danielle MacDonald wore this eco-responsible outfit to support Red Carpet Green Dress initiative.

Drawing inspired by the red gown worn by Danielle Macdonald at the Academy Awards by Christian Siriano

* The Stella McCartney Fall-Winter 2019-2020 Fashion Show upcycled multicoloured dress

This dress has been made from vintage T-shirts which have been stripped, knotted end to end and knitted.

The Stella McCartney Fall-Winter 2019-2020 Fashion Show upcycled multicoloured dress

Photo: Armando Grillo

* The vintage Dior dress that Emily Deschanel wore at the Academy Awards

This strappy midi dress could be worn on several occasions. I like its timeless style.

Drawing inspired by the vintage Dior dress worn by Emily Deschanel at the Academy Awards

That’s it for my latest slow fashion crushes. Feel free to leave me comments regarding this new format and see you soon.

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Drawinterview with Ceri from Style Eyes blog

Style Eyes is one of the first Ethical Fashion blogs I followed. I love that this personal style blog is written by a person who stays authentic and whose outfits are within reach. Ceri shares her work wear or festival-goer looks and also her sustainable fashion discoveries.

I have drawn Ceri wearing her favorite outfit and I have asked her a few fashion questions.

drawing of Ceri from Style Eyes blog wearing her favorite outfit

Who are you?

I am Ceri, Mummy, Digital marketer, blogger and ethical fashion advocate.

Could you tell me the story of your outfit?

My hat is by pachacuti. It is one of my favourite accessories but for one reason or another, one that I don’t get the chance to wear as often as I would like. It is made by artisans for Pachacuti, a Fair Trade brand which not only makes lovely hats but also creates opportunities for those that have be economically disadvantaged by the trading system. My hat is made in a family run workshop in Northern Equador.

My vest top is made from Fairtrade cotton helping to ensure a better deal for cotton farmers.

The jacket was originally a vintage dressing gown that I found in a second hand shop and shortened to create a jacket and the jeans were from a charity shop both alternatives to buying new.

The necklace and ring are from a brand called Made UK another Fair Trade brand creating handmade accessories in Kenya.

What are your favorite fashion shops/brands?

All of my favourite shops combine style with sustainability and ethics. I buy lots of vintage and second hand from Oxfam’s online shop and Etsy. I also love People Tree, Annie Greenabelle, SkunkFunk, Braintree and Bibico.

Do you have tips to dress more ethically on a budget?

I think buying from charity shops is definitely the best way to shop ethically on a a budget. Not only do you save clothes from landfill and reduce your impact on the world by not buying new, but you also contribute towards a very worthwhile charity.

Thank you Ceri!

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2016 Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution which takes place from 18 to 24 April is an opportunity to ask brands more information on working conditions in the factories that make our clothes. This year, I have asked French Ethical Fashion brand Ekyog who made my ‘Hoki’ T-shirt.

drawing of a woman wearing a coral T-shirt worn inside out and grey trousers by Ekyog for Fashion Revolution

A Hoki T-shirt worn inside out and grey Haby trousers by Ekyog

Here is their reply:

“The HOKI t-shirt was made in Izmir, Turkey, in a workshop we have been working with for many years.

For 20 years, the company has been developping and making items such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, nightgowns, tracksuits etc. The company, that was created in 1992, is working exclusively for exportation. It’s a small factory with 25 employees.

It’s also GOTS (GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARDS) certified. GOTS is an international standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It regulates production environmental aspects but also social and organisational aspects (documentation preservation, implementation of an environmental policy…)

During our audit, we have noticed that the company is working on its employees well-being.

Here are some examples of what managers take charge of:

– Additional paid leave (in addition to legislation), sickness leave, maternity leave, sick child leave…

– Access to training

– Taking care of transportation, meals, tea & coffee

– Support the primary schooling of children near the production sites

The organic cotton comes from Turkey too, it’s knitted and dyed in a town close to Izmir.”

That is what I call a complete reply. Once a gain, a small brand show that it’s possible to be transparent whith its clients and to control the supply chain. It’s all the more important when you know that Syrian children are illegally working in some clothing factories in Turkey.

You can get involved in Fashion Revolution too. Here is how:

1. Take a picture of yourself with a clothing label visible

2. Post your picture on social medias with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes

3. Tag the brand you’re wearing to ask them who made this item of clothing

For more information:
Fashion Revolution website
Ekyog website (in French)

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2015 Fashion Revolution Day: Who made my clothes?

Fashion Revolution Day is a day of international mobilisation to improve the way our clothes are made. Last year I asked fashion brand L’Herbe Rouge who made their clothes. This year I asked the same question to ethical fashion brand People Tree.

I have the same cardigan as the character on my drawing. She is also wearing a dress from the Orla Kiely for People Tree collection.

drawing of a woman wearing a printed dress and a cardigan inside out for Fashion Revolution Day

So I asked People Tree who made my cardigan and they sent me detailed information on their supplier:
My cardigan was made at Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in India.
Rajlakshmi uses mostly Organic and Fair Trade cotton and works to ensure Fair Trade is practiced throughout the supply chain right down to the cotton farmers from Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Rajlakshmi also supports its tailors with different social schemes, for example contributing to medical insurance for employees and their families, reimbursement of education fees for children…

Brands like People Tree show that it’s possible to have a traceability of clothes. Fashion Revolution Day’s goal is that all fashion brands set up traceability systems for their products to prevent abuse by some subcontractors.

Here is how you can get involved in Fashion Revolution Day:

Post a selfie wearing an item of clothing insideout on all social media and ask the brands: Who Made My Clothes? with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes

Fashion Revolution Day is an opportunity to tell brands that their clients ask for more transparency.

For more information:
Fashion Revolution website
People Tree website

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Gina Rodriguez wearing a blue gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

Every year, I watch the outfits on different red carpets. I spot my favorite outfits and I try to spot the most beautiful ethical or vintage outfits too.

At the Academy Awards, I found that actress Gina Rodriguez outfit was a success. The gown was designed by Manon Gabard for Red Carpet Green Dress. The backless cobalt blue long gown is made from organic peace silk*. I especially like that her dress is as gorgeous from behind as from the front.

drawing of Gina Rodriguez wearing a backless cobalt blue long gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

* Peace silk is produced without killing the pupae

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Slow Streetstyle look in black and white

In my October favorites, I wrote about the #SlowStreetStyle Challenge initiated by Consciously Sartorial and So Good So Cute blogs. To take up this challenge, you have to create a complete look using ethical clothes. So here is a black and white look I have imagined with the Winter clothes I have spotted.

drawing of a woman wearing a shaded white to grey jumper, black trousers and white sneakers

Slow streetstyle look: shaded white to grey jumper, black handbag, black trousers and white sneakers

(1) Misericordia jumper in alpaga, shaded white to grey. Ethically made in Peru.

(2) Pampa & Pop leather handbag. Ethically made in Argentina. Tannery wastewater is recycled.

I have recently discovered Pampa & Pop colorful bags. This black handbag is more plain but it still has a fancy printed lining.

(3) Ekyog black trousers. 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane. Ethically made in Madagascar.

(4) Veja white sneakers in eco-tanned leather. Ethically made in Brazil.

In real life I would take Veja black sneakers but here I have chosen the white ones as nobody will step on my drawing’s feet ^^

You can create a look and join the #SlowStreetStyle Challenge until November 30th. Everything is explained on Consciously Sartorial blog.

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Gisele Bündchen green Prophetik dress at Rainforest Alliance gala

As a Rainforest Alliance board member, model Gisele Bündchen was invited to the Rainforest Alliance gala in May 2014. Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization whose goal is the protection of biodiversity and forests (you may have noticed their certified seal, a green frog, on some products).

For this occasion, Gisele Bündchen wore a magic mint strapless gown by Prophetik.

drawing of Gisele Bündchen wearing a hemp green Prophetik strapless gown at 2014 Rainforest Alliance gala

Surprisingly this satiny dress is made of hemp. It’s the first time I see a hemp evening gown. I already knew that hemp is ecological because it needs little water, no pesticides and it absorbs carbon dioxide. Now I can add that hemp is chic.

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Coral silk dress

I have spotted many nice dresses in Franch brand Ekyog summer collection. Those short dresses seem comfortable and chic enough for a party or a wedding.

I’m adding this coral silk dress with a black belt to my virtual wardrobe.

illustration of a woman wearing a coral silk dress with a black belt

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Sabina in white lace dress

When I discovered Consciously Sartorial, Sabina’s blog, I fell in love with its aesthetics. This blog, written both in English and in Spanish, is an eye candy. Sabina has a gift for finding pictures, objects and clothes that are super-stylish and that are sustainable too.

Sabina has agreed to answer my questions and to pose in her favorite outfit, a white lace dress whose boho style I love.

drawing of Sabina wearing a white lace dress

Who are you?

I’m a 35-year-old language teacher, and part-time sustainable fashion aficionado. Born and bred in little Heidiland, I soon became curious about the big wide world out there. My first stop was a small island in the south of England. From there I regularly escaped to the capital, as well as to work in Holland and Italy for a while. Four years ago, my better half asked me to move back to his native Spain with him, I said “SI” and so here I am, ready for new adventures!

Could you tell me the story of your outfit?

I bought the dress in Gran Canaria, it was a last-minute buy for a local carnival night called “Eel carneval de los indianos”. The local custom demands that everyone wears white, preferably colonial-style costumes in keeping with what their people wore in South America at the time. It was possibly one of the most magical nights in my life! Everyone throws talcum powder at each other, and by the end of the night it feels like being surrounded by ghosts!

The necklace was a present from my dear cousin-in-law, friend and blog-life-saver Anita. She brought it all the way from sunny Bahia de Salvador in Brasil, one of my all-time bucket list destinations!

The straw bag comes from a small artisan workshop in Altea, a town on a hill near Alicante (Spain). Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten its name. It was a present from my husband, and holds lots of good memories (literally and non-literally).

The shoes, I have to admit, are from Topshop… They we’re the very first purchase from my first proper wage in England. I tend to wear them as little as possible, so they’ll hopefully last me for some time to come…

What are your favorite fashion shops/brands?

I live in a midsize city with little variety when it comes to shops, so I really enjoy shopping when we’re on holiday. Recently, I’ve come back to one of my old favourites, vintage clothing, I love Lotta Vintage in Madrid (http://www.lottavintage.com), and Rokit in London (they also sell online: http://www.rokit.co.uk/).

I’m a huge fan of upcycling, one of the brands that has most impressed me in this field is Wintervachtjas from Holland. They’ve just released an amazing collection made from old curtains, which may sound a little bizarre, but it totally works! Sustainable leather bag brand O My Bag is also pretty high up on my wish list – I hope my husband is reading this…!

If I lived in the US, I’d wear pretty much everything by ethical super brand the Reformation – they’re just too good to be true!

I also adore Pachacuti’s fair trade Panama hats and I’m still incapable of deciding which latest Birkenstock’s model to choose for this summer – they’re all just so great!

Your blog is specialized in Sustainable Fashion. What would you advise to someone who is interested in dressing more ethically but doesn’t know where to start?

Inform yourself about all the different aspects of ethical shopping through websites such as Treehugger, Ecouterre, or
Clean Clothes, or books, like “The Sustainable Fashion Handbook” by Sandy Black and Hilary Alexander (available on Amazon).

Twitter is also a great place to find websites and blogs dedicated to ethical fashion, some of which might tell you a bit more about what’s happening in your local area.

I also think shopping more systematically is important, if you’re in need of a wardrobe edit, you might like Project 333 and Into Mind.

Once you’re in the know, you probably want to decide on a shopping strategy according to your budget. As a student with little financial resources for example, you’re best off going down the “vintage lane” ( Rokit, Asos Marketplace etc.), start customizing your clothes (check out I Spy DIY), or organizing a clothes swap with friends (see Swapaholics UK).

However, there are many great labels out there that are quite reasonably priced and they can usually be found in big cities or online. Take for example Nudie Jeans, with their repair-system they’re a pretty good buy!

Thank you Sabina!

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