Get Climate Educated This Winter: Sustainable fashion professionals can now rubber stamp their efforts with an upcoming certificate course from Glasgow Caledonian New York College, or GCNYC, and Fashion Revolution USA.
The course, called “Measuring Sustainable Fashion: Understanding and Applying Data” builds on efforts to advance the fashion data landscape while furthering best practices for decision-makers based on evidence, data and science.
“In the absence of shared ESG and impact metrics across the global fashion industry, brands are free to create and communicate their own standards, making comparison impossible,” a statement on the news said.
Fashion practitioners and professionals including Caroline Priebe, founder of The Center for the Advancement of Garment Making; Natasha Radclyffe-Thomas, a professor at the British School of Fashion and GCU London, and Mike Mannion, professor of computing at GCNYC, are instructors for the digital, internationally billed course.
Classes are live and online beginning Feb. 19 through May 2, occurring weekly on Saturdays. While no skills or educational requirements are necessary, applicants must pay a $2,325 registration fee.
For free climate education, nonprofit Slow Factory Foundation (known for its Open Edu series) brings its cultural programming, “The Revolution Is a School” activation to MoMA PS1 starting Jan. 22 through April 23. The three-monthlong series includes a workshops led by artists, archivists, designers and more.
Meet Stewart Enslow: New York University graduate and slow fashion designer Paige Enslow has done a lot with idle hands, transforming vintage fabrics into a direct-to-consumer clothing upstart label (Stewart Enslow) that’s made in New York’s Garment District.
“I started sewing during the pandemic as a way to keep my hands busy and stop reading the news. I quickly discovered the world of vintage textiles and absolutely fell in love. There is so much beautiful fabric out there that is just collecting dust in people’s attics,” Enslow said.
Like many Americans who identify as freelancers or creators, she poured into a community that embraced her values, building sustainably from the start.
“From there, I found people online talking about sustainability in fashion and people creating small sustainable brands,” she said. “I was inspired by both their artistry in design but also their commitment to making the world a better place and educating people on sustainability. When I started thinking about turning my sewing into a business, it felt obvious to go in with a larger mission of being as eco-friendly as possible.”
Be it vintage fabrics (like tablecloths and bedsheets) sourced from Etsy, antique stores or estate sales, vintage buttons from Italy or cotton canvas offcuts from manufacturers abroad, Enslow’s process is representative of a democratized subset of designers specializing in things handmade.
She also uses a carbon offset program for shipping, as well as biodegradable and recycled packaging.
Enslow described her viewpoint as “nostalgic, optimistic and timeless,” adding that, “I look to futurism and retro-futurism a lot when working on designs, specifically art from periods where the future looked very hopeful. People on flying buses and living in giant bio-domes. I want to evoke that feeling with my brand — that the future can be bright. It can be easy to think that the work that needs to be done to avoid the worst of climate change will be drudgery, but I want to imagine that it could be cool and fun and colorful.”
Although in early innings at present with only her range of topsy-turvy retro-inspired chore jackets that debuted earlier this month, Enslow hopes to bridge into independent retailers and expand designs soon.
Back in September, the Los Angeles-based apparel brand signed on as one of ThredUp Inc.’s retail partners, joining dozens in the reseller’s resale-as-a-service partners. At the time, the brand’s goal was to reduce waste and allow shoppers to easily perform closet clean-outs. Customers are able to generate a prepaid shipping label, send in used goods (although not explicitly Michael Stars items) to ThredUp and collect a Michael Stars credit.
This time around, there’s the philanthropic hook and dedicated website.
With more than 15 years of charity work under the Michael Stars Foundation, the Los Angeles-based company is not only extending the life of its clothes but taking a nod from historic charity shop models. Through Replay, 100 percent of its resale proceeds will go to the Michael Stars Foundation funding organizations like the Fund for Women’s Equality and teen mentorship organization Step Up.
Suzanne Lerner, cofounder and chief executive officer of Michael Stars said in a statement the move builds on the brand’s circularity efforts, calling resale “table stakes.”