A Captive Audience

Is Haute Couture the new Diversity in Fashion?
August 2, 2011, 1:19 am
Filed under: Research, Thoughts | Tags: , , , ,

Article by Abigail Doan in EcoSalon, July 20 2011

This is not the first time I have seen someone proposing haute couture as a version of sustainable fashion.  This article interesting likens the very strict codes that govern the certification of haute couture to the codes that govern certification of organic or labour rights standards.

The writer acknowledges the elitism inherent in haute couture but wonders in regards to  its 500 odd customers:

“Perhaps there is a philanthropic nature to the women who collect and invest in couture creations in the same spirit that blue-chip art is handpicked from galleries or costly film projects are backed by individuals who believe in a story that must be told and shared. “

The very presence of haute couture gaurantees and encourages diversity within the fashion industry;

“In many instances, we really cannot overlook the fact that cultural preservation, and in turn, timeless fashion methodologies are sustained by the very presence and persistence of the haute couture shows.”

“The idea that fashion of this sort might be a source of national pride rather than a copyright embarrassment or garment factory nightmare, is something to view as a thing of promise.”


Can a Celebrity Really Ply Fame for Good?
April 23, 2011, 1:12 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: , , ,

From Eco Salon

The difference may be in the dollars. While many initially questioned Palin’s credibility as a teen mother promoting abstinence, in between appearing on Dancing with the Stars and partying on private jets, it was her paycheck which caused the world and internet to launch into a toddler-worthy tizzy. The light Palin may or may not have shined on teen pregnancy immediately seemed soiled. After all, why did she have to be paid so much for doing a good deed?

I know this expectation might exist in a world without TMZ.com, but doesn’t it seem like social causes should exist outside a world of money and marketing? As freedom of speech still stands in this country, Bristol Palin has every right to promote her own message. But in the end, how credible can the messenger be when a large cash bonus is involved? What’s more disturbing is that humanitarian efforts or special causes now seem to be more about branding a career than really being, well, humanitarian efforts or special causes.

When Fashion Flirts With Charity: Bravo or BS?
December 26, 2010, 8:20 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: ,

By Alice Pfeiffer from Fashionista 24 December 2010

PARIS–Reporters sans Frontières, a French association defending the rights of international reporters, turned 25 last week. To mark the event, Azzaro launched a capsule collection of t-shirts and accessories, to be sold at a pop-up store in Paris; 50% of the profits will be given to the association.

This is nothing new for the fashion house: Every year, it choses a humanitarian cause to support. Past projects include work with Sidaction, Orphanaid, Unicef and more.

Any self-respecting fashionista knows this type of project is hardly original: Lady Gaga auctioning her costume for Haiti, H&M x Lanvin for Unicef, Angelina Jolie’s line for Asprey, and the list goes on. Luxury-meets-charity affairs are frequent and appealing–it gives the latter glitzy coverage and the former an image makeover.

But how genuine are those really? An opportunity to wash your sins away by loudly donating to the conflit du jour?

Continue reading

Fitted for Work
September 3, 2010, 7:29 am
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Article below about Melbourne organisation Fitted for Work by Cathy Gowdie in Marie Claire 3 September 2008

Looking for a new job is never easy, but imagine what it feels like when you’ve been out of the workplace for months, or even years. Thanks to Fitted for Work, thousands of women are getting back to work in style.

Sitting at her kitchen table as sunlight streamed through the window, Tania Carey circled yet another job ad in the newspaper. It had been several weeks and eight job applications since she’d started looking for work, and the 38-year-old single mother hadn’t had a single interview.

Looking back, Tania knows that after almost 12 years spent juggling casual, part-time and non-office-based jobs with caring for her children, Ebony, 12, and Liam, eight, prospective employers were probably deterred by her lack of recent office experience. “I felt so frustrated,” she reveals. “No-one looks at what you can do and what experience you have. They see those dates and ignore you. I’m not a confident person at the best of times and I just felt awful.”

And then, last May, her luck changed when her Job Network advisor referred her to Fitted for Work, a small volunteer organisation that helps women find employment by providing free clothing, business coaching and interview training. Before she knew it, Tania was employed. Continue reading