City/Area Group | Caribbean


City/Area Group | Caribbean

This group is for anyone interested in ethical fashion, the environment, sustainability and international development in the Caribbean. 'BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE' Mahatma Gandhi

Members: 12
Latest Activity: Mar 28, 2013

Discussion Forum


Started by Deirdre Woods Mar 10, 2010. 0 Replies

I've been asked by my friend Akua to pass on information about the MADE IN AFRIKAH EXHIBITION 2010 which is due to to be held in Cape Coast Ghana 15th-21st September 2010.From the organisers…Continue

Caribbean cotton and sustainable fabrics

Started by jacqueline Oct 27, 2009. 0 Replies

Do you have an experience sourcing cotton or sustainable materials from the caribbean? Are you working with small factories, workshops on any of the islands? Do you see the potential for production…Continue

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Comment by Colin Leslie Bamboo Eyewear on April 1, 2010 at 7:35
caribbean has so much to offer ...
Comment by Deirdre Woods on March 12, 2010 at 14:01
"Would it be wise for them to change their way of working and adopt this concept of sustainable fashion? I would like to hear what they have to say." I totally agree with you here. I do believe it is about remaining true to our Caribbean paradigm(s) and aligning it with the evolving paradigm that we know in Europe and the USA, so that we are able to compete in the global market. Are you intending on doing some sort of survey prior to Fashion Week or perhaps alongside the discussion?

"One of of my main observation is the Economy of Scale. The business of fashion is so very diverse and I think it is neccessary to undestand what the 'term' business requires even at the point of what it means to be sustaianble"

This is true. Bottom line sustainability also means profitibility. This should be a key part of the discussion. Will you be looking at different business models such as co-operatives? I'm thinking about the many small producers who can come together and make a greater impact and probably be more succesful at accessing international markets.

I love this!! It says it all.
Comment by mario lewis on March 12, 2010 at 12:47
From the organizers of Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week
she represents self-affirming, psyche altering, new-world identity, she radiates with the inherent cosquelle, carnivalesque and Caribbeanist style.
she revels in eclectic, plural, cosmopolitan character,
she reveals truth, courage and compassion. she recognises youth empowerment, environmental awareness and ethical practice. she rewards us with a realisation that there is Caribbean style, a revitalisation of the local fashion industry and a readiness for global competitiveness.Magenta colours our world shapes our future and tells the story of how cosquelle becomes couture.
Comment by mario lewis on March 10, 2010 at 19:19
I am very impressed by the range and depth of the questions posed. I can see this discussion hitting on some very serious issues affecting us in the Caribbean, in particular Trinidad and Tobago. One of of my main observation is the Economy of Scale. The business of fashion is so very diverse and I think it is neccessary to undestand what the 'term' business requires even at the point of what it means to be sustaianble. Local designers are very sustainable in producing their fashion for many years in Trinidad and in some parts of the Caribbbean. Would it be wise for them to change their way of working and adopt this concept of sustainable fashion? I would like to hear what they have to say.
Comment by Deirdre Woods on March 10, 2010 at 18:12
I like the idea of posting You tube videos and using Facebook also as this means our discussion would reach to a wider audience. Following on from Jacqueline's themes, some thoughts and questions.

What materials are available?
Why are designers not using them?
Is it prohibitive cost?
Are Cultural beliefs(especially around using 2nd hand clothing) the reason why?

Can fabrics be produced locally or regionally?
I am thinking about collaborating with international projects say in India, Latin America or Africa to learn traditional weaving skills.
Can other fibres be grown in the region?
Can we use technology and traditional skills to print fabrics in the region?

How ethical are factories?
How can we lessen the impact on environment? Energy(wind and solar power), low impact dyes, use less water?
How can smaller artisans/producers be supported?

Curriculum development from CXC's, to vocational and tertiary level.
Mentoring and apprenticeships
Public education and awareness campaigns, making ethical fashion accessible to everyone. Perhaps moving away from just exclusive catwalk shows and have more designers show in public arenas.
Breaking down the terms and concepts of ethical fashion.

One of the main issues I would like to see raised is the use of
What happens to the waste in factories?
What about Carnival costumes? I know some mass designers are recycling but can materials from carnival costumes be recycled into the mainstream fashion arena?

How can we?
Do we need to partner with particular organisations? eg WFTO
How can the government support the industry? Ministry of Labour and Micro-Enterprise, Chamber Of Industry And Commerce, NEDCO, Trade Missions, etc
Did NEDCO's online marketplace get off the ground or has project been shelved?
Financial support to exhibit at major trade and/or fashion shows in Europe, and USA
I know the theme for last year's fashion week was “Save Our Earth…Live Green" and that the event focused on fashion going green with glamour. What is the theme for this year?
Comment by mario lewis on March 10, 2010 at 15:12
Great idea, I think we can start our discussions with some interesting questions. I will post some questions in response to your theme...
Comment by jacqueline on March 10, 2010 at 14:58
My themes would be 1) concerning sustainable materials available in the caribbean, 2) concerning production units in the caribbean, 3) concerning the education of ethical fashion to designers and producers old and young.
Comment by mario lewis on March 10, 2010 at 0:37
Hello Dee:
I am very pleased about your interest to participate on a discussion on ethical fashion - in the Caribbean during Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week in May. First, I was thinking that we would need to communicate more often so our idea sharing can come together faster. I have a Skype account: bymyart2010,
About the discussion I don't have a structure as yet, so its an area we can discuss, also the due to geographical location their several approaches we can consider> We can post videos on YOUTUBE follow by Skype on the day of the discussion and Facebook page. In fact our discussions should start from now, each of us should prepare a series of questions and then we can start our idea process. Ideas about the Theme, etc. You can also think of people you would like to collaborate with us, etc...Let me know what you think....
Kind Regards,
Comment by jacqueline on March 5, 2010 at 12:49
guys sound great!
mario keep me posted as i would love to participate and/or get involved or just help out as possible!
Comment by Deirdre Woods on March 5, 2010 at 2:17
Hi Mario, I hail from sweet TNT :-). I checked out the Trinidad Fashion Week last year on the official website and read various reviews and checked out the photo galleries on FANTASTIC!!
I think that that is an excellent idea and would definitely be interested. I believe historically as a region Caribbean people had to be creative...we were recycling, upcycling, using what was locally available, and being innovative. However modern development, globalisation, people travelling abroad, financial betterment, etc have meant that by and large we have bought into mass consumption, mass production and a throw away culture....the result....well need I reiterate it here particularly as it relates to the fashion industry?! The impact on our environment, waste, landfill, polluted water from toxic dyes, affected wildlife, and so on. Then there is the impact on people. For me ethical fashion is also about heirloom design, preserving traditional skills and carrying them into the future.. ....lots of different issues but we will talk. I checked out your blog and I love your work Mario. Check it out folks!!

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