Review – Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes by Michael Lavergne

fixingfashion

Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes
by Michael Lavergne

There are plenty of books on the market bemoaning the sad state of the mainstream fashion industry from working conditions to the life-cycle of the average fast fashion garment. And while they are all well-written, carefully researched, and offer inspiration to change our shopping and fashion habits, most of them fall short on two counts – first because they are seldom written by someone with a first-hand, working knowledge of the apparel industry, and second, because while the suggestions for change are well-intended, they aren’t based in practicality.

Fixing Fashion by Michael Lavergne (Amazon) offers a different perspective. Lavergne made his start in the fashion industry working for corporations such as WalMart, and the apparel arm of Sara Lee. He specialized in product sourcing and supply chains (getting all the material to the right place at the right time and then getting the manufactured goods to stores halfway across the world in a timely fashion), and became an expert in labour and safety standards as he witnessed contractors and sub-contractors ignoring local laws (and corporate standards) regarding everything from wages to child labour to building codes.

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Lucky Dip – Tuesday, September 10th

la-scala

This giant piece of artwork is made up of thousands of potted flowers and plants arranged on an massive staircase in Sicily. Photo by Andrea Annaloro, via [Twisted Sifter]

I’ve posted this to Twitter already, but it’s worthy of many repeats. WalMart workers in North Carolina stage an in-store flash mob. Fantastic. [Dangerous Minds]

That RuPaul, always coming up with some creative and fun idea to express himself. Like an internet series called RuPaul Drives where he drives around with various famous people, in this case, Henry Rollins. [Rocker]

New York Times food critics share their horror stories, and disguises. [Work Fails and Job LOLs]

And finally, two different takes on the world in miniature; the first a guy who makes dollhouse scale models of New York City; the second, miniature clay artworks on the outside of Altoid tins. [Messy Ness Chic] [Twister Sifter]

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Suck It Up Foodies, Wal-Mart Is In the House

Walmart announced last week that they were implementing new initiatives that would double the sale of fresh produce from local farms by 2015. For their purposes, Walmart defines “local” as being within the same state. There are also initiatives with regards to sustainability and supporting small farmers in India, China and Japan.

Full press release here.

You might think that this is a good thing. That Walmart is dedicated to being a positive influence on people’s eating habits and in supporting local farmers. Yet many people are eyeing it as a PR ploy, suggesting that Walmart has no intention of living up to its stated commitment, or that this policy may not actually be beneficial to local farmers, as Walmart has enough buying power to set the prices that they pay to producers, not the other way around.

Walmart has made huge efforts in the past few years to get on board the ethical food train. They are the largest retailer of organic produce in the US. In 2007, they pushed shrimp producers to become certified with the Marine Stewardship Council to farm shrimp sustainably. They created a sustainability index that will apply to every manufacturer of goods sold in Walmart stores, which will force manufacturers to be more eco-friendly in every step of the process, including final disposal of goods and packaging.

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The Fake Shrimp

And I’m the shrimp,
The smallest of all,
They call me the shrimp
Because I’m not very tall.

Who knew that my theatrical claim to fame would be at the age of ten, singing a song about fish, and being photographed in a shrimp costume?

Our school, not having the money to pay for royalties for a more well-known Broadway-style musical, instead, for our annual play, performed a creation called Time Fog, a historical tour of the history of Nova Scotia, as written by the school’s music teacher. It dealt with the expulsion of the Acadians, the founding of the City of Halifax, and even Confederation. One scene explored Nova Scotia’s rich fishing heritage.

I didn’t play the Shrimp in the stage version, I was a mere extra, but the play had gotten such a huge amount of coverage in the local news that the school was asked to create a recording and slide presentation to send around to other schools. The kid who played Shrimp was sick on recording day, and being the first person in the line of sight of the music teacher (being able to fit into the shrimp costume didn’t hurt) I was the lucky gal who got to wander through the school to the set, trying to keep the other kids from pulling off my many legs.

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