Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nice Shirt! Got it at the Mall? Who Sewed it for You?

Photo: Summer Rayne Oakes modeling the work of LA designer Deborah Lindquist, who takes the finest old clothes and fabrics and re-incorporates them back into fashion's mainstream.

Next time you're out looking for that perfect shirt, keep an eye out for clothing items bearing the new MADE-BY label.

Track & Trace is a new database system that allows consumers to learn about the manufacturing process for a particular item of clothing in their closet - from the materials selection process to who sewed your garment together.

Fashion companies need to apply to MADE-BY for the label, which is managed by a non-government entity whose motto is "fashion with respect for people and planet."

Created by the Amsterdam-based MADE-BY, in collaboration with Organic Exchange and the UK-based IT company Historic Futures, “every link in the production chain enters production information into the database and forwards it to the next link. This gives the brands as direct access as possible to production data from the other suppliers in the chain.”

This is the first tracking system designed for clothing. MADE-BY's goal is to help UK fashion brands create more sustainable collections.

For a list of participating brands, go here - 3 of the newer participating brands are Barts, Alchemist, and Rianne de Witte.

MADE-BY is supported by the very awesome international model Summer Rayne Oakes.

Summer Rayne Oakes graduated from Cornell University —an entomologist and environmental scientist by training. In 2000 in the midst of her studies, Oakes embarked on a journey of cause-related modeling and innovative sustainable design/development projects to push sustainability issues through fashion and media, a position which earned her the name of “The Eco-Model." In addition to this, Summer Rayne is now a spokesperson, resident expert, and youngest Board of Advisors for Planet Green, Discovery Network’s eco-lifestyle network.

Check out Summer's blog to learn more about what she's up to.

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