Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Ethical Issues in Textiles

Ethical Production & Fairtrade 

The textile and fashion industry has become a global phenomenon and textile products are made all 
over the world under increasingly competitive and unethical conditions. 

Fair trade is a social and economic movement which promotes international standards of ethical 
production, labour and environmental policies in the trading of goods or commodities such as cotton. 
It includes principles such as payment at a fair price and gender equality. 

Where fair trade is a way of doing business, ethical production refers to the production of a textile 
product and encompasses the whole life cycle of the product from the raw materials, through the 
finishing processes, to the construction. 

For example, you may have a garment that is made from cotton which was purchased in a fair trade 
way, but that does not mean the construction of the garment was produced in an ethical way. 

• For making a $100 pair of trainers, the factory worker will receive just 50 cents 

• The minimum wage for a garment worker in Bangladesh has stood since 1994 at just £7 per month. 
Garment workers went on strike and the national minimum wage board has now proposed raising the 
minimum to £12 per month, only half the most basic living wage estimate. 

(Report - Fashion Victims: The true cost of cheap clothes at Primark, Asda, and Tesco. 
http://www.cleanupfashion.co.uk/ ) 

• Total UK sales of Fairtrade products are running at £300m a year, a rise of almost 50 per cent in the 
past year. 

(The Independent – Fair trade clothing is new battleground for retailers. 13 March 2007) 
• Employing 2.5million workers in 4,500 garment factories, Bangladesh’s garment industry generates 
over three quarters of the country’s export revenue. (http://www.waronwant.org) 

Key Organizations 

Labour Behind the Label - http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/ 
A campaign that supports garment workers' efforts worldwide to improve their working conditions. 
They are also the UK platform of the international The Clean Clothes Campaign 

Fashioning an Ethical Industry - http://fashioninganethicalindustry.org 
This is a project that works with tutors from fashion/textile courses to integrate ethical issues into their 
teaching. There is a good Resource section on their website. 

Ethical Fashion Forum - http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/ 
This is a network and business support to promote sustainable fashion practices. They also have a 
social networking site which includes information on sourcing fabrics. 

 The Ethical Trading Initiative - http://www.ethicaltrade.org 
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, non-governmental organisations 
(NGOs) and trade union organisations which aims to promote and improve the implementation of 
corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions. 

Fairtrade Foundation - http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ 
This is a development organisation committed to tackling poverty and injustice through trade. They 
have developed a Fairtrade certification for cotton. 

Environmental Justice Foundation – http://www.ejfoundation.org 
This organisation runs campaigns to defend environmental damage and human rights. 

War on Want - http://www.waronwant.org/ 
War on want fights poverty in developing countries by campaigning for human rights against the root 
causes of inequality and injustice. 

Reading Materials 

Rivoli, P. (2005) The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy: an economist examines the markets, 
power and politics of world trade. John Wiley & Sons: USA 

Ethical Consumer magazine http://www.ethicalconsumer.org 

Companies and Designers 

American Apparel -http://www.americanapparel.net/ 
US high street retailer who guarantee no sweatshop involvement with their range of jerseywear 
basics, along with a separate organic line. 

Made-By - www.made-by.org 
A network of environmentally and socially conscious fashion designers working with fair trade 
principles and organic materials. 

Rani Jones - http://www.ranijones.com/ 
High-end fashion collection. 

People Tree - http://www.peopletree.co.uk/ 
Fair trade and environmentally-friendly clothing for men, women and children. 

TerraPlana - http://www.terra-plana.co.uk/ 
Ethically- produced shoes. 

Audio Visual Resources 

Film about Fairtrade cotton in Cameroon, Fair-trade Foundation 

Steve Redgrave visits fair-trade cotton farmers in Mali, Fairtrade Foundation 

‘What’s done in our name?’ Social Responsibility and the Patagonia supply chain, Patagonia 

Interview with Bangladesh garment worker, Fashioning an Ethical Industry 

Forced child labour and human rights , Environmental Justice Foundation

Information from http://www.tedresearch.net/media/files/Fair_trade_and_ethical_production_.pdf

When buying clothes from cheap places like primark you just think your getting a bargain and don't give a thought as to why it is so cheap, unfortunately today's consumer society is feeding these problems causing huge devastation to third world country's. 

WGSN job

A role I would be interested in when finishing university 

Senior Print & Graphic Designer (Maternity Cover)

WGSN - London


Job description

We are currently looking for an experienced Senior Print & Graphic Designer to provide maternity cover. You are a highly creative individual with proven experience within the fashion and apparel industry as a print or graphic designer working across all markets including – Men’s Women’s, Youth and Kid’s.
You have a keen interest in fashion and have excellent research, trend spotting and analytical skills for future trend creations, along with strong commercial awareness of real time trends.
Reporting into the Head of Print & Graphics, the position will involve researching, analysing and reporting on print & graphic trends and the development of original print & graphic designs from t-shirt motifs to allover textile prints for the fashion and apparel industry, across all market – including Men’s, Women’s, Youth and Kid’s.

Key Responsibilities

  • Research and develop print & graphic content inline with Head of Department and Content Strategy
  • Fulfilling all responsibilities in the absence of Head of Department as required including – management of internal team, content scheduling, content creation, freelancers, joining meetings, responding to sales and marketing questions, completing general admin.
  • Research, development and creation of original print & graphic designs for the Men’s, Women’s, Youth and kid’s markets – creating designs for placement motifs, typographic designs and allover textile print.
  • Research, development and creation of trend related editorial reports across all categories including – Emerging Trends, Catwalks, Retail, Trade Shows, Street Shots and Close to Season Analysis
  • Over-see the seasonal Catwalk print & pattern analysis across both Men’s and Women’s including – delegation of responsibilities, scheduling, analysis, quality control, editorial standards, communication with Catwalk teams and final sign-off
  • Contribute to seasonal Print & Graphic Forecast
  • Contribute to our global tradeshow coverage as required. Representing WGSN by travelling to trade shows internationally, liaising with exhibitors and creating trend analysis reports
  • Participate in client meetings when required. Providing client feedback, completing feedback forms and debriefing sales teams where appropriate.

Desired Skills and Experience

Skillset Required
  • Extensive knowledge of the fashion & apparel industry – including Men’s Women’s, Youth, and Kid’s markets
  • Creative, Passionate, Confident, Out-going, Pro-active, Organised
  • Proficient to a high standard in all graphic design computer programs including - Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Outlook & Powerpoint
  • Ability to hand-draw illustrations preferred
  • Ability to spot trends essential
  • Excellent written and analytical skills essential
  • Ability to communication ideas to internal teams and external clients
  • Mandatory: BA Degree or equivalent
  • Minimum 6-8 years experience in the industry in a print or graphic design role
  • International experience desired

About this company

WGSN Group works with companies worldwide. We deliver Trend, Intelligence, Retail and Consumer products that help them see what's now, know what's new and plan what's next.

WGSN is the world-renowned trend forecasting service, equipping style-driven businesses around the world with future intelligence and creative inspiration on what’s new and what’s next since 1998. WGSN’s state of the art website is accessible only through annual subscription.


Jaques Vert print designer

A job role I would be interested in when finishing university

Print Designer

Job Type:
London, North London
£competitive + bens
Start Date:

Jacques Vert Group Limited is one of the leading British Fashion Houses with over 470 outlets in the UK, Europe and Canada and a strong online presence across all nine of its brands. The portfolio of Elegant British Brands includes: Jacques Vert, Kaliko, Planet, Precis Petite, Minuet Petite, Windsmoor, Eastex, Dash, and Alexon.

Print Designer: The Role

An exciting and rare opportunity for a talented and experienced print and textile designer to join an established & progressive fashion house.
* Create original, unique textile designs covering all over prints, placement prints, embroideries and embellishments and woven fabric patterns including checks and jacquards.
* Working across all house brands the designer will understand, create and deliver design work in line with the brand briefs, ethos and personality.
* Research and interpret print and textile trends appropriately for each brand.
* Work proactively with all members of design, buying and production teams, supporting and developing business relationships to ensure successful results at all levels of the product journey.
* Ensure all areas of business administration related to the print design function including seasonal brand files and design cataloguing are managed accordingly with our systems and within timescales.

Print Designer: The Candidate

When applying please send through your CV, examples of work, salary expectations and notice period details.

* A dedicated, passionate and industrious designer with outstanding creative skills to meet the complexity of this role.
* Your portfolio will demonstrate a varied and commercial feminine handwriting covering a broad range of print styles from hand drawn/painted florals to freehand mark making to digital inspired designs
* Advanced Adobe CS5/6 CAD skills in photoshop & illustrator. Working knowledge of all Microsoft office programmes.
* Good knowledge of all aspects of the commercial fabric printing and production process including digital, rotary, flat bed in Europe, India and Far east. Experience of working closely with overseas manufacturers will be a distinct advantage.
* A sound understanding of Intellectual Property rights and all aspects of copyright related to textile design.
* An excellent communicator with the ability to work closely with all members of the brand teams on the creative journey, pro-active and focused in achieving successful results for the company.
* A professional - 'can-do' attitude with a common sense approach to problem solving.
* Pro-active in helping to develop and understand the company brands and our customers, clearly focused on creating & designing a balanced and commercial product.
* Be flexible and practical with task management and with an ability to work under pressure and within time-scales

When applying please send through your CV, examples of work, salary expectations and notice period details.

Why work for us?

At Jacques Vert Group Limited we believe that our success is a reflection of the outstanding people that work for us and we are therefore fully committed to recruiting, retaining and rewarding talented individuals. We look for individuals who are passionate, commercially minded, and inspirational; and who enjoy working in an innovative and fast evolving environment. The Group is working on a number of exciting high profile campaigns, so it is a really exciting time to join the business.

Laura Ashley job role

A typical job role I would like to apply for after university 

Interior Designer

Location: Chester, Cheshire
Salary: Competitive & Benefits
Position: Design
Sector: Home/DIY
Job type: Permanent
Date posted: 11/02/2014 12:40
Job reference: RetailChoice/INT/DESIGN/CHESTER

Laura Ashley is a quintessentially English lifestyle brand founded on a rich design heritage and on the traditional values of quality and originality. We use prints and designs that evoke the alluring beauty of the English countryside, for the way you live today.
We are currently recruiting for an innovative and creative Interior Designer to join our Design Services team in Chester.
The Interior Designer is in the forefront of Laura Ashley's home visit Design Service sales team, providing professional and inspiring designs that are tailored to meet each customer's individual tastes and requirements. The sales performance of the Design Service is directly dependant upon the performance of the in-home design sales team.
Excellent communication and customer service skills are essential. The successful applicant will be highly sales oriented with a natural desire to provide excellent customer service; team oriented with an outgoing, engaging personality and will possess excellent interpersonal skills. Flexible and reliable, you must be meticulous and precise in your work. Previous retail experience is preferred.
It is essential that applicants have an Interior Design/Textile degree or other relevant qualification as well as significant experience in design-led sales. As you will be visiting customers in their homes, a full manual driving licence is required.
If you wish to apply for this vacancy, please send your CV and a covering letter, stating your current salary and benefits package to: connie.helliwell@lauraashley.com
We regret only successful candidates will be contacted.
NB: Applications from Recruitment Agencies will NOT be accepted.


Karen Nicol

We recently had the pleasure of textile designer Karen Nicol visit our university and talk to us about her work and career, it was so inspiring to see what can be achieved through textiles. Her ideas are so original and I loved hearing her talk about how her career had progressed over the years. It makes me really excited about my own career. We are really lucky to have people come in and talk to us as it is so inspiring. 

I love how innovative her creations are, they are so different to any thing else I've seen. She uses amazing descriptive stitches and beautiful uses of applique.