On April 24, 2017, top innovators in ethical fashion came together to commemorate Fashion Revolution Day with the San Francisco premiere of our film short, Made In Cambodia. Our short follows three graduating Parsons Fashion students – Allie, Anh and Casey – to Cambodia where they get a first-hand look into the fashion production process and meet the makers who bring their designs to life.
Through our unprecedented video storytelling of garment makers’ lives, the audience was brought to tears as they discovered the injustices behind fast fashion.
Most importantly, the audience left with a new sense of hope that they can turn fashion into a force for good.
In addition to the film screening was our panel discussion that included Paul Dillinger, Head of Global Product Innovation at Levi Strauss & Co, Rachel Faller, founder of Cambodia’s first zero-waste brand tonlé and Ruby Veridiano, NBC reporter and women’s movement speaker.
Moderated by John Bauernfiend, Chair of Fashion Design at the renowned California College of the Arts (CCA), the panel spoke about the pros of durable fashion vs. the cons of disposable fashion, the true cost of fast fashion, and the best solutions to remake our world.
Held in the modern Nave presentation space at CCA, the event was one of San Francisco’s largest Fashion Revolution Day gatherings, attracting fashion design students and consumers looking to improve their shopping behaviors.
Paul Dillinger inspired the next generation of designers to think differently about sustainable design:
“Young designers today ask themselves, do I design sexy or do I design sustainable? These don’t need to be separate. The question we really should ask ourselves is, ‘is this garment ethical or unethical?’ Sexy isn’t the sacrifice.”
“As the daughter of immigrants, I related to Anh’s upbringing and was inspired by her personal journey into Cambodia to meet the makers of our clothes. With over 80% of the people making our clothes being women, ethical fashion is a powerful women’s movement. With global turnout at the Women’s March, we see that young female designers like Anh are the heartbeat for positive change to come alive.”
We learned from Fulbright scholar Rachel Faller, who shared how she is growing one of world’s only zero-waste fashion labels:
“My first goal was to employ women in Cambodia, help them support themselves and their families. After starting tonlé I soon discovered how much waste was coming from the fashion industry. So at our workshop, we decided to take the fabric that factories toss, cut out large pieces and use these as building blocks to build our garments. This model undoes damage coming from the fashion industry and can create a better future for fashion.”
As the millennial face of Remake, I’ve personally learned a lot about the true cost of fast fashion, and what I can say with confidence is what we need is a movement. Not one that depresses us by focusing on the dark truths behind fast fashion, but one that inspires the next generation of designers, consumers and creatives to remake our world.
The audience-led Q&A proved that the next generation is ready to shift their fashion habits. With a host of questions on how we can design better and buy better, the crowd went home with practical solutions to fix our fashion.
At Remake, we suggest that the first step in your journey is to evaluate your existing wardrobe. Look at your labels and see that you are representing a global network of female garment makers through your purchase and wear. Care for your clothes and make them last, we hope with the maker in mind.