Monthly Archives: April 2017

Meet Our Seamstresses for Fashion Revolution Week

Do you ask your favorite brands, #WhoMadeMyClothes? Production at Wildlife Works provides full transparency for our clients and their customers. Meet some of our tailors and learn about their aspirations.

Meet MAGDELINE (far left). She’s in charge of quality control at the Wildlife Works Eco-Factory. She has one son who is 3 years old who attends our 100% subsidized Wildlife Works Nursery during the day while Magda is at work. She’s proud of being able to support herself and her child through her salary. On the weekends, she takes care of her 15 chickens at home. Yes, 15! 

Meet ELPINA. She has been working at Wildlife Works for 6 years. Before being employed at Wildlife Works, she owned a shop. She said it was a hard life, especially when she had no money to pay for rent. Today, with wages earned from sewing in our eco-factory, she owns a piece of land and a house in Maungu where she lives with her two children. She hopes to one day save enough money to buy a shamba for her son. 

Meet CONSTANCE. She is the factory quality control supervisor. She’s been with Wildlife Works for 12 years and came from a sewing background. She is one of 5 children in her family and she uses her salary to help her mom, in addition to supporting herself. She enjoys learning to work with different materials, from knits to wovens and going to church on the weekend. 

Meet ZANIRA. She has been with Wildlife Works for 3 years, since she was 19, a year after graduating from secondary school. Her background in administration makes her a key person in the running or the factory and shipment of orders. She loves fashion and enjoys her self-sufficient lifestyle made possible by her work here at Wildlife Works. 

Meet NORA. She has been an employee at Wildlife Works since 2002. She has 4 kids, the oldest at 18 years old and the youngest who is 4 1/2 years old. Before joining Wildlife Works, Nora worked from home sewing clothes. She likes the stability of having a salary and being able to provide for her kids. One day, she hopes to run her own business again.

Fashion Revolution Day Events: San Francisco Bay Area

Fashion Revolution Day Events San Francisco Bay Area

On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.

On 24 April every year, Fashion Revolution Day brings people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes. We want fashion to become a force for good.

In San Francisco, California, where Wildlife Works corporate offices are located, we got together with a few ethical fashion leaders to organize and promote these inspiring events. Get involved! If you can’t make these events, take these steps to green up your closet at home!

Follow the West Coast USA Fashion Revolution Facebook page. These events are listed there:

1. Sunday April 23, 11am – 2pm : Revolution by Design: Stanford University
d.school 
416 Escondido Mall, Rm 169, Bldg 550, Stanford, California 94305
Team up to redesign the fashion industry with brands, fashion activist, systems researchers and consumers. Join concerned citizens at Stanford University’s d.school on Sunday, April 23rd [FREE ADMISSION] to understand and discuss the fashion production challenges we face and how we can overcome them together from a human-centered design perspective. More details.

2. Sunday April 23, 1pm – 4pm : True Cost Screening
Throckmorton Theatre: 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, California 94941
Screening of True Cost (92 minutes) followed by a panel discussion on “how we wear our values,” led by Shamini Dhana, Associate Producer of True Cost movie and Founder/CEO of Dhana Inc.and planel discussion representing brands, consumers and customers. PLUS a special message from Andrew Morgan, Director of True Cost movie. Our creative director Joyce Hu will be one of the panelists.

3. Monday, April 24, 6pm – 7:30pm: Made in Cambodia Screening
1111 8th St, San Francisco, California 94107
California College of Arts, the Levi Strauss Foundation and Remake for the San Francisco premiere of Made in Cambodia, a film short by Asad Faruqi, the cinematographer for Oscar winning documentary short ‘A Girl in the River’ and ‘Saving Face.’ Keynote: Paul Dillinger (Head of Global Product Innovation at Levi Strauss & Company) on the future of ethical fashion. Panel Discussion: Learn how the Remake Journey to Cambodia, recently featured on NBC, has forever changed three graduating fashion students’ lives and affected their view on the fashion industry. More info 

4. Tuesday April 25, 6:30pm – 9:30pm : Re:Fashion Workshop
Handcraft Studio School : 10368 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito 94530
A night of “re-fashioning” fun and cocktails. We are partnering with some of the best artisans in the Bay Area to show you how to save your used or damaged clothing. You will walk away with three techniques in your arsenal: mending, natural dyeing, and embroidery.
Buy tickets here. 
$15 early bird
$20 regular
10 lucky early birds will get a free Wildlife Works Apparel t-shirt to dye at the event!

5. Wednesday April 26, 7pm – 9pm : Fashion Revolution’s Night Out  – Hayes Valley
Similar to NYC’s “Fashion’s Night Out”, this will be an evening filled with shopping, drinks, giveaways and discounts! As a part of Fashion Revolution Week, “Fashion Revolution’s Night Out” will exclusively illuminate ethical and sustainable stores!
Register here. 

6. Wednesday April 26, 6pm – 8pm : Party at Cuyana
Cuyana Showroom: 291 Geary St. 2nd Floor San Francisco
Evening party will feature an exhibition of the women who make our clothes, pre-monogrammed pieces from Cuyana’s archived collections and a curated selection of Soko’s artisan-driven jewelry. RSVP

7. Thursday April 27, 7pm – 9pm : Fashion Revolution’s Night Out  – Uptown Oakland
Similar to NYC’s “Fashion’s Night Out”, this will be an evening filled with shopping, drinks, giveaways and discounts! As a part of Fashion Revolution Week, “Fashion Revolution’s Night Out” will exclusively illuminate ethical and sustainable stores!
Register here. 

8. April 28, 6-8PM : In-House Production Discussion
Les Lunes 3027 Fillmore Street
CEO of Les Lunes, Anna Lecat, a serial entrepreneur and a pioneer of ethical manufacturing in China, hosts an open discussion on how Les Lunes ethically manages the manufacture high-quality products in their China-based workshop. Tickets

9. Saturday April 29, 10am – 11:45am : Ethical Brand Portraits 
Union Square
Silk Roll is hosting Iconic #whomademyclothes Portrait Session (10:00-11:45 AM) at SilkRoll studio in Union Square. RSVP here 

10. Saturday April 24, 11am – 4pm : Indigo & Shibori Dye Workshop
Walnut Creek Community Center
Lead by Jenny Fong, founder of Modern Shibori Tickets here

11. Sunday May 7, 11am – 6pm : Urban Air Market x Fashion Revolution and Demonstration
On May 7th, 2017, Urban Air Market is partnering with Fashion Revolution to give shoppers a way to meet the makers of their favorite local brands, find sustainable alternatives to irresponsible fast fashion apparel, and have their voices heard. Tickets 

*Fashion Revolution Selfie Booth Take a selfie in the Fashion Revolution photo booth and call out your favorite brand with the hashtag #whomademyclothes

*Refashion Workshop Give your old t-shirts new life with a fun re-fashion workshop hosted by The Loome.

*Fashion Drop-Off Cleaning out your closet? Bring your used garments to UAM and SilkRoll will give you points towards second-hand designer apparel.

*Sustainably Made Fashion Want to support transparency in fashion, but don’t know how? Meet brands that are making a difference.

Fashion Revolution

 

5 Steps to Green up Your Closet

5 Steps To A Sustainable Closet

Believe it or not, having a sustainable wardrobe is crucial to our planet’s health, and to yours.

fashion pollutes

According to surveys, most people only wear about 20 percent of the clothing in their closets. Coupled with the fact that the average woman has $500 worth of unworn clothing in their wardrobe and you can see that there is clearly a problem. Fast fashion has trained us to buy throw away fashion that’s worn once and thrown out. The average American tosses 82 pounds of textile waste each year, which adds up to 11 million tons of the stuff from our country alone. It’s time to convert to a sustainable wardrobe.

mound

Here’s our 5 step program to green up your closet.

  1. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET

The first step to living a sustainable lifestyle is to possess less, which trains you to consume less. Getting into your spring cleaning and embracing the sustainable fashion movement isn’t as scary as you think. And, there could be some serious mental benefits to cleaning out your closet.

If a clean house is a clean mind, many of us could be struggling to find that peace and clarity we all look for hope to find. In Marie Kondo’s best selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” the author details one simple rule for clearing up everything in your life and home – gather everything of one category together (for example, clothes, books, etc.) and for each item, ask yourself this question, “Does it spark joy?”

The simple question and the simple answer that follows (yes or no) will then determine whether or not you should keep it.
main.original.640x0cTo make letting go of things easier, Kondo recommends that you thank the item for serving its purpose in your life, then let it go. That old gift you got from a friend that just didn’t quite suit you? Thank it for bringing a moment of joy into your life, then let it go. That dress that just doesn’t fit you right, but you were hoping one day would? Thank it for showing you what doesn’t work for your body, then let it go.

  1. DONATE, RECYCLE & REWORK

If you have a hard time of letting things go because you feel it is wasteful, worry not! H&M has a recycling program where they will take your old clothes and recycle them into other pieces of clothing. Other brands have similar programs, like Patagonia’s Worn and Wear initiative and others.

Failing that, there’s always a Goodwill or thrift store that’s sure to take your pieces. And if you’re strapped for cash, why not sell on websites like ThredUp and Swap.

rework clothing diy

And, taking this opportunity to flex your DIY skills, if there’s something you really love, say the fabric on a particular dress or shirt, you could always find a way to upcycle it. A shirt into a pillowcase or a dress into a new top, the possibilities are endless. Get inspired on Pinterest.

rework

  1. BUILD A GREEN FOUNDATION

Drew Cook, Co-Founder of PACT, an organic cotton company, once said to me that they chose to work with basics because, “It’s the first thing you put on and the last thing you take off.”

We couldn’t agree more on the importance of building a sustainable closet using organic basics, undergarments, and layers. These basics are meant to be the building blocks for any outfit – casual or elegant, work or play. You’ll also find putting together different outfits and getting dressed for work easier than before as you use key basics that you love to set the foundation for all your looks.

Then, use trend accessories like scarves from Indigo Handloom or Soko that won’t go out of style.

ethical closet foundation

Here’s a starter list:

  • 100% organic cotton underpinnings and layers from Pact
  • 100% organic trend basics from Wildlife Works
  • Basic natural fiber trousers from Everlane
  • Update denim if needed – one slim fit and one boyfriend fit from eco denim lines.
  • Basic, neutral outer layers from Eileen Fisher or Slum Love that go with everything and last through the years
  1. INTEGRATE NEW PIECES INTO YOUR EXISTING WARDROBE

Once you have your foundation and a few key pieces to make your style your own, you can integrate them into your existing wardrobe and get creative on mixing and matching to make new outfits. Get ideas from style and fashion magazines or consult blogs online.

Use Pintrest to explore outfit ideas and save your favorite ones.

  1. FOCUS YOUR FUTURE BUYING

When looking at what to purchase to add to your wardrobe in a sustainable way, take into consideration that some fabrics are just more eco-friendly than others and some brands are more ethical than others. Get some serious tips from Wear No Evil. Here are our recommendations, listed from eco closet starter to eco super star.

  • Avoid Blends: there’s very little technology to recycling blends, so there’s no where for your cotton-poly blend shirt to go once you’re done with it other than the landfill.
  • If you like the feel and utility of synthetic materials, choose pieces made from recycled or repurposed synthetic fabric.
  • Thrift and buy second hand: there are so much previously loved clothing that you can save from filling the landfill.
  • Opt for Natural fibers: these have the least amount of toxins and are biodegradable, so better for Mother Earth, too.
  • Choose Organic, natural fibers: about 16 percent of the world’s insecticide and 7 percent of pesticides are used to grow conventional cotton. It’s not just bad for your and the planet, it’s also harmful to the growers and processors who have to handle this material. Choose organic.
  • Fair trade/fair labor brands: fair to you, fair to the person who made it.
  • 100% transparency on entire supply chain: from cotton boll to your doorstep, there are companies striving to create the best processes for everyone involved. Help support these companies and tell the fashion industry that you want to know who made your clothes.

Some of our favorite brands and shops not mentioned above:
Raven & Lily
People Tree
Amour Vert
Modavanti
Accompany
Kaight NYC

fashion revolution

 

 

Keeping the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor Litter Free

IMG_1288

The Rukinga wildlife corridor is a pivotal crossing point for several different types of wildlife, from elephants to baboons. Unfortunately, it is located next to the A109, also known as the Mombasa Highway. Thousands of cars and commercial truck drivers pass through this area on their way from the coast to Nairobi. It isn’t uncommon to see someone chucking a plastic drink bottle out the window.

This practice has led to an area cluttered with colorful drink bottles and discarded tire rubber. The wildlife and domestic animals living in the animal are susceptible to ingesting these pieces of plastic and risk dying. Not to mention, how much of an eyesore it is for passers-by, an indication that littering is the norm.

Well, the young leaders at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) were tired of seeing this area filled with trash.

IMG_1309

How do you clean up and make an area litter free?

“Litter is a huge problem and it’s a problem along the whole highway, but the wildlife corridor has been deliberately kept clear of development to aid the movement of wildlife,” explained Alys Penfold, a VSO volunteers who organized the cleanup in collaboration with Wildlife Works. “We thought that if we cleaned up this one area, it would show the difference of what the area looks like without litter.”

On Saturday, April 1, 2017, a group of over 120 people showed up to help. Volunteers, community members, secondary students, rangers, and WW employees banded together to clean up the 2.3 km stretch of highway dubbed the wildlife corridor next to Rukinga Sanctuary.

“We thought that many people would not show up, but we had 120. We never expected that,” said Mercy Marigo, Hadithi Project Assistant. Hadithi works with women artisans to help empower them and sell their hand-made products to global markets. Alys was assigned to Hadithi as her project for her 3 month volunteer period. “It was our first project with the volunteers and we hope to organize with the community to clean up litter once a month from now on.”

Wildlife Works employees came to volunteer their time to help pick up trash and Wildlife Works Rangers handed out water and insured the safety of all participants working in close proximity to vehicle traffic. Each of the 3 participating secondary schools received organic-cotton shirts sewn and printed in the Wildlife Work’s eco-factory.

In 4 hours, the team collected over 250 garbage bags of trash from the area, removing plastic bottles, plastic bags, scraps, and other litter from this important conservation area. This amount of trash will be responsibly disposed of and recycled, beautifying the area and improving the lives of wildlife in the area.

IMG_1328

How to prevent littering in the future?

VSO held a community meeting to educate people of the dangers of plastic, how long it takes to break down in the environment, and it’s negative impact on wildlife and our planet. They also posted a large banner, urging drivers to keep the wildlife corridor free of litter.

“The idea was that you can’t put up a sign asking people not to litter, when there is litter, so the first thing we wanted to do was clean it up, so people can see the difference,” said Alys. “Then put up the sign to encourage people to keep the area that way.”

This event was the launch of the Taka Sitaka Taka campaign to help improve parts near the Wildlife Works project areas. In the future, the team plans on reaching out to truck companies to educate their drivers on the dangers of littering, bringing a recycling center to the town of Maungu, and spurring further clean ups along the highway.

While only a small portion of the trash found along the Mombasa Highway was collected on Saturday, we hope the message will become clear to passing drivers that litter along these roads will not be tolerated.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint with Wildlife Works

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Wildlife Works’ offset purchases go directly to protecting our 500,000 acre forest conservation project in Kenya and the thousands of elephants that migrate through the area. Without your carbon credit purchases, the forest would be destroyed and many of the elephants and other endangered wildlife in the area would be poached. Learn about our anti-elephant poaching program.

Before we started our forest carbon project in 2009, the Kasigau Corridor forest was being depleted by 2.5% every year. Almost 250,000 acres of forest would have been destroyed by 2029 without offset customers like yourself. Learn about Wildlife Works’ job-creation conservation strategy with REDD+ offset credits and our impact.

We are committed to saving our world’s trees because deforestation is responsible for 10% – 15% of all global warming emissions. If we can stop deforestation globally, it would result in 30% of the emissions reductions needed to maintain our global temperature increase below 2 degrees C.

offset my carbon footprint with Wildlife Works

HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT ME?

Destroying trees releases gases into our environment which traps the sun’s heat and greatly hampers Earth’s ability to stabilize our climate. The effect of climate disruption comes in the form of unpredictable and extreme weather patterns such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods in all parts of the world, creating resource shortages.

In developed countries, this causes a growing list of increased costs of living expenses including:
– higher food, energy, and water costs
– increased home insurance premiums
– threats to housing which stresses city public works’ services
– increased health risks like allergies

Check out this interactive article on how climate change impacts different parts of the world.

In poorer countries, the effects are catastrophic and unrecoverable. Communities are being displaced, livelihoods are destroyed and more people die of hunger.

how does climate change affect me

WHAT CAN I DO?

Climate change is an overwhelming issue and our dependency on the urban way of life makes it difficult to reduce our energy consumption to a minimum.

Offsetting your carbon footprint to provide the financial support necessary to stop deforestation is the most direct and sizable impact you can make to combat climate change.

For an individual living in the U.S., the cost of offsetting one year’s carbon footprint is just $180. With Wildlife Works offset credits, you can be assured that all the money goes directly to running our conservation project without any middleman brokers.

You can do this one thing and make a direct impact right now. OFFSET YOUR CARBON FOOT PRINT

Next, in addition to reducing your day-to-day energy consumption, you can put your money where your values are. Buy from socially and environmentally responsible businesses and demand more transparency from others. We only have one Mother Earth, let’s keep her thriving for the next generation and those to come!

offset my carbon footprint with Wildlife Works

11 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

With the planet warming at unsustainable rates, it’s imperative now more than ever that we each take responsibility for reducing our carbon footprint. Everything you do, from the clothing you wear to the food you eat, contributes in some way to greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are 11 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Eat less red meat and dairy products.

The world’s insatiable demand for red meat makes up about 9 percent of the world’s contribution to climate change, about one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions for the US agriculture industry alone. Through forests destroyed to create grazing grounds for cattle, to food grown specifically to feed cows, to the methane released by these ruminants, to the mismanagement of their waste, beef and milk are two of the highest carbon-footprint foods one can consume. Just switching from beef to chicken reduces your carbon footprint by 75 percent.

2. Reduce how much single-use items you purchase and throw out.

Every year, 58 billion disposable cups are thrown out in the US alone. They also use about 50 billion plastic water bottles in a year. Not only is this creating waste (when not recycled), plastic is made from crude oil and can only be recycled a finite number of times. Use a re-useable shopping bag when you go shopping (not just for groceries, for clothes too!), take a re-useable to-go cup when you order coffee in the morning, bring a to-go container with you when you want to eat out, and reduce the amount of store-bought beverages you consume. If you do buy commercial drinks from the store, opt for aluminum, the most energy-efficient material to recycle, or glass, infinitely recyclable through its lifetime. Get inspired by Beth Terry’s “My Plastic-free Life.” 

3. Purchase sustainable food that’s responsibly grown.

Purchasing locally grown food means that there was less transport, and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, used to get that food to your plate. Getting your locally made products means the same. Especially when you purchase in bulk and from a farmer’s market, where processing, packaging, and storage is left out. Also, when buying mixed source products, like granola, think about where all the raw materials came from. Things like cacao, coffee, and coconuts have to travel a long way to get to you, if you don’t live in the tropics.

4. Avoid fast fashion.

It takes over 200 tons of water to produce 1 ton of fabric and in many countries, the safe management of the toxic byproduct of the fashion industry is unregulated. The joke goes that in China, you can predict the next season’s trends by the color of the river. Cheap clothes mean cheap processes that are harmful to the planet and the people who make your clothes. Rather than purchasing cheap clothing and fast fashion pieces that you’ll soon grow out of, go for meaningful pieces and purchase things that can last your lifetime (or at least until you wear it out). Make an effort to donate your clothes and buy from thrift stores when you want something new to wear. While you’re at it, check out our 5 step program to green up your closet.

5. Unplug and switch off.

Helping to reduce your energy consumption is an important way to reducing your footprint. Do so by switching off and unplugging any electronics that you aren’t using, reducing the amount of heat and air-conditioning you use, and using as much natural light as possible by rising and getting to sleep early. This will also save you money.

6. Plant perennial trees and plants.

Some plants absorb more CO2 than other plants. Find out which plants grow well in your area and help capture the most greenhouse gases. Generally speaking, new saplings absorb more CO2 than older trees (although the latter store more CO2 than the former). Also, be mindful of how your garden by collecting rainwater and grey water from your household to water your yard.

7. Reduce the amount of waste you create.

This includes everything from clothing to single-use plastic bottles to food that’s gone bad. Purchase only what you need, donate second-hand items to charities, and reuse any containers purchased from the store. About 40 percent of food from the US food supply goes to the landfill. Start composting at home and reduce the amount of waste that has to be collected and processed at your house.

8. Opt to dine-in rather than eating out.

Even when compared to a single-person eating at home, dining out is still more impactful to the environment than cooking at home. With 58 percent of Americans dining out at least once a week, this is a hefty increase in greenhouse gas emissions. From energy needed to run a venue to food waste and packaging, the restaurant industry has a lot to answer for its impact on global climate change. Eating at home is not only healthier but also better for the planet and your wallet.

9. Avoid purchasing beauty products with petrolatum.

Petrolatum is a byproduct of the oil industry. It’s derived from crude oil and unfortunately not a sustainable product. Not to mention, it can be contaminated with other chemicals and doesn’t actually hydrate your skin. Unfortunately, you’ll find petrolatum in everything from facial moisturizers to body washes.

10. When you travel, travel slowly.

If you do want to travel, it’s better to take your time and get to your destination in the slowest way possible, using public transportation when possible. Buses, subways, and trains are great options to get to where you’re going. And, once you’re in your destination, stay for a while rather than changing hotels every other day. More on how driving compares to flying here.

11. Offset your carbon footprint.

It’s inevitable that most things you do release greenhouse gases, so offsetting your carbon footprint are one of the surest ways to make sure your livelihood is carbon neutral. Did you know that deforestation causes up to 15% of all global warming emissions? If we can stop deforestation globally, it would result in 30% of the emissions reductions needed to maintain our global temperature increase below 2 degrees C. Buying carbon offsets that come from forest protection is one of the most direct and sizable actions you can take to combat climate change. Depending on your country of residence, this can be as little as $30/year to $180/year. Offset today.

offset your carbon footprint with Wildlife Works

WHAT IS WILDLIFE WORKS?

Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.