Last week my boyfriend was asked to produce a shoot for Marithe + Francois Girbaud’s S/S 2013 collection and seeing as I am his assistant, that means I’m working on it too. We began laying the groundwork for the shoot on Friday and have had little time for anything else since. It wasn’t until last night that I was able to take a few minutes to relax and further research the company beyond what I already knew; and let me tell you, I couldn’t be more thrilled! Not only are they an iconic and progressive company that’s been around for decades, but they are an ethical group as well.
I love fashion because it gives us an opportunity to visually display our individuality to the world without ever even opening our mouths; but what I am even more passionate about is our earth and the health of our environment. I began working as an oil spill reporter for the Examiner in Mobile, Alabama shortly after the BP disaster devastated the gulf coast in 2010. The damage to the ocean’s ecosystem, beaches and surrounding communities was like nothing I’d ever seen before; and no matter what I wrote, it never seemed to be enough to get the depths of the destruction across. The experience was heartbreaking and in the wake of it I’ve come to accept that things like this fade rather quickly from the general public’s agenda, no matter how colossal they may be. However, I’ve also come to realize the importance of branding and the role it can play in spreading awareness. When a company that is beloved by groups within society takes a stand for something worthwhile, people listen; and this is why I am so ecstatic to be working with a company like Marithe + Francois Girbaud. They actually care about the health and future of our environment, and that is something I find far more worthy of my support than the slew of designers whose profits are generated through the exploitation of sweatshop workers.
I’ll be posting more about the shoot and the company throughout the week, but until then here’s a little sliver of Marithe + Francios Girbaud using their brand in order to spread awareness and help the earth (all contents below are from their site No Water No Chemical):
“Jeans is a symbol of ‘freedom’, and we have also had freedom in processing denim in all different kinds of ways until now. Previously, no one knew how destructive of the earth’s environment the various processes were.
Now that we know, François is making a declaration to develop and employ techniques that have the least possible effect on the environment.
We knew it was wrong when we saw what the ‘big machine’ for stonewash denim did. It wasn’t an easy feat to leave behind the various trading and manufacturing relationships, as well as the economic structure that was founded on the industrialization of stonewash.
François is taking a stand.
I will proudly become a rebel.
I will proudly take weapons into my hands.
Humanity is now facing a serious problem that is a matter of life or death. The precious resource of water is something that needs to be passed on to the future generation of this earth. By employing the method of ‘future vintage processing’, we are going to start a revolution.
“We can no longer make any more mistakes.”
The sand + water rinsing method that was employed until now used:
– 70L of water for one pair of jeans, which is an annual 420 million m³ of water for the global jeans production.
– 1kWh of energy for one pair of jeans, which is an annual 6 billion kWh globally.
– 150gr of chemicals for one pair of jeans, which is an annual 900 thousand tons globally.
If we change to the ozone processing method, it means:
– 70% reduction in water (equal to 2 years worth of water consumed by the population of Paris).
– 60% reduction in energy (equal to 2 years worth of energy consumed by the country of Nepal).
– 80% reduction in chemicals.
Further, with the WATTWASH™ method that uses lasers, the amount of water can be reduced to almost zero.
We can no longer ignore the effects that the denim industry has on the environment.
In Europe, the death of workers that were engaged in sandblasting of jeans is becoming a social problem. Awareness of the issues with nuclear energy and need for energy conservation is high among the general public. Europe, especially France, has been hit hard this year by a lack of water.
Conserving water for the future and acting in ways that limit damage to the earth are critical in order for us to keep living.
Let’s all think what each of us can do right now.”