For the past two weeks, I have been working on an assignment for my journalism class due by the end of the semester. The purpose of the assignment is to analyze a trend. It is a long feature article–1,800-2,000 words–that incorporates research and interviews with professional sources.
Naturally, I chose to write about how Fair Trade and fair labor practices are rising trends in the fashion world. So far, I have interviewed a student from university about whether or not she is aware of or shops Fair Trade; Rachel Lessne, owner of Green Envy Eco Boutique; and Renee Bowers, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation via email. Today, I will be speaking with Todd Larsen, Corporate Social Responsibility Program Director of Green America and contributor to the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers.
I also want to interview the co-founder of the Four Hundred showroom in New York. Four Hundred was the first sustainable public relations firm and was, from what I could tell on the web, very successful and well-praised. The firm worked with hot labels like Free People and Anthropologie. Odd enough, it is no longer in business. It was replaced by Foundfuture, but I am not sure if that firm currently engages in sustainability as extensively as Four Hundred.
Other interviews I want to get are with corporate social responsibility directors or sustainability directors from fast fashion retail chains H&M, Gap, or Zara. Unfortunately, the website looks discouraging.
Business of Fashion came out with an article yesterday, written by a Greenpeace International representative, about toxic chemicals found in top designer brands, like Zara and Calvin Klein. Even though this may not directly correlate with Fair Trade, the fact that chemicals are present in the clothes must affect the workers who manufacture the clothing.
This is a lot of information that I doubt will fit into 2,000 word document alone, but I hope to continue amassing resources and interviews for my forty-page senior thesis in the fall.