When you put on an outfit, you are making a statement to the world. Maybe it's your most recent marathon, your current mood, or just the fact that you are really good in red.
When we go shopping, we usually have a few questions. What size is this? How much does it cost? What brand is it? But, have you ever stopped and asked WHO made your clothes? Where was it produced? Where does the material come from? What story do your clothes tell?
Sadly, we live in a world where your favorite t-shirt probably tells the story of underpaid workers, long-distance travel dependent on fossil fuels, and materials that require extraordinary amounts of water and pesticides.
How could it be? The answer is fast mode. Companies produce large volumes of clothing at low prices at the devastating cost of workers and our planet. In the least developed countries of the world, an estimate 40 million people sew more than 1.5 billion items of clothing each year in 250,000 factories and sweatshops. In many cases these workers do not benefit from fair wages or ethical working conditions.
Cotton, one of the textiles commonly used in the fashion industry, is one of the crops that uses the most pesticides. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world's insecticides and 7% of its pesticides. To make matters worse, cotton requires more water than most other crops, with each pair of jeans taking 1,800 gallons of water.
The output of the clothing and footwear industries is 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than international flights and shipping combined! Emissions come from textile production, international shipping, disposal of clothing in landfills or incinerators. At its rapid pace of expansion, the fashion industry could be responsible for a full quarter of global emissions by 2050.
The good news is that consumers (you!) can make informed decisions through our fashion choices. When considering purchasing a new garment, refer to the Needs buyer: Use What You Have, Borrow, Trade, Save, Craft, Then Buy - in that order. When you choose to use what you already have, borrow, exchange or save, you extend the life of the clothes that already exist and born contribute to other negative impacts of the fast fashion industry.
If you are looking to buy something new, you have come to the right place! There are some great companies in the industry positive results through a deep commitment to people and the planet.
Turning Green is honored to partner with companies and designers who embody sustainable and ethical fashion. Check out our lookbook below, modeled by the Project Green Challenge 2019 finalists, to learn more about these awesome brands!
Eco-fashion lookbook by Turning Green
Atelier Alienor is a French shoe company dedicated to preserving French culture and preserving the environment at the same time. Their shoes are made in small batches with recycled animal hides and have incredible attention to detail. Handcrafting shoes since 2017, Atelier Alienor seeks 100% authenticity in their process, from the materials used to the artisans who create the shoes. Through passion and tradition, their espadrilles are designed to empower women and create an endless summer.
From the start, Earth has believed that one of its primary responsibilities is to preserve the planet for the people who depend on it. That's why, since 2015, they have planted more than half a million trees in sub-Saharan Africa to provide people with material and nutrients for crops. They went beyond the basics of comfort and style to create simple, durable shoes. Their shoe-making methods include non-toxic, water-based glues, vegan leather, and glue-free shoe boxes to ensure they are doing their part for the planet. Earth also donated thousands of pairs of shoes in 2015 alone by working with Soles4Souls, a global company dedicated to fighting poverty by donating shoes and clothing.
Industry of All Nations isn't just a clothing brand, it's a movement. They believe that whatever the product, be it shoes, sweaters or pants, clothes create life. That's why Industry of All Nations works with diverse communities around the world to promote sustainable practices and uphold the traditions of the people and places in which their clothes are made. They believe we should live in a world where we buy only what we need, where we buy consciously and less.
Jungmaven was born out of activism. As a student, Rob Jungman learned that hemp can fight deforestation thanks to its regenerative properties that cleanse water, air and soil. So, he created a hemp t-shirt, and the simple but enduring brand was born. Jungmaven is produced in the United States and their clothes are made from natural materials like hemp and organic cotton. In 2010, Rob launched HEMP 2020, a campaign to raise awareness of the positive environmental impacts of growing hemp. He sees the potential of hemp to mitigate climate change as one of the greatest opportunities of our generation.
Mata Traders is a fair trade fashion brand that aims to reduce global poverty and provide stable income for poor families. With unique patterns and vibrant colors, Mata Traders makes clothes to empower women in their daily lives. Mata means "mother" in Hindi and is meant to pay homage to female creativity. When you make a purchase from Mata Traders, you are not only buying a piece of clothing or jewelry, but also empowering women, fighting child labor, and keeping traditions alive.
MATE The Label is dedicated to creating clothing at the highest level, incorporating organic cotton and natural dyes into their clothing. Sustainability for MATE The label goes beyond manufacturing the clothes, as the packaging is made from recyclable materials and the clothes themselves can be recycled in their store. Not to mention they are reducing their carbon footprint by bringing in a local manufacturer located just 10 miles away. MATE The Label is a brand for women by women, and they maintain their commitment to providing women with the best product possible.
Nau is the premier sustainable performance clothing brand dedicated to creating durable and comfortable clothing from the best possible sources. Their values include using sustainable textiles, creating high-tech clothing and contributing to environmental causes. 2% of every dollar spent by a customer goes directly to grassroots movements focused on the environment. Every garment purchased from Nau supports sustainability efforts in every way possible.
The environmental philosophy of Nudie Jeans was present even before the conception of the first collection. Providing jeans and clothing for everyone, Nudie Jeans products are made to last, with free repairs for life. Knowing the impacts of conventional cotton, their jeans have been made from 100% organic cotton since 2012. And, as of 2018, they are also 100% vegan!
Outerknown makes clothes for people and the planet. Their commitment to sustainability begins with manufacturers, who share the same environmental values. Outerknown also carefully selects the raw materials and partners that create the smallest ecological footprint. Their values also align with the other half of sustainability: people. Outerknown seeks to create better and more responsible clothing by engaging partners and empowering the communities that create the clothing.
Prairie underground is a clothing manufacturer that seeks to combine self-expression, durability and sustainability. Their engagement with local manufacturers guarantees higher wages and better working conditions, while preserving the American tradition. Each garment is guaranteed free from synthetic materials, as they blend organic cotton, as well as other plant and recycled fibers, for a soft and luxurious texture. They strive to achieve and maintain high ethical and sustainable standards without sacrificing price and design. At Prairie Underground, inspiration is found in every person to change the world.
About the authors:
Sophie is a senior at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Through her experience as a finalist of the Green Challenge project in 2018, she has explored new aspects of environmentalism and sustainability and continues her efforts for environmental justice in her community. Sophie plans to major in biology or marine science at university and work with marine conservation or environmental activism organizations in the future. Sophie also plays field hockey in her spare time and loves to cook and hang out with family and friends.
Ilana is a master's student at ESF SUNY, studying ecology. She won second place in the Project Green Challenge in 2017. Her passion for sustainability and conservation leads her to a future in ecological conservation research with specific interests in plants, fungi and soils. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2019 with Honors in Biology and Minor in Art.
Your brand is unique and so is the audience you are targeting. For and apparel, interior style, beauty, and other similar industries, a lookbook should be created as a high-end representation of what your is offering. Lookbooks are a great visualization tool for showing off your brand, building a crowd of loyal ambassadors, and generating excitement for your upcoming spring or fall product line.
What is a Lookbook ? Firstly, it’s important we define what a lookbook actually is. According to Wikipedia : A lookbook is a collection of photographs compiled to show off a model, photographer, style, stylist, or clothing line. Usually, bloggers or vloggers will ' model ' fashionable looks for that month or season. This gives viewers ideas on how to style outfits, or to show what the latest fashions are.
While this definition mainly focuses on the and apparel industry, it can be applied to all other industries creating seasonal product lines. No matter the industry, lookbooks generally have a consistent ' look ' to them. Unlike a catalog that displays pricing and generally contains a more complete display of all available products, lookbooks are more artistic and selective. They contain grande, high-quality photographs with minimal text that reinforce the brand and vibe of the product line. Refer to the chart below for the main differences between lookbook and catalog printing.
Professional photography is a must for lookbooks. Each product photo should be modeled in a way that shows its functionality or appeal to the potential customer. For example, an apparel lookbook should be able to reveal the fit, texture, and benefits of the piece of clothing easily in one image. to make the desired effet, the lighting and photography equipment used by professional photographers will be necessary. Cell phone photos will likely not cut it for a lookbook.
You should also note the word “model” in the Wikipedia definition above as lookbooks should go beyond standard boring product imagery and really expel excitement in the product. This is where photography will play a crucial role in producing a quality lookbook. Think grande photos with empowering subjects. Think of your lookbook as someone’s actual daily life and create those lifestyle shots that make a connection. For this reason, it’s important to find a model that mirrors the same qualities of the gamme.
The photographer should acknowledge the season of the fashion lookbook as well. As lookbooks go, they are usually focused on either winter, spring, summer or fall collections. Engaging with the seasonality of the clothing will make it easier for the end-user to relate to the product, which leads to more sales. If you’re a small brand or limited on budget, spending dollars for a talented photographer will be worth it !
It’s important that your brand is well represented in the lookbook as well. Your logo should be seen in several of the images on the clothing or product. It should be subtle and not overwhelming when using the logo within the pages. However, at the beginning or end of the lookbook it is recommended that the brand be prominent. Adding your logo or mission statement in the front of the book can help set the stage as the altérer flips through the pages. Your brand should be positively reinforced through the professionalism of the photographs, layout design, and products themselves.
Most lookbooks are a standard 8. 5x11 which makes it easy to portray standing or active models. The photos should take up most of the page with the text out of the way. Don’t be afraid to keep it SIMPLE. The product you are selling is the most important element on the page and should attract the whole attention of the reader. Placing a model photo on the left side page complemented by close-ups of the clothing is a great way to display the gamme.
With our free photo book maker, designing your lookbook is extremely easy ! Once you have your images, all you have to do is upload them and drag and drop them into premade photo layout templates ! Or, to knock out two birds with one stone, you can : 1. Upload your lookbook images into a Facebook photo album for some easy social media advertising. 2. Start a Lookbook style on the Photo Book Maker, fermé a theme, connect to your Facebook, and fermé the lookbook photos ! These will be placed into the theme’s layout, and your Lookbook will be done in minutes !
Once your lookbook is designed and it’s time to order, there are more things to consider before placing your order. Below we have listed our recommended product specifications for lookbooks : Binding : Perfect BoundPerfect binding is the ideal option for lookbooks because they are our most professional binding option. Not only do they appear crisp and professional, you can print on the spine ! This means that you can add the product line name, season, and year to the spine for easy book shelf navigation. We also offer saddle stitch, spiral, and wire-o bound books if perfect binding doesn’t seem like the right fit for you.
Lookbooks should have a cohesive look. The selection of models and their looks should be aligned with what the brand wants to communicate their target group. When choosing the theme for the lookbook, style it around the emotions and vibe that the client wants to convey.
With clothing line photos, focus on how the person wearing the clothes will appear and the quality and details on the clothing. Full body shots will let potential customers visualize how they’ll look wearing the clothes. And to emphasize the details and quality of the products, you can take images that are up-close using tight focal lengths like 50mm, 85mm, or even 100mm.