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Workshops on Sustainable Jewellery and Apparel

As is well known, the mining industry is one of the most destructive of industries, often leading to local pollution of the air and water, deforestation and civil conflict in some areas.  An effort towards sustainability is fraught with challenges – it is often hard to find a truly “sustainable” source of metals, and there are very few standards, especially in Asia for the purpose. In the West, NoDirtyGold.org works with several retailers to ensure gold, for example is sourced ethically.

Choo Yilin is a Singapore based jewellery enterpreneur who is working around the issue by using recycled precious metals such as silver metal discards from refiners which would otherwise be thrown away as waste.  She also uses design to communicate ecological messages such as the “alternative to coral” collection, highlighting the need to avoid corals which are being overharvested from marine ecosystems. The jewellery is also handcrafted  by the Karen people in Thailand, supporting a dying handicraft industry in the process.

Here is an effort to enlighten consumers to the various aspects of sustainability in jewellery and luxury fashion, both the trends and challenges. Apart from Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery, the workshop features JUJUBE ® and Terra Plana which are in the luxury apparel and footwear industry respectively. They will be highlighting how their enterprises support ecological fabric and design.

This is the Press Release to the Sustainable Luxury Design Workshops:

Key players of Singapore’s sustainable luxury fashion industry are coming together in November for a collaborative effort to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable and ethical practices in the fashion industry.

Sustainable artisanal jeweller Choo Yilin, ecological apparel label JUJUBE ®, and ethical and sustainable footwear retailer Terra Plana Singapore agree that this is a timely issue, and have put together two consumer workshops featuring talks and a panel discussion between designers Choo Yilin, Jujube Li, and Green Drinks Singapore Founder Olivia Choong. Titled Sustainable Luxury Design Workshops, these sessions mainly examine what makes a product sustainable and ethical, the importance of sustainable design in fashion, and offers tips on shopping sustainably.

“Anyone who is au fait with current affairs is aware that the world’s resources are depleting at an alarming rate, and much of it has to do with the conspicuous consumption patterns of the developed world. The reason why I’m so passionate about sustainability in fashion and design is that I feel that we can work towards not only minimising damage but correct the destructive trends.” says Choo Yilin, Principle Designer and Founder of Choo Yilin. “One of the objectives of my business is to utilise jewellery design as a vehicle to communicate messages of cultural, ecological, and social importance.”

“By design, we can make a difference in the architecture of our lifestyle. As a committed ecological apparel designer, using only 100% ecological material in my designs ensures that 100% of it is biodegradable and/or recyclable after use, thereby creating a closed loop cycle in the consumerism process,” relates Jujube Li, Director of JUJUBE ®. “Enabling the consumer to create more different styles with the same pieces within our collection satisfies their need to keep up with the latest fashion while reducing material usage and wastage as well as reducing the consumer’s expenses on each new style they wear. ”

Keith Lee, Marketing Director of Terra Plana Singapore elaborates, “Good design is sustainable design, and one that is built to last. This is a message we try to resonate in all our products, and we also subscribe heavily to the values of the slow fashion movement, where we focus on creating quality shoes instead of merely looking at quantity. There is certainly a place for sustainability and ethics to exist in the fashion industry, where beauty meets responsibility.”

Through these workshops, Choo Yilin, JUJUBE ® and Terra Plana also hope to communicate that consumers don’t have to wait for big fashion players to drive change, and are instead capable of enacting big changes collectively through their individual actions.

“From the top-down, textile producers and large fashion houses have already begun introducing eco textiles and eco fashion to consumers, but many have failed to make enough profit from it to sustain their eco initiatives. Therefore, people must understand and demand change from bottom-up for there to be a significant impact on the supply chain,” explains Jujube Li.

“Consumers are a lot more influential than they think, and through a simple act of purchasing, one can help set new standards for responsible products,” says Keith Lee.

Choo Yilin adds, “Fashion and consumer lifestyles are accessible to the public, which makes it one of the easiest ways to start living more sustainably.”


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Posted by on Nov 3 2010. Filed under Ethical Jewellery/Fashion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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