Posts tagged Tania Swift
Moving Towards a More Sustainable Future

Fashion is a huge contributor to negatively impacting on the environment due to the use of energy, water consumption and landfill, to mention a few. In addition to this, human labour is a major concern with most garments being made abroad due to cheaper costs and questionable working conditions. 

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Whilst creating the designs for the second collection I wanted to find a way of reducing my negative footprint on the environment, not being a contributing factor to poor working conditions for the employees and to create a product in a more sustainable way overall. 

With t-shirts being one of the biggest contributors to global warming due to the production methods I knew I needed to utilise printing on demand to avoid waste whilst finding a company that utilises excellent ethics within the production of the t—shirts themselves both from a labour point of view to the types of inks used. 

Luckily print on demand (PoD) companies are growing thick and fast allowing for me to make an informed choice. Also, when I was conducting some research for PoD companies in East London, one had a showroom where you could see the samples, which was great because I could see different products and the quality from each company. Again allowing me to make an informed choice.

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The t-shirt company I have been won over by is a brand called Continental. The t-shirts that I have selected are called Earth Positive because they are a part of the Fair Wear Foundation, ( https://www.fairwear.org/ ) which is committed to ethical working conditions and hours, contracts that give a fair living wage to the factory workers in India where they also get a percentage from each garment sold. They only use renewable green energy from green and solar power and the cotton is 100% organic. You can read more about them here 

http://www.earthpositive.se/about.html

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In addition, I wanted to find a digital printing company that also had printing methods that are more environmentally friendly, used water based inks and their mailing bags are made from 100% recycled materials. They are based in the UK, which helps reduce the carbon footprint and again, I only print when someone orders a specific garment this reducing waste. So it’s a win win situation.

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The only negative aspect of this printing method, in my opinion, is that I am at the mercy of the PoD company, who have a lead time but depending on the time of year and other print orders, I have to wait for the delivery to come when it is done. Which for some consumers, is not a positive factor as fast fashion (and delivery) are so high on people’s wants and desires these days. But my hope is that people will understand the ethos behind the decisions made with regards to printing methods used and be happy they are contributing to a more positive concept overall. 

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Reflective Narratives
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The business of fashion is very complex.

Getting the brand ethos right, the garments and how you align yourself in the grand scheme of things ie the fashion world is a lot harder than I had anticipated. 

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Reflecting on the brand and making changes today has led to a larger overall idea. One final push with the current collection due to the spring summer season being upon us. 

Hopefully this will in turn generate funds for a new collection. One that is more refined.  

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Some changes have been made to the name of a couple of t-shirts to make the narrative stronger. Each garment has a story behind it, which I hope to convey in the next couple of months.  

So back to the research drawing board, to the funding options and contacting micro-influencers.  

And in terms of the larger reflective concepts behind what I am trying to achieve is the 'ripple effect', a shift into peoples social conscience, to talk and debate about diversity and representation, why visibility matters and why everybody should champion it.

Exhibition Time - Exciting Weeks Ahead

The following weeks are going to be busy, but good busy.

Whilst waiting for the photographer to finalise touching up the photos from the shoot I have been playing about with a digital lookbook, which I will send to specific fashion / arty magazines and stylists who I hope will feature my garments in their shoots.

When I created my first magazine, Front Cover, it was fun and somewhat easy as it was a creative space for me to explore and have fun whilst learning how to use indesign at the same time.

But this lookbook is on another level, literally. One where I need to consider many aspects. Not only placing images into the template but also the composition, collage, textures and the overall narrative. But moreover, the commercial aspect, making it look professional but also being true to me as an artist designer. So balance is key. 

As a result I have been researching other brands lookbooks to see how they lay out the images, text and if there are any artistic touches. What I have found interesting Is the brands aesthetics and how clear it is. When you see it you know which brand it is, there is a strong visual message being communicated. 

I am always drawn to specific designers for their artistic exploration and individuality like Vivienne Westwood. I like the combination of the locations the models have been shot in along with the post production artistic elements that have been added, such as text, scribbles etc.  Along with Maison Margiela who has a very playful aesthetic that is in keeping with my own. 

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

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Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

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So I will draw inspiration from them and play around with mark making, which for me is key as I like to express myself creatively whilst constructing a strong visual image. I generally know when I am happy with something as it just strikes a chord, an instinct of sorts. So here is the start, the cover, it may change a lot, it may have a tweak here or there. Who knows?  But thats the joy for me. All I know at this point is that my logo needs to be on it and the tag line with a strong image. Some elements have been ticked here. 

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So what else this week? Thursday my friends and I are going to the Barbican to see the Basquiat exhibition. Words cannot express how excited I am about this.  It would seem Banksy is too and utilising the opportunity to make a political statement. Very apt. I am looking forward to seeing this in real life. 

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Although this is something exciting especially as I have drawn inspiration from Basquiat since A levels. It is not as exciting as the up and coming exhibition that my painting is going to be in at Stour Space Gallery in Hackney Wick. It is a great event to be a part of due to all proceeds going towards charity - End Violence Against Women, hosted by Nasty Women. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the other art works and meeting the other artists too. 

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The following Friday is the launch of the annual print magazine gal-dem where there will be a party. So again another opportunity to mingle, meet people within the industry, other creatives. Need to get my chat hat ready and decide which t-shirt I am going to wear. Shameless self promotion I know!!!

There are hopefully tickets left, which are £10 and you get a copy of the magazine, drinks and food. You can purchase them at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gal-dem-print-issue-2-launch-home-tickets-37533547852

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And last but not least, Zines of the World, have released the dates for the exhibition at the Truman Brewery. So another date for your diary

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The exhibition is free but you need to RSVP at this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zines-of-the-world-tickets-37817063856

So all in all exciting times ahead. It is the start of the journey but I feel very positive about the new platforms that are opening up.  Let's hope they lead to something.