Thursday, October 9, 2014

transparent fashion




ecomodista considered angora a viable incredibly cozy fiber--until Liz Smith of the Daily Mail (I know I know I'm a Guardian girl) revealed the horrors of angora production. Ever since meeting and photographing Kristen Olsson's work (she was also THE model for Bohus knitwear) angora has seemed alluring. It has a loft that retains body heat quite effectively, absorbs dyes exceptionally well, and such tiny creatures may be raised on farms or crofts. Naturally, the National Angora Rabbit Breeders provides information on harvesting this fur without pain or angst for the rabbit, but large breeders seem less than concerned with animal rights. Of course being a shorn sheep isn't much fun either. 

One woman, Isobel Davies, is crusading for transparency of the fashion industry's fiber acquisition. In an interview with an editor at Womanology, Davies discussed how she founded Izzy Lane, after being a successful musician and the originator of farm to fork food networking. "Through Farmaround, I became immersed in the ethos of organic agriculture and in particular to preserve wildlife habitats. Whilst visiting organic farms I became aware that farmers were burning their wool in protest at the low prices they were being paid. What they received didn’t even cover the shearing costs. This horrified me since I had always loved wool as a fibre." As she researched this issue she "also discovered that there was no traceability whatsoever of animal fibre for [clothing]. Everyone wanted to know where the meat on their plate was from and how the animal had lived and died, but the same questions were not asked of wool or leather, yet the origin is the same." 


Izzy Lane's A/W 2012/2013 collection promotes ethical luxury by promoting animal welfare.

500 rare breed sheep which have been rescued from slaughter provide the wool used in Izzy Lane's collections. Their flock of Wensleydale and Shetland sheep is comprised of animals that would have been sent to slaughter for being too male, missing a pregnancy, being lame, too small, too old or other imperfections--white fleece marred by a black spot. Now these protected sheep live at Izzy Lane's  sanctuary in North Yorkshire while their wool is used in knitwear and wovens.