Canada’s answer to fast fashion is about to get huge.
Canada’s answer to fast fashion is about to get huge.
To fete the opening of its new SoHo location, Canadian brand Joe Fresh went for a cool, downtown vibe–welcoming fashion girls-about-town like Kyleigh Kuhn and Tennessee Thomas with special margaritas and music mixed by DJ Kiss. But by far the coolest thing we saw was a live graffiti installation by famous artist collective UR New York.
I woke up this morning to news that there had been yet another garment factory fire in Bangladesh, which killed 8 night shift workers. A collective shaking our heads is in order, before we get into the very necessary next steps that fashion brands, the Bangladeshi government, garment labor groups, and we, the “fashionistas,” must take. With 900 garment workers dead and counting, the Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24 is the worst disaster in the garment industry’s history. Sadly, there are no guarantees it is the last. Just after the collapse, I’d called for brands to start holding their factories accountable, and for us to resist buying fast fashion.
The glaring truth: boycotting brands does further damage to this delicate situation.
Disasters like the recent Bangladeshi factory collapse (and a fire that happened just today) are highly publicized reminders of the inhumane working conditions in which many of the products we use and wear are produced.
The only silver lining: According to the New York Times, such incidents increase demand for ethically-produced products, and the urgency with which retailers must respond to that demand.
As the dust continues to settle in the wake of the recent Bangladesh factory tragedy–debris is still being cleared, and the death toll, currently at 381, could rise to 1,000 once all workers are accounted for–retailers associated with the garment factories have announced plans to offer compensation to victims and victims’ families.
The garment industry of my motherland, Bangladesh, is burning, collapsing and struggling to stay afloat in the world economy.
The worst part?
All goods belong to the lowest bidder. No safety regulations, no living wage and no respect for the health, bodies and wellbeing of workers. As the Bangladeshi government scrambles in the face of another “accident,” thousands are protesting against abhorrent conditions in Bangladesh’s Savar Industrial Zone.
The names of the retailers’ tags discovered in the rubble: Mango, Joe Fresh and United Colors of Benetton. I can’t help but lament the irony of these names—evocative of the tropical, the colorful and alive, much like the verdant landscape of Bangladesh. The same sickening feeling I had on November 24, 2012, when a factory fire killed 112 Bangladeshi workers. Post-Thanksgiving meal, I jumped to sweep up Black Friday deals. More ironic names: Faded Glory. Gap.
Buried among these lost garments are the bodies of folks, mostly women, who knew that something was terribly wrong with the building when they clocked into work.
Now, where do we fit it in?
According to the latest reports, there are now 230 confirmed dead and hundreds injured, with an unknown number of people still unaccounted for. The disaster comes on the heels of two deadly fires at nearby factories.
In addition to the sharp rise in body count, several new details have emerged since yesterday’s tragic incident, including which brands are involved and details on what’s being done to prevent similar disasters in the future.
Here’s what we know:
J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is out, according to a press release sent out by the company. The store’s former CEO, Mike Ullman, will replace him. This news should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been watching the Penney saga unfold. Johnson, a former Apple and Target exec who joined J.C. Penney in November 2011, tried to bring the long-struggling store into the 21st Century with an updated design, tons of designer collaborations, lower prices, and the elimination of discounts. (Each of these tactics, particularly the last one, alienated what’s left of Penney’s loyal customers. People are creatures of habit. They’re used to markdowns. Even if a product is cheaper in the first place, they can’t help but want to see it discounted.)
Anyway, Johnson also brought in some great brands to Penney, including Martha Stewart (whoops, that resulted in a lawsuit), Michelle Obama favorite Duro Olowu, MNG by Mango and Joe Fresh. These were all great prospects. But no matter how hard Johnson tried, no matter how good his strategy was, it was never going work. Here’s why.
Spring jackets are tricky business. How do you find one that’s not too thick, but will still protect you during those breezy evenings? Are you more of a trench coat or light leather jacket type of gal? We picked the brains of some of our favorite outerwear designers (Veda, Confezioni Crosby, Gryphon and more) to bring you some tips on how to find and wear the perfect spring jacket for you–and came up with a handy little guide to find the best ones.
We’ve scoured the market to find the best in five iconic spring jacket styles: the trench, the leather jacket, the denim jacket, the utility jacket, and the rain jacket (we already covered bombers, fyi).
This week, Joe Fresh celebrates its one year anniversary doing business in America.
In my homecountry of Canada, Joe Fresh, founded in 2006, is already a really big deal, with 300 stores nationwide and a dedicated following eager to snap up its fashion-forward, super affordable duds. While it’s new to the States, it’s wasted no time in following a similarly lightening fast expansion: In just 12 months, Joe Fresh has launched four standalone stores in New York and opened up 680 shop-within-shops at JC Penney.
It’s a dizzying pace, but as I learned on Wednesday, when I spent the morning hanging out with founder and creative director Joe Mimran at the company’s New York headquarters, that’s just kind of how he rolls.
New York weather makes no sense these days. One day there’s a hurricane (those typically happen in the summer) and the next it’s 30 degrees and snowing. It’s supposed to warm up again this weekend, but we know that cold isn’t going to stay away for long. So to prepare ourselves, and everyone as we approach real winter, we’ve rounded up 10 coats that possess everything you want in your outerwear: style, function, versatility, warmth, and affordability–they all come in at less than $300. From parkas to puffers to duffles, click through to shop!