Brazil – when I even think of the name, I think of beautiful people who know how to dress and truly enjoy life!
And while the people are looking good, many are concerning themselves with the social and economic aspects of sustainable and ethical fashion – in other words, fashion that is done right.
A few Brazilian designers have proven that style can be born in some of the poorest neighborhoods like the Mangueira favela, a home to thousands of poor people, and nothing like the typical fashion centres of London, Milan or Paris.
Many of the streets aren’t paved, houses are unfinished, and the fashion of the female residents can be bold – short shorts and tight pants! Yet, they set trends that eventually end up “going global!”
It might be because the designers there are creative and bold, think far outside the box, and, quite frankly, don’t care what the rest of the world thinks.
EcoModa is a project there offering classes in sewing, embroidery, fashion design and modeling to about 150 students. It recognizes that fashion in Brazil mainly comes from the suburbs, not elitists from Europe – and trends in Brazil are actually established by the general population.
Students in the project often use recycled fabrics. EcoModa works with cast-offs from the textile industry, and even with sequins and feathers left behind from Carnival. They’ve also experimented with plastic bottles and glasses. Bottom line: Much of the fashion worn by “top models” on the runway is crafted by seamstresses in the favelas. They are striving to create fashion that expresses their identities, that supports the environment, and that helps the social fabric of society while better economically-sustaining those in the favelas.
EcoModa also avoids the lack of ideals in the international fashion industry, where slave labour exists.
Jo’el Worldwear staff hope to visit Brazil soon to seek out this sensible fashion move. And, to enjoy the beautiful sites of Brazil! http://www.joelworldwear.com
(used partial exerpts from an article published by Tierramérica network, Latin American newspapers)