We were a approached by an online retailer in San Francisco to offer our range of fabrics to the US market.

So we did NOT say no 😉 We said (turn on American twang) YES MAM! 

And now PhotoGanic Organic Fabrics is available @ MATERIALIST.COM 

Have a look at our page HERE.

And don’t forget to please tell your American brothers and sisters to get involved and check our wonderful range of African, Sustainable & Organic Fabrics, now available on their doorstep.

Oh yes: and Please share this post! 

Thanks ! You the best : )



Some of you may know… but a little itch needed to be scratched mid-last year and Victoria, founder of PhotoGanic decided it was time to hop on her proverbial horse, and head… well… out to sea, to live the ‘dream’ on an island. Well not quite, but a few projects called her out there, and so marching (swimming, jokes, she flew there #obvs) forth she went, with head held high and heart held strong.

Current status of Victoria: Happy and settling in nicely to the island of Mauritius. 

However, this is not a personal diary entry, so lets cut to the nitty gritty about what you guys are really here for! 

Current status of PhotoGanic Organic Fabrics: (Also) Happy. Still running (Yes! Fist pump. But that’s obvious). The Cape Town studio is closed (boo!), but all dispatches take place out of our Cape Town depot (so its basically the same, just no personal chatty time with V and delicious coffee (sad face).

What about Printing! You ask? 

Everything else: Sampling, Printing and as mentioned (just so you are extra clear) Fabric availability and delivery will run as normal from our suppliers and despatch in Cape Town.

You are probably freaking out about the studio being closed hey? Thinking, what about the touchy feely side of things, because we all know you neeeed to feel the fabrics?! 

Well – Fear not: You are able to order a swatch pack of our full range of fabrics (which means you have them to your self to cuddle with all day (and night, if you lonely), which also means there is no separation anxiety when leaving the studio (happy face) )

Here is a little pic to entice you:  (See our price list page for more info)

So there you have it. Current status update complete.

For now:
OVER & OUT (with the admin side of things – way, way more exciting things to follow (Phew!) 


Hello!!  & Welcome (back) to the PhotoGanic Organic Fabrics Blog!
(or maybe its you who should be welcoming us back, or should we be welcoming ourselves back? Oh man, its getting confusing. BUT, all we know is that WE ARE BACK. Back and ready to continue filling you in on everything COOL, everything FUN – a.k.a everything ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE about fabrics and products that you need know : ) )

We are very sorry for such a long period of radio silence, but duty called in many different places, so we put our little info blog aside to rest for a while, while we got our hands dirty doing all sorts of exciting things. (Which we will obviously be sharing with you 🙂

We have some wonderful & interesting stories to share with you, so stay tuned for more.

Thanks again for your patience, and ….

 

 

 


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Fashion Revolution Day 24th April 2015 is an international day and opportunity to celebrate fashion as a positive influence, raise awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues, show that change is possible and celebrate those who are on a journey to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion. It will rally the high street, the high end, the innovators, the media, the public, the activists, the makers, the wearers – and everyone in between.

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The global fashion industry is coming together to celebrate the second year of Fashion Revolution Day – on the 24th April 2015. This is when a series of international events and initiatives will highlight the fashion industry’s urgent concerns and engage local communities to demand greater transparency throughout.

We are asking questions… So should you! 

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We invite you to participate. We invite you to support. We invite you to act.

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Thanks to the campaign, more than 60 countries participated in the first Fashion Revolution Day on 24 April 2014. This year, the campaign plans to go even bigger. It will rally the high street, the high end, the innovators, the media, the public, the activists, the makers, the wearers – and everyone in between.

You are invited to get involved and demand greater transparency throughout our local communities. Many popular brands and retailers have already signed up to connect with their customers through social media.

Here’s how you can become involved

  1. Take a selfie showing your label. You could turn your clothes inside out to make more of a statement
  2. Upload your photo or video to Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook
  3. Tag the brand and ask #Whomademyclothes? and #FashRev

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Whats happening in SOUTH AFRICA?

International Fashion Revolution Day – 24 APRIL 2015

MORNING WORKSHOPS
Morning workshops for students, industry personnel, open to the public (by pre-registration only) ( Incl. tea, coffee and snacks)
Time: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Aim: Workshops focusing on ethical/sustainable practices, live demos etc
Please RSVP to Tammy at southafrica@fashionrevolution.org if you would like to participate.

AFTERNOON BRIEFING
Afternoon Media Briefing (incl. press packs, goody bags, drinks and nibbles)
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Talks by: FashRev SA team, including the journey and where we wish to take it. Pre-screening of Roots to Retail, the FashRev SA fashion film Directed by Ernst Heusser.
Preview of the 24 Portraits exhibition featuring influential industry personalities and their view on sustainable fashion and its future.

But wait that’s not all…

POP UP SHOP– Local Sustainable Designer Day
Date: Saturday 25 April 2015

Venue: The whole event takes place at The Bello Studio, Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock, Cape Town.

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We’re involved, are you?

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The FASHION REVOLUTION Vision
We believe in a fashion Industry that values people, the environment, creativity, sustainability, and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that this happens

Fashion Revolution is strongly driven/powered by the global social media campaign
follow @fash_rev and use hashtags #whomademyclothes #insideout #fashrev #fashrevsa
On FashRev Day 24th April we are asking everyone to join in making a huge social media surge


Listen to the generations before us, and our elders will tell us how instead of a walk-in closet full of clothes, they had a tiny crevice in their room, or a wardrobe, where they stored a few garments: One nice coat, maybe a handful of shirts, and a couple of pairs of trousers were the norm for men, for example. Clothes were not always washed, but often brushed to keep clean, and shoes were polished daily. Fast forward to today, and fast fashion is all the rage. It is common to have several colors of the same shirt or pants, and many consumers do not think twice about discarding a garment — not to Goodwill or charity, but literally into the trash can — after a few wears.

Sustainable textiles, textile recycling, sustainable fibers, Levis, fashion, fashion industry, HM, Marks and Spencer, Econyl, Aquafil, Nike, bamboo, hemp, sustainable cotton initiative, fast fashion, Leon Kaye

These nets will eventually be churned into recycled textile fibers by Aquafil

 

Finally, the fashion industry realizes we cannot continue this trend in a world where the rising population will have to devote more land to food — or even energy. We cannot continue to grow cotton like mad, nor can we endlessly spin fossil fuels into polyester or other synthetic fabrics. The road toward more sustainable fibers will be a long one with plenty of failures and misses, but it is one we need to take. That is, at least, absent a total rethink of how many clothes we really need in our closets — a discussion the large global clothing chains want to avoid.

To skirt that problem, more clothing companies are focusing on sustainable fiber. Levi Strauss, for example, has modernized and transformed its brand in part by emphasizing sustainability in everything from its garments’ origins to long after the sale. The company has spun recycled plastic bottles into its iconic denim jeans and has worked with other countries to launch the Better Cotton Initiative.

While there’s still plenty to be done, the use of sustainable fibers is on the rise. Read on to learn more about how five textiles are shaping sustainability in the fashion industry.

Cotton

Even if more companies move toward sustainably-grown and responsibly-sourced cotton, this crop will always have a massive water footprint. Cotton will always be coveted because of its strength, comfort and breathability, so some companies are experimenting with blending other fibers with cotton to lessen the footprint of the final garment. California-based Synergy, for example, offers organic cotton blends that include hemp and bamboo. And advocates for more sustainable garment production often tout the latter two as plant fibers that can be used in textiles with a smaller environmental footprint.

Hemp

Hemp often scores points for its durability and rapid growth without excessive use of water and pesticides. It does not dye as well as cotton, and not everyone appreciates its linen-like and sometimes scratchy feel. But manufacturers, including Colorado-based EnviroTextiles, are introducing more updated textures that look like denim or wool. For hemp to scale, however, U.S. laws that have put a stranglehold on hemp production need to be relaxed. That could be a reality soon: In Maine, for example, the state legislature is considering two billsthat will lift restrictions on the industrial production of hemp.

Bamboo

Meanwhile, bamboo’s stock as a “sustainable” fiber has fallen. Several years ago, the miracle grass was touted for its environmental chops. But it turned out that the fibers spun from bamboo require so many solvents that it is virtually indistinguishable from rayon or viscose. Many journalists and bloggers began to raise red flags, and complaints with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concluded with several retailers settling with the regulatory agency. Other materials such as stinging nettle and tencel (from harvested trees) have gained interest, but the ecological impact of their processing and concerns about scalability come into question.

Synthetics

But with the size of the global textile industry, and increased awareness about its massive and oft-destructive impact, an emphasis on improved textile recycling technology will be crucial if the garment industry will truly become more sustainable. More closed-loop systems will be needed — as of now what few exist are in their infancy.When it comes to scale, synthetic fabrics are showing more promise. The era of more collaboration and less patent litigation, at least when it comes to developing more ecologically friendly textiles, offers hope. Some of this change is due to companies like Nike with its sustainability index, which boosts the sharing of ideas and innovation.

Recycled fibers

The changes are starting at the base of the supply chain with companies such as Aquafil, a synthetic fiber manufacturer that now recycles fishing nets and unwanted textiles into regenerated yarns for use as carpet or fabric. The company has spearheaded an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic ocean trash and “ghost gear,” and works with nonprofits and aquaculture companies to collect unwanted plastic equipment to churn into new textile fibers, which it brands as Econyl. The company in turn says it can collect those garments made from its fibers, recycle them again and continue the closed-loop recycling process.

Camira is another company churning waste textile fibers into fabric — though it insists its final product, X2, is preferable for upholstery. The challenge these and other companies face, however, will be acceptance from designers, who want fabric with which they can seamlessly work, and consumers, who overall still show bias against “green” or recycled fabrics over concern of their quality and durability.

Sustainable textiles, textile recycling, sustainable fibers, Levis, fashion, fashion industry, HM, Marks and Spencer, Econyl, Aquafil, Nike, bamboo, hemp, sustainable cotton initiative, fast fashion, Leon Kaye

The North Face uses textile scraps to make this Denali jacket

Companies such as Aquafil are the foundation of a complete re-thinking of how the textile and garment industries will operate in the future. Manufacturers and retailers, however, will have to be part of the solution, as well. One company taking a step is The North Face — an easy step considering its customer base is one who loves to be in the outdoors. The company recently modified a popular line of its jackets using recycled yarns, including one made from both fabric scraps and recycled bottles. It is hardly a closed-loop system, but it is getting there: The North Face says for every 10 jackets produced, four more jackets can be produced out of those scraps. Other global chains, including Marks & Spencer and H&M, say they are collecting textiles for reuse, recycling and repurposing. But so far the progress on sustainable textiles, while growing impressive, is still a drop in the bucket in the sea of waste and over-consumption that is a massive blot the global fashion industry.

Image credits: Leon Kaye, The North Face

Based in California, Leon Kaye has also been featured in The Guardian, Clean Technica, Sustainable Brands, Earth911, Inhabitat, Architect Magazine and Wired.com. He shares his thoughts on his own site,GreenGoPost.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

 


Strong unions and a new generation of environmentally conscious designers may be the key to ending factory closures

South Africa soccer team Bafana Bafana

Cape Town’s long-established garment industry was severely damaged in the 1990s when the free market policies of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) opened South Africa’s economy to an influx of imported goods and competition from Asia.

The result was mass factory closures. According to Statistics South Africa, garment industry jobs fell from 220,000 in 2002 to 100,000 in 2011. Cape Town’s Salt River neighbourhood is now scattered with former garment factories converted into foreign-owned call centres or simply lying empty.

Now, however, the race is on to save the industry and Cape Town is emerging as a design capital and manufacturing hub with a refreshing difference – it has safe workplaces and a desire to share the stories of its garment workers.

A key driver of change is the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union(SACTWU). Tired of retailers shipping millions of tonnes of clothes halfway round the world, SACTWU has a buy local policy. To promote this, the union runs shops that stock “Made in South Africa” clothing and is famous for its Spring Queen Pageant in which garment workers model clothes they have made.

Garment workers in South Africa are predominantly women, often single mothers and their family’s soul breadwinner. SACTWU states that 70-80% of garment workers are union members, which places the union in a strong position to negotiate for good conditions.

While the director of SACTWU’s research unit, Etienne Vlok, does not pretend factories are problem-free, he does describe them as good, safe workplaces. “Buy a garment with a Made in South Africa label and you can have peace of mind that the garment was made under good conditions,” Vlok says. “We want to use this as our competitive advantage.”

This desire is mirrored at the luxury end of the industry. The Cape Town Fashion Council represents approximately 300 designers nationwide, and CEO Bryan Ramkilawan emphasises Cape Town’s production quality: “We produce in an ethical way, we are not producing in a sweatshop environment.”

This ethos could be key to ending the factory closures. Ramkilawan points out that many of the designers showing at Cape Town Fashion Week have relatives who worked in the now-closed factories. Being so embedded in the community means their aim is “to create something that isn’t competing directly with cheap Chinese exports, but which is locally produced to empower people and which incorporates elements of South African traditional culture and design”.

It’s not easy, though. The problem Ramkilawan faces is that South Africa doesn’t have multi-brand stores to stock the collections of the people he represents, meaning they must seek markets overseas in places such as London and New York.

Along with the garment workers’ union and the Cape Town Fashion Council, there is another force driving change and environmental sustainability. Inspired by Cape Town’s place as World Design Capital 2014, and by the city’s Design Indabas, Cape Town’s young design community is devoted to design, sustainability and putting South Africa on the fashion map.

One such designer is Zaid Philander, founder of sustainable accessories brand I Scream & Red. He comes from a family of garment workers, many of whom lost their jobs in the late 1990s – a time he describes as horrible.

When he first learned to sew as a little boy, Philander’s feet couldn’t reach the sewing machine peddle and his sister had to devise a contraption from a crutch and a hosepipe that let him sew with his elbow. Some 20 years later the knowledge that “you don’t need to be of a certain height and have two arms and two legs to work a sewing machine” means that the majority of I Scream & Red’s employees are people with disabilities who work using adapted sewing machines. One employee is Zama Sonjika, who had both his legs amputated after an accident, but who now runs his own sewing business.

The neatly-constructed I Scream & Red bags are made from sample books, tents, PVC billboard banners and flags from the City of Cape Town 2010 FIFA World Cup. The bag straps are seatbelts recycled from the Cape Town car pound.

Philander rejects the idea that planet friendly fashion means “recycled hessian potato sacks” and people wearing “scratchy beige fabric”. Instead he argues that “you can have cutting-edge fashion at no cost to the earth and also do it in a responsible way – people in society need the work”.

For Philander, and perhaps for Cape Town, this means rejecting the global fashion model that prioritises cheap materials, immorally low wages and expanded distribution over product: “I believe that it is the worker who comes first, then your product is made and then everything else falls into place,” he says.

Back at the Cape Town Fashion Council, Ramkilawan reiterates the importance of fair production: “A chief part of our success is the story – you can track the garments, you can track who produced the garments, you can even visit the person producing the garments. You can steal the idea but you can’t steal the story.”

This article was amended on 3 February 2015. The original referred to Salt Rock, where it now says Salt River.

The sustainable fashion hub is funded by H&M. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled ‘brought to you by’. Find out more here.

Join the community of sustainability professionals and experts. Become a GSB member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox.


This past weekend at UK’s Fashion SPV held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London, PhotoGanic | Organic Fabrics was represented by TheSustainable Angle at ‘The Future Fabrics Expo‘.

Logo The Sustainable AngleThe expo showcased a curated collection of commercially available sustainable fabrics, from organic silk and low impact leather, to sustainable cotton and innovations including recycled and cellulosic fibres.

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If you were unable to attend, or (even more tricky like us), do not live anywhere remotely close to London, fear not! The Sustainable Angle has launched an even more interactive Future Fabrics Virtual Expo this year, now updated and enhanced with extra features and content, to help viewers understand and find the sustainable materials they are after.

The Future Fabrics Virtual Expo is a valuable tool for designers, buyers and students new to the area of sustainable textiles and materials, as well as those with established sustainable sourcing strategies. It represents a diverse (and ever increasing) overview of sustainable fabrics, from organic cotton denim, knits and wovens, British wool, and sustainable silks, to linen and organic cotton blends, and low impact leather.

For more info visit: http://www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com/



A SNEAK PEAK…at PhotoGanic & local SA brand Non-European‘s

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Friday 25 July @20h00 at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town will play host to our super HOT S/S 2015 collaboration with local South African brand Non-European.
Working with photographs of indigenous flora by Cape Town Artis Barbi Hanan, PhotoGanic designed some an gorgeous range of floral prints, which have been digitally printed, using eco-water-based inks, onto 100% Cotton Handloom fabric & 100% organic Cotton Interlock knit fabric, from the PhotoGanic | Organic Fabrics Range.

and here is a sneak peak of what you can expect… 

Flora: Hoa & Osteosperman. Design printed onto LACEY Handspun Handwoven | 100% Cotton  & Non-Violent Silk Fabrics
NON-EUROPEAN used a selection of our HAND LOOM FABRICS  & ORGANIC COTTON KNITS

The HAND LOOM fabrics may not be made from 100% organic  cotton / certified, but they are created in an eco-friendly manner and the centre where they are aims at developing new techniques of producing totally eco-friendly cotton fabrics using natural dyes which are free from pollution problems generally associated with synthetic dyes and meet the required quality (colour fastness) standards.

  • Spinning cotton yarns  using solar energy.
  • Weaving yarns into fabrics on hand looms.
  • Dyeing handloom fabrics using natural dyes.
  • Provides employment to rural people and artisans
  • It has traditional significance in India & the world over
  • Alternative substitute work plan for cotton farming families
  • Upholding ancient tradition representing freedom

Cant wait to show you the outcome TOMORROW!
Chat again Soon!


Just a quick heads up from PhotoGanic …

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We thought we would just poke our little heads up to say HELLO! Some of you may have noticed that we have been a little quiet for the past couple of months. Well….. have NO FEAR! We are not lost, nor wandering an aimless path in the shadowlands, nor have we been lavishly lazing around in the Bahama’s sipping on Pina Colada’s (wiiiish). No, I SAY NO! Precisely the opposite in fact. 
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Here at PhotoGanic | Organic Fabrics, we have been hard at work ‘thinking up & making real’, all kinds of exciting things!
‘Things’ we are just Tres Excited to introduce to you Very Soon!

A clue, you say? 
OK. Well if you insist… think along the lines of …

  • Soft & luxurious new Organic Knits & Wovens
  • Multi-coloured Herbal Dyed Hand Loom Fabrics- we are no longer surrounding ourselves with just white & greige. Its colours time! It is a rainbow nation after all 😉
  • Sophisticated Ladies Attire – Think BRAVE, Think BOLD & Obviously Think PRINTS!! and yes, think FASHION eeeeee!
  • New natural imagery textiles for all your product design needs
  • AND! A squeaky clean new logo look & feel

… ALL brought to you from our brand new & improved WEBSITE, with its very own ONLINE STORE, making it quicker, easier & all the more fun & interactive to get designing with PhotoGanic | Organic Fabrics!

BUT WAIT THATS NOT ALL!
On a More Current Note –
THIS WEEK & HOT OFF THE PRESS! 

PhotoGanic has also recently collaborated with a local South African sustainable brand NON-EUROPEAN to create some glorious textile designs on organic fabrics for their latest collection.
Textile designs were designed & printed by PhotoGanic, using exquisite photographic imagery captured by Artist Barbi Hanan. The finished design’s are Printed onto a selection of Organic Knits & Woven Fabrics from PhotoGanic’s Organic Fabric Range.The official launch of this collaborative collection will be taking place at:

Cape Town Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 
@ the CTICC,
Friday 25 July
@ 20h00. 

See the invite below, & hope to see you there … if you cant make it on the night, be sure to follow our updates for all the pics after the event!
(and the image on the invite will give you a hint of just how beautiful the designs really are! )

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So, until next week! Stay Warm & Remember, Always, Aim to Sustain! : )