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Written by Sandra Castañeda Elena - Wednesday, 04 February 2009

My good friend -and excellent photographer, Pablo Wünsch Blanco www.auslandia.com and myself, came across Baruc Corazón timeless cotton shirts about this time of the year, just two years ago. We were wandering the streets of the Chueca district, downtown Madrid, when the entrance of a brand new cozy store called 3 Góngoras caught our eyes. Curious and hungry for beauty as we are, we went in to discover Baruc’s permanent collection: a set of shirts, kurtas and kaftans which has recently expanded to relaxed jackets and pants, and elegant polo-shirts and blazers. Since then, Baruc’s name has been in and out my professional life as one of Spain’s most visionary designers and certainly one of the most meaning driven. His garments stand out for their exquisite natural fabrics, smart, durable and unisex cuts, and the feeling you are purchasing something for the rest of your life. A true contender for both slow fashion and aesthetics. Just yesterday, I entered Baruc’s showroom and store in Madrid for the first time and I could experience all of those qualities exuding from each and every piece, the warmth in the atmosphere, rounded up by the interior design and the attentive and joyful service of his assistant – who happened to be an old student of mine from IED. Pure joy.

Written by Jenni Izzo - Friday, 30 January 2009

Let me first get you all caught up with my planning. Originally, the event was going to be a regular charity fashion show, focusing on local Philadelphia designers and boutiques. But then, after learning about Arcadia Boutique, I shifted my focus to eco fashion. 3 weeks and several hundred emails later, I am delighted to say that I have 18 great eco-conscious designers signed on for the event.

One of the great brands that will be participating is Bag the Habit, a company that creates stylish reusable shopping bags. Not only will they be participating in the event, they have donated a bag to be raffled off, as well!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

organicfan.jpgWhat strikes me being back in Rio is the poverty that hits you in the face similarly to the humid heat. It's sometimes difficult to acknowledge the relevance of working in eco fashion when I see children begging on the streets with just a rag on their body. It makes me think I should devote all my energy to education and getting as many kids to school as possible. Because who cares about eco, when you can't even buy your child a decent shirt?

Written by Sandra Castañeda Elena - Saturday, 17 January 2009

Kim and I met on our way to Izmir, Turkey, one warm September afternoon, just about three years ago. We embarked for our first Organic Exchange Global Conference. She was part of one of the most exciting projects on sustainable fashion that was taking place in The Netherlands, and I had just dropped into the organic textile world. The image of those intense days together, amidst so many special and inspiring people, thought provoking speeches from leading international companies and fun evenings by the sea, come back to me today as I get the confirmation from the Organic Exchange (OE) itself: I will start working as its business development manager in Europe in a few days. I can’t help the excitement! OE is an international organization committed to expanding organic agriculture, with a specific focus on increasing the production and use of organically grown fibers such as cotton. Its long term goal is to grow the amount of certified organic land farmed for fiber production by 50% per year. To support these efforts, the OE brings together brands and retailers with their business partners, farmers and key stakeholders to learn about the social and environmental benefits of organic agriculture, and to develop new business models and tools that support greater use of organic inputs. Consumer awareness is also one of its aims. So it seems we closed the first part of the loop…back together through EFW, let’s see what comes next!

Monday, 12 January 2009

lingerie_for_blog.jpgLast year around this time I wasn't happy. ModaFusion was asked to contribute her expertise to a big semi-governmental sponsored project. The idea was to develop an ethical lingerie collection with designers from São Paulo and to have it produced by cooperatives in the North-East of Brazil. One of the biggest funders behind the project was a big Dutch non-profit supporting organic cotton initiatives. The first meeting was a disaster since the director leading the project didn't listen to what we had to say. In fact, he seemed not to be interested in fashion at all, let alone organic or fair trade fashion. Instead, he commissioned his ex-wife as the designer of the new ProModa brand. She was somehow ok, but seemed frightened of him which worried us. After two months of not hearing from him, she was the one who told us he had been in jail. Apparently he had been caught for providing cocaine to president Lula and his buddies.

Wednesday, 07 January 2009


‘Wherever there are textiles, there is civilisation’ (F. Arechabala)

While researching the next MAG issue for this website over the holidays, I came across pineapple fiber. Pineapple fiber? Yes pineapple fiber, isn't that amazing?!

It was Sandra who had sent me the flyer of an exhibition in Madrid on this exclusive material three years ago. And as we won't have enough space in the MAG to tell the whole story of pineapple fiber, I kick off this Year of the Natural Fiber with some history on this super chic piña fabric. It's a story told by the curators Javier Fernandez de Angulo and Yolanda Garcia Villaluenga of the exhibition 'El piña, el tejido del paraíso (from September 2nd until October 5th 2005 in the Cultural center ‘Casa de Vagas’ in Madrid).

Friday, 19 December 2008

catwalk_with_bruni2.jpg'This 20 storey building was supposed to become a hotel. But then the people ran out of money and just left it to rotten. We used to have parties here in the fifties, before the whole area became a favela. Since a few years it's a school and sports center for disadvantaged kids'. It's Andrea's mum whom I'm chatting to while cutting tropical flowers on a baseball court overlooking Rio. 'Please hurry up, she's coming', Andrea passes by in a whirlwind looking fabulous even after three nights without sleep. 'I'm so proud of her because it's a big day today', her mum smiles.

Monday, 15 December 2008

I tore her out of an Austrian newspaper three months ago and she has been in my notebook ever since. In between diary scribbles, graphics and intelligent professor quotes, she just lied there. Patiently waiting for me to devote a story to her it seemed. She sometimes fell out of my notebook on the grey floor of a lecture hall or classmates saw her suddenly appear from the pages. They would give me a smile in those instances and their grin indicated: 'Funny fashion girl'. During hours of discussing quantitative methods and 'A journal' publication strategies, she reminded me of what I came here for in the first place. Her company gave me consolation: it was not just about becoming part of the printed-words-on-paper-production-factory called university. Life is also about visuals, aesthetics and colors, together composing the story that each of us carries and co-creates.


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