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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Cascadia Sustainable Apparel Initiative

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

It's just an idea at this point, really, but Crispin Argento (designer of PINO and networker/idea man/talker/doer extraordinaire) just might be on to something. Long an advocate and agitator for sustainable reform in the apparel industry—the only consumer sector without a clear path into the future, ironically—Argento has been floating the idea of something he calls The Cascadia Sustainable Apparel Initiative. Basically, it would unite the Pacific Northwest's three major cities (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland) with a semiannual sustainable fashion week and, ideally, a joint education program for design students specifically interested in sustainable innovation in apparel design (which our region is already kicking ass at in an athletic/performance context).

Unlike every other major consumer sector, there is no clear road map for apparel to transition into the future. It's not that nothing is changing—it is, but it's decentralized. Given the size of the talent pool in the three major Cascadian cities combined, and their governments' and communities' commitments to sustainable achievements, Argento makes the argument that we should assert and invest ourselves as a destination for this movement.

"There's no global home for sustainable fashion," he says, likening it to New York as a capital of high fashion and Tokyo as the standard-bearer of street fashion. The Pacific Northwest boasts companies like Lululemon, Nike, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear, who are already leading the innovations that fashion needs—they're just doing it in the context of athletic and performance wear.

Read the whole thing here.

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