Must Read: Do politics belong in fashion media, why I’m a fan of “Made in Africa”

politics fashion media siizu sweater review
Wearing my fave ethically made sweater from Siizu. Photo: Jennifer Ingraham

If you, like me, spend more time on social media than on individual blogs these days, you may already have seen me share some of the below articles. But for the sake of my dad and the like one reader in Australia who are more likely to click on an email they subscribed to than a link in an Instagram bio, I’m compiling a list of some things I’ve worked on in the last few months. Enjoy!

Do politics belong in fashion media?

‘Maybe a decade ago you’d think, ‘Oh, I’m going to read my politics and then my fashion news and then my health news.’ Now, people see how those all go hand-in-hand. Something that’s decided in public policy could affect any of those areas.’

I’ll admit that I’ve critiqued women’s mags pretty harshly in the past for how they talk about fashion, represent bodies, and more. And to be honest, there’s still a long way to go on some of those things. But talking to editors from GQ, Teen Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour and more about their history of political reporting was eye-opening for me. (Turns out designers used this NYFW to make a lot of political statements on the runway, too).

IMG (the modeling agency that represents Gigi Hadid and Hari Nef) just signed its first hijabi model

‘It’s worth noting that Aden is not the first Muslim model to be signed by IMG, and there’s a real danger in equating “first hijabi” with “first Muslim woman” due to the ways it can lead to tokenism and the erasure of non-hijab-wearing Muslim women. Even so, it’s exciting to see someone who’s visibly Muslim — and making the modest clothing choices her conscience requires — celebrated by the fashion establishment.’ (For more on Muslim women doing interesting things in fashion, check out my colleague Fawnia’s piece on Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan, who was the first designer to do an all-hijabi-featuring show at NYFW last season).

I believe in Made-in-Africa brands:

I wrote about Uniform, a company making clothing as inexpensive and fashion-forward as Zara, but waaay more ethically, and I seriously can’t stop raving about the way they combine social responsibility, job creation, environmental awareness and good design. (Plus their jumpsuits are killer). I’m also really into this online luxury platform called Oxosi, which is trying to become Africa’s answer to Opening Ceremony or Dover Street Market. If anyone can succeed in putting Africa on the luxury map, it’ll be these guys.

What can fashion do about the Syrian refugee crisis?

Was the event this piece was written about largely a marketing ploy on the part of LVMH to make their luxury brand look more wholesome? Possibly, but since it gave me an excuse to link to UNICEF donation pages on a fashion website, I’m not complaining.

How to shop for ethical fashion:

I love when you all ask me questions about where to get ethically made jeans or prom dresses or ugly Christmas sweaters or whatever, but I’d also love for you to be informed about how to do ethical shopping on your own. I put together this little guide to help you out.

See where your favorite brands scored on the forced labor index:

A newish study by KnowTheChain ranks brands based on their efforts to eradicate forced labor (read: modern slavery) in their supply chains. Brands like Nike, Prada, Adidas, Gap and more are all on the list — click through to see where your faves landed.

My latest ethical fashion picks:

Good work-appropriate shirt dresses: number 1) and number 2); a gorgeous duffel bag and extremely trusty backpack; the sweater that won closet MVP while I was in Europe (seen in the pic above); a bralette made from vintage fabric; some simple white sneakers I’ve wanted for months; these crazy-cozy shearling-lined boots; a scarf so beatiful I’m probably going to hang it on my wall; an eco-friendly sports bra; purple iridescent flats that shine like beetles; and the pants that finally convinced me try going wide-legged.

Some other random fun: I ruined a sequin-encrusted dress in the washing machine so you wouldn’t have to; here’s what to do if you’re a fashion person who finds yourself with one of those weird 24-hour layovers in Iceland; PETA bought a stake in LVMH to fight for animal rights; how to wear (and shop) Native American fashion without being culturally appropriative.

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