Chere Di Boscio gets real about "luxury" fashion, and more...
April 17 2018·
April 17 2018·
Chere Di Boscio is the founder and editor-in-chief of the print and online magazine Eluxe and is our #WCW this Wednesday.
If you haven't heard of Eluxe, they a quarterly published paper magazine and a digital publication based in London and Paris, dedicated to showcasing luxury brands that demonstrate a strong commitment to good ethics and environmental sustainability.
I met Chere in a sustainable and ethical fashion group on Facebook. I knew she was a lady I wanted to work with after reading some of her comments and posts, she isn't afraid to call out big brands for their b.s., or challenge the industry as a whole. Her seriously informed positions demonstrate her in-depth understanding on the complexities of the fashion industry. Eluxe and Chere's provocative articles get readers thinking and asking questions about the fashion industry and greenwashing. To give you an idea about the topics she tackles, these are some of my favorite articles; Is "Ethical Fashion" made with Deadstock Really Just Greenwashing?, You Want to Talk Cultural Appropriation? It's Happening to you, Now, and Brands Behind Bars: The Ethics of Fashion Brands Made in Prisons.
What inspired you to found Eluxe?
After having edited glossy luxury fashion magazines for several years, I became increasingly appalled at what the world considered 'luxurious'. For example, exotic animal skins, private jets, ivory, fur, and diamonds. My husband worked in sustainable development in the mining industry for many years, and I was fully aware that there's really no such thing as an ethically mined diamond. For me, luxury was always more about quality - and quality seemed to be sustainable; for example, naturally dyed, organic cotton pajamas, buttery soft vicuña coats or recycled jewelry that holds the secret of a story. I wanted desperately to quit my job as an editor for a Parisian luxury magazine, so searched everywhere for a sustainable luxury magazine to send them my CV. To my great surprise, no such magazines existed. So I decided to start my own!
Tell us more about your newest project, The Clean Ribbon Campaign, and why you started it?
Once Eluxe was up and running, I became increasingly aware of how laden beauty products are with chemicals. It's truly appalling, and highly unethical that this isn't even regulated in most countries. But then, I also learned that equally dangerous chemicals are added to textiles, as dyes and finishings, and these can also enter your bloodstream. As an editor, I have more knowledge of these things than the average person, and I found it imperative to share that information. And that's why the Clean Ribbon was born. The aim is to inform the public about the dangerous chemicals lurking in their clothing - especially clothing, since most savvy women know about chemicals in cosmetics - and eventually, to fund formal studies on the impacts of those chemicals on human health, as there is no regulation requiring that right now.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Competing with mainstream magazines that are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. For example, ALL of our articles on fashion deal with sustainable brands, but if Vogue does an article on 5 sustainable brands for spring or something, it's very hard to compete with them for viewers online.
What advice would you give to young designers trying to break into the fashion world?
To be honest, I don't know much about breaking into the fashion industry from a designer's perspective. But I would say that ethical is the way to go - there is no way this is a passing trend - ethical fashion is here to stay, and will be increasingly important for Generation Z.
What advice would you give to writers and bloggers that are interested in ethical and sustainable fashion?
Be kind. There are quite a few bloggers out there slagging off others because one is vegan and the other isn't, or one says XX brand is sustainable while the other questions XX's sourcing of fabrics or something.....sure, there is room for debate, and that's a really good thing to do. But no brand is perfect and the only truly sustainable fashion is, well, your birthday suit. So whilst it's good to point out certain things, getting really bitchy about it and taking it super personally is just uncalled for.
What do you think the future of ethical and sustainable fashion looks like?
To be honest, we're at a dangerous point right now: big companies recognize the marketability of sustainability and will jump on the bandwagon to sell products. For example, Vivienne Westwood does great marketing campaigns about saving the planet, buying less but buying better, etc...and yet she delivers a whopping six new collections each year, and absolutely none of them are made from eco-friendly fabrics. So we need to be aware of the difference between someone like her, who is clearly simply using the rhetoric of environmentalism to sell her totally non-eco clothing, and someone like Mara Hoffman, for example, who rehauled her entire production line to include only eco-friendly fabrics, though without much fanfare.
What can consumers do?
Increasingly, consumers are asking for more transparency from brands, and they will need to demonstrate that. But it's also very complex and we consumers need to be aware of that - one example that stands out most for me is from Primark. There was a huge outcry in the UK because the label was using child labour for embroidery. Due to that outcry, the brand fired all the children and hired adults. However, the children were all either orphaned or from homes where the adults couldn't work to support the family, and ultimately, they ended up working as child prostitutes or in beggar gangs. We need to be very careful about imposing Western ideals on people whose lifestyles are so distant from ours, we cannot begin to imagine...