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Over 40 lecturers from Brazil and abroad brought to the REF stages themes such as gender equality, fair trade, collaborative creation, new luxury, sustainable raw materials, circular economy and a lot more.

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A matter of survival

It is irrational to continue to encourage an industry along the same lines as our ancestors. It treats consumption as a synonym for happiness, [...] which still sells clothes without informing consumers where they came from, under what conditions and by whom they were produced. "The words were part of the speech of the students of Greve Pelo Clima, who opened REF calling for urgent changes in the fashion system.  #grevepeloclima

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For a more human and free fashion

There were 12 panels with the same question: how to make fashion more transparent and representative. Inclusion and visibility at all stages of the chain, racial and gender equity, development of technologies and methodologies to expand the market around sustainable pillars and a change in the consumption model focused on products that do good and reduce oppression and differences.

"Fair value is that which those who produce can also buy", marked the speech by Nelsa Nespolo, the CEO of the  Cooperativa Central Justa Trama,pointing out the need to review the fashion value chain. That's what Simone Cipriani's  Ethical Fashion Initiative does. Through collaboration between artisans and luxury brands, EFI promotes the solidarity economy in developing countries, building new models for production. "Sustainability in the fashion business is possible, but it requires nonstop and long-term changes to the business model and the value chain," he says.

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For over 10 years, the Ethical Fashion Initiative has connected African artisans with the  Vivienne Westwood  brand to develop collections of handbags and other accessories. For Carlo D'Amario, CEO of the brand, "sustainability is part of the value perception equation". In fashion, this perception is still associated to status or aesthetic quality, but  Osklen  founder and creative director Oskar Metsavaht believes that the new luxury will come from products that bring about innovation in sustainable materials and production processes. Its Instituto-E developed, together with Coppead, a methodology for tracking the real impact of the company's products, using environmental and social metrics as factors in the decision-making process around creation. "Before transparency, I need visibility. The first step for many brands is to seek self-knowledge," says Oskar.

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Support to the Jacaré community

We partnered with  WeLight, which allows consumers and businesses to support social and environmental projects through their purchases, ensuring accountability, security and transparency of the flow through blockchain technology. We donated 2% of all Rio Ethical Fashion revenue to the JCRÉ Facilitador initiative, which offers low-cost fashion and beauty training for residents of Jacarezinho in Rio de Janeiro. The REF donation will allow the purchase of equipment for the hairdressing course.

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Recycled and reused materials in the REF kit

Nosso kit para os participantes trouxe os caderninhos da Cicero notebook, which cover was made with textile waste from carioca brands. A partnership with Farm,  was also developed to produce doubled-sided bags made from fabric scraps of past collections. The bags were made by Pipa Social, a collective creation center focused on the professional positioning of residents of low-income communities. In a partnership with Schopf Papier , we made recyclable cardboard placards for our guests to convey the message of a fashion that brings about changes. 

More: Our production team sported  Osklen’s recycled PET ASAP Project t-shirts, developed by Instituto-E.

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Moda e Academia + Agenda Moda Brasil

Além do fórum, o REF recebeu convidados para ações em parceria com a Academia e com a Indústria. No MODA E ACADEMIA debatemos entre 40 convidados o futuro do ensino de moda no Brasil e como ele pode se tornar mais sustentável e ético. A resposta: transversalidade do tema no currículo - sustentabilidade não é mais um tema isolado, tem que estar em todas as cadeiras e disciplinas.

Fechando o Rio Ethical Fashion, representantes de marcas e da indústria se uniram para uma sessão de co-criação. O objetivo: criar a AGENDA MODA BRASIL, um guia de ação com as perguntas que vão mobilizar a transformação na moda nos próximos anos. Nos inspiramos nos cenários de futuro desenvolvidos pelo Lab Moda Sustentável para falar de Educação, Tecnologia, Cultura e Consumo, Ciclo de vida do Produto, Trabalho e Desigualdade, Modelo de Negócios e Políticas Públicas para a moda. Este é o legado deixado pelo REF: um manifesto que vai pautar os principais passos para que as empresas contribuam com uma moda sustentável e justa.

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Sustainability as a way of live

“I believe a sustainable life style can improve the quality of your life, bringing about  other stories, other flavors and more style to it. And we don’t have to work hard for that to happen”. It was with these ideas in mind that Marieke Eyskoot, a Dutch sustainable fashion specialist, wrote the book "This is a good guide for sustainable living". At the closing of the forum, the author talked about the need to transform the negative and excluding fashion rhetoric, by turning its focus on products that promote well-being, and that can be consumed when

Replacing the mass consumption method is also Patrick Duffy’s motto, from Global Fashion Exchange. With curatorship by  Mag Mov,, Mr. Duffy brought to REF Brazil’s first SWAP GFX. The exchange fair took place on IED’s rooftop, where Farm’s pre-production models were donated. There were 84 participants and 420 pieces of clothes were exchanged – more than 20 kg of fabric were reused.

Rio Ethical Fashion seeks to cast some light on these questions, connecting creators and thinkers of a crucial revolution in fashion.

Thanks for coming with us!


Our special thanks to all speakers and supporters that made REF 2019 possible:

Eloisa Artuso, Julia Vidal, Aline Monçores, Larissa Roviezzo, Julia Toro, Elaine Tavares, Ana Claudia Lopes, Amanda Vasconcelos, Idilia Seixas, Lilyan Berlim, Fernando Pimentel, Giuliana Ortega, Luana Génot, Marciel Elder Costa, Fernanda Simon, Marcel Gomes, Larissa Roviezzo, Andrea Sousa, Bia Saldanha, Nelsa Nespolo, Nina Braga, Marina Colerato, Carlo D'Amario, Simone Cipriani, Dudu Bertholini, Emanuela Pinheiro, Patricia Lima, Juliana Luna, Leonardo Marques, Marcelo Guimarães, Brittany Burns, Felipe Villela, François-Ghislain Morrilion, Haroldo Torres, Oskar Metsavaht, Lilian Pacce, Alfredo Orobio, André Carvalhal, Marieke Eyskoot, Patrick Duffy, Marcelo Ramos, Gabriela Machado, Beto Bina, Taciana Abreu, Angelica Oliveira, Itiana Pasetti
Instituto C&A, Osklen, Reino dos Países Baixos, Simple Organic,
Instituto-E, IED-Rio

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