Kering, Parsons & Sustainability in Fashion

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I had the opportunity to attend this fantastic talk at Parsons The New School on April 2, 2015 covering the issue of sustainability in fashion. As an adjunct at Parsons and someone who researches the history, effects and impacts of animals used in the fashion industrial complex, it was an exciting opportunity to ask Francois Pinault, CEO of Kering, about a certain sacred cow of fashion: cows and sheep. We’ve know for about a decade now, thanks to the United Nations FAO that the livestock industries are the single greatest cause of the worst environmental problems, and products like leather and wool are not simply byproducts – they are co-products that represent significant and vital profits for livestock operations that would likely go under without them. Therefore, leather and wool are not just making use of some excess that would be thrown away (which is a popular belief). So how did Mr. Pinault respond to my question? You can watch the entire talk here (or jump to 40:30 to see my question).

Understanding Fair Labor in Fashion

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When we look at a price tag on a piece of clothing, one of the most difficult things is trying to make sense of it.

Why do things cost what they do? Why is a cotton shirt $10 in on store and $75 in another? If you’re looking to support companies who invest in fairly compensated workers, the task of sifting through PR, whitewashing and label-reading while trying to get a grasp on supply chains and costs of living is daunting at best, and most people simply throw their hands up. Luckily, The Fair Wear Foundation has launched a new portal aimed at clarifying this crucial information.

RECIPE: Vegan Matzah Brei

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If you celebrated Passover, you may have piles of matzah left over. Sure they’re great as giant crackers to eat with hummus, but something I grew up eating the morning after Passover was Matzah Brei. Traditionally, this Ashkenazi dish is made with matzah and fried eggs. It’s sort of like a savory french-toast but with matzah instead of bread. I veganized the recipe and am happy to share how easy it is to make!

What you’ll need (serves 4):
• 4-6 matzah crackers (there is now organic, whole wheat and spelt matzah available)
• 1 12oz. package of silken tofu• 1 Tbs of The Vegg
• 1 cup of water
• tofu scramble seasoning (make your own, or Fantastic has a pre-made seasoning packet)
• a large non-stick pan (or cooking oil to prevent sticking)
• vegan sour cream to taste
• horseradish to taste
• fresh dill

Directions
1. Beat together 1 Tbs of The Vegg and 1/2 cup water.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the Vegg mixture, the tofu, the Scrambler packet and the remaining water until it becomes a smooth batter.3. Break the matzah into fourths.
4. Quickly run the matzah under cold water to begin tenderizing it and to help the batter stick.
5. Heat your nonstick or oiled pan to medium-high.
6. Pour the batter into a wide bowl for coating the matzah.
7. Dip the matzah in the batter, covering both sides, and place immediately into the hot pan.
8. Flip when medium to dark brown (around 1 minute on each side).
9. Serve hot with vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, fresh dill and horseradish.

Culinary Collective, Gene Baur, David Duchovny & The Short Film No One Wants

Jay Astafa and Angela Lowe have launched a plant-based pop-up dinner series called The Culinary Collective. It seats 24 guests each evening and takes place at a private Brooklyn townhouse. The meal features either 15 or 7 courses (costing $150 and $80 respectively). Use the code “DiscerningBrute” to get 10% off through April 7th 2015!

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Get tickets to celebrate with Activist and Author Gene Baur at ABC Carpet in NYC on Monday April 6th at 6:30pm. Ticket includes a copy of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day

Another new book worth reading is by actor David Duchovny (Californication, The X-Files). He’s written his first novel, Holy Cow, and critics agree that it is a hilarious, dark and bizarre story of farm animals seeking freedom.

 

This is the story no one wants. This is the story I’ve sat with time and time again since 2011, wondering where it could go, and who would dare look… My hope is that, through this work, we can all look, care, share, and change.” The new short film, The Slaughterhouse, was shot in 2011 as a collaboration between Jo-Anne Macarthur and Kelly Guerin. Music A. Taylor: “Who Will Remember”.

Fashion & Animals Talk at NYU

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I’m thrilled to be presenting an exciting talk on Fashion & Animals at The New York University Animal Studies Initiative on April 7th 2015. What’s even better news is that this talk is open to the public! Please RSVP by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 7th, 6:15 pm
194 Mercer Street, Room 306
New York, NY 10003

Joshua Katcher is adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School, the founder of fashion house Brave GentleMan and The Discerning Brute, a men’s lifestyles website. Drawing from over five years of research and his forthcoming book, Fashion & Animals, Katcher will talk about ethical fashion and the contradictions that plague contemporary fashion: how our fascination with other creatures, whether wild or tamed, coexists with use of their body parts as desirable clothes; how the imagery of fashion industrial media complex so often pairs models with adorable furry animals such as cubs, kittens and lamb, while wearing fur, leather and wool; and how overcoming our cognitive dissonance and growing awareness and compassion can not only help promote a cruelty-free, aspirational and popular approach to fashion, but can solve large-scale problems and invigorate innovation.

Katcher has been named 2014 Man of the Year for COCO ECO Magazine, called a “force” (W Magazine), a “modern day hero in the making” (The Wild Magazine), a “Vegan superstar” (Oprah.com), “ethical style icon” (VegNews) and praised as promoting “The New Sexy Vegan” (The Guardian) .
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This event is supported by NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
The Animal Studies Initiative is an integral part of the Department of Environmental Studies and hosts a series of events throughout the year. For more information, visit our website here