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Generation Genderless - Issue #14

Generation Genderless
Generation Genderless
Hi - my name is Kris Harrington, CEO and Creative Director of Kris Harring Apparel Group. We specialize in gender-inclusive fashion design and product development.
Generation Genderless is your guide to the top news and insights covering gender equity and society within the fashion industry and beyond.

Industry News
Fashion industry risks falling short of green goals, Business of Fashion … - Shore News Network
PARIS (Reuters) – The 30 largest listed fashion firms must do more to hit Paris climate accord targets and U.N. sustainable development goals, although some are improving their social and environmental credentials, The Business of Fashion said in a report on Tuesday.
Fashion brands face increasing pressure from consumers, particularly younger ones, and governments to show they are doing better on environmental issues.
“You’ve got some front runners making small steps of progress but fundamentally the big picture is that the industry is wildly underperforming,” Sarah Kent, chief sustainability correspondent for the trade industry publication The Business of Fashion told Reuters.
The Business of Fashion Sustainability Index 2022, in its second report, analysed publicly-disclosed information on environmental targets and policies, including workers rights, in three categories – luxury, sportswear and high street fashion.
Puma was ranked highest, scoring 49 points out of 100, followed Kering, last year’s leader, Levi Strauss, H&M Group and Burberry .
Puma welcomed the recognition but Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden said “much remains to be done”. Kering’s chief sustainability officer, Marie-Claire Daveu, said her company was “fully aware of the challenges ahead”.
Levi Strauss, H&M and Burberry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“There are signs of progress but it’s largely incremental,” Kent said, adding that “we’re not seeing the big transformational leaps that we really do need to see over the next eight years” to meet Paris targets.
The report said companies could lose their cultural relevance and destroy long-term value by failing to act.
The companies overall scored highest for progress in reducing emissions out of the areas assessed in the report, but they scored worst in reducing waste.
“This is a really gnarly challenge for big executives at any fashion company,” Kent said. “How do you figure out a way to satisfy your shareholders and demonstrate that you can continue to drive financial growth without driving growth in production, without continuing to make more and therefore extract more and therefore create more waste?” said Kent.
The report doubled the number of companies it covered to 15. “More companies meant worse outcomes, almost across the board,” said Kent. (Shore Network)
Cotton rally squeezes Asian garment makers, threatens recovery from COVID-19
A near doubling in benchmark cotton futures to 11-year highs, hard on the heels of a spike in freight and fuel prices, is clobbering Asian apparel makers while their global retail customers are reluctant to soak up the extra costs.
Losses have mounted for garment makers in Asia, among the region’s top employers, with some smaller units suspending operations, rendering thousands jobless, undermining a recovery from the pandemic and posing a fresh challenge for policymakers already battling high inflation.
To remain viable, some yarn and garment makers are even replacing cotton with cheaper synthetic fabric.
“Our factories are running at full capacity. But at what prices? We are hardly making any profits,” said Siddiqur Rahman, managing director of Dhaka-based Sterling Group, which supplies to brands such as H&M and Gap.
An uncertain outlook for demand from Europe amid the Russia-Ukraine war has added to the woes of apparel makers in Asia – home to the world’s top garment exporters, China and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh exports more than 60% of the garments it manufactures to Europe, Rahman said.
In India, world’s top cotton producer, several small apparel makers are struggling to fulfill orders from three months ago, when cotton prices were around a third less than current levels.
“Many small units have stopped taking new orders,” said Ashok Juneja, president of India’s Textile Association.
India’s cotton prices have more than doubled in a year after rains hit harvest.
Global prices surged 70% over the period, scaling the highest since 2011 in May, with analysts predicting more gains amid drought damage to output in top exporter the United States and a recovery in China’s demand as COVID-19 curbs ease.
In a double whammy for garment makers, “buyers are not willing to raise prices,” said Ravi Sam, managing director at Adwaith Textiles, an Indian exporter. “They are also uncertain about summer demand, especially in Europe,” he added.
In southern India, which accounts for most of the country’s textile exports, spinning mills in May decided to stop producing yarn and procuring raw cotton, the South India Spinners Association said.
(Read More on Rappler)
P448 Unveils Genderless Shoe Collection With More Than 40 Styles
Today, Italian sneaker brand P448 has unveiled its genderless shoe collection, created with inclusivity in mind.
Named the Limitless Collection, the shopping program features a full size range, from EU 35 to EU 50, with more than 40 styles including a mix of existing styles and all-new silhouettes. The shoes are offered in the extended size range, providing consumers with colors not previously offered in their size or silhouettes not typically available to them.
With the launch, P448 wanted to fully allow their customers to shop and express themselves freely without any constraints — staying true to their brand ethos that sneakers do not have a gender.
“As times are tough, brands and retailers want fewer sizes and inventory,” explained CEO Wayne Kulkin. “[But] in my 30 years of footwear experience, with whomever I worked with, it has always been important to have varied sizing for anyone and everyone. This collection simply gave us the opportunity to break down the barriers of explicitly men’s and explicitly women’s sizing modeling.”
He added, “Now, it’s not about watering down a look to make it ‘genderless’ but making it exactly as designed for he, she, they, etc. If something is shiny or sparkly, then that’s what it is. If something is kick-ass though, then that’s what it is.”
As part of this larger brand initiative and in time for Pride month, P448 has partnered with New York-based Ali Forney Center — which is the largest LGBT community center helping LGBTQ homeless youth in the United States — supporting the organization at their recent annual gala, as well as donating a total of $25,000 over the next three months to continue to support the organization’s mission. (Yahoo)
Fashion Tech
Web3 has a diversity problem: Enter non-binary avatars | Vogue Business
In the fantasy realms of the metaverse, people want diversity that is true-to-life. But mitigating built-in biases means there’s work to do on representation, particularly of avatars.
Seeking to remedy that, next week, L’Oréal-owned Nyx Professional Makeup in partnership with People of Crypto Lab, a new metaverse-focused diversity lab, is launching a non-binary NFT collection and Pride event to bring more diverse representation to the metaverse. It’s happening on The Sandbox blockchain-based virtual real estate platform which is also being opened to visitors early, (a rarity for the platform) indicating the importance it places on these types of efforts. Indeed, The Sandbox founder has called out the problem of cis white- men building the tools to make the metaverse in the past, and the built-in bias that comes with it. The Sandbox typically opens for limited-time seasons only; Season 3 opens after this space opens. This is also the first beauty brand project in The Sandbox.
The project includes a weeklong #Metapride party as part of “Belonging Week” starting 24 June; the disco dance floor will be emblazoned with “Say Gay”, a nod to the recent Florida rule that bans in-school discussion of sexuality from kindergarten up to grade three. The project centres on the 8,430 avatars, designed to be representative of the 80 per cent of the global population that academics have termed the Global Majority that is Black, Indigenous and or people of colour combined with the LGTBQIA+ populations globally which IPSOS research says ranges anywhere from 3 to 10 per cent. Together, the People of Crypto (POC), landed on 84.3 per cent, represented by the 8,430 avatars. Avatar traits will include 36 skin shades, different disabilities such as prosthetic limbs, and garments including the hijab. Owners of the non-binary avatars will be able to customise their gender identity and sexual orientation. Avatars will wear makeup inspired by Nyx cosmetics that has been voxelized (the three-dimensional version of pixelated) and represents the colours of the progress Pride flag (an update to the rainbow symbol that is designed to include black and brown people and transgender people). (Read More on Vogue Business)
Is The Fashion Industry Ready For A Metaverse Mindset Shift? - Forbes
As many tools have put us face to face with new digital experiences in the past several months, the world is starting to perceive reality in a completely new way.
While it’s not easy to define the metaverse, tech futurist and metaverse expert Cathy Hackl describes it as a “further convergence of our physical and digital lives” and “the internet breaking free from the rectangles in our hands, desks and walls and being all around us.”
As we can imagine, Web3 is probably going to be the ultimate revolution of this decade, and as we all can assume, it will involve different market sectors. Fashion will be a big one.
From a personal perspective, self-expression and the feeling of self-satisfaction will continue to be important, as the need for self-fulfillment is part of our human nature. However, in order to achieve this scenario to a fuller extent, there will be less discrepancy between the physical and digital worlds. Real versus unreal will become irrelevant—because in the real world, pollution will continue to be an issue, and the “waste economy” model can be too linear in nature.
We also have the paradox of the human need of going through trends and outfits at a much faster speed than before, where a digital and JIT-driven (just-in-time-driven) experience could potentially solve this issue and fill the gap. With the metaverse, consumers will have the concrete possibility of interacting with pieces of clothing, even virtually trying them on.
At POMPOM, we recently created a sister company, SANPOM (三怦), focused on motion design and virtual fashion, where we created digital fashion for editorials such as Numéro magazine in China in collaboration with the Web3 marketplace Artisant.io. Not only was this the first time for the magazine to use virtual fashion, but it was also the first time to combine virtual and physical clothing, challenging the future of media sample loaning and significantly reducing CO2 emissions. We also collaborated with Shanghai Fashion Week’s emerging designer, NanKnits x Kornit, to create metaverse capsule collection pieces in parallel to the digital show. (Read More on Forbes)
North America sees hiring boom in apparel industry digital media roles
North America extended its dominance for digital media hiring among apparel industry companies in the three months ending March.
The number of roles in North America made up 54.7% of total digital media jobs – up from 52.1% in the same quarter last year.
That was followed by Asia-Pacific, which saw a 0.6 year-on-year percentage point change in digital media roles.
The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track the number of new job postings from key companies in various sectors over time. Using textual analysis, these job advertisements are then classified thematically.
GlobalData’s thematic approach to sector activity seeks to group key company information by topic to see which companies are best placed to weather the disruptions coming to their industries.
These key themes, which include digital media, are chosen to cover “any issue that keeps a CEO awake at night”.
By tracking them across job advertisements it allows us to see which companies are leading the way on specific issues and which are dragging their heels - and importantly where the market is expanding and contracting.
Which countries are seeing the most growth for digital media job ads in the apparel industry?
The fastest growing country was Germany, which saw 2.9% of all digital media job adverts in the three months ending March 2021, increasing to 5.7% in the three months ending March this year.
That was followed by the United Kingdom (up 2.3 percentage points), the United States (1.40000000000001), and Canada (1.2).
The top country for digital media roles in the apparel industry is the United States which saw 52.2% of all roles advertised in the three months ending March.
Which cities are the biggest hubs for digital media workers in the apparel industry?
Some 10.5% of all apparel industry digital media roles were advertised in San Francisco (United States) in the three months ending March.
That was followed by Paris (France) with 8.8%, York (United States) with 7.2%, and London (United Kingdom) with 3.7%. (Read More on Just Style)
Culture
  • New York will now allow trans and non-binary people to apply for gender-neutral IDs | Xtra Magazine:  rans and non-binary New Yorkers will now be able to apply for gender-neutral IDs as a result of policy changes that went into effect last week. On May 27, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that state residents would now be able to apply for an “X” gender marker to be listed on their driver’s licence or state ID. She said in a prepared statement that the “historic change” represents another milestone in the “fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.” “Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are,” Hochul said. The policy updates go into effect immediately. As of July, New York will allow anyone who wishes to have the gender marker on their ID corrected to apply to do so online, and those options are currently available through in-person applications. (Xtra Magazine)
  • Why some people use she/they & he/they pronouns: When Elliot Page came out as trans in December of 2020, he announced that his preferred pronouns were “he” and “they”. In doing so, he joined the ranks of other celebrities who have accepted “rolling pronouns”, including The Crown’s Emma Corrin (she/they), My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way (he/they), Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez (she/they), and singer Kehlani (she/they). But what exactly are rolling pronouns, and why do some people prefer them over a single set? And how do you use them respectfully? Keep reading to find out. Rolling pronouns refer to the use of multiple pronouns that can be used alternately or shift over time. Typically, people who prefer using multiple sets of pronouns also encourage others to rotate through all of them or mix them around when speaking to or referring to them. According to the 2020 Gender Census, roughly a third of transgender and non-binary people prefer to use two sets of pronouns. Over 10 percent stated that they were happy with even three or more sets. So, why do some people prefer to use rolling pronouns over just one set? For some, using rolling pronouns provides an opportunity to recognize their relationship with a particular gender. (LGBTQ Nation)
News from Around the World
  • The LES Studio lounge is at the forefront, offering gender-neutral cuts and prices (Canada): During high school, Nancy Haddad was never able to get the exact haircut she wanted. So, he turned to the world for inspiration, checking out the things of his fellow travelers and people on the street. Her obsession with hair led her to pick up the scissors herself after high school and head to work at a barbershop in 2015. There she met stylist Daniela Pérez Martínez, with whom she became linked due to their respective recent breakups. Their camaraderie turned to friendship, then love. The loving couple soon rushed to New York to practice their craft, and there, they had a revelation. “New York was very inspiring in every way,” says Haddad. “It was the first time we were introduced to the term gender neutral. The types of people we would connect with in our chairs were very different from what we were used to at home, from the way they all dress to their personalities and their hair. “ It was the kind of clientele they missed in Toronto. “The queer community in New York is huge,” says Haddad, “and queers are very innovative when it comes to how they want to be presented.” After two years in New York, the two decided to return to Toronto and start their own salon with gender-neutral cuts and prices, where everyone would be welcome. They named it LES Studio, after New York City’s trendy Lower East Side neighborhood, and priced their services based on hair length and complexity of the cut, rather than arbitrary gender lines. (Canadian News)
  • ‘Influential language’: Federal Government communications to be more gender-inclusive (Belgium): Civil servants working for the Federal Government have been given a guide on how to use gender-inclusive language in official communications, in a bid to promote Belgium’s commitment to gender quality and women’s rights. From addressing citizens with ‘sir/madam’ to using gendered words to describe a profession, there are many ways that communications can be gender-exclusive, even when it is relatively easy to avoid making such mistakes. Civil servants working for the Federal Government are now being encouraged to avoid such practices, with the help of a guide specifically designed for this purpose. “Language has a strong influence on how we see the world and how we think and act,” the guide given to all civil servants states. “Inclusive writing aims to broaden our perceptions of the world and create equitable gender relations.” The guide is meant to encourage them to use different words “deal respectfully with gender, and in particular with the place of women and femininity in communication. This ensures that everyone recognises and feels involved.” Gendered words and stereotypes in professions: Unlike in English, French and Dutch words are often, either directly (based on the spelling of the word) or indirectly, gendered. Particularly when it comes to professions, using a certain noun can either exclude women or can make it seem like women do not have a place in a certain sector. This can go from using both female and male forms of a word relating to a profession (agent/agente) to replace words with a more gender-neutral word (administrative assistant instead of secretary, which more often refers to women in the profession). (Brussels Times)
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Generation Genderless
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