Thursday, November 19, 2015

Naz&Court article for "The Good Trade"

Naz&Court Label Black.jpeg

Not all Fabrics are Equal

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry to date, following close behind fossil fuels. As studies bring to light the toxicity of the chemicals used to dye, tan, grow cotton and produce textile products, and we become aware of the excessive waste created by fast fashion, there is more room than ever for an open discussion on what we wear and how it effects the environment. 

If fast fashion is a new term for you, lets look at the facts. In America, we consume 400% more clothes than just ten years ago, and we create 11 tons of textile waste a year. The clothes are cheaper and more accessible than ever. We have to wonder how this is happening. If the fibers themselves arent getting any cheaper, where is the cost being cut? The answer is in the process used to make the textiles and the labor force who cuts and sews your new favorite $1 T-shirt.

The American Apparel and Footwear Association says 97% of clothing manufacturing is outsourced. Developing countries compete with one another, lowering their prices to keep major brands in their factories, often times paying textile workers less than a living wage. In Bangladesh, garment workers are making 14% of a living wage. This is a problem when 1 in 6 people on the planet work in the textile industry.

Another place that textile manufacturers cut corners is in the textile itself. Dying and processing textiles can be toxic, and laws that protect individuals at risk of exposure do not exist in many developing countries. Leather tanning facilities can be so toxic that leather tanners have a 20-50% higher risk of cancer from exposure to chromium 6. Also, laws that prohibit disposing toxic waste in residential waterways do not exist in many developing countries. Fabric dying facilities can scar the land, making it infertile to plant life.

All of this said, there are sustainable and ethical alternatives to fast fashion. Many apparel brands are focused on creative fashionable products that leave the lowest carbon foot-print possible. Our brand Naz&Court is committed to just that. We have sought out fabrics internationally that are safe for the environment and have created a work force local to Los Angeles where we know each of our sewers personally.

We have outlined the difference between traditional fabrics, and the fabrics we have chosen for our Legacy Collection.

Regular Cotton

Regular Cotton is not eco-friendly. More chemicals are used to produce cotton than any other crop in the world. Cotton uses about 3% of the world’s farmland and accounts for 25% of worldwide pesticide use. The EPA has determined that many of these pesticides cause cancer.

Naz&Court Organic Cotton

Naz&Court uses certified organic cotton; harvested from crops free of pesticides, synthetic chemicals and herbicides grown pursuant to the rules outlined by The National Organic Standards Board and Organic Foods Production Act.

Regular Silk

The process for producing & dying regular silk is toxic to the environment often requiring the use of chemicals like Aniline that are carcinogenic, or even explosive.

Naz&Court Ahimsa Silk

Ahimsa means “non-violent, cultivated” - a term by popularized by Gandhi who developed the ethic during his political movement which led to India's independence.
Naz&Court Ahimsa silkworms are cultivated laying hundreds of eggs which then feed on mulberry leaves that don't require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. Textile manufacturers are contracted with local South Indian silk mills to save their  breeder cocoons which are collected, spun and woven in small local mills which are often  no more than village homes with limited electricity and using hand looms.

Regular Denim

It takes about 1,500 gallons of water to produce the 1.5 pounds of cotton used to make a single pair of jeans. These cotton crops are drenched in pesticides and the fibers are later stained with toxic dyes, sandblasted and chemically softened. Additionally cotton yarn is  starched to increase its strength for weaving, bathed in oil-derived paraffin to smooth and lubricate it, and, in some cases, "mercerized" in caustic soda giving it the popular “worn look." Pesticides, dyes and related chemical mixes are killers.
Starch biodegrades, but when dumped in waterways the microbes that eat it also consume oxygen wreaking havoc on local aquatic life which depends on that oxygen. Caustic soda, a key ingredient in Drano, can also kill aquatic life and burn the workers who handle it.

Naz & Court Denim

Naz&Court Denim is a thick,mega durable yet biodegradable, organic,denim twill which uses very little water in it’s production. N&C uses only azo-free dyes. The spinning, weaving and dyeing of N&C denim is done by hand in cooperatives’ certified as Fair Trade by the WFTO. The process uses virtually no electricity.

Regular Leather

Turning skin into leather is an absolute environmental nightmare requiring massive amounts of energy and dangerous chemicals such as chromium, formaldehyde, arsenic, coal-tar and cyanide based derivatives which are pasted on to the local ecosystem as waste products. Ironically,chemical “tanning” literally pulverizes the collagen rich protein fibers in skins so that they actually stop biodegrading.

Synthetic Leather (Pleather)

Synthetic Leather, vinyl and other petro-chemical based materials take centuries to decompose. Pleather is essentially made of fossil fuels and its  popular cousin polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC is considered "the most damaging plastic on the planet,” releasing  dioxins when produced and toxic emissions when it’s  discarded and burned as rubbish.

Naz&Court Vegetable Tanned Leather

Naz & Court vegetable-tanned leather is made from free range skins. Vegetable tanning is an old world craft utilizing the tannic acids found naturally in plants, using bark, branches, leaves and even fruits. Vegetable-tanned leather is stronger and more durable than the majority of the synthetic materials and is ultimately naturally biodegradable.

Naz&Court introduces Pisces Leather

Naz&Court and Open Blue, the global leader in open ocean aquaculture aka mariculture, have become real time collaborators in sustainability. Open Blue provides skins from a delicious, nutritious fish: COBIA that they sustainably “farm” in huge floating “soccer ball” spheres called aquapods moored 8miles offshore in clean ocean currents.
Naz&Court have incorporated the unique vegetable-tanned sustainable Cobia-Fish skin leather into many of their designs both in their runway and legacy collections. Naz&Court has given Open Blue the opportunity to now literally “Walk the Talk” on fashion runways across the globe.

Naz&Court Lyocell

Naz&Court’s soft, breathable, wrinkle-resistant, luxurious Lycocell fabric is an environmental dream come true. It’s made from a naturally occurring cellulose fiber found in eucalyptus trees. The amine oxide solvent used to break down the wood pulp is non-toxic and can almost be completely recovered and recycled during the manufacturing process. The fiber will customarily degrade completely in a short time with no harm to the ecosystem in which it’s properly discarded.
As a brand, we hope to combat poverty and textile pollution by creating sexy, safe alternative apparel for everyday wear. We will continue to educate consumers where ever we can. The more you know, the more power you have to shape the world.  
Check out our online store and send us feedback!
Courtney Barriger & Naz Harounian

Friday, October 23, 2015

Eden in Desolation

Infinite we reach, bombastic
Touch turns to dust 
The red planet of war
Eden is in desolation

Fearless in my blood
I rock the pressure
My virtue does not wax or wane
Satisfaction is craved as water on my lips

The wind is calling
Begging for answers  
The wind is calming
The life aesthetic need not harm 

This is our home
I hold the earth gently 
Speak to it of promise
The Universe is always listening  

Little child, have you got a key?
Unlock the future
Grow with the grace of a Legacy

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fast Fashion Facts

Fast Fashion

We consume 400% more clothes than just a decade ago

We create 11 Million tons of textile waste a year in the U.S. alone


Cotton represents 50% of the fibers we use, 90% of which is genetically modified

Cotton uses 25% of the worlds insecticides


Leather workers have a 20-50% higher chance of getting cancer

Chromium 6, a carcinogen used to tan leather is known to cause lung cancer, liver failure, kidney failure, and dementia 

Most leather tanneries have been moved overseas because of the undesirable health risks 


One in Six people on the planet work in the garment industry

Living Wage is defined as a worker's ability to support themselves and either one adult or two children

Most developing countries pay garment workers less than the legal minimum wage

85% of textile workers are women

Many textile factories employ workers for yearly contracts that include room and board in their payment, just like 17th century indentured servitude


The textile industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world, second to the oil industry

Textile industry is the 2nd largest polluter of clean water in the world, second to agriculture

1850 gallons of water are used to make a pair of jeans