Fashion Footprint: Clothing, This Is Your Life


 Fashion is the world's fourth  largest industry involving more than 60 million workers globally, most of them in developing nations. We all make choices that impact social and economic processes every time we purchase something. Fashion Footprint is an interactive tool made exclusively for shoppers, which utilizes technology to inform potential purchasers of the true story behind their clothing choices at the moment of sale.

Fashion Footprint's mission is to provide tools for transparency and support for worthwhile social causes. Via an audio-visual experience created by a smart phone, shopping decisions translate into an understanding of how these choices affect the lives of people globally.


Bangladesh Garment Workers: Source: Fashion FootprintBangladesh Garment Workers: Source: Fashion Footprint



 How did Fashion Footprint get its start?

The origins of Fashion Footprint lie in war-torn Bosnia when visionary diplomat, Mariam Naqvi, met rape surviviors who, despite financial aid, were not re-integrating into society or overcoming their victim status to become proud survivors. Naqvi recognized their creative talents and organized a knitting collective named Project Sarejevo, which was very successful in lifting human spirits and generating revenue.The project now sells hand-knitted scarves made from 100% Norwegian wool, which is a traceable and sustainable fashion product.


Project Sarejevo  Hand-Made Scarf: Source: Fashion FootprintProject Sarejevo Hand-Made Scarf: Source: Fashion Footprint


Mariam Naqvi

An experienced diplomat turned entreprenuer, Mariam served at Norwegian missions to Tokyo, Brussels and Sarajevo as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo. Her burning desire to make the world a better place after experiencing first hand the ravages of war in Bosnia turned her heart and career in another direction; namely, to important social causes. In 2014, she established Fashion Fooprint. Her home is in Oslo, where she lives with her husband and three children.


Fashion Footprint Logo: Source: EcouterreFashion Footprint Logo: Source: Ecouterre


 How does the Fashion Footprint app aid brand traceability?

The idea of fashion traceability isn't new, but Naqvi's story-telling approach is much more effective than former strategies of pointing fingers and shaming in order to promote positive consumer decisions. The goal is to make it easier to formulate ethical shopping decisions both in stores and online.

Currently in beta testing  with Norwegian designers, the most recent version of this app allows access to basic production-related facts through scanning a  Quick Response Code (Q-R code) using a smart phone or typing a URL into a web browser. The Fashion Footprint app is part of the company's mission to provide tools for transparency and support for important social causes.

This app is filling a need for consumers to learn more about the clothes they buy. Product awareness has already happened within the food industry that is heavily regulated by labeling, packaging, etc. In the last few years, mainstream and high-street fashion labels have changed their ethics to include sustainabiity and transparency. Via Fashion Footprint, an interactive platform can serve to reconnect consumers with the stories behind the making of their clothing.


Duster Coat: Source: Fashion FootprintDuster Coat: Source: Fashion Footprint



How does the Fashion Footprint app assess a company's ethics?

Fashion Footprint has developed a questionaire, which participating brands  are required to submit to determine eligibility. The questionaire invoves five categories. These include: workers' and building safety, labor rights, accident preparedness and basic enviornment regulations, and together they tell the company's whole story about production standards and general levels of transparency.

The future of Fashion Footprint

Fashion Footprint aims to strengthen its new tool and hopes to have the final version ready by the spring of 2016. Harnessing collective human power to create social change is a force to be reckoned with.

So is Mariam Naqvi.

 Closing thoughts on sustainable fashion:

I have so much more serenity now, knowing I am trying to make a difference.~ Linda Loudermilk, Eco fashion and haute couture designer

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