On Valentine’s Day, we launched Noir Tribe Media, with the goal to create provocative visual content for fashion and lifestyle brands.
We traveled to Mexico to capture fashion designer Ricardo Seco’s investigation into the art and culture of the Wixarika Tribe, the inspiration for Dreams, his Spring/Summer 2015 collection. We spent three days in the Sierra Madre with the remote tribe of mostly women and children, known as the Wixárikas. We immediately felt the magnitude of telling this story and stories like this.
Peyote Dreams toured international film festivals: La Jolla, Miami, London, Australia, South Africa, Lahore and screened at the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS) in Sao Paulo, and The Museum at FIT Global Fashion Capitals Exhibition. This journey for the film confirmed to us that the community was thirsty for stories behind the designers and cemented our focus for the future.
While in Cape Town for the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African Fashion Film Festival we connected with three local designers, all associated with the Ethical Fashion Initiative – part of the International Trade Centre, the WTO and UN. These designers shared their ethical mission with us as well as their latest collections, which you can see in Episode 1: AKJP and Episode 2: Mdingi Coutts.
In September we officially announced our partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative to develop additional episodes in Western African for Season 1.
Epsiodes 1 and 2 are Official Selections of BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK.
Noir Tribe believes Ethetics (admittedly a word we made up), describes the growing movement of Ethical Fashion and Social Responsibility. Conscious consumers understand the environmental, societal, and health impacts for which fast fashion is responsible, and yearn to support brands that are using environmental materials, ensuring the health and safety of their workers, as well as positively contributing to local and global communities.
We want to support socially and environmentally conscious brands that insist on safe working conditions, such as factories that are structurally stable and farmers that work in pesticide-free fields. We want to see the elimination of toxic cast-offs that pollute landfills or are sent to third world countries to be sold back to the people who originally made them. We want to clean up dye-polluted water sources, which result in a disproportionate number of severely disabled children in proximate villages. As environmental journalist Lucy Siegle puts it: “Fast Fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying for it.”
Anyone that has investigated these atrocities desires a return to Ethetics, where products are made fairly and workers are paid a living wage to support themselves and their families, instead of sending their children away to live with remote relatives or keeping them close by on a factory floor. Every human deserves a safe working environment free from dangerous chemicals, the threat of collapse, or slave labor – which unfortunately can be the side effects of supporting brands whose mission is only the bottom line, rather than Ethical Capitalism that requires and deserves a profit, while also caring for the workers that make the business successful.
Ultimately the harmony of ethics and aesthetics exists in products causing the least damage to the planet possible while still giving the consumer an aesthetic satisfaction. Because ultimately, the critical part of this equation is Aesthetic. Without style, clothes can’t be considered fashion-contenders.