THREAD MEDICINE: This concept is an open-sourced business model for potentially including the dynamics of:
a Benefit Corporation
a contract which could act as an intermediary bridge between a non-profit, company, organization, coalition, small business, cooperative, or ethically motivated entity, etc. (This is to mimic the action of a benefit corporation for entities who are not structured that way or who are not sure how to shift from a competitive culture into a regenerative culture. The contract would enable a regular company to maintain its fiduciary responsibilities and sovereignty during a collaboration with a non-profit entity which has to typically garner funds in order to operate. The purpose of which is to expedite a shift in thinking and practice to a more systemic beneficial impact. Shareholders could actually earn IGE units or intergenerational equity credit by successfully introducing this into their invested companies.)
Pay-It-Forward on a personal, local, regional, national, and global scale
This is a concept for a cradle-to-cradle organic clothing store, educational resource, skillshare hub, accountable supply chain, and online cloud site that showcases both ethical and aesthetic innovations in the fashion industry. Cradle-to-cradle simply means that no harmful byproducts or waste is created in opposition to cycles of the Biosphere at any point in the production to usage process.
Sources of new designers, established ethical designers/sources, and publicly submitted designs would harmonize at regional to local scales in an amazing local-meets-global dynamic.
Production, exchange, live/work exchange, education and skillshare are also included onsite for commons space usage open to the public.
This is also a process where local original submissions of top-voted designs every month are fabricated for the public within 60 days of a winning poll. Such a system would create locally to regionally produced and sourced feedback for directing trends beyond the social and ecological impacts of fast fashion repercussions.
This also grants a 1-year study program of live/work education and/or internship credit for those top-voted designers where they can develop their skills. Recipients can use their time to develop their fashion portfolio on-site, acquire illustration skills, garment-making, textile production, learn hands-on fabrication and/or the necessary business skills to be an independent designer or ethical merchandiser. Anyone can submit as many designs as they prefer, train as long as they prefer as well, and receive contracted residual earnings from successful submissions. Submissions can be created in other regions in the network as well if these fashion hubs expand to create such a network. This means passive income for designers and/or collaborators.
This model would also act as a
visioning platform between emerging designers, garment workers, suppliers, advertisers, writers, graphic designers, artists, models, purveyors of culture, photographers, publishers, established designers and aspiring designers to enact a socially and ecologically ethical fashion culture.
Open application for a 3-year advanced skillshare program is also available in tuition based form. The cost of tuition is created with 10% from each student is paid forward in scholarship form to other students who could not afford tuition. In general however, 10% of each garment sale to the public would transparently be carried over for the cost of education or funding the inception of other Thread Medicine hubs. Collaboration is also an aspect of the program for community involvement.
An inspiration wall is a place where locals can print and post ideas as broad as the filigree on the hilt of a 15th century Persian blade, pictures of ancient hieroglyphs, celebrity gowns, street wear, ritualistic attire from tribes (but must be aware of cultural appropriation rules and THRIVE TRADE protocol), 1950’s English couture, etc.
The amount of likes acquired on each fashion inspiration submission created in response to this inspiration wall which is both physical and virtual via Thread Medicine’s site can be used as a kind of dialogue and development platform as well. This is not to expedite fast fashion trends but rather find a middle ground between pushing the envelope as a designer while engaging in principles of the slow fashion movement.
This concept supports the ethical creation of timeless pieces of wearable Art, classic styles, and/or garments created with well-constructed long term utility. In otherwords, a complete industry disruption of disposable fashion culture, its ecological impacts and social pitfalls.
Independent fashion designers seeking to participate in live/work skillshare from outside of the apprenticeship pool are welcome to retail space sections The store may have areas where local independent designers can showcase, develop and brand their own style as a way of crowd-funding the launch of their own boutique to operate with similar principles of sustainability and skillshare. Talent from the Thread Medicine apprenticeship pool would be openly available for designers to build a team based on their shared aesthetics. The only catch is that designers do not get to play God in contrast to the organizational principles of collaboration by which the apprenticeships were founded. Aside from ethical production of course but any objections and ideas must have a voice which is honored to be affiliated with the Thread Medicine program.
There would also be ongoing events and class workshops coordinated by outside facilitators available to the public. This could be hosted at a home business, at an alterations shop, theater, community center, etc. This is to broaden further involvement of ethical fashion into the public eye at a local scale as well as enroll local participation in this new culture.
Students are invited to explore wool spinning, looms, 3D printed fashion, organic/sustainable materials; as well as art fashion history, indigenous aesthetics, folk and ethnic roots of dress. Bamboo or hemp could be grown and processed as near as possible if not on site as well as hydroponically grown natural dye plants to be used for fabric. Lasercutting implementation can be applied to loom punch cards as hand-operated looms can have a database where punch cards for textile designs exist as a commons usage for looms all over the world (this would be an ideal avenue for circulating credit using THRIVE TRADE.)
Beyond standard fashion curriculum, the study programs would include: Aesthetics in history and various cultures worldwide the emotional, psychological, social and environmental impacts of fashion how to out-model the various negative impacts of fashion from pollution, the sweatshop, advertising effects on self-esteem, to high-priced designer rip-offs how to presently evolve the fashion arts culture into something interactive, explorational and accessible. Furthering resourceful and environmentally mindful approaches to 3D printed fashion commons usage the history, aesthetic and philosophy behind modern and ethnic fashions (including an extensive conversation on cultural appropriation).
In time perhaps the incubation of Thread Medicine locations could create sister stores. For example, for every store that opens in a high priced hub like New York or Paris it would be using a portion of its profit margin to create safe-houses in areas like Eastern Europe, Africa, China, Indonesia, South America, India,etc; where human trafficking, women’s rights violations and/or prostitution is a major risk to women. These safe-houses would not only include excellent residency and working conditions but also: provide protocols for child care cooperatives, higher education, peer-to-peer lending for small independent businesses, organic food grown onsite, 20 hour work weeks, etc. Engaging in social stewardship with Regenerative principles at that point.
Local textile cultures of these foreign regions would be drawn upon for inspiration in the production of simple-to-make accessories (all of which would be sold in the sister stores) while women received an education in fashion and its production. After a three-year learning program of the rehabilitated women (if they so desire), the safe house stores would be 100% identical in function to any of the metropolitan locations but the culture would be locally relevant.
Another inspiring potential aspect to social restoration for Thread Medicine would be sourcing high-quality Eco-Couture at each of these locations to have their production reserved for regions like Cambodia and Bangladesh where the negative impacts of the global fashion industry has experienced the most detriment. These pricey high fashion garments would be made abroad using Thread Medicine for advanced live/work agreements for high-dollar clientele. These eco-couture profits would go directly to workers and also as reparations to the families of those who have died unjustly in the fashion industry whether due to death during a demonstration, arson, acts of worker sabotage, or accidental structural collapse of working locations, etc. Moreover, these profits can be used to seed other Peace Programs in their country for things like food, health care, education, non-partisan security, etc.