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Going Green Fashion - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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Eco-conscious and sustainability have become buzzwords in the fashion industry as both designers and shoppers make an effort to go green.

Green is undoubtedly the latest fashion statement to sweep the industry. Of course, today's consumer still demands stylish, trend-conscious fashion, but she is equally concerned with the environment and sustainability. When making purchasing decisions, today's shopper considers more than just the style, price, and quality of an item. She also looks for natural fibers, and environmentally conscious production and shipping practices, which can help reduce her carbon footprint.

Apparel Search believes this green movement will continue to impact the fashion industry, as well as other industries from food to furniture and beyond. More than just a trend, this green fashion statement has been gaining momentum and consumers are responding.

We all recall London-based designer Anya Hindmarch who introduced the "I'm not a plastic bag" tote. The canvas bag was immediately snapped up by fashionistas who aimed to look good while doing good. The canvas bag encourages consumers not to use plastic, which takes many years to decompose. Other retailers such as Whole Foods have followed suit by encouraging shoppers to move away from plastic.

Moving beyond the way we shop, many socially conscious clothing companies have also been introduced. In 2005, Ali Hewson and her husband Bono launched Edun, a stylish clothing collection that aims to foster sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, particularly Africa. This fashion- and socially-conscious collection is currently produced in India, Peru, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Madagascar. In an effort to go organic, the Fall/Winter 2007 collection was 31% organic while the Spring/Summer 2008 collection was 50% organic.

The Coca-Cola Company is also known for its commitment to sustainability and green initiatives. It recently launched the Drink 2 Wear collection of t-shirts that are made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles and cotton. First launched last year at the New World of Coca-Cola store in Atlanta, the collection now has plans for international expansion through 2008, from specialty boutiques to department stores and mass retailers. Graphics stamped on the inside of the tees illustrate the act of recycling and tell consumers how many bottles were recovered and reused for each shirt.

Apparel Search believes we'll only see more green initiatives as we move forward. In fact, the Fashion Institute of Technology recently presented its second "green" conference, which has now become an annual event. The program gave an overview of sustainability issues. It helped attendees understand key issues such as the science behind global climate change, presented insight into what sustainability actually means to the industry, and presented information on several eco-friendly practices that are now being employed by companies.

By Regina Cooper

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