The fashion industry is in full swing when it comes to the “green phenomenon.” For me it started last spring when I spent 2 hours in the rain standing in line at the Anya Hindmarch store on 60th and Madison for a “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” Canvas tote. I got two and made a heap of cash selling one on ebay. (Someone all the way in Texas purchased it.) I carried it for a while, got a lot of attention for it and threw it into a bin with my loads of other bags. It’s been about 8 months since I last carried that tote and guess what? I’m still using plastic bags something fierce.
Becoming green seems to fit the do-gooder attitude in the fiercely liberal fashion community. I have seen so many initiatives and blogs about how to help the environment that it is only natural that the fashion community jumped on board. According to Woman’s Wear Daily the opportunities to “go green” are endless
In fashion, this may involve any of the following initiatives: sourcing sustainable materials, growing organic fibers, contracting with factories whose treatment of workers is ethical, delivering garments in a way that has the least impact on the environment, reducing energy and chemical emissions and finding unique ways to dispose of waste.
I like the idea of the fashion community really sticking to its guns and making sure garment workers are treated fairly. In America there have been memorable instances of garment workers suffering a harsh fate and around the globe garment workers are notoriously underpaid, mistreated and overworked. So how much should the consumer play into something that on the surface can seem gimmicky but will hopefully facilitate a greater good? I say, pick and choose. You can’t save the world all buy yourself. You can make a difference, be fabulous and not break the bank.
The Anya Hindmarch bag was only $15. That was doable for me. The reusable tote from Trader Joes at $.99 is a steal. The cute red canvas tote from The Strand Book Store (I could spend hours in there!) at a cost of $7.95 is completely worth is as they give you a $.25 discount on already severly discounted books for not using a plastic bag.
The Luxury lines are beginning to do what many forward thinkers have done for a long time. Stella McCartney, a designer I love uses wind energy to power her work studio and continues to produce comfortably bold fashions in eco-friendly fabrics. Her super green Spring/Summer ’08 line is returning to the UK this year. As she mentions in Elle UK, she’s doing her part to save the planet,further her brand, and draw in consumers.
‘Eco-friendly fashion is something I’ve always felt strongly about. You have to create a demand so the client base will grow,’ Stella says. Though she has not compromised on the luxury element of her designs to achieve the eco-collection. “You should treat the design process and luxury quality element of the product in exactly the same way. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your style.”
Check out Stella’s eco outfit which rocked Paris Fashion Week. Not frumpy, hippy, or treehugger like at all, right?