Green Chic, Fashion Meets Sustainability
Lately it seems it’s hip to be green. Whether it’s because people are actually starting to care about their impact or just want to emulate celebrities, the intention isn’t what’s important, the result is. Large retailers seem to be picking up on this and are incorporating it into their production, vis-à-vis their marketing. H & M has increased its use of organic cotton to 1,500 tons; Banana Republic is pushing its line of products made from bamboo (much like the new TGLC shirts, just not as fly). Also consider the emergence of brands like Threads for Thought and Alternative Apparel whose company mantras are the use of sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Another approach implemented by companies is to donate a percentage of proceeds to a worthy cause. During a recent Earth Week Banana Republic donated a jaw-dropping 1% of in-store sales to the Trust for Public Lands. Nordstrom’s sells Divine Chocolate, which is partially owned by a co-op of cocoa farmers in Ghana, take that Hersheys! These marketing ploys are characterized by an understated brilliance: guilt-free shopping spree and munching chocolate for a cause! Perhaps my favorite of these trends (I cringe to refer to them as such) is the focus on eco-friendly packaging like lipstick tubes made from corn polymers and biodegradable plastics. I shouldn’t need a chainsaw to access a AA battery locked up in 2 pounds of plastic!
All cynicism aside, anything that enhances awareness and creates more conscientious citizens is positive, even if these corporations are probably more concerned with their bottomlines than sustainability.