How do fashion designers benefit from going green?
The green movement has got to be one of the most pervasive lifestyle trends of the 21st century. With its growing popularity, more fashion designers are “going green” (Leitereg). It is also the new trend in fashion. Organic clothing is on the rise and is popular with many designers. Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg are a few fashion designers that have included organic clothing in their collections. More and more people and consumers want to help the environment and are thinking twice before buying items. Americans are looking more closely at labels to see what is in the product. With a more eco-conscious way of thinking, designers can benefit from that by making their clothing organic. High fashion designers are doing it and even regular stores that you hear about everyday are also including organic clothing. Three examples of these stores that offer organic clothing lines are Target, Eco Mall, and Soul-Flower. Fashion designers can expect a growth in profit by going green due to the demand right now for organic clothing. People will even pay more just to know that the materials are organic. As the world grows more eco -friendly designers will benefit from going green. Many designers will ask, “How can I benefit from going green?” The answer is through using organic materials, drawing in new consumers, and pure satisfaction about the good they are doing to the environment.
Environmentally- friendly fabrics are easier to find than ever before. Designers have a must; it has to perform well and be stylish, and using organic materials have all of these qualities. Most designers do not take the time to find out about these materials. Organic materials actually are more durable than any other product. Although it costs more to make these fabrics, consumers are willing to spend a little more just to know that it is made out of natural fibers. Some examples of natural fabrics are organic cotton, bamboo, or seaweed (Smith, 1). “There is plenty of fabrics that are better than leather and look just as stylish. The process of making a leather shoe is toxic. Eco friendly materials are ready to go and some are made out of bottles. Because the market is growing there is no need for compromise. There is a better turnout, and more fabrics that are more breathable and better in the heat and water” (Mink). Rebecca Mink, a vegan shoe designer, uses no animal products at all. She uses fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, soy ink, which has no chemicals, no animal glues, and eco-friendly certified woods. For the soles of the shoes she uses corn plastics. Mink also uses a 100% recycled boxes with handles so customers do not need a bag. For fabrics she uses organic cotton and linen and they do not have any pesticides. Incorporating organic materials are the new trend with designers and are an easy way for designers to go green.
A new demand for these eco- friendly clothing and products draws in new consumers. With a new demand also comes with a better profit for one’s business. There has been a shift in the world; if one has not noticed everyone is starting to join the bandwagon toward going green. People want to look chic while saving the planet. Even stores like Target, H & M, and Barneys have added Eco-friendly fashion, which most likely raised sales for them. H & M was the first retailer to introduce garments made out of organic hemp, and is the biggest user of organic cotton in the world” (Wee, 1). Even on the red carpet there is a demand for it. Los Angeles’ Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week made the event environmentally -friendly. “ We’re actually going to reach out to a crowd that didn’t come before and let the crowd that does always come think about the environment a little more” (Donahue). Consumers are focused now on saving the planet. They want to feel like they are making a difference. ‘The retail industry is fuelling demand,’ Josef Spikyers of CIRFS (Burke, 2). Their decision-making has changed, they are thinking about what goes into the clothing and products before buying. Looking at what ingredients are in makeup as well as what fibers are being used to create clothing are just a few things that consumers are now doing at stores.
The pure satisfaction people get from knowing that they are impacting the environment positively is worth going green. There are so many toxins that it takes to make many fabrics. Designers using eco -fabrics and who also reuse fabrics avoid all of those toxins and bad dyes. Also, without using harmful factories it reduces pollution. This in turn, reduces global warming, which is a huge topic around the world. One example comes from someone in the shoe industry, one of many industries in the fashion world. “A fashion designer is not a designer if they are not green. Work with designs that are beautiful and connect with what’s going on in the world. Go in the green direction. It is not just about pretty shoes but the shift in the way people think. I’m changing the shoe industry” (Mink). Not only does one change the industry they are working in, but also their perspective in the world and their thinking about the beauty of the environment all around them. “Using green materials is healthier for the people that make the clothes, the people that wear them, and for our planet. There is no better feeling that you are creating beauty in the world with the least negative impact” (Villacorta).
With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the green products, fashion designers will stay ahead of the game by using environmentally -friendly fabrics and materials because consumers are ready and looking for them. Designers need to be aware of this and know that this is now the mainstream idea. It is a bit more work but also is so rewarding in the end. The feeling you get is relief and happiness, knowing that you are only doing something positive for the world. Customers may ask ‘Will the products still be stylish?’ The answer is obviously yes; any designer following this green trend knows that you should never sacrifice style. The materials used are more durable yet still very stylish, and you would never be able to guess that the products are made out of all organic materials. There are so many fabrics on the market now that are organic such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and nettle; all of these are natural and renewable fibers. With going green becoming a mainstream idea, there is a huge demand for these products and new consumers are migrating towards this, leading towards a larger profit. “ The most important reason why going green is the way to go is to keep in mind what is going on with the planet and the animals and plants within this beautiful world. Informed designers create lines that match what is going on around us” (Mink). The answer is very easy now how any fashion designer can benefit through using organic materials, drawing in new consumers, and pure satisfaction about the positive effects they are doing to the environment. Beauty in the world will be mirrored in the beauty of the products designed, using products that help conserve the environment; stylish and life- changing.
Burke, Maria. "Green Couture." Chemistry World – the Latest Chemical Science News Articles. Mar. 2008. Web. 11 Apr. 2012.
Donahue, Ann. "Couture Conservation." EBSCOhost. 19 Oct. 2007. Web. 5 May 2012.
Leitereg, Andrea. "5 Best Eco Fashion Designers." Mademan.com. 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Smith, Ray A. "Weekend Journal; Style — Apparel: Shades of Green: Decoding Eco Fashion's Claims." Wallstreetjournal. 24 May 2008. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Wee. Vincent. “LexisNexisA Academic: A Sign In.” LexisNexisA Acedemic: A Sign In. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 1 May 2012.
Mink, Rebecca. Telephone interview. May 16 2012.
Villacorta, Violeta. Email interview. May 15 2012.