Monday, 12 July 2010

BOF talks sustainability

Just mulling over Business of Fashion's article "In Ethical Fashion, Desirability is Sustainability" (and linked article Sustainable fashion: what does green mean? on

"Indeed, the brands that will resonate most with increasingly aware, but ever-demanding consumers will be the ones who integrate sustainable principles into their operations without making “being green” their defining principle."

I definately feel that the fact that it's so hard to even define what "sustainable principles" are demonstrates the scale of the problem and the need for an industry wide standard. But also believe the true ideal would be to look at this from a more "cradle-to-cradle" perspective where "being green" - or taking responsibility for your environmental impact? - should be an equally defining principle to whatever your design aesthetic/ethos is, not secondary, and both complement each other.

I also think whilst it's really great that PPR have supported HOME (a film-based "environmental call to arms") it could be viewed a little as "green marketing". Most people now understand that we need to do something about our environmental impact (but perhaps don't know how to apply it on a day to day basis) and there is already a lot of info/material out there about the theory. I feel it might be a stronger message to also demonstrate support via visible changes to business and product strategy which have a tangible outcome to the consumer.

Of course some change is better than no change and I think Florien Gonzalez's comments are interesting and positive:

"For years, I have been saying to brands that improving their sustainability credentials does not require to tag the brand as “eco”, “green” or “ethical”. Humility and hard work are necessary to make current luxury/fashion business models and supply chains more sustainable. It is very easy to fall into greenwashing when one company presents itself as “eco” just because they have one “eco-collection” or a CSR director… We should serve sustainability more than sustainability serves us, and act more than we speak… As for the sustainable luxury definition, it is not as difficult as one would think, it requires to have a positive impact on people, planet and… profits. The implementation of this 3p definition is obviously complex and long term.."

1 comment:

  1. Great observations, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Eco Fashion!!