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The Greening Of The Fashion Industry

May 19, 2008
In case you have not noticed it, Green is in. Everything from organic foods to the banking industry (I kid you not; my bank will plant a tree in a deserving forest if I start an account with them) has begun to get into the act and it will only get more widespread from here.

The fashion industry is, of course, no exception and with fashion consumers having a past history of social activism (remember the boycotts that took place against companies who used foreign workers who toiled in despicable conditions?)it should be no surprise that some buyers are making some "green" demands of the industry.

The younger shopper is leading the green charge with their preferences for wholesome and organic foods in their refrigerators transferring to more and more organic clothes in their closets.

The Gen Y's and the Millenials are really driving this trend and the fashion industry is beginning to take notice of the 20-28 year old shopper who have upwards of $520 billion in buying power and who say they are willing to pay more for organic and fair-trade products. Whether it's from high-end designers like Linda Loudermilk and Stella McCartney, large marketers like Nike and Levi Straus, or smart retailers like H&M and the trend-setting new Nau, the selection of environmentally friendly clothing gets bigger every day. Would you believe that even Wal-Mart is getting into the act having introduced a line of T-shirts that have been made from old soda-pop bottles.

The clothing and fashion industry appear ripe for this kind of movement with the government estimating that each year Americans throw away roughly 68 pounds of clothing and textiles. Of course another reason is that the industry is built around product obsolescence with consumers being told that they should be buying new clothes every year when in fact what they have has several years of perfectly good wear left in it.

It is becoming more and more fashionable these days to be "eco-chic" and whether the buyer is a true and dedicated believer in the Green movement or are just wanting to create a caring impression, this trend appears to have legs. As consumers become more educated about the complexities of the garment business, they will want to know about all the details that are involved in getting clothing to the marketplace and will begin to demand the same level of transparency from clothing companies that they now expect from food.

It will certainly be interesting to watch as this movement unfolds, but one thing has now become clear. Companies who ignore what the consumer wants and is willing to pay for do so at their own peril. It seems that the Green movement has hit some sort of critical mass and if the buyers make enough noise they will usually get what they want. We shall soon see.
About the Author
Here are the author's fashion websites:
Coach handbags, footwear and accessories.
Kate Spade handbags, footwear and accessories.
Prada handbags, footwear and accessories .
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