Eco Fashion Still Waiting to Go Mainstream
Let’s call it a case of “deja vu all over
again.” We’re reading a story
on how designers admit that eco-friendly fashions were not all that stylish in
the past, but all that has changed and consumers can now wear green and look
good in the process.
Well, as it turns out, we have read this story before (something
strikingly similar to it anyway) and even discussed it going back a few years
Today, however, is a new day and some retailers and designers are more convinced
than ever that clothes made with organic fibers, etc. are ready to make the leap
to chic if not quite cheap.
“Four years ago, there was very little in
the mainstream,” Zem Joaquin, founder of ecofabulous.com, told the San
Francisco Chronicle. “Now
there are clothing stores devoted solely to environmentally conscious
designs like Eco Citizen … and eco-couture being sold at Barneys
New York. Pact showed a beautiful example of organic underwear on the
runway. It used to be hard to find, and when you did, it was saggy
“When it comes to buying green or price, the
general public will more likely choose the cheaper item on anything,
whether it’s fashion or tomatoes,” Joslin Van Arsdale,
founder of Eco Citizen, a boutique devoted to eco-friendly clothing, told
“A key to advancing the movement is to educate people
and make them realize that piece of $5 T-shirt comes with an invisible cost,
a human cost,” said Ms.
Van Arsdale. “The main thing these designers are doing differently is educating
people about doing fashion that isn’t just price-based. It can be all three
together – people, planet, profit.”
Questions: When do you think mainstream consumers will be ready to buy eco-friendly
fashions? What do designers and retailers need to do to overcome consumer
reluctance to purchase?