In the face of consumerism, it can be difficult to live a green lifestyle. Choosing alternative and organic fabrics keeps toxins out of our air and water but finding stylish and affordable options can prove difficult in the giant maze of the fashion industry. (Style and convenience are available though at the Green Earth Bamboo Earth Day Sale!)
The fashion industry is not necessarily a friend to the environment with the pollution costs of producing clothing (if you don’t believe us, search for a photo of the Jian River on the Internet and see how it runs red from pollution) along with the promotion of a fast fashion cycle which encourages disposable clothing.
Recently, trying to shed that image and do their part, Christie’s held its 3rd annual Green Auction: Bid to Save the Earth which raised over $600,000 for Oceana, Conservation International, the Central Park Conservancy and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The event brought the fashion industry together in an eco-conscious rallying cry including a focus on the water pollution in China where 65% of the world’s clothing is produced. The pollution is a long-standing problem with a long-standing joke ““You know the color that’s going to be in fashion next season by the color of the rivers in China.”
Honorary co-chair Susan Rockefeller explained the action the fashion industry is taking to be more environmentally responsible: “I think the [fashion] industry is making great progress in terms of going green, and it’s doing it in a way that shows consumers that ‘green’ doesn’t have to mean unstylish or boring. Many fashion companies are thinking about how to protect the environment, while still producing their visions.”
There is change afoot in the industry though. Luxury conglomerate PPR which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney initiated the Creative Sustainability Lab in 2011 to help foster innovation in the fashion industry. For the more price-conscious shopper, H&M continues to add to their sustainable fashion line “Conscious Collection,” that uses environmentally friendly such as organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles. The H&M brand also made significant changes by choosing lower-impact water-based solvents to make nearly 2.5 million pairs of shoes in 2011.
Of course, the ideal solution to what ails the fashion industry would be to make every fashion line a conscious collection. In the meantime consumers can keep pushing for more eco-conscious choices by speaking with their money. Choosing organic fabrics and clothing like bamboo clothing made from sustainable materials is one fashionable way to celebrate Earth Day!