Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apparel, Sustainiblity and the Environment? A very REAL post...

You must treat the earth well. It

was not given to you by your

parents. It is loaned to you by your


- Kenyan Proverb

I'll be real, here...

This is too broad of a topic to even try to address in a single post.  There are far too many tendrils involved to even make a dent in the bigger issues here.

But... this post does come with resources, ideas, and reference tools. 

Why do I even bring this up?

I recently attended a special premiere for an HBO documentary, that, while specifically created for and about children, it presented environmental challenges in a unique, digestible, and hopeful way. Believe me when I say it is equally valuable for adults and children alike.

To view the short trailer for the program, click here.  The documentary is called "Saving My Tomorrow", and it features some phenomenal kids, some great music (Check out Joni Mitchell's song Big Yellow Taxi, performed by Lennon & Maisy - *you can also find it on ITunes or Spotify), wonderful visuals, celebrity readings... and, what I would lovingly refer to as "gourmet food for thought".

After seeing the film, I understood that while we can always talk about what we (collectively) are doing that is environmentally irresponsible now... (and... yeah...yawn, right?) what we will HAVE to talk about eventually, is what we CANNOT continue to do.  Eventually, we will be FORCED to make different decisions, because so many choices we are currently making are not sustainable ones.

Now, if you're still with me, here's my next point:

When it comes to apparel...

Let's consider the Higg Index.  What is it?  Officially, it is an open-source...

"self-assessment tool aimed at creating a standard industry approach to measuring and evaluating sustainability impacts of all apparel and footwear products for the industry, while informing business-to-business decision-making that identifies ways to improve products and processes.  The Higg Index looks at sustainability from an environmental and social/labor standpoint."

Blah, blah, blah...

These are just words right now, but these words will grow louder as time marches on. I've never been a tree-hugging environmental activist, and in fact, have long appreciated the artificial obsolescence of fashion trends.  But, even I will say that this subject is worthy of your time, careful consideration and attention.

On artificial obsolescence:

Have you ever noticed that trends are just created and sold to you?  You didn't actually just happen to love skinny jeans, they just got used to seeing many permutations of them, until, eventually... you bought/made/coveted a pair?

On Squawk Box this morning, the financial reporters commented on low retail numbers for apparel are due to a trendless season in fashion fight now.  No prevailing colors or styles pushing people out to buy new stuff is a real problem for retailers.

In the UK, however, they are busy trying to push sustainability as its own fashion trend.  Is that possible?  Can it be done? Can it be cool?

Yes, it can...

Check out these links:

First eco-fashion week  in New Zealand.

Sustainable fashion from Pharell.  Yes, the guy who sings "Happy" wants to clean the ocean...

Oh, and let's add some more starpower to the mix...

The CFDA Sustainability Initiative, and the no-brainer featured designer...

There's a lot more to explore out there.  I can't imagine where this will take us in the future, but it is absolutely the beginning of a broader movement.

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At December 9, 2014 at 4:56 PM , Blogger edube said...

Thanks for posting this. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who notices that we're collectively driving right off a cliff....

At December 9, 2014 at 6:17 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

It was a difficult post for me to write, as someone who is just beginning to take these issues seriously, and recognize the impact of unnecessary delay.


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