The Green Fashion Movement and Fashion Merchandising
December 18, 2013
•IADT General, Fashion Design and Merchandising
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There's a new trend in the fashion industry to go green. This means knowing that the products you buy have been produced ethically. Forced labor, animal cruelty and environmental impact are all taken into account when creating ethically conscious fashion. Consumers now have the resources to investigate the supply chain of big fashion brands and they are taking notice. As the industry embraces organic, environmentally friendly and cruelty- and slavery-free materials, fashion merchandising will play a huge role in the green fashion movement.
Many companies are focusing their development on green fashion lines:
- H&M has developed a new eco-friendly fabric line called the Conscious Collection. Composed of organic and recycled fabrics, they've even incorporated Tencel, a fabric made from wood pulp cellulose that is biodegradable.
- American Apparel has assimilated sustainability into their corporate culture. They have implemented a vertical integration program for environmentally friendly transportation, keeping their manufacturing local in order to cut down on their shipping carbon footprint. They also work to create fashion styles that reduce fabric waste when cutting out patterns. American Apparel then recycles the scrap material by using it to create fashion accessories like hair ties and hair bands.
- Levi's water conservation efforts have resulted in the company using 96 percent less water to produce their Water
- Smaller companies like Maggie's Organics have worked to cultivate a supply chain that takes everything from raw materials to finished products into account. Working with the third-party program, Free2Work, they have maintained a 100% organic and fair labor clothing line for over 20 years.
Free2Work's mission is to evaluate companies based on their efforts to reduce forced and child labor in their supply chains. They grade companies on specific parameters, using a 60+ point assessment, to investigate a brand's ability to protect the rights of workers in the production of their lines. Buyers can go to their website and see the highest- and lowest-rated companies and in which categories a company might need improvement. They even have a downloadable app for your phone so you can check barcodes while you're out shopping.
Getting involved with the green movement is easier than ever. As a fashion merchandiser, it will be important to keep up to date on this green movement as customers' demand for ethical fashions grows.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons