At New York’s fashion shows this week, designers and sponsors say that environmentally friendly clothing designs and fabrics are here to stay, Reuters reports.
Companies such as Aveda and Abi Ferrin are banking that the “green” approach to fashion is sustainable. Many designers have also agreed to avoid fur and use only post-consumer recycled paper for invitations.
Designer Abi Ferrin uses recycled materials for her clothing tags. Although the printing costs are 15 percent higher, she told Reuters that the extra costs evens out because more people are buying her products.
According to author Kate Fletcher, spending on eco-fashion has doubled in the last two years. The shift towards eco-fashion has also benefited local farmers. Earlier this year American Apparel and prAna announced that they will begin selling shirts spun with cotton grown in California’s Central Valley.
Gen Y and Millennials, who represent about $520 billion in buying power, are including clothing in their organic purchases.
It’s not just green designs and fabrics that are catching the fashion industry’s eye. Non-toxic dry cleaning is also gaining attention. Brooks Brothers’ design team recently participated in a workshop — co-hosted by American’s Best Cleaners and Green Apple Cleaners– to understand the benefits of CO2 dry cleaning and H2O “wet” cleaning.
While the focus on green manufacturing and recycled materials is motivating the fashion industry, critics say it may just be a trend. Fordham University Fashion Law Professor, Susan Scafidi, told Reuters that the trend will not last unless specific standards are set for the industry, or until buyers find evidence that eco-friendly fashion will improve their lives.
Ecofashion, is not only making it onto the catwalks in the fashion capitals – it’s also helping support local farmers.