The fashion industry is slowly but surely heading towards more environmental consciousness. More frequent trade shows focusing on products like sustainable fabrics and organic clothing such as organic cotton t-shirts are appearing around the world. Even at annual high couture fashion and trade shows, there is often a side event which concentrates on eco-friendly fashion.
As the eco-fashion industry grows, a whole new vocabulary is forming. More terms such as “environmentally sensitive fabrics”, “ethical fashion”, “fair labour fashion”, “eco-friendly”, and “green fashion” are appearing more frequently in fashion literature and on garment tags.
One of the newest terms is “eco-chic”. This term is intended to make people look at eco-friendly fashion from a different perspective. Instead of thinking only about recycled sweatshirts or wrinkled hemp cotton clothing in earth tones, eco-chic is eco-friendly concepts applied to the general fashion industry at all levels from the most expensive runway clothing to school uniforms.
Of course, going green in the fashion world has to begin with the textile industry and the methods used to grow organic materials. In the factory, eco-friendly fashion requires complete revisions in the use of chemicals for synthetic fabric production and in the dyes used to create colors. That is one reason why the eco-chic industry has been slow to emerge. It’s very expensive to change current production standards and methods.
It is fully expected more and more pressure will be felt by the fashion industry to embrace environmentally sound practices in the future. The concepts of “fast fashion” or throwaway fashion will be tossed and consumers may find less choice but higher quality products that were made with fair labour and environmental protection practices.
(c)Image by Denis Tarantola, www.sxc.hu/