Fashionable sustainababble

In: Uncategorized

25 Mar 2009

I do not normally follow fashion but an article by Suzy Menkes, the veteran fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune, saddened me. Evidently the scourge of sustainability has even penetrated deep into the fashion world:

“Two different strands are converging in fashion: a yearning for lasting value and an urge to know more about the way that fabrics are sourced and clothes are made. This is the sea change in a fashion world where the fate of the planet is becoming more of an issue than the latest foibles of celebrities.

“”Sustainability” and “responsibility” are the new buzz words. The first is a necessity in a market where credit is no longer as easy to find as a cappuccino. Significantly, Barneys New York has put its dynamic retail force behind sustainable and environmentally friendly clothing. The company, which has always searched for upcoming designers, has now put a focus on organic knits, eco-friendly cottons, grown-to-sewn denim and even recycled gold jewelry.

“For the forward-looking in the industry, ethics is the new elegance, and doing things right carries more weight than doing things fast. Having the time and the money to care about where clothes come from is set to be a key feature of 21st-century luxury.”

The article goes on to point out that the World Wildlife Fund-United Kingdom published a paper called Deeper Luxury in November 2007. Menkes says: “Its premise was that the affluent, global elite, who are the core luxury consumers, are aspirational — but for a better world rather than just a better-designed handbag”. The idea that the global elite can change the world through “ethical” luxury consumption says something about the outlook of the WWF.

More generally it is a pity that fashion no longer seems to be about the imaginative or even the frivolous but a phoney exercise in “saving the planet”.

Comment Form