Is Green the New Black?

Don’t just invest in your wardrobe…invest socially!
by Cheri Sundra

We all know that style is about self-expression, but did you know that ethical fashion is increasingly becoming the way to get your personal chic on?    Great designers are always aware of what is going on around them.  The global warming issue has been a part of our collective consciousness for about a decade.  In terms of fashion trends, this has translated into seasonal collections of floral prints, linens and material manufactured from raffia and bamboo. 
Obviously, global warming is not just a seasonal trend and neither is ethical fashion.  It’s not a secret that sweatshop labor, where workers are often exploited, harassed and underpaid, is behind the majority of the clothing sold in the United States today. Synthetic material may seem miraculous because ironing is never required, but it also will not decompose anytime soon once it reaches the landfill, much like plastic bags or bottles and disposable diapers.  And natural is not always the way to go since pesticides often used to grow cotton are harmful to the eco-structure.

So what are those of us who love clothing and love shopping supposed to do?  We can start directing our spending power to those businesses that produce clothing in an ethical and environmentally friendly fashion.    We can all begin to balance the pleasures associated with shopping and those nasty ethical dilemmas by considering a few questions before making clothing purchase:

What is the item made of?

 If it is cotton, is the cotton organic?

 Why is the item so cheap?

 Is it fair trade?  What were the people making it paid? 

 Has the material been recycled?

 Can the material be recycled?

 None of us can have a completely Green Wardrobe overnight.  “Greening” our purchases is a process that requires consumer and manufacturer education.  But each of us, through awareness, can start taking baby-steps towards that goal.  Are you ready to be eco-fabulous?

Cheri Sundra © 2010
All Rights Reserved