So, we know that the technology exists to add QR codes to the labels of our clothes that give us the block chain, of the supply chain, of the fashion, we are thinking about buying. (If you you don’t know about this I can suggest you read my previous post). The idea of transparency in the sustainable fashion revolution is not a new idea. There are lots of resources out there that are trying to get the need for more transparency in the fashion industry to the forefront of your thoughts. Vogue even recently got in on the act with a very informative article. We as the consumers might have some questions about it though.
What is it we need them to be transparent about?
What information should we be demanding that they give us?
What information will make the conscious consumer happy to buy?
What is the best way to get that information to consumers?
How can this help create more conscious consumers?
I’ll give you my thoughts on the answers to a few of these, as you come up with your own thoughts, please pass them along to me and your favorite influencers, magazines, designers and shops.
The creation of a transparent greenwash proof line of Sustainable Fashion requires that we know. The source of the raw materials, if the farms or industry producing the raw material for the design is organic or sustainable. We need to know if the factory is running on sustainable energy principles. We need to know how and what the treatments put on the clothing are, how they are sourced and produced. This includes dyes for the colors of the clothing, (we all like our blacks black and our yellow’s vibrant). Who made the clothes, and where, is another big step toward true sustainability. We need to ask that they are transparent in this process. We should not allow ourselves to be fooled by products made in unethical work conditions then have a stitch done in a sustainably run Italian factory. We need the transparency of the process. We need to see the product is designed to last. Designed to be repaired, if possible. Designed to be recycled, absolutely. The transparency, side of sustainable fashion is the only way to insure we are creating the change we all know the industry needs.
Currently, there is the “Fashion Reset” movement sweeping the industry. Now is the time, for us to ask for these types of changes. Then show the industry with our purchasing power that the more sustainable and transparent, in the process they can prove to be, the more willing we all will be to purchase their products.
This leads us to the “green washing” effect.
Most producers have learned that conscious consumers, and consumers in general, are happier to purchase products they perceive to be more sustainably produced. They have also noticed that most of us are willing to pay a bit extra for those products. We as the consumers, and pray to the advertising and marketing teams as we all are, tend to take what they say is a “green” product as better for the environment. They have gotten so good at being able to say the right things, use the right words that we believe what they are doing to be the right thing. Many of the producers are in fact trying to do better, but might not be living up to the standards that they would have us believe they are maintaining. That is another reason that transparency is so key. It might even surprise some of the producers that think they are buying from the best sources to learn exactly where and how those middleman factories or processing plants are obtaining the materials! Some designers may be getting fooled and passing along that ignorance to us. There are so many layers that have to be looked at and gone through on all sides to really turn the tide of consumerist fashion into Sustainable Fashion. Maintaining our integrity in purchases along with insisting that we are helped out in this process is a big key to the reset in fashion that we all want and the whole world needs.