Thursday, June 5, 2008

Organic Clothing is the New Haute Couture

What’s the new what? I say Organic Clothing is the new Haute Couture

If you’re fashionable, but aren’t already an “environmentalist,” you will be soon – whether you want to be or not. The trendy shoes you slip on in the morning, the designer sweatshirt you zip up as you leave the club – its becoming increasingly likely those accessories are made from organic materials.

That's right, major retailers such as Payless and Target have embraced "green" clothing. Payless doesn't only offer silver stilettos, brightly colored plastic flip-flops, and fake leather boots. Now, it features 100% organic sneakers and hemp slides. Target, "where fashion fanatic meets organic-on-a-budget," just launched its first international collection featuring certified organic items.

A trend that began a decade ago with high-end companies such as Patagonia, 100% organic cotton clothing is no longer exclusively for the elite traditional environmentalist. You don’t have to go to stores with names like “The Pure Spirit” or “Children of the Green Earth” to get organic accessories. All you have to do is go to your local Walgreens.

This means people are walking around with their feet snug in organic cotton, bamboo or hemp fiber socks. Guys and girls are buttoning up organic cotton jeans and running on Nike’s recycled tire shoes – but does sustainability actually play in to consumers’ purchase decisions?

I doubt it. I have a feeling that people will purchase environmentally friendly apparel and accessories provided they are fashionable. Unless consumers understand the bigger reasons behind buying organic clothing, eco-chic will just be another short-lived fad, not a truly sustainable fashion statement.

(Image taken from

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