This past week in class we discussed eco-labeling. The problem with eco-labeling that I see is that the average consumer doesn’t know that these labels even exist. Only very few consumers actually look at the inside labels of the garments they purchase. Even I, an apparel design major, knew little about the eco-labels that existed in the apparel industry. Here are my thoughts on how to make eco-labeling more noticeable to the everyday consumer:
One of the biggest reasons people purchase a new piece of clothing is because of the “cool” factor. They see a garment, they like its design features and so they buy it. They make this purchase to update their wardrobe, which helps define who they are to the world. Eco-design, alongside eco-labeling needs to find its “cool” factor that helps it become recognizable in a mass market. Clothing companies need to be more aggressive with advertising their eco-friendly clothing using hangtags (consumers are more likely to look at the hangtag on the garment rather than the labels inside). They also need to be utilizing social media to create a following of eco-loving consumers who will soon identify with their brand. With these tools, we could spread the knowledge of what eco-labeling is.
In class today we also watched a movie called “The 11th Hour”. One piece of information that this movie presented which was absolutely horrifying to me was Senator Jim Inhofe, a senator from OKLAHOMA saying, “Global Warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” The filmmakers made an excellent point, saying that Inhofe treated global warming as a religion, when in fact there is scientific proof showing that global warming is real. It made me realize that a huge part of the problem with barriers of sustainability lies within politics. Our political system should be regulating large corporations from polluting the environment, but instead they are taking bribes from these big business and voting towards letting these businesses continuously harm our environment. I think one of the biggest take aways from this was that if we want to see a big change in sustainability, we need to be voting at every election for the person who will advocate for the environment.