Last week we watched LOLA show presentations over Eco-Labeling. Eco-Labeling benefits the consumer so he or she can see how the product was made in a sustainable way. It would interest me to know how much of a selling factor the Eco Labels have on a product and if people are more drawn to the product with the hangtag showing it was made from sustainable materials, in a sustainable way, and made by well paid workers. Part of me believes that the Eco-Labeling itself wouldn’t have too much of a difference unless the consumer was first educated about the brand and knew the brand would meet his or her needs.
There are two typical reasons to buy something. First, the obvious– the way a majority of our purchases should be bought is because one needs it. Second, because one wants it. My biggest hope for a sustainable future for the apparel industry is sustainable businesses that use sustainable practices to make impeccably designed sustainable products. It doesn’t matter if a product is sustainable or not if a consumer buys it and it sits in his or her closet collecting dust. Yes, it may have had less of an impact on the environment through sustainable production. However, no customer loyalty is made. Without customer loyalty and a well-designed product that could sell itself, eco label or not, no company can stay in business. For sustainable fashion to be successful—the products must, of course, be sustainably made but they also must be well-designed products that the modern consumer wants to have in his or her wardrobe.
Often, the American consumer goes out to find a certain item of clothing, not to find any item of sustainably made clothing. Hopefully, one day we wont have to rummage store-to-store crossing our fingers to find the most sustainable version of the product we are looking for. Hopefully, one day we can trust that every retail store will carry sustainable well-designed products that the modern day consumer wants to add to his or her closet.