The Unfashionable World of Greenwashing
As one of the eco-fashion industry’s up-and-coming ’emerging designers’, I love to celebrate the industry’s wins. Don’t get me wrong. I do.
But even in the short time since Green Embassy’s launch, I’ve seen enough greenwashing around to make me want to dedicate a blog to it! So I thought it’d be worthwhile to play my part as artist, creator, designer – and educator – to reinforce what truly being green looks like. Or doesn’t look like, as the case may be. So here goes.
- Products should not be considered ‘organic’ when garments only contain a small percentage of organic fabric mixed with synthetics.
- Designers who claim they use handmade natural materials such as cotton, silk or hemp don’t necessarily adhere to eco-friendly standards. For example, cotton production can require tonnes of pesticides and water – not exactly kind to the earth!
- For true accountability and credibility, designers should commit to voluntary organic certification standards (such as GOTS), which speaks to the highest global benchmarks.
So as much as I moan and groan about the amount of work needed to demonstrate my GOTS compliance, I (and all my Green Embassy fans) can relax in the knowledge that my garments are produced ethically and sustainably from production through to the supply chain process. This means no exploitation of third-world labour (mostly of women or children), no using of harmful dyes or chemicals, no wasting of natural resources, no animal exploitation, and so on. Phew, glad I got that off my chest!
- It’s a privilege for me to be doing what I feel most passionate about. But the beauty of what we do as designers is not just what we create, but how we create. We have a responsibility to do what’s best for the industry – and embrace the role as advocates for slow fashion. The world is simply better off without mass-produced, disposable fashion.
The thing is, even though greenwashing obviously exists in the fashion world, Organic Certified ethical fashion is the way of the future. Everyone else will get left behind. That’s inspiring and comforting to me, as the ‘mother’ of Green Embassy and overall earth ambassador.
To wrap up on a totally different note, I’m flat out preparing for my next international fashion shows in New York Eco-fashion show with Gabby Wild, foundation and the Plitzs Fashion Week in Beijing in June.
As one of the Plitzs event’s sponsored designers, I’m working on an exciting new collection, which is still under wraps – but not for long! Stay tuned – and thanks everyone for your ongoing love and support.