Friday, March 27, 2009

Fashion trend: green is the new black

A friend of mine, who manufactures and distributes woman's handbags, recently asked me how he can embark on the green wave. He would like to sell the handbags as "environmentally friendly" or "5% of the sale of this handbag will go to such-and-such environmental group". I asked him the following: is this something you feel you WANT to do or NEED to do? Is there any recycled content in the pleather handbags? Where do you source your materials? Have you ever done a life-cycle analysis (LCA) on your handbags? How familiar are you with green advertising standards?
After a lengthy discussion on "consumption" and the every-day, fast-paced fashion and shopping society we have evolved into, his idea of going green, albeit noble, was somewhat abandoned as he perceived the risk as too high (i.e.: his handbags are nowhere green). But his products can be transformed to be "green" with the right formula and initiative.
In the next blog entry, I will write what the standards are, how to differentiate between a truly green product vs. greenwash, and how this can be strengthened from a policy perspective. In the meantime, for those wanting more specific information for their products, feel free to contact me.

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