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Green is the new black - Sustainable and “Fair Fashion“ on the rise in the clothing industry

December 11, 2017

The trend towards sustainable and fair clothing production has been around for a while, but so far “green“ clothing was often far from trendy and even further from fashionable – up until now. More and more consumers are demanding so-called "sustainable and fair fashion" – trend-conscious clothes that can be worn without a guilty conscience towards the environment or your fellow human beings.

Not surprisingly, America is once again a pioneer in the field and New York City proudly calls itself "the GREEN Apple". The city provides a large selection of sustainable clothing not only in small boutiques, but also at big chains, from talented up-and-coming designers or online retailers. A small selection of such fair and sustainable New York brands can be found here . The city that never sleeps, also provides you with an array of fun events to help you discover even more sustainable fashion and fair labels, as the local blog "Ecocult " shows. And that’s not all, the blog also helps you search for "fashionable" but fair Christmas gifts and other sustainable finds.


Cross-border AND generations

More and more people around the world want to know where and how their jeans and T-shirts were produced – and the trend is not a "millennial phenomenon". Although studies show that sustainable production is a priority for millennials in particular, now also 34% of "Generation X" and 30% of "Baby Boomers" claim they want to see more environmentally friendly fabrics on the market .

And the trend is not only on the rise in the US, Canada is also doing its “fair” share. The "Eco Fashion Week” in Vancouver has had 11 successful seasons so far and focuses, among other things, on presenting more innovative production solutions for the fashion industry and promoting the "eco-recipe" as a guideline for fair fashion – learn more here .

  

Clothes are valuable - not disposable

 

Seeing the fashion industry breaking new grounds left us wondering what we can do as individuals to contribute to this positive trend. The Austrian "Vegan and Fair Fashion" blogger Livia Van Heerde (Instagram: @liviavanh) recommends first and foremost to make the most of the clothes you already own. There are many ways to recombine, restyle or recycle old garments, and instead of throwing an item out after wearing it a couple of times, you could donate it, pass it on to others or even swap it; the latter is now also possible online as for example through the American company “Swap.com ”. In general, the idea is to avoid producing waste that pollutes our environment, with clothes that are actually still valuable.

 

In addition, Livia encourages readers of her blog to either buy clothes second-hand or carefully choose brands, that are "fair" and sustainable to prevent supporting "fast fashion" chains. She also points out that environmentally and socially fair fashion comes at a fair price and that you will probably not be able to turn your closet “green" from one day to the other. However, with each new purchase you can make an important decision as an informed consumer. It's all about doing your homework before making a purchase decision and becoming aware of the value of clothing in the first place. On that note, Livia shakes her head and explains that a T-shirt with the word "Feminist" printed on it was probably not produced under feminist, fair and sustainable conditions, if it cost you $5 Dollars. More about the real value of clothes and how to shift broken paradigms can be found on Livia's blog or in the documentary "True Cost ".


For those who are now wondering where to find more fair and sustainable brands, Livia recommends the "Fair Fashion Guide ", which lists a wide selection of ethical and sustainable brands or the following brands, which produce ethically and/or environmentally friendly in the US:

 

Reformation

Vetta  

Groceries Apparel  

Amour Vert  

 

And if you want to shop consciously and locally in Austria, Livia points out the following Austrian brands, which offer ecological outfits without the "eco-design" look:

Anzüglich

Essentials for Zula

iwanna  

Nice to meet me  

 

Have we sparked your interest? The Austrian Trade Commission in New York focuses, among other things, on innovations in the fashion industry. Feel free to contact us at any time at newyork@advantageaustria.org if you have questions or require further information.

 

Picture: Livia van Heerde wears a wrap vest by the Austrian company ‘KUKLA ‘, which produces ethical and sustainable in Vienna, Austria, a dress from ‚Reformation ‘, „vegan“ boots by ‘No Animal Brand‘ and a bag by ‘The Noces ‘.

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