Ecouterre recently asked 37 ethical and eco-minded designers, leaders, and organizers what 2015 holds for the sustainable fashion industry. Though no one knows for sure how things will pan out, most believe that this may be the year the movement hits critical mass. Things are changing, and with starlets and world leaders talking about it and wearing conscientious clothing, the larger population is sure to join in soon.
The difficult thing about discussing fair trade, for me at least, is that it’s always a give and take between endorsing sustainable brands and limiting consumption and consumerist ideals. If fair trade becomes a trend, that means we can get a lot of people motivated to spend their money on things that make a difference. But I’m a big believer that motives matter. Ideally, a move toward sustainability will include thoughtfulness and conviction, and help us slow down a bit in our race to get what’s new and better. In the short term at least, it can’t be helped that we’re forcing ethical ideals into the Capitalist framework that forms our economic identity. But we should try to acknowledge that the consumerist system we live within is a construct. It does not represent all possible realities. We must strive to change shopping habits and hearts. We don’t have to settle for less.
All that said, I am really inspired by what these ethical leaders have to say about the future of sustainable fashion and I’m in a bit of disbelief that changes are happening quickly and on an international scale. Let’s keep fightin’ the good fight. Let’s keep reassessing what our goals are and what they should be!
A few excerpts:
Over the past year, we’ve seen the end of greenwashing as an industry practice as more designers and brands focus on the internal shifts within their companies and supply chains needed for real actionable change. While the importance of the consumers’ education for better quality fashion still exists, 2015 will be a year for retooling internal operations. – Lewis Perkins
And, as consumers are made increasingly aware that both fast fashion and fast luxury are responsible for unethical fashion, I predict the resurrection of the artisan, as we collectively look into our heritage, as well as innovation, for sustainable solutions. – Orsola de Castro
On the brighter side, Fashion Revolution enters its second year. Carrying on the groundswell of international support, the global conversation will be opened even further. More people than ever before will demand to know that their clothing has not been made at the expense of people or the planet, and the public will expect that brands are able to ensure this. – Sarah Ditty
All quotes excerpted from Ecouterre’s 37 Eco-Fashion Predictions for 2015