Eco-Friendly, Eco-Fabulous? Gen Y Demands Green Chic Fashion

April 8, 2008 • Fashion



Personally, I find it an oxymoron in terms. Yes, there is some OK fashion out there that’s green (socially responsible). However, most is just mediocre and terribly expensive. However, high-end designers like Linda Loudermilk and Stella McCartney, large marketers like Nike and Levi Straus, and retailers like H&M are increasing their selections of environmentally friendly clothing. Even Wal-Mart just launched a line of T-shirts made from old soda-pop bottles. According to MediaPost Publications, that’s because younger shoppers are translating their passion for purer and more organic clothing.

For years, clothing has lagged behind other industries. The environmental police demand that consumers reuse and recycle, while the fashion cops urge shoppers to cast off anything left over from last season (I disagree). The government estimates that each American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles each year! That’s pretty bad.

But these days, younger women are determined to find a way to navigate the two worlds. In fact, Iconoculture’s research has turned up four distinct shopping types.

The Living Green consumer – who has embraced the whole concept of the environmental lifestyle and is driven by dedication, purity and awareness. She is the most likely to be eating organic foods. She’s finding new ways to use her old clothes, shopping vintage and thrift shops, and buying clothes made of recycled fabrics.

The Core Fashionista – who is looking to build up the green in her fashion portfolio. While this shopper wouldn’t be caught dead in a hemp dress or tire-tread sandals, she is rethinking and redefining her sense of style and eco-chic. She sees herself in a power position, and isn’t a slave to any trend. She’s picking and choosing, looking to make small modifications. (That’s me!)

The Walking Green consumer – who is driven by wanting to belong to a greater community. She’s a trend follower.

The Spending Green consumer – who buys green clothes because that sense of exclusivity and entitlement are important to her. She embraced green when it was still very much a luxury category, and she intends to keep it that way. For her, buying green connotes luxury, not any kind of sacrifice.

For now, of course, the big question centers on price: With the economy softening and consumers cutting back on clothing purchases, will these young women still be willing to shell out more for a product that’s good for the planet?

It’s one thing for Wal-Mart to sell a shirt for $7.50–but consumers are beginning to ask, how much did it really cost to make? What’s its environmental cost? Its social cost? How long will it last? When it comes to the environment, consumers are undergoing all kinds if epiphanies.

Which shopping type are you?

Read "Gen Y Demands It: Green Fashion That’s Chic"

Source: WWD

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3 Responses to Eco-Friendly, Eco-Fabulous? Gen Y Demands Green Chic Fashion

  1. mire says:

    Here’s a great place to shop at for all your eco needs:! Go to the green stores and choose a nonprofit group to have a percent of your sale to go to. it’s easy and genius!!

  2. I’m definitely the core fashionista!!! great post. love this blog.

  3. I think I’m a core fashionista/living green consumer blend…
    Our blog has some great/green retail therapy too – inexpensive and beautiful sustainable clothing for your browsing pleasure. Check us out and let your readers know about us too 🙂
    Thanks for your awesome blog!

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