I just got back from an Al Gore & David Suzuki conference on Global Warming. It was quite moving and it actually made me sit for two hours and think about the real importance in today's world. Not about a designer's latest collection, or the hottest color, or the rise of the hemlines, but about the melting glaciers, the increased CO2 emissions in the earth's atmosphere, our dying species and the flooding and droughts going on around the world.
I've been through this before, where I wanted to boycott fashion and go to the Arctic to save the polar bears. I was so guilty for being so absorbed by fashion when our planet is falling apart. I didn't feel I was making use of myself where it really mattered but then I slowly realised, with help from some outside sources, that I can make my difference through fashion.
It is true that it is the big corporations that must step forward and fight for a greener environment, it is they who have considerable power to make a difference. I think we are making a difference, I think the fashion industry is a laggard when it comes to this issue but slowly, slowly I see differences.
Take for instance the shoe company out of Santa Barbara California, Simple Shoes, they make fully biodegradable footwear. Their shoes are made with recycled car tires, milk jugs, organic cottons, and bamboo. Their products are eco but so is their amazing and not to mention very powerful advertising. They are slowly starting to seep into the popular "fashion" culture with advertisements in Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone (I am really waiting for an ad in Vogue- then I could really say that they are getting into our fashion fixated heads). And starting this season their Global Warming flip flops (proceeds from the sales go to stopglobalwarming.org) are being sold at Kitson and Nordstrom's.
It think that this little shoe company is a fantastic push toward making a difference. I would love for the fashion industry to make "saving the planet" fashionable. I would love to see Vogue, Elle or Harper's Bazaar all have a sustainable style section in their tomes.
Like Mr. Gore mentioned in his speech, it's all of us together that will make a difference and it is time that the fashion industry (and I mean New York, Milan, Paris and London) start making a real difference. I pledge from here on I will continue to find some green fashion to talk about. It is my responsibility to our planet.
Photos:youthactionmontreal.com, wwd.org, simple.com