Green juice, solar panels, you name it, nearly every market in the business world is adapting to the environmentally conscious trend. Holes in the ozone layer and an exploitation of fossil fuels was SO two years ago. But really in all seriousness, whether or not you agree with global warming, societal efforts are necessary to sustain a healthy and happy Earth. Millions of people hopped on the organic bandwagon, including those in the clothing industry. However, this situation is not merely a matter of posting pictures on social media platforms about eco friendly fashion. When you get down to the nitty gritty, the complications of outsourced labor and hazardous factory factors play a major role in solving the dilemma.
As shown in the line graph below, the production of organic cotton in India, a popularly used country for outsourced production, is expected to slowly grow in coming years despite the recent depletion in popularity as of 2015 , according to Othmar Schwank.
According to Ethical Fashion Forum , while 73% of consumers surveyed claim that companies disregard the negative effects their factories have on the planet, only 32% of that same pool makes conscious decisions to purchase organic/sustainable products. In short, the public knows the cons of not using organic material, but more has to be done to turn words into actions.
In recent years, however, runways have made stylish efforts to use sustainable materials. H&M has a page on its website for solely explaining their use of organic cotton and recycled materials, and how the abandonment of pesticides and fertilizers goes hand-in-hand with the fashionable clothing. Even fashion brands on the higher end market like Tom Ford have designed green ensembles for celebrities on the red carpet. According to Statista.com, the increase of influential brands using organic material will increase the demand of consumers for eco friendly products.
This bite of research I performed for one of my college courses has made me want to look even further into the production of apparel and the uncomfortable realities of working conditions for those responsible for producing U.S. apparel, as well as the effects this industry has on not only its employees, but also our planet.