Luxury designers are clueless when it comes to green fashion
Why eco-fashion has been slow to take off
April 19, 2007
While cutting-edge designers use eco-friendly fabrics made from the likes of bamboo and hemp to craft comfortable and stylish clothes that have a reduced impact on the planet, “green” fashion has been slow to take off at the luxury level, reports an article in today’s Wall Street Journal.
“High-end store buyers are risk-averse when it comes to veering from the tried-and-true luxury pitch that’s espoused by the Guccis and Louis Vuittons. Many of those makers have been leery of new “green” textiles because they are often still associated with Birkenstocks and burlap sacks,” writes Christina Binkley. “Much is made of the attention and money LVMH Group gives to environmental causes, including pursuing ecologically sound farming methods for its liquors, but Louis Vuitton isn’t producing eco-handbags — at least not yet.”
Binkley writes that high-end designers are scared off by higher costs of materials and perceptions that renewable materials are of lower quality.
“The big guys are ‘slow off the mark’ to see the opportunities,” David Wolfe, creative director at consultants Doneger Group in New York, tells her. “They’re not the quickest thinkers on the planet.”
Binkley says these designers are missing a big opportunity.
“In a survey of 67,000 people by NPD Group — tracking consumer interest in ecologically sensitive products from food to cars — interest in buying organic fashion products increased to 18% of consumers in 2006, from 6% in 2004.”
Christina Binkley (2007). “Green Jeans: Why Designers Are Late to Eco Game” April 19, 2007; Page D1 of The Wall Street Journal