Tara Eisenberg and Inessah Selditz of Sublet Clothing
The mass market will inevitably grab hold of anything popular, regardless of whether that market actually embraces the ethos behind the cause or it’s just in it for pure commercial gain. That said, we think that any method that moves sustainable fashion into the mainstream is a step in the right direction. A lot of people ask if we think that sustainable fashion will be the norm in the future—and we hope so—but truth be told, being green means turning back the clock to a more conscious way of living and consuming.
THE WAY WE WERE
Fashion before mass manufacturing was certainly sustainable—before the advent of artificial materials and dyes, cheap overseas labor, and overnight turnaround times. Around the turn of the 20th century, along with the explosion in the transportation industry, weapons, population, and just about everything else, fashion design and manufacturing turned to synthetic fabrics, chemically accurate dyes, and the outsourcing of labor to meet the growing need for cheap, disposable garments. This need has since accelerated and grown exponentially.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING
Cutting back on carbon emissions isn’t just a transportation or energy generation issue; the manufacturing industries, including fashion, have to follow suit. What’s heartening is that as organic food production gains popularity, we’re also noticing a corresponding growth in demand for organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and other sustainable and rapidly renewable textile fibers.
We sense that fashion manufacturing, by necessity, will someday (soon) turn back to its sustainable roots.
We sense that fashion manufacturing, by necessity, will someday (soon) turn back to its sustainable roots. We don’t think people will go back to living in an agrarian society, but we have to develop new ways for fashion to embrace a more cradle-to-cradle life-cycle ideology.