You may think I’m a hippy now, but I don’t care (well, I care a bit…!) ;o)
Anyway, spoiler alert! You know how cool it is nowadays to claim GREEN on consumer products labels? It’s at least as cool as it was to claim EXTREME about everything 10 years ago! We can now read « green » on home cleansing products, cars, paint, furniture materials, and more and more on clothing labels. In fact, H&M launched The Garden Collection this spring, which is really lovely and is, for a big chain like them, a [small] step towards greener fashion. But how green are these clothes, really? Well, here are a couple of facts (you may not go on ready if you cherish a blind love for fashion)…
First of all, textile production requires highly polluting chemicals and are mostly produced overseas where environmental policies are barely existing, thus contaminating water and land around the factories, the same land where grows food for the animals and the people living in the area. Using eco friendly dye and enzymes are a good way to reduce the imprint on nature, and growing organic cotton is too, since it’s the most polluting growing off all. However, it is still very very pricy to use eco-friendly chemicals, grow organic or recycle PET, about 3 times the price of not-ecofriendly materials. So how does H&M (for example, I don’t want to be sued here!) manage to sell this cute organic cotton tunic for 14,99$ and be able to pay for fabric, labor, transport, packaging, marketing AND still be profitable??? Well, first, it’s made overseas where the labor is as cheap as grocery wine, and second, they probably put in the minimum amount of organic material required by commercial laws to legitimately (and legally) claim their product « green ». How much is that minimum rate set at? 50% organic – 50% regular cotton? (not!). The law requires a minimum of 8% of organic cotton in a garment in order that it can be labeled « organic », « green » or « recycled ». Sooooo, no, it’s not a green collection, and it’s not ethic, it’s just better than nothing at all, and it’s just mostly marketing and PR.
So if you NEED to get something new this spring and if you are running on a very tight budget, you may choose an organic product such as one of H&M’s collection, but please don’t think you are making earth a favor! ;o) Thanks for reading and please spread the word (and buy vintage!!).