Question: Our retail business is interested in adding more sustainable fashion options in our stores. Do you have a suggested approach to encourage this transition?

Answer: While ‘sustainability’ can be a vague term a lot of businesses use to address their sourcing, operations, waste management and environmental practices — sustainable fashion can be approached in different ways. We think it’s great that your business is getting green and we’re glad to share some information that could make your transition smoother!

 

Whether you’re going green by featuring eco-friendly or vegan products on your shelves, promoting companies that share their proceeds with social causes or selling locally produced merchandise — sustainable business can only be a good thing.

As the sustainable consumer trend continues to grow, businesses inevitably have to keep up. As consumers start to consciously consider how and where there clothing is being made, retailers must move into a sustainable direction to provide ethically sourced and eco-friendly products to meet the market’s needs.

There are sustainable brands available and they’re doing it right

Forbes recently published a sweet piece praising different sustainable fashion brands such as ZADY, Warby Parker, Helpsy and Master&Muse for their excellent ethical core business values.

According to Forbes, these businesses ditched the term sustainability and focused their brand identities on being all about quality, timeless style and appealing to the conscious consumer. The trend of being a sustainable business without hiding behind the vague term also seems to be in style.

Even mainstream fashion magazine Elle Canada has covered sustainable luxury eco-friendly brands. Getting green is in style these days, after all, and big name designers like Stella McCartney (whose past collections included bio-degradable soles in platform shoes) and Donna Karan (with her Urban Zen Initiative).

“Unequivocally equated with chic, these brands go beyond trend and, instead, mark a systematic change to the definition of luxury fashion,” reports Elle Canada.

With the fate of clothing pieces in mind, providing a sustainable, timeless style can mean avoiding a quick fate in a landfill.  Designing based on the destiny of items of clothing and providing articles with a long life in a closet rather than a seasonal trend is green-thinking at its finest.

There are great organizations like Fashion Takes Action around

A non-profit organization with a focus on sustainability in the fashion industry, Fashion Takes Action (FTA) has a green vision and missions like empowering consumers to make smarter purchasing decisions.

They’ve worked with more than 200 fashion businesses and are partnered with folks like Ryerson University’s school of fashion, Laura Chenowith’s organic apparel and the Textile Museum of Canada.

They do events, provide resources, newsletters and sweet teachings on fashion sustainability — FTA is worth checking out for business retailers in the fashion industry looking to get green.

For the energy-efficient, we have incentives.

 

Image credit: Jute Marketing