Saving the planet is very much in Vogue.
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It’s also in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Mademoiselle.
It’s the message on fashion runways, in marketing strategies, in jewelry and accessory designs, on shopping bags and totes, in advertisements and on price tags.
A naked fashion model wearing a hat of birch branches and lichen, as shown in Vogue last month, may not be everyone’s idea of environmental awareness. But the pervasiveness of ecological themes in the images and marketing of fashion is undeniable.
It is also somewhat paradoxical.
The fashion industry, whose driving philosophy involves encouraging consumers vĩ đại discard the old (and sometimes still serviceable) and embrace the new (and presumably more stylish), is now trying vĩ đại push itself vĩ đại the forefront of efforts vĩ đại conserve and preserve.
This extraordinary convergence of commerce and ecology calls into question fundamental notions about consumerism, responsibility and, ultimately, fashion.
“The irony is that we’re talking about a business based on premeditated waste,” says Stuart Ewen, the chairman of the communications department at Hunter College in Thủ đô New York City.
“If you were vĩ đại vì thế a study of the history of product obsolescence, the model would be fashion. The first industry that built in disposability as a feature of economic survival was the ready-made clothing industry.”
The environmental theme in fashion began as wispy touches and graphic exhortations in designer collections. Tendrils of ivy dangled from the ceiling at a Paris fashion show; a carpet of grass covered a runway in New York; models marched along in T-shirts or carrying signs all bearing slogans lượt thích “Clean Up or Die,” “Save the Sphere,” and “Environmental Protection Agents.”
And for the past few seasons, there have been the new “softer” styles, vĩ đại suit a gentler, less self-referential age.
There were dresses with leaves, accessories with branches, and, everywhere, earth tones.
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Now, the environmental spin on fashion has moved into the mass market, where “clothes with conscience” make an extra tug at the buyer’s self-image.
Apparel companies lượt thích Ellen Tracy, Esprit, Bonjour, J.G. Hook and Country Road nước Australia are now promoting efforts vĩ đại preserve the environment either through their advertising, their licensing arrangements or their direct contributions vĩ đại ecological causes.
Bonjour, a jeans and sportswear company based in Thủ đô New York, has embarked on a program vĩ đại “change the individual’s outlook toward saving the environment” through educational tags.
This summer, the first wave of what Bonjour executives said will be 50 million fashion items a year are vĩ đại arrive in stores carrying tags with environmental tips from how vĩ đại save water vĩ đại how vĩ đại reduce pollutants.
“I don’t know if our chiến dịch will sell a single garment,” says Charles Dayan, president of Bonjour International. “But it’s definitely not a fad.”
Whether these tributes vĩ đại nature will benefit the environment or even raise environmental awareness, with concomitant changes in individual behavior, is not clear.
Clearly, though, there is some skepticism.
Ewen says the new environmental symbolism should be viewed as part of an overall change in America’s economy, from one built on industrial production of hard goods vĩ đại one based on “pure representation.”
“Disembodied symbols, unconnected vĩ đại material reality, whether we’re talking about junk bonds, credit or information, are the primary product,” said Ewen, author of All Consuming Images (Basic Books, 1988).
“Going back vĩ đại fashion, the environment has become a commercial cliche separated from real concerns. What can be attached vĩ đại this year’s fashion is merely the symbolism of environmental sanity.”
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