It seems that green is certainly the color on everyone’s minds right now and this past Thursday, Vogue and H&M hosted a livestream discussion where the big question asked of the panelists’ was “How can we create a more sustainable fashion future?” The panel consisted of professionals from many different areas of the fashion industry such as fashion consultant and former Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart, H&M’s Global Head of Sustainability Helena Helmersson, Loomstate brand’s co-founder Scott Mackinlay Hahn, Ecouterre editor Jasmin Malik Chua, H&M Global Head of Fashion and Sustainability Communication Catarina Midby, Honest By designer Bruno Pieters, and Parsons Dean of Fashion Simon Collin, who moderated the discussion.
Throughout the discussion, the speakers acknowledged the fact that trying to shift the fashion industry’s mindset from “Buy, Buy, Buy!” to “Save, Save, Save!” is a difficult task because fashion is a business like any other whose main goal is to get the customer to purchase more of what it produces in order make a profit. But H&M’s most recent Conscious Collection and clothing recycling program have shown that a company can make it appealing to customers to shop more responsibly and keep them coming back for more.
The panelists went on to highlight that even when major corporations change their business practices to be more sustainable and educate their customers, it is ultimately the consumer who is the key to making the whole system work. Each member proposed simple actions that everyone can take to reduce their environmental impact such as: mending items when they fall apart, washing clothes in cold water, recycling or donating clothes, buying higher quality items so they last longer and taking the time to know where the products you purchased came from. The bottom line: everyone has a role to play and a responsibility in creating a more sustainable and fashionable future; when you shop in a more environmentally-friendly way it should make you feel as good as you look.