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Definitions: Ethical /sustainable/ ethically sourced fashion Fashion sourced and produced on the basis of sustainable environmental and social processes High value/ high quality fashion products High quality, well designed fashion products (including clothing, accessories and footwear) which can be sold within the designer fashion and luxury segment of the market at premium price points. Gallup Poll  In a Gallup poll last year, between 80 percent and 90 percent of Americans said they participated in simple eco-conscious behaviors like recycling and reducing energy and water usage, while 73 percent bought environmentally beneficial products.

Ethical Products Becoming More Mainstream     Organic cotton bath towels and sheets and Arizona jeans made from recycled denim are available at J.C. Penney. An eco-friendly tote bag designed by Fossil Inc. is among the products coming to Macy's. Next month Target will stock its first eco-friendly, limited-edition designer collection. This past holiday season, 55 percent of Americans sought out environmentally-friendly gifts and products.

Organic Exchange  Organic cotton sales are growing by more than 20 percent per year, experts say. According to the Organic Exchange, production of organic cotton grew by 76 percent from 2005 to 2006.

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Global retail sales of organic cotton products grew from $245 million in 2001 to $1.07billion in 2006. By 2008, that number is expected to rise to $2.62 billion, with apparel accounting for 85 percent of those sales. The target market for organic clothing 20 years ago was aging hippies," said Bonnie Siefers, owner of Jonano, an organic clothing distributor in Wexford, Pennsylvania. "[Now] it's modern and streamlined."

Natural Healthcare Canada    Growing cotton uses 22.5 percent of all of the insecticides used globally. Growing enough cotton for one t-shirt requires 257 gallons of water Some more eco-friendly options include: o Hemp o Organic Cotton o Soy Silk

The Greening of Menswear  According to NPD Group research, there is increased consumer awareness and receptivity to eco-fashion. In a 2001 survey, only 6 percent of respondents said they were interested in purchasing ecofriendly apparel, footwear and accessories; by 2006, that number had risen to 18 percent. Nike has set the goal of using at least 5 percent organic cotton in all of its cotton products by 2010; in 2006, 52 percent of its cotton products contained the 5 percent organic cotton threshold. Big brands such as Levi’s, Mavi , Seven for all Mankind and Le Tigre are featuring organic jeans and polos in their new lines.

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Organic Trade Association Survey  ―The survey of 1,000 people who said they had recently purchased an organic cotton item asked if organic had the same meaning as 100 percent cotton. More than half, 51 percent, said they believed the two terms to have the same meaning, while only 29 percent said they were different.‖ (WWD; April 10, 2007)

WWD Green  H&M launched an all organic cotton line in 2007, and set a goal to use 600 tons of organic cotton in 2007 versus the 20 tons they used the year before.

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Simple Shoes launched a line called ―Green Toe‖, including shoes made of all natural and recycled materials, as well as water-based adhesives, as opposed to typical chemical ones. American Apparel is selling organic cotton t-shirts and baby clothes under its ―Sustainable Divison‖ line.

BBMG Conscious Consumer Report  



More than half of the 2,007 respondents in a shopper survey in September by BBMG, a branding agency, said they were looking for certification seals on green claims to feel confident about their purchases. "It is no longer O.K. to slap a green label on something and think that is acceptable to consumers," said Raphael Bemporad, a partner in the agency. "If you just put an eco-friendly phrase on something, you are risking a backlash from more savvy consumers." (The International Herald Tribune, December 13, 2007) BBMG divides US consumers into the "Enlighteneds (10% of consumers), Aspirationals (20%), Practicals (30%) and Indifferents (40%)." The Enlightened are driven by their values and go out of their way to purchase from companies whose missions they agree with, while the Indiffernents aren't motivated by social issues at all and instead are motivated by price and convenience. BBMG found that consumers are more likely to buy—if products are of equal price and quality—from companies that: o Manufacture energy efficient products (90%) o Promote health and safety benefits (88%) o Support fair labor and trade practices (87%) o Commit to environmentally-friendly practices (87%)

LOHAS Consumer Trends Report    

According to the recent survey, 38% of consumers believe eco-friendly premium products are a good way to help the environment without the trade off on quality. 30% of consumers believe that environmentally-friendly products should be inherently simple 63% of LOHAS consumers believe that everyone has different tastes, so a wide variety of eco-friendly products is good ―LOHAS research shows that the best way to market premium green to consumers is to use the words ―premium‖ or ―specialty‖ which are better received than ―luxury.‖ Consumers are driven to trade up to premium/specialty brands which are perceived as high quality and somewhat differentiated, but are less interested in luxurious products, which may be equated with overindulgence and overconsumption. This

point is exemplified in the chart below where 27% of consumers would be more interested in environmentally-friendly products if they were from premium/specialty brands and only 13% that agree they would be more interested in these types of products if they were more luxurious.‖

Other Facts and Figures 



According to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year, and clothing and other textiles represent about 4% of the municipal solid waste. But this figure is rapidly growing. A 2006 survey conducted by America's Research Group, a consumer trends research firm, found that about 12–15% of Americans shop at consignment or resale stores. The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that 2.5 billion pounds of postconsumer textile waste (which includes anything made of fabric) is thus collected and prevented from entering directly into the waste stream. This represents 10 pounds for every person in the United States, but it is still only about 15% of the clothing that is discarded. Charities find ways to fund their programs using the clothing and other textiles that can't be sold at their thrift shops: they sell it to textile recyclers at 5–7 cents per pound. Trans-America is one of the biggest of about 3,000 textile recyclers in the United States. At its 80,000-square-foot sorting facility, workers separate used clothing into 300 different categories by type of item, size, and fiber content. According to figures from Trans-America, about 30% of these textiles are turned into absorbent wiping rags for industrial uses, and another 25–30% are recycled into fiber for use as stuffing for upholstery, insulation, and the manufacture of paper products. http://www.ehponline.org/members/2007/115-9/focus.html

Other Resources 

BBMG Conscious Consumer Report, September 2007, http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/article2423.html, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/13/style/13green.php?page=1 http://www.marketingexperimentsblog.com/2008/01/ Eco-friendly products are going mainstream


http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/shopping/stories/0409dnbusearth day.38e3878.html     Organic Exchange http://www.organicexchange.org/ Canada Natural Heathcare http://naturalheathcare.ca/fashion.phtml “The Greening of Menswear”, DNR, April 7, 2007 Natural Marketing Research’s LOHAS Consumer Trends Report; overview entitled “Shades of Green For Everyone; The Effects of Premium Green and Sustainable Style” http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/06/11/shades-of-green-for-everyone%e2%80%93-the-effects-of-premium-green-and-sustainable-style/


WWD Green Issue; April 10, 2007  “Sprouting Issues” by Ross Tucker  “Apparel Firms Join Green Brigade”  “Fashion Code” by Kavita Daswani  “Earthly Delights” by Sharon Edelson

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