Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, it's been way too long since my last post. For the past two weeks, I've been spending time with my mom, my stepdad, and the organic food (& non-food!) store they've taken over. Piles, and piles, and piles of the finest organic cotton. Chunks of dust here, there ... well, actually everywhere. Enough carton to build a villa, with a pool house. Marathon will be a joke after this makeover! Eco fashion is a big part of this store. There's an entire department of women, men, and baby apparel and accessories. Except for... a lot of people (read: clients) don't even now about it. And that's such a shame. Seeing what has been done to that part of the store and the clothes that is there made me sad. There are no other stores in town, or anywhere near it, that have such a collection of eco fashion. Now imagine, a young, stylish 20-something walks in there and thinks something like: "I'd like to give it a try, I want to purchase sustainably produced fashion. Maybe a legging made of bamboo for this afternoon yoga session." And then she sees that ... I'd run, "heels up my butt"-run, to be honest.
Eco/sustainable fashion designers and brands must consider the actual design of their clothes. It's been said many times, by many, that labeling a clothing line as "sustainable" or "eco-friendly" is not enough. Don't expect fashion and style conscious consumers to fall head over heels for a well written "Our Commitment" section. The fit, the look is everything. Eco fashion must be seducing, flirty, attractive, sexy to the eye as much as it is good to the environment. Not many will be conquered by 2 square meters of recycled cotton if it looks like a towel rather than a strapless dress.
Same goes for (re)presentation!
Presentation is all about how you display a certain collection, a blouse, a shirt, ... to the consumer. Via an e-shop, facebook, Instagram, physical store, whatever. And if you sell to another shop (B2B) make sure that this business partner does your collection justice! Choose your retailers right. They are supposed to bring extra value to your brand, not break it off by presenting your collection poorly as if it is a pile of junk.
Production process + design + presentation = eco fashion success!
Good news though - my family is working really hard to launch an improved Eco Fashion Department by October 2016 in Hasselt, Belgium (Bioshop Hasselt). I am so excited!