During the Indie Brands – the Denim Edition event a few weeks ago an interesting question arose: should so called green fashion brands always present themselves as such? Present that night was a representative of K.O.I. (Kings of Indigo), a Dutch ‘conscious’ jeans brand. Instead of joining a fashion PR agency specialized in ecological brands, K.O.I. has chosen to downplay the fact that they use organic and recycled cotton for their jeans. They want people to buy their products not because it might be a better environmental choice, but because of the quality and fashionability of their garments.
This got me thinking. On the one hand I like the idea of someone buying a pair of jeans that is eco-friendly without even knowing it. Too many people still look at green fashion as something that is meant for women over 50 who eat vegan and practice yoga and not for the twenty something hipster (who probable also eats vegan and practices yoga). Not overtly communicating your green character as a brand might help dressing more and more people in garments that have a lower environmental footprint, who would otherwise shy away from green fashion. Which is always good.
At the same time I strongly feel that it is very important to create awareness amongst consumers. Fact is that we consume way too much. How many pairs of jeans does one really need, or even want? And the problem is really not only with what we buy, but that we buy in the quantities that we do here in the west. I doubt it that people who buy a pair of K.O.I. jeans based on their appreciation of the jeans’ aesthetic quality, will even really notice that they made a green choice. What’s the point then? One pair of jeans that was produced without the environment in mind sold less? Also, when you are being quiet about your eco friendliness, aren’t you sending out the message that being green still is not cool?
What do you think?