So far the main purpose of a clothing label was to provide washing and composition information. But clothing labels may have a new function: help consumers to buy better. Buy a top made of recycled materials? Buy from a brand with ethical values? Here are the new questions raised by today’s consumers.
Which brand to buy?
More and more prêt-à-porter brands are creating collection made of greener materials, such as items made of organic or recycled materials. Besides, there are more and more “greener fashion guides” that can be found surfing the web. For example the Eco Fashion World provides a list of sustainable designer brands and online eco fashion stores based on brand names, online stores, cloth’s categories, eco-criteria or countries.
Source: Eco Fashion World
New symbols for clothing label?
Each brand is evaluated based on eco criteria by the Eco Fashion World:
Source: Eco Fashion World
- Vegan: products made without animal materials
- Ethically produced: products made with respect for people and the environment
- Craft/Artisan: products made using artisan skills preserving old traditions
- Custom: made-to-order products
- Fair Trade Certified products
- Organic: natural fibers grown without the use of pesticides or other toxic products
- Recycled: products made with recycled materials
- Vintage / Second-hand
However, all brands do not necessary comply with all these eco criteria.
Another fashion web guide Style With Heart is also offering a list of brands based on category such as Fair Trade, ethical fashion, organic clothing, eco-friendly items, recycled items, and vintage.
How to choose: 100% organic or 100% recycled?
Nike has goes on with innovating in sustainability. After its Nike store made up with 100% trash in Shanghai, Nike has launched the NIKE Material Sustainability Index (NIKE MSI). This index ranks materials such as cotton or polypropylene in Four impact areas:
- Energy/Greenhouse Gas,
- Physical waste
Nikeresponsibility.com, with the message “materials matter”, informs consumers about his/her impact on the environment based on the materials chosen using the NIKE MSI.
NIKE MSI Index is higher (better) if the hoodie is made of organic cotton fabric
The purpose of this index is to provide a vast range of data, regarding materials used to produce clothing, shoes or accessories, to designers and creators.
Furthermore, a free smartphone application has been designed relying on NIKE MSI data: MAKING app. This app could be seen as a source of information to guide the user to choose the “right” material, as it helps understand the environmental impacts of the choices made. Indeed, each material is ranked and the app enables the user to compare different materials.
For example rubber versus cotton: considering all the criteria mentioned above but also the environmental impact, the recycling capacity and the supplier practices, rubber material is ranked as No. 1 in NIKE MSI when the cotton is ranked at the 11th position.
In addition, each material presents a breakdown of its NIKE MSI in the 4 impact areas; which means that the best material, currently the rubber, may be ranked as number one as an overall but may be ranked:
- 16th in chemistry impact
- 2nd in energy impact
- 2nd in water impact
- 6th waste impact
The NIKE MSI is also affected by the use of recycled or organic material and the supplier choice.
MAKING app also engages consumers to research information about how to consume more sustainably and question the production chain from the material used to the end life of a product.
This app and index could also be used by any consumer while buying clothes: clothing label may be checked with more care and attention! Therefore, designers and creators may be encouraged more and more by consumers themselves to think better of materials to be used.
For its 1st edition, the Kristal Elma Yaratıcılık Festivali was full of amazing campaigns and speakers with sustainable messages! Here is a selection of very inspiring ones!
1- Promote a fair balance in today’s world Mercedes Erra, the President Executive of Havas worldwide and BETC founder, pointed out that balance between men and women help organizations to progress. She highlighted major facts of 2007 UNICEF Gender Equality study: “women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, but earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property”. To change such figures, people should go beyond the stereotypes; stereotypes that unfortunately everyone’s has. The big challenge to undertake is a cultural change embedded with the principle of sharing.
2- Small World Machines: a means to go beyond frontiers Jonathan Mildenhall, the Vice President of The Coca Cola Company, presented amazing campaigns. One of them was the initiative named “Small World Machines – Bringing India and Pakistan together”. Through this machine, Indian and Pakistanis people could interact, connect, play and share happiness with one another. Participants noticed that both sides had actually a lot in common. Such initiative shows how breaking down barriers and stereotypes could be actually easy – especially in today’s world networks! – and bring so much: new friends!
3- Raise awareness about child mortality in India As presented by Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of DDB Mudra, a great campaign has been made to raise awareness about child mortality due to water hygiene. The film aimed to show that with basic solutions, such as washing hands correctly, could save so many lives.
4- Engage people to create sustainable solutions François Petavy, CEO of eYeka, presented a great project launched by eYeka for Unilever. eYeka’s community members – a potential of 250.500 creative individuals – can compete in a contest by designing an original and revolutionary shower system for the next generation of showers, that combines an enjoyable experience with preservation of the environment; in other word a sustainable shower for the future.
5- Innovation as a key word Christophe Cauvy, JWT European Head of Digital & Innovation, taught us that innovation is linked to creativity and that “Innovation is important because it is at the heart of our clients corporate and marketing strategy”. Innovation is also a team work in the sense that it is through the interaction with others, that one’s get inspired and innovates. He pointed out that the physicist Geoffrey West recently discovered that a larger city is more innovative. In other words, West’s Power Law suggests that a resident of a city with 5 million people is 3 times more creative than the inhabitant of a town with 100.000! Istanbul counts about 17 million people… so do the math!
And what innovation has brought us recently? Well, it brought a new Nike store made up with 100% trash in Shanghai! Because we learn from our mistake, major corporations, which counted some flaws in the past, are actually now walking more and more on the path of being more sustainable. SMEs create sustainability solutions, as a rule of their core business; but the impact is more significant when big global corporations embrace them and engage their audience.
Hope to see the same casting and additional cast members next season!