DUTY OF CARE Is the fashion industry serious about social responsibility or is it all smoke and mirrors? By Hannah Doody. THE FASHION INDUSTRY is worth a ridiculous $3 trillion globally and it accounts for two per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. So it’s reassuring that the industry as a whole has started to wake up to its social and environmental responsibility in recent years. In the last year alone, Adidas created a shoe out of ocean garbage, and Miu Miu began offering an orthopaedic sandal for the health- and fashionconscious. The notion of fashion for fashion’s sake is being superseded by a need to embrace fashion’s duty to society.
Adidas x Parley ocean plastic shoes In fact, it has become so commonplace for companies to position themselves in this light that the terms “sustainable” and “ethical” have become somewhat of a cliché – umbrella terms used to indicate that a company is committed to being environmentally, economically, and socially aware. This wave of social awareness is largely due to the demands of consumers. As a direct result of the outpouring of public opinion, companies have begun using social responsibility as a marketing tool, though some continue to do so with only partial implementation.
Bruno Sohnle timepieces, made in Germany and Secrid wallets, made in Holland.
New styles and colours in store and online now.
IN 1963, PANTONE founder Lawrence Herbert created a system for recognising, matching and communicating colours. His insight led to the innovation of the Pantone Matching System; a book of standardised colours in fan format. Today, Pantone is globally recognised as the official language for accurate colour communication in a variety of industries. This summer, Melbourne label Gorman has joined forces with the world’s authority on colour to create an 11-piece collection. You’ll find a selection of classic Gorman summer staples featuring the brand’s iconic polka-dot print in an array of bright Pantone colours. The collection is available in-store and online now.
Sure, sustainability improves the image of many companies, but there is a danger that this approach could turn into “greenwash” – false claims used only to gain a competitive advantage. The issue with this approach is that the main purpose of all this (accepting responsibility) will be overshadowed by its profitability. It’s for you to decide the authenticity: are ocean garbage shoes and ortho-chic just PR stunts used to create an illusion of social responsibility? Or are they a sign of truly responsible acts to come from the fashion industry? Only time will tell.
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