Thursday, December 2, 2010

Event Recap: Building a Brand Through Sustainability

When the Holiday Season approaches, retailers get their chance for a second birth: stores get crowded with holiday shoppers, USPS and Fedex deliveries triple in size, and monthly sales of clothes skyrocket. Nordstrom, Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other big department stores bring thousands of new inventory items that will be sold during Black Friday only. Then the Holidays come to an end, stores get new inventories, and in two months it all goes on seasonal clearance again…and the cycle goes on…

The question is: after being sold, where do all of these clothes end up? It turns out they either pile up in closets or end up in landfills. Poor quality clothing that wears out after the fist hand-wash become abandoned by the owners since it's no longer considered valuable. The numbers behind the scene of retails are completely devastating: the amount of clothes used by individuals increases by 21% each year and majority of these clothes are made from fabrics that are not biodegradable.

This is when the sustainable fashion steps up. Connie Ulasewicz, the keynote speaker of EFACTOR's event Building a Brand Through Sustainability, described sustainable fashion as the one that meets the needs of present without compromising the needs of the future generations. Sustainable fashion is more than just using recyclable, organic fabrics for clothing: it's about creating social change on a global scale. Connie's model is built upon 3 interconnected elements: people, process, and environment.

San Francisco, as a center of green movement and a pioneer of sustainable practices, is home to many local organizations that have started embracing sustainability as a part of the global change (PeopleWearSF, Global Action Through Fashion, SFFAMA, Fashion Group International Inc, The Innovative Fashion Council). These organizations and alliances support change on the local level and inspire the movement of sustainable fashion in economical, social, and environmental levels.

Creativity is a must for a sustainable fashion. That's why individual designers inspired by new ideas also step up to support the change. Have you ever thought that the leather from your old car's interior can be transformed into a fashionable vintage jacket? Guess what, Dustin Page turned this dream into reality with his Platinum Dirt jacket collection.

Never imagined that you could be wearing a designer hat from the real fish skin? Well, Jasmin Zorlu employed a variety of innovative materials that include fish skin, abalone shells, and crinoline with fruit gas to create her futuristic headwear.
Another great example of local sustainable brand is EcoCitizen, owned by Joslin Van Arsdale, and exclusive boutique on Polk Street in San Francisco. Joslin's business philosophy is to keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it green.

All of these young and extremely talented designers shared their thoughts on how to build the brand through sustainable practice of making a high-quality non-toxic recyclable clothes.

So if you're in love with fashion, live in San Francisco, or just planning to visit it someday - make sure to stop by and see what other creative and sustainable solutions these designers came up with!

To learn more about this event please go to


Post a Comment