In fact, I've already asked the question of the future of the apparel industry a couple of times, and my answer has always been more restrained. I'm sure there'll be a lot of changes, more regulation and regulation, and a big digging, as is happening politically at the moment. On the one hand, the conscious people will argue for fair and reasonable products, on the other hand, the satisfied people will not see their lifestyle change. Conflict potential for several generations exists. The challenge will be to make it clear to these people that they won’t be able to continue living like that if future generations should have a similarly good standard of living. Above all, it is necessary to do a lot of educational work, and I do not mean just the small niche of the fair fashion supporters, but education in general. Education and finance are a disaster in this country and no one should be surprised that people really do believe in chemtrails AND listen to others! Long story short: I would like to take this opportunity to recommend a book from which I’ve already used some information here. Author, along with Kirstin Brodde of Greenpeace Deutschland, is Alf, whom I met through a mutual friend. For his blog, I once gave him a little interview, he has now returned the favor and answered me a few questions about the completion of the Fair Fashion Week. Here we go:
You wrote the book "Einfach anziehend" to help the consumer to have the most sustainable wardrobe possible and to clean up with uncertainty. "What do you think is the cause of consumer confusion?
For most consumers it’s still too difficult to recognize fair fashion. Markings are supposed to provide clarity, but they are relatively unknown. Only 3 examples: For organic cotton there is the GOTS seal, for fair trade the FAIRTRADE mark and for leather the IVN-Best. Anyone looking for them on hangtags is already an expert. Consumers should be able to recognize much more easily what’s fair and organic.
Do you think there’s a need for better information and if so, how?
Yes, definitely. It is at least as important, however, that we make it clear to all, that we can’t continue our current consumer behavior. The textile industry is producing more and more and we are still buying way too much. Unfortunately, this affects people and the environment.
Do you see the responsibility for improvement in the consumer, the industry or politics?
For all of them. We as consumers need to revalue our clothes and not perceive it as disposable fashion. Businesses must align not only with their legitimate economic interests, but also with their overall social and global responsibilities. And politics must create clear rules and hold those companies liable, so they know they can't continue like that.
With the word "Continue" I’d like to thank you for your attention this week and hope you were able to take something interesting with you. I hope you are motivated to continue – not only as before, but in your own way. "Doing right" in this case simply means questioning existing behaviors and change them with all available informations you have. You will always come back to places where you realize, "Oh, I didn’t know that" or "I've always done wrong so far."
As long as we can accept old mistakes and learn from them for the future, we can move into the right direction and do a small part to improve the world.