A revolution is coming. No, not somewhere in the Middle East. This is a different kind of revolution. A revolution inspired by our generation of millennials to bring about positive and lasting change through what we wear.
We've seen the organic foods revolution. We are in the midst of the hybrid/electric car revolution and now we are on the verge of the sustainable fashion revolution, one which my e-commerce site Modavanti.com is a part of.
But much more needs to be done. The horrors of Bangladesh made it abundantly clear that we as consumers can no longer take an 'out of sight out of mind approach," especially when 1 and 7 people around the world are connected to the fashion industry, with millions of workers subjected to slave labor and sweatshop working conditions.
Fashion is such a defining part of who we are and how we represent ourselves, so shouldn't we wear what we believe in?
Up and until now we haven't done so in large part because sustainable fashion has had the negative stereotype of being "crunchy" or "granola" (because let's be real, as sustainable as this hemp hoodie is, you'll never catch anyone wearing it). But a commitment to change starts with designers and there are hundreds of socially responsible brands across the country and world making incredible trendy, sexy looks. From Edun to Westward Leaning to Frock LA, brands aren't just producing clothing that is eco-friendly and/or ethically sourced, it is also cool.
More and more brands are converting to using recycled and eco-conscious materials, are providing artisans in developing countries with fair wages and increased opportunities and are bringing manufacturing back to America.
The trends are clear; e-commerce is the future of retail and sustainability is the future of fashion. It's a good thing too, because as a society we cannot continue on the path we are on. The way we are headed in respect to how we approach environmental and labor rights issues needs to change and fast. How can we stomach tragedies like Bangladesh? Or be ok with the fact that one t-shirt takes between 700-20000 gallons of water (our world's most precious resource) to produce.
In many ways we're making improvements. Buying "Made in America" is now cool, more and more consumers avoid the "Made in China" label and if you throw a plastic bottle in the trash, people will stare and shake their heads in disgust. But when it comes to fashion, that same sense of social awareness hasn't completely caught on... just yet.
It's starting to change. H&M launched their Conscious Collection. Levi's now makes their jeans using waterless technology. Nike has committed to making all game-day pro jerseys from recycled materials and big retailers and fashion brands alike are joining the Greenpeace fashion Detox Campaign.
But finally, the power is in our hands. Now it's up to us to accelerate the change we want to see. Through Modavanti and other sites, we as consumers now have an opportunity to bring about change. To stand up for what we value. To vote with our wallets and wear what we believe in without compromising our style. Sustainability may be the future of fashion, but it's already cool now. Designers across the country have proven that better does exist.
Originally published by Modavanti Founder David Dietz for The Huffington Post, here.