SFFAMA: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
JLV: I am an eco-fashion designer, a writer, a sustainability and business consultant, a stylist, an artist and a social entrepreneur.What I do: Founder, Editor-in-Chief of The Green Stylist (www.thegreenstylist.com), a website that empowers consumers to vote with their dollars to push sustainable fashion and beauty mainstream. We write about the very best sustainable fashion and beauty products in the market and offer deals through our website and Facebook page.
SFFAMA: Why is eco-fashion important?
JLV: This is SUCH an important question – thanks for asking! The fashion and textile industry operates in a global economy and touches the far corners of our planet. It is a giant manufacturing industry that does not support local trade, social and environmental justice, not because it doesn’t want to, but because there is little transparency and accountability along the supply chain from cotton crop to our cotton t-shirts. Governments offer little help to regulate the system because it is just so complicated to understand and track.
The shoes you are wearing right now, for example, could have been made from cotton grown in India – with the use of pesticides and herbicides that pollute water streams and drinking water – the cotton could be transported to a Chinese factory to be dyed and made into cloth, the rubber soles could be from another continent entirely, and everything could be put together in China in a factory where workers are not paid a livable wage. Then, the shoes are packaged with non-recycled cardboard boxes and plastic film for protection and shipped to Western Countries for consumption. At the end of the whole process, the shoes are discarded when we’ve grown tired of them in a few years, seasons and sometimes in a few short months.
Eco fashion represents a sustainable approach to refine and reconstruct the fashion industry, where designers source their fabrics from organic farms, and pay a premium, so that farmers can make a living. Many eco fashion designers use factories in the country of their origin, to utilize the local workforce, and some support charities with their profits.
It is design with a conscious and shows respect for both people and the planet. It is our way forward.
SFFAMA: Explain to us how you apply eco products or sustainability to your design (or your product/services)?
JLV: At The Green Stylist, we publish articles and deals about companies and products who truly “get it”. We find the most lust worthy eco fashion and beauty products in the market to encourage people to buy from a company is in-line with their values.
On a side note – I have been day dreaming lately about making an eco fashion capsule collection… check back with me in a few months or next summer and we’ll see where I am with that. I just put it out to the universe :)
SFFAMA: Who is your target market and why?
JLV: Our target market is closely inline with the LOHAS market. Women, with disposable income, who shop for organic foods, perhaps they’ve greened their home, and now want to make the transition to green their wardrobe and beauty products.
I think new mothers would be an interesting market to tap into. One of our writers is keen on this idea and I’m going to let her run with this.
SFFAMA: How has the green movement changed today’s society?
JLV: I believe the green movement has shifted our collective consciousness about our communities, our cities and our place within these systems. It is less about ‘ME’ and more about ‘WE’. The next decade (I’m sure) will be transformed by the economy and businesses finding this untapped market for green products & services to compete in.
SFFAMA: How do you see the green movement in the future? Where is it heading?
JLV: I see the green movement only getting bigger and stronger. Early adapters are on board and now it’s a matter of reaching the masses and the later adapters. Fair trade could become a way forward to help educate consumers about apparel, in the same way it did for coffee and bananas. Organic farming has been proven to be more profitable, so more farms will convert to become certified organic, which will lead to drops in prices for major retailers to stock their shelves with organic apparel. Specific to eco fashion, the hippie-hemp stigma will vanish and we will see more eco designers open their doors. Also, established fashion companies will use more sustainable fabrics in their designs.
I would hope that a eco-labeling program becomes adopted in North America and Europe in the coming years. Walmart and Good Guide have already started this process, with the help of technology, to rise our ecological intelligence. My hope is that we are headed for sustainable growth, so the next generation can grow-up in a safe and just world. The future looks bright.
SFFAMA: How do you educate the public about eco-fashion (or your product)?
JLV: This is what we do at The Green Stylist – we educate! We inspire people into action by writing about the best eco fashion products. Companies ARE listening to the wants and needs of their customers. Go out and shop to show them what you want.
Jules Lauren Vasic is an eco fashion designer, stylist, writer and Founder of The Green Stylist (www.thegreenstylist.com). The mission of The Green Stylist is to empower consumers to vote with their dollars to make sustainable fashion and beauty mainstream by showcasing the very best sustainable fashion and beauty products in the market. Jules graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Biology & Studio Art, and from Parsons School of Design in Fashion Design.
Jules also studied fashion design at London’s famous Central Saint Martins. When she’s not raising awareness about how fabulous sustainable fashion is, she enjoys yoga, running, surfing and drinking lots of organic tea. She’s an active member of SFFAMA.