Six questions to unveiling your Sustainability Story.
Journalists across the board eagerly spread the news that we are on our way up. The recession is coming to an end and opportunities abound. Well, that is the simplified version of circulating headlines… Admittedly, the optimism is a bit forced, but they are right about the rise of new opportunities, and specifically those breaking ground in the fashion industry. Of note is the brainchild of eco-model Summer Rayne Oakes and her business partner Benita Singh, Source 4 Style.
A new online textile resource, Source 4 Style (S4S), earnestly seeks to better equip the environmentally and socially conscious designers and brands of the world. Working with manufacturers and designers to provide needed materials, with eco-credentials, at edging towards affordable prices- that is S4S’s mission. S4S goes beyond merely supplying the hard goods, they are committed to helping designers decipher what avenue they would like to take, and why. For instance, is sourcing locally more important or linking to an organization abroad that increases the quality of life for their workers through fair trade practices? These are the questions the designers of today are asking, and must to play on the new field of fashion.
According to S4S, there are a number of questions each designer and brand must soul searchingly answer to determine ‘their story’. Oakes suggests designers run through the following questions:
1. What does sustainability mean to you as a designer and how will you incorporate a sustainable focus in your line?
2. What is your inspiration?
3. Consider that producing fashion is a process. Where do you want to start in your sustainability efforts? People (ethical)? Working environment? Energy supply? Material sourcing? Dyeing processes? Traceability (transparent)?
4. Consider your position of responsibility. What will happen to your garment at the end of its life? Are you designing for that?
5. Will it sell? Is what you are designing good design that people respond to and will buy or will it be wasted material? Is it performance-based or advanced in some way?
6. How are you going to measure your eco-efforts, and then educate your consumers?
When you answer these questions you begin to uncover your sustainability story as a brand or designer. That story will run strong through each and every collection and give your consumers something bigger to identify with and support in purchasing your line. Answer these questions. Draw out a master plan from them. Photo copy it and laminate it. Then post it on your wall and give to every new employee. Never loose sight of your story. It is the one thing that will pull you through hard days and make the good ones shine. Best of all, you will always be able to visually see how what you do every day helps make the world a better place, and those journalists have it right- that is a HUGE opportunity.Tweet