The unifying theme of many workshops and offerings at Envision 2017 was Conscious Consumption. Most people equate this idea with food consumption, but we consume much more than just food. The products that we purchase, whether it is furniture, electronics, skin products, or fashion pieces, all have an environmental impact to varying degrees. Everything we buy comes from somewhere, was made by someone, and draws upon the planet’s resources. As human beings, we do not have flashy feathers, glittering scales, or patterned fur to tell our fellow humans who we are and what we are all about. Instead, we adorn ourselves with clothing, accessories, and jewelry to express where our allegiances lie, what we think, what we feel, and how we want to be remembered. We have the ability to change color with our mood, adjust ourselves according to the weather, and either draw attention to or away from ourselves with a piece of fabric. In one of our most well attended panels at Envision, the audience listened attentively as our Panel on Ethical Fashion tackled the issue of responsible production and consumption within the fashion industry.
During this hour long panel, several progressive business owners discussed the current state of the fashion industry in regards to environmental and socially ethical concerns. A lot of attention was given specifically to the negative impacts of the manufacturing and shipping of textiles and dyes that drive the global fashion economy. The panel spoke extensively about the all-encompassing definitions of terms such as recycled, upcycled, and Fair Trade, while outlining eco-conscious strategies for sourcing materials.
The panelists passion about the state of the industry was very tangibly reflected by the captivated audience. Attendees were extremely receptive to the innovative strategies that these businesses are using to create positive change. The entrepreneurs touched upon business practices focusing on the reduction of their environmental impact during the fabrication process, while advocating for increasing the longevity of their various products. While they were unable to touch on everything due to time limitations, it was amazing to watch the reaction from the crowd as everyone slowly reflected on their pattern of consumption. The goal of the panel was to inspire people to ask more questions about where their clothing and accessories are coming from, to do more research, and dedicate their energy to companies who are making a difference in the lives of others while not compromising on environmentally friendly business practices. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, that goal was achieved.
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