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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Newport International Runway Group Latest Trends: Green Is the New Black



With the rise of fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M, clothes and accessories are easier – and cheaper – to come by than ever. And while a pair of $10 jeans and an $8 necklace are hard to pass up, there’s also a dark side to production on such a mass scale – namely, making the fashion industry the third most polluting industry on earth after oil and agriculture.

That’s the likes of why Stella McCartney, G-Star RAW, Loomstate, Bionic Yarn and the manufacturer Saitex have joined forces with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute to revolutionize the fashion industry through Fashion Positive, a new initiative aimed at accelerating innovation in high-quality materials, products and processes to improve how clothes are made across the industry.

The program helps fashion businesses in five categories of sustainability: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.

At the initiative’s star-studded Second Annual Innovation Celebration Friday night, Lewis Perkins, senior vice president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, said the program is helping industry leaders create the future of fashion.

“It’s really retooling what we’ve been doing for 150 years, since the industrial revolution” Perkins said. “Now we realize that energy is not cheap and water is not indefinite, and we really have to look at different systems.”

The initiative’s first goal is to create Fashion Positive’s Materials Library of ethical materials and suppliers that other companies can then use to create their own products. Perkins defined this ground-up approach as a “continuous improvement roadmap” for sustainability, which also happens to make money for those involved.

“There’s a big shift that’s occurring, the whole industry has awakened to the fact that it’s wasteful, there’s toxicity, low price points are driving human rights issues, wage issues,” Perkins said. “We have to do something, and the whole industry knows it.”

Investors like Schmidt Philanthropies and the DOEN Foundation are funding the initial challenges associated with finding sustainable souring materials, modernizing manufacturing equipment and ensuring worker safety and healthy work conditions. And, naturally, creating products that are appealing — and sellable – to consumers.


While the issues won’t be solved overnight, the program is hoping to have partnering brands and designers reach the Cradle to Cradle Certified GOLD-level standard by 2016. And what’s more fashionable than that?

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Newport International Group Runway

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