Inside Issue 1.2: Eco-fashion goes business?

Professional women’s thoughts about sustainable clothing: Eco-fashion goes business?
sustainable consumption, sustainable clothing, German eco-fashion-perception, professional women, eco-fashion

This article discusses the significant role of sustainable consumption in postmodern societies and the apparent ‘sustainable fashion gap’ in the priorities of consumers who are interested in sustainable issues in Germany. Drawing on the opinions of female academic employees from universities and managers from the private sector, this article will outline why consumers in Germany do not award sustainable clothing the same status as products in use in daily life in terms of sustainability. In the academic debate a negative image of eco-clothing, which developed in the 1970s, is considered to be responsible for such situation. The previous eco-clothing won a reputation by consumers as unfashionable and an ‘eco-frumpy-look’ and influenced its acceptance negatively. In spite of ecological textile innovations and the expansion of clothing ranges, consumption of sustainable clothing has not generally improved in recent decades. The survey fleshes out that the current low acceptance of sustainable fashion is not due to a supposedly negative image of ecological fashion but because of structural problems within the production and consumption processes as well as an inadequate product range which does not take gender constructs into account. The old clichés of eco-clothing no longer apply, but there are new problems relevant to the production and consumption of sustainable clothing. The article discusses furthermore the representation of sustainable clothing in the catalogues and fashion magazines of sustainable producers.


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