J500 Media and the Environment

Black Leather and Sunglasses are the Answers by bobbygrace
February 12, 2008, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Fashion + Beauty, Society + Media

Before I begin I have to say that taking style tips from the Terminator may or may not be the nation’s best option to fighting climate change. He is made of metal and gears and circuitry and rubber. He wears black leather and sunglasses and drives a motorcycle. He was invented to please the teenage boy moving-going demographic.

The look of the green revolution?

Yet, it is the one and only Terminator California Governor Arnold Shwarzenegger that thinks the green movement needs a sexy makeover to appeal to the larger public. What Arnold doesn’t realize is that the environmental movement is sexy.

For instance, can you name a sexier laptop than the new ultra thin MacBook Air with its mercury and arsenic free LED display and PVC free circuitry? You must first admit that electronics can be sexy. I did this a long time ago, but gadgets may not be your thing.

Luckily, the eco-movement also has its hand in fashion as well. The recent Fashion Week featured more than one sustainable collection. H&M is again pushing an organic collection for the fall. There are at least two stores in downtown Lawrence that feature second hand and vintage clothing. By cutting out the energy to produce clothing, you are being green. So fashion isn’t your cup of tea? Try architecture. Or furniture. The list goes on.

I would argue that the eco movement is already looking good. And yes, maybe it was a little illogical to compare the style of the green movement to the Terminator, and no, Arnold was definitely not trying to make this comparison and yes, I know Arnold is talking about omitting guilt and fear and all those negative pressures from the environmental movement, not necessarily how superficially good it looks.

To this I wanted to say that “doing green stuff” is gratifying, not scary. It’s rewarding. Why do companies offer green products? I think it is because people like to buy them.

Bobby Grace


3 Comments so far
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Thanks to your post, I learned that H&M makes organic clothing. I had no idea and that is one of my favorite stores. I was also not aware that you can buy organic clothing in Lawrence as well. Now when I hit the stores, I am going to feel better about spending my hard earned money because I am only doing so in order to help the environment. And because I want to look good!



Comment by Lindsay

Regarding fashion, Lindsay, Wal-mart sold an organic cotton line of yoga gear, Nike has it, Levi’s sells organic jeans. . .organic is everywhere. Which is a great thing considering cotton uses 25% of the world’s insecticides and pesticides and is the most heavily sprayed crop in existence. (Don’t get me started on Genetically Modified cotton. . .) The biggest challenge for the organic cotton industry is the demand exceeds the supply.

What you say is astute, Bobby. The reason green is now taking hold among consumers is because it has style and substance. The question then becomes, how far do we take it? For example, my new favorite fiber is bamboo. It’s soft, it’s rapidly renewable, it’s organic and anti-microbial. But the amount of water and energy it takes to turn the hard stalk into a soft textile is significant – and the dyes that are usually used are not eco-friendly. Do we herald the fact that we have something sexy to wear that is using significantly fewer pesticides and rapidly renewable fibers (bamboo is a grass, can grow up to 4 feet a day, and is harvested from the top of the plant rather than pulling it out by its roots and killing the plant) — or do we point out the challenges of using bamboo in this way? How does the compare to the recent debate on biofuels or renewable energy credits?

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

Finding a safer dye seems entirely possible, but the water issue is harder to solve. Should we get the CEBC to find some catalyst to break down the fiber using less water? I have no idea if this is possible, but bamboo makes more sense this way.

Bobby Grace

Comment by bobbygrace

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