J500 Media and the Environment

What should come between you and your Calvins… by kimwallace

In the early ’80s, fashion designer Calvin Klein plastered billboards and TV commercials with the pre-pubescent body of 15-year-old Brooke Shields. The sell line?

“You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”

Well, Ms. Shields, I know what should come between you and your Calvins…organic underwear!

The unsexy image that organic cotton underwear used to have has been completely turned around thanks to quality designers and…hot models.


Pretty sure this guy is bringing sexy back in tightie-whitie organic cotton boxer briefs…

femalemodel.jpg femalemodel2.jpgfemalemodel3.jpg

And these ladies? They’re rockin’ organic cotton, hemp and silk…sans pants! Who needs Calvins to be sexy?

The green movement is sexy—when it comes to fashion, beauty and consumption. Environmentalists need come up with appealing ways to make sustainability in life choices—fuel efficiency, deforestation, global warming—the climax when getting people to go green.

So what do we do?

Well for one, we have to get up off our Calvin-covered asses and let people know why buying organic cotton is sexier and why eating organic food is better. If we must reach people through consumerism, then we must at least give them everything they need in one package: the luxury product + the luxury of information.

Manufacturers should tell buyers what they’re getting and what the effects are of buying these products: Do female artisans in the Phillipines get paid fairly for sewing your knickers? Does the chocolate company offset its carbon emissions? What does it mean when cotton is grown without pesticides, and how does it affect you?

Lots of sustainable companies provide this information, but I think it really needs to be drilled into the minds of consumers so that they know that buying green is not only “trendy” but also smart. Green consumers should be able to tell their friends solid reasons why they buy eco-friendly products, in order to keep the trend, and the earth, alive!

It probably wouldn’t hurt to throw in a male model or six…



6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Excellent post, Kim. You have really covered every base – eco-sexy is authentically alluring when it’s smart, transparent, and sustainable. We also have to make sure it is accessible/ affordable for those of us making less than a model’s salary.
And I do have hope – the movement is getting past what things are made of to also talk about how things are made. I like to talk about the hands that touched the things in my life – that made the bed in my hotel room, that picked the beans for my coffee, that worked in the factory that made my cab, etc.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

I wish that stores or the clothing companies themselves would make eco-fashion more well known, maybe by having a green/organic/locally produced section of the store. Hell, even “PRODUCTS THAT DON’T SCREW UP THE WORLD AS BADLY” in 200 point type would be nice.

Most companies would never do this, but if there were only some transparency law that required companies to inform consumers where their product comes from, who made it, how much those people are getting paid, what materials it is made of, etc. This information is SO important to consumers, but most of us/them don’t care because the information is so hard to find in one place or it doesn’t exist at all.

Ah, wishful thinking!

Lauren Keith

Comment by laurenkeith

I wish life was simple enough in which I do not have to feel guilty about how the t-shirt and jeans I am wearing were made and in what sort of inhumane environment.
I wish these eco-fashion products were more attainable to consumers. There are so many people that want to help, but just don’t have the means to do it. How can there be a balance?

Dena Hart

Comment by denah

Lauren, I agree with you. I hate Internet shopping, and it seems that most organic clothing is available only online (unless, of course, you live in NYC or San Francisco). I work at a sustainable living magazine, and when I reviewed baby clothing, it was so hard to find good stuff that really put it all out there as to where the fabric came from and who it supported. Though you may not be in the market for a child (or maybe you are, I dunno), http://www.speesees.com has set such a great example on how to label sustainable clothing in a clear manner. If only ALL consumer products did this—sustainable or not.

Kim Wallace

Comment by kimwallace

Denah, same. We have become way too accustomed to cheap labor (hello, sweatshops!) and prices that we don’t understand what we are paying for. Why should I pay $40 for an organic cotton shirt when a regular cotton shirt is $20? I think if we had conscientious clothing from the start, we wouldn’t have such a problem paying for what is right. And I suppose there’s this whole bad economy thing, too…

Kim Wallace

Comment by kimwallace

Thanks for the great post, Kim.

Check out my sustainable fashion blog – there are plenty of affordable and sustainable solutions for normal people who feel gross when wearing slave-labor-produced and icky H&M, for example.


Keep it up!


Comment by katelivesinbrooklyn

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