Eco Optics: Shining a Light on Sustainability

We didn’t see as many messages about sustainability at this show as at previous ORs, however, what was apparent at the most recent show is a new level of sophistication around sustainable story telling with bolder labeling, edgier language — especially around animal cruelty — and the new buzzword “circularity.” Higher-viz statements meant to draw attention are replacing gentler, subtle “eco-friendly” messaging. PETA has targeted the outdoor/fashion market not only on the topic of fur, but now, too, on down as well as wool. PETA’s aggressive stance is a factor in today’s more expressive textile response. Education is also central; mainstream consumers are behind the curve in understanding, let alone defining “sustainability.” Innovation around effective labeling is beginning to emerge; the outdoor industry leads on environmental responsibility, and brands, suppliers and retailers would be wise to be more vocal on the issue. Consumers claim they want planet saving products. Shown here are examples of how companies are getting the word out.