Happy Friday everyone! 🙂
I recently read an article from the Business of Fashion (BoF) where they did a fantastic interview with Julie Gilhart and her thoughts on conscious consumerism.
Who is Julie Gilhart?
She is a freelance fashion consultant. She consults for major companies like Amazon for Amazon Clothing Store and name brands like Tory Burch. She’s originally from Dallas!!! (my home ❤ ) where she worked as a buyer for Neiman Marcus before leaving to travel the world and there after she was offered a job at Barney’s where she worked as a fashion director for 18 years!
What does she do?
“Gilhart was, and remains renowned for her ability to identify trends, and her championing of smaller designers, in New York’s competitive retail environment. Gilhart would introduce fresh talent that included Philip Lim, Proenza Schouler Gareth Pugh and Joseph Altuzzura.” – Business of Fashion profile
Excerpt from the article:
“Xerxes Cook (interviewer): What is your personal interpretation of conscious consumerism?
Julie Gilhart: Conscious consumerism is a reminder that consuming affects humanity and the world at large. We need to remember our purchases have power to express our beliefs.”
She even recollects the time that really impacted her and made her realize that being sustainable even in fashion was important. She had gone to a couture fashion show in Paris that cost millions of dollars to produce and she was reminded of the news about poverty especially in Africa. People without water, clothes or food and suddenly it did not make any sense to her at all. “It was a moment of change for how I would do and see things.” – Julie Gilhart
Now I don’t think she is undermining the art, design, and beauty of couture fashion (nor am I!) however her thoughts give a new perspective on high fashion which is worth thinking about.
She also admits that it will be more costly initially for fashion companies and designers to create clothing and products with sustainable materials and processes. However, there has been a shift in consumers: consumers who are more environmentally and socially conscious about their consumption. And in the long-run it could lead to increased profits. Both companies and consumers need to work together to create a more sustainable and conscious consumer society in fashion. Transparency of information is key. Companies being transparent about the process of creating their products. She also boldly states that companies need to take the first step in developing this sustainable mindset. “In fashion, the ones that lead and innovate are always the ones, that if managed correctly, are the most successful.” – Julie Gilhart
I love how she incorporated the business and fashion aspects as well as her own opinion about conscious consumerism!