Some people advocate for organic cotton and Fair Trade fashion, while others criticize how expensive those types of pieces are for most people. Some advocate for only buying vintage, but shouldn’t indie designers also be supported in their efforts to be eco-friendly? Certain experts cheer for the huge ripples that international brands send across the supply chain with seemingly small improvements, while others decry said small improvements as straight-up greenwashing.
But that’s the thing: Even the most passionate experts on the topic don’t think there’s one way to do sustainability "right." And if the pros don't have an answer, what are the rest of us — i.e. people who care about fashion, but also care about the planet — supposed to do?
To lead us in the right direction, we sat down at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit with the smartest sustainable fashion expert we know: Linda Greer, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She launched the NRDC’s fashion-focused Clean by Design program in 2009 to clean up water and air pollution in Chinese apparel factories, and has both a master's in environmental science and engineering and a PhD in environmental toxicology. Basically, if anyone knows the scientifically proven way to dress sustainably, it’s her.
Don’t worry, though — you don't need a PhD to understand the information ahead. Because as it turns out, being a sustainable fashion consumer takes way less work than you think.