Selling product stamped with an eco-friendly logo may no longer be enough for environmentally educated consumers. This fall, two companies are launching garment traceability and corporate transparency initiatives through their Web sites, giving consumers the ability to track the production process of their garments.
Online tracking systems have been created by Icebreaker, a New Zealand-based active company that has been using sustainable pure merino wool since its 1994 inception, and Bernardo Fashion, a New York-based vendor specializing in better-priced machine washable and dryable suede jackets that is launching a 95 percent eco-sensitive suede line for fall. Both systems will be accessible starting this fall.
Using a distinct number printed on each garment, consumers who buy Icebreaker product or Bernardo Fashion's new Bernardo Green line can enter their code on the companies' Web sites, icebreaker.com/baacode and bernardofashions.com.
The Web sites walk the consumer through the production process, starting at the specific ranch where the animals were raised (for the merino wool of Icebreaker or the hides for Bernardo Green's suede jackets) and going all the way to the Chinese manufacturer where the garments are produced. The sites also emphasize that the products are biodegradable.
"It's not just about saying you're organic or eco-friendly, it's about proving it," said Stuart Pollack, who owns Bernardo Fashions.
Bernardo Green, which uses hides made in organically certified tanneries in Slovenia, will launch this fall. The line will wholesale for the same price as the company's non-eco-sensitive jackets, from $71 to $79, and will have a soft launch in August for a month exclusively in 18 Nordstrom doors in the U.S. and in about 30 Marks & Spencer doors in the U.K., before broadening its distribution to more than 200 doors. Pollack projects that within two years, the line will generate over $10 million in wholesale volume.
Icebreaker does $100 million in global wholesale volume. After entering the U.S. market three years ago, the company expects to do $15 million in its 375 doors in the U.S. this year. The active and lifestyle line, which uses the natural performance fabric merino wool, wholesales from $15 to $150. Its new Web site feature, Baa Code, which reflects its use of sheep in addition to the tracking properties, includes interviews with the ranchers "so you know you are keeping these people alive on their farms," said a spokeswoman for the company. It also includes descriptions of each point in the Chinese production process, from fiber cleaning to sewing.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast