Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer In The City

Hello all:
....ok time to 'feed the blog'....yes we've been busy and haven't updated in many here's a rundown.....
On Tues Aug 11th, after a rather stormy drive (torrential rain with hail) down 95 South that included all manner of weather except locusts, we arrived in New York. On August 12, 13 and 14 we participated in the S.O.S. event held at the Penn Plaza Pavillion on 7th Avenue in NYC. This was the Show Of Sustainable Sourcing for apparel, home & more. We had a small booth on the ground floor below the 'DIRECTIONS' international textile and surface design show. It was a great networking opportunity and all involved got to learn more about the specific talents of the eco designers, manufacturers and marketing experts who shared our intimate space. (not to mention how much I enjoyed reconnecting with so many dear industry friends and colleagues who were shopping the Directions show and also serrendipitously stopped by our table/exhibit at SOS) Thanks to the SOS team who made the days
fun and fruitful. Hope to see you all again at other events.
We are now completing our new collection of prints and hope to have them ready by late fall. We will be sending a web blast to all of our designer contacts as soon as it arrives.

Last month Deb had the chance to view a workshop/webcast from Washington-The Federal Trade Commission's session on "Green Washing"/Labeling--Here are some of her points of interest:
* The Organic industry has grown 35% between 2001-2007 driven by consumers making a lifestyle choice as well as those with allergy sensitivites.
* There are misleading claims in the industry -- It is the responsibility of the business to know their sourcing chain and to label accurately.
* Bamboo put through the viscose process or regenerated loses the properties of natural bamboo and is commonly referred to as rayon from bamboo and should be labeled as such. Pat Slater from Consumer Reports sited an article "Bamboozel by Rayon". She also states that although an inferior textile is not a hazard to life and limb, higher pricing on these specialty products DOES affect a consumers pocketbook.
*Katheleen Huddy from the GoodHousekeeping Institute says consumers are receptive to green products as long as they perform and don't cost much more
*The footprint of your product must be considered--Lifecycle Assessment. Patagonia leads the way in their "Footpath Chronicles" which currently measures the impact of 10 of their products. These are tracked on their website.
* An organic treatment for flame retardants is not yet available but GOTS permits where required by law.
*If you are using recycled materials--know what you are getting. Is it post industrial or post consumer?
Organic methods of production ARE beneficial and well documented in spite of what some may claim.
*Consumers are starting to recognize some third party certifications on labels. Oeko-Tex, Blue Sign and several others.
*Keep product label simple but clear and refer to your website for additinal information on the product.
*Are soy and milk fibers really green--jury still out?
And much more on Green Building developments-- see transcripts from FTC website.

Enjoy the waning summer days ahead...and try to sneak in a day by the ocean...aaahhh

Deb & Dawn

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