In fashion, green is the new black

Laura Tanzer is surrounded by her work in her downtown Tucson shop. (Photo by Laura Tanzer)

After its success in the food industry, the green movement is now impacting how fashion business is operating and the way consumers are shopping. With the increase in consumer consciousness, people are voting “green” more than ever before, according to IntelligentHQ.  

NEEDS BETTER SET UP LINKING FOOD AND FASHION In regards to DELETE the food industry, the reawakening of consumer awareness has led to a 600 percent increase in plant-based diets within the last three years in the United States according to Food Revolution Network. IS THIS REPUTABLE? OR JUST PR This ever-growing lifestyle can all be credited to education.

“Education is the answer,” Laura Tanzer, owner of Laura Tanzer Designs, said. PUT AHEAD OF NAME “But it has to be tied very closely to self-interest and benefit or the buyer will not care.”

As for businesses, according to IntelligentHQ PUT THIS FIRST, sustainability and ethical practice have grown to become core values within consumers and corporate policy during this age of change SUBJECTIVE.

The environmental concern is the key factor that determines how and what consumers in the 21st century will buy. Environmental concern is the main reason why two-thirds of consumers avoid specific brands or items according to a study from 2015 in IntelligentHQ.

Though living a sustainable life is a trend that seems mainstream in today’s society, it has been a topic of concern for centuries. Humans have, since the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution SWAP THESE, been a consumer rather than a replenisher of environmental resources according to Environmental Science. The philosophers who expressed concern about resource and overpopulation sustainability were not taken seriously at the time according to the Environmental Science report.

As a present-day concern, the public has become increasingly more aware of climate change. The push for exposure of information and education has thus, lead to an increase in activist and sustainability professionals emerging.

Today, those WHO with sustainability degrees are now able to expand into any career field according to a report by the University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management. Businesses are aiming to boost their image by adding qualities that promote sustainability in order to appease their customers.  

Though the fashion industry is GLAMOROUS on the outside, it is considered to be the second dirtiest industry on the planet, right behind oil said Stella McCartney in Vogue. Stella McCartney is the first haute couture company to not use traditional textiles that were once considered to be luxurious, such as leather and fur according to Vogue. Since the company’s launch in 2001, there has been an increased amount of large and small businesses who are also producing sustainable products.

Information for Laura Tanzer’s consumers about the production and products in her clothing. Photo by: Claudia Johnson

Laura Tanzer, Award Winning Designer of Laura Tanzer Designs, DIDN’T YOU ALREADY INTRODUCE HER earned her degree from Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in international marketing, as well as an MBA in international finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business. IS THIS RELEVANT? 

Though she understood fashion from both a design and business point of view, she felt something was missing. So, DELETE she went back to school to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources.

After studying and teaching about fashion and sustainable practice, it was time to create a sustainable business and walk the talk NOT THE EXPRESSION Tanzer said. Laura Tanzer Design is a clothing line that is small but yet, a specialized business she said. WHAT? When asked about consumer behavior from a business owners point of view, she said, “I do know that people shop for clothing for many reasons, most of them emotional.”

The emotional aspect of purchasing eco-friendly products includes, “psychological benefits as well as physical benefits,” said Deanna Kulbeth, Cooper Center for Environmental Learning Project Manager. PUT THIS FIRST

Physically, buying environmentally friendly products, though they cost more, tend to last longer, making the purchase a worthwhile investment Kulbeth said. TOOOOOOO MANY COMMAS By people focusing on buying products that are worth our money, Kulbeth said this leads to psychological peace and a tendency to spend less essentially.

With the personal psychological peace consumers feel, the awareness of one’s impact on the environment is another factor that comes into play. ACCORDING TO WHO “People have become more conscious about the clothing and products they are buying because we want quality, and we sense that things are not what they once were,” Kulbeth explains.

Photography by Claudia Johnson
Laura Tanzers workspace and clothing store. Photo by: Claudia Johnson

Lifestyle, as well as being socially conscious are driving factors for the way Lauren Legaspi, a vegan consumer, INTRODUCE DIFFERENTLY lives her life. Legaspi said being vegan impacts the way and where she shops.

“I tend to only shop with companies and brands that are ethically sustainable and using items that don’t create much waste or hurt animals,” Legaspi said.

Before purchasing items from companies, Legaspi said she will look into how they create their items, where they retrieve their items, and how they are handled from the warehouse to her mailbox and or the store. Also, she is SHE IS ALSO drawn to businesses that give back to the community or charities Legaspi said.

Legaspi says the internet and social media have allowed for her to be exposed to information that hinders her decision for her purchases. Since becoming vegan and becoming a more socially conscious consumer, Legaspi said she feels better about each purchase.

“I feel that even though I am just one person, I am able to make a change and help others make one as well, or just leave them an impression to think about what they are personally buying and create thoughts in their head about how they can be a better consumer,” Legaspi said. GOOD ENDING

Claudia Johnson a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at

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