Supermodel Amber Valletta is one of fashion’s loudest and consistently-articulate voices on sustainable fashion. AOC has taken the time to research any sustainable credentials behind Zara’s newest ‘Chasing the Light’ collection, and don’t that these beautiful all-white summer styles are part of Zara’s sustainable ‘Join Life’ project, currently estimated to be only 1.5-3% of sales. We wish ‘Chasing the Light’ had green credentials but can’t find any.
With Amber Valletta appearing as the nature-woman model, it’s easy to think the collection is sustainable, especially coming on the heels of last week’s release of H&M’s exciting Conscious Exclusive Collection. H&M actually used orange peels from the end of the juice production cycle for their Orange Fiber. If Valletta was also eating pineapple, I’d call foul. Piñatex, a leather alternative made from the cellulose fiber of pineapple leaves (which become waste after the fruit is harvested) is a key new fake leather product used in H&M’s 2019 Conscious Exclusive collection.
The differences between cotton and organic cotton are significant. Organic cotton uses no toxic chemicals, uses 71% less water and 62% less energy, says an organic cotton website. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides.
Amber Valletta has every reason to be working with Zara, especially to advance their sustainability initiatives. At the same time, the supermodel must be alert to ‘greenwashing’ with her as bait, when brands have no major drive around sustainability. This campaign comes close to the line of ‘greenwashing’, using one of fashion’s most prominent voices on sustainability in a probably confusing way to customers.