Food: It’s not just something to eat these days. At the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris last week, produce was turned into pants and sent down the catwalk.
According to a report by Agence France-Presse, more than 60 designers took part in the show, presenting skirts made from pineapple fiber, shirts lacquered with sweet potato paste (a traditional Chinese technique), and jewelry made from fish scales. The show is in its third year and was the largest to date.
Ethical fashion depends on two qualifications—organic materials (not all edible) and humane labor practices. Most products are created by small companies, but according to Eric Olsen, head of consulting group Business and Social Responsibility, ethical fashion is facing issues similar to some in the organic food movement:
Twenty years ago, organic food was made by small alternative companies. Today, health food in America is mainstream. Everyone is reading labels. More health food is made by agro giants than by niche market producers. This is the question for the ethical fashion business: who will be able to reach the mass public?
The other question of course being, is the mass public ready to trade in its denim for pineapple fiber?