Feel free to leave your quips about hemp-clad hippies at the door: If sustainable fashion is still viewed as a niche product, it won’t be for much longer.

Once the purview of independent designers, “green” clothing has muscled into the mainstream.

There are the industry North Stars who have made tackling fashion’s less telegenic issues part of their DNA, of course, like Patagonia, whose stated mission is building the best product without causing unnecessary harm, or Eileen Fisher, another certified B Corp. that relates to sustainability as a defining character of its ethos.

They’re particularly sensitive to charges of “greenwashing,” the derisory term for marketing spin that paints a company as more environmentally friendly than it actually is. For them, authenticity is king.

“We do not pursue our sustainability goals as a marketing strategy or to gain an ‘edge,’” said Inka Apter, designer for fabric R&D at Eileen Fisher, which plies its wares with organic and recycled fibers, Bluesign-dyed silks and wool produced according to the Responsible Wool Standard. “We believe in sharing the stories behind our materials because the consumers have a right to know more about where those materials come from and we feel that by sharing our values we are also inspiring not only our customers but our peers in the industry.”

Read more at Sourcing Journal.

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