One of the biggest complaints women have about "going green" concerns the challenge of dressing "green," and that means more than the color. Apart from the occasional organic cotton nightgown sold at Wal-Mart, or the jackets and vests Patagonia remakes from recycled soda bottles, it’s been hard to find eco-friendly clothes at an actual store — where you can feel them, compare them and try them on. Most "green" clothes shopping has had to be done on-line, an experience that leaves very little to be desired when choices are limited, sizes are unpredictable, and the delivery lag sometimes seems interminable.
All this might change significantly in May, when Target, the national big box retailer, and award-winning couturier Rogan Gregory, launch their Go International line, first at Barney’s, then in Target stores nationwide.
The Target/Gregory/Barney’s collaboration is generating a lot of buzz. Designers aren’t the only ones who are surprised that the upscale Barney’s and the everyone-scale Target are in cahoots. Shoppers in the market for good-for-the-earth clothes have often been put off by their out-of-this-world prices. The Rogan Go collection will range between an affordable $15 and $45. To buy styles by Gregory, who also designs green apparel for Edun, the clothing company owned by Bono’s wife Allie Hewson, adds an added plus to the "cool" column.
What Big Green Purse will be watching for is the impact Gregory and Target have on retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor. Until now, any woman looking for a suit, dress, blouse or pants made from organic cotton, hemp or bamboo – materials being used liberally in Gregory’s designs — has been consistently disappointed if they’ve shopped at traditional outlets. Will Target’s bold move inspire other retailers to expand their eco-offerings?
There’s a good chance — especially if women who normally favor Macy’s over Target not just shop at the big box retailer, but flaunt their purchase in Macy’s and other stores.
Says Gregory, right, "In order to make any real impact, you have to reach the mass market. Sustainability can’t be a cult taste; it can’t be a luxury. And Target has been a great partner, in fact, because they pull this whole organic thing into the mainstream."
For more information on eco-clothing options, visit Big Green Purse.