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CFDA Amps Up Commitment to Sustainability with New Committee

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CFDA CEO Steven Kolb at ABC Carpet & Home NYC

Following in the footsteps of the annual CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge (now in its third year), the CFDA has taken another step towards making fashion more sustainable.

Today, the CFDA has announced the creation of the first-ever sustainability committee. Co-chaired by designers Scott Mackinlay Hahn of Rogan/Loomstate and Melissa Joy Manning, the committee will encourage designers to implement eco-friendly practices in their own businesses through education and outreach.

The CFDA plans kick things off by dedicating their homepage to awareness of sustainable business practices, featuring tips by the three winning designers of the 2012 CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge: Melissa Joy Manning, Victoria Bartlett, and Pamela Love.

When we caught up with Love at the Eco-Fashion Challenge breakfast last December, she had a lot of insight on the difficulties designers will face when trying to be more sustainable. “The main challenge for me is making everything here in America using ethical manufacturing practices and still being able to compete in the marketplace with other designers who are using manufacturers in factories in China and other parts of the world,” she told us of her own practices.

And Steven Kolb, the CEO of the CFDA, told us that the organization has an overall picture in mind when it comes to eco-friendly fashion. He hopes to see it move from the fringes of stores and specialty shops to the main selling floors of major retailers. “When you go and shop it’s just there, hanging with everything else on the floor–it’s not something that you have to seek out,” he envisioned.

“I think as a society the connection to the planet and how we live our lives is important,” Kolb continued, “and as an industry that can influence and really set the way people think and look and dress, fashion has a responsibility and has always kind of risen to that responsibility.”

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