Is “Eco Chic” Built to Last?

January 9, 2008

This past Xmas, Barneys NY launched its “Green is the New Black” window-dressing campaign, featuring Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer and a host of other ecohorts. On Monday, this goofy phrase made it into my local daily in Jerry Large’s “it’s easy to be green” piece on the proliferation of green as a way of life. And just today, a pair of TreeHugger Greenwash watchers threw some incandescent light on A) Pottery Barn’s line of earth-friendly furnishings and sundry house-cozies, and B) the EcoKaddy, a tuff plastic version of those folding metal carts that octogenarians hoist onto public transit vehicles.

It seems that everything within the bourgeois price point is green this, organic that, eco-such-and-such. Sure, I agree with Collin Dunn (the Pottery Barn exposer): it’s good that companies strive for more sustainable practices. But are we simply in a verde-happy phase? Is consumerism based on whether it is organic or not just another mechanism that fosters exclusivity among buyers? I’d like to think that it isn’t — that it’s actually representative of a larger shift in our consciousness.

But when Hermes is manufacturing a reusable grocery tote priced just under $1K, I have to wonder.

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3 Responses to “Is “Eco Chic” Built to Last?”

  1. […] we should try because we’ll only alienate them.” Well met, Shellenberger. In a previous post about the chichi milieu in which “green is the new black,” I considered the […]

  2. […] wrote a few weeks ago about the proliferation of “green” in this economy: green eggs, green ham, green jeans, green clean, etc. It appears, however, that […]

  3. […] “envrionmentally friendly” corporates and businesses have received as a result of the overwhelming switch to eco this-and-that. Certainly, the giants of nuclear power have benefited, given the push toward […]

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