Celebs go green, retailers get green
Rising media attention and increased public awareness has businesses realizing the economical and social benefits of greening up their act.
Toyota, one of the leading companies to produce hybrid vehicles, introduced its newest model for a sports car at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show in January.
Customers crowd New York City's H&M store . H&M is one of the larger clothing retailers adopting greener practices.
Photo: www. ocregister.com
With many celebrities joining the environmental movement and scientists speaking out on the devastating impact of global warming, the media’s been abuzz on all things green.
From credit cards to cleaning products, everyone from small merchandisers to big businesses are employing eco-friendly goods to help out the planet and cash in on the latest green trend.
This month actor Robert Redford will even launch a set of TV programming on his Sundance Channel devoted to eco-awareness and green living. All the attention is giving people in the environmental manufacturing business a boost.
Deborah Lindquist, an eco-fashion designer, who’s clothes have been sported by stars like Sharon Stone and Gwen Stefani, says when a celebrity wears her designs, the buzz leads to immediate sales.
Stephanie Petro, a design assistant for Organic Interior Designs agrees that events like the Oscars going green leads new crowds of inquiring customers into her shop. Major clothing stores like H&M and Barneys are also looking into organic fabrics and green practices for future lines.
But industrial innovations are intersecting with more than fashion and furniture lines. Big companies like Walmart and Bank of America are beginning to employ green business practices. For Walmart that means selling eco-friendly laundry detergent, while for B of A that means providing eco-friendly credit cards.
Car manufacturers like Toyota, Lexus and Honda are developing new hybrid cars, including sports models and luxury vehicles. The popularity of Toyota’s Prius has already reached Hollywood as well as the mass-market. Many celebrities drove hybrid cars to the Academy Awards to help promote the purchasing of the energy-efficient and economical vehicles..
The development of environmentally efficient technologies is igniting a new industry. Economists are hopeful that the movement will create new jobs, as both services and goods grow in demand.
Yet, w hile some business are capitalizing on environmental awareness as a means to sell their product, the advantage can work both ways, as many environmental groups are using retail and fashion trends to lobby for their cause. TreePeople and Global Green are two organizations that utilize celebrity activism to raise awareness. Representatives from Treepeople say when a big name like Leonardo DiCaprio or Cameron Diaz is willing to lend his or her name to a cause, more people tend to hand over donations and even get their hands dirty by helping to clean up beaches or plant trees.