At a New York Salon event last Monday, a transatlantic panel gathered at New York City’s SoHo House Hotel to discuss a buzzword that has been floating throughout the fashion industry for some time – green. “Is the Future of Fashion Green?” was addressed in various ways throughout the evening. The three panelists first addressed the audience with their take on what it means to be green and then the audience was given the floor for a Q&A.

UK author and commentator James Woudhuysen started with his motto that “the job of fashion is to be excessive.” He stood his ground throughout the night, despite disagreements from the audience. The second panelist to speak, fashion retail architect Jeffery Hutchinson, had an overall positive outlook on the green movement. Believing that, “Ultimately [this] is the future of the business.” He continued to state that as consumers and brands evolve, being green will be expected. The last to speak, Sandra Ballentine, Senior Editor at The New York Times’ T Magazine, had an interesting perspective since she is often bombarded with green products that don’t even explain how they are environmentally friendly but use the buzzword to get attention. She emphasized that, “My first duty is to find something newsworthy.”

Questions and remarks from the audience came in all forms, from people who were extremely educated on the laws and regulations to be considered “organically made” by the Food and Drug Administration to people who were there to learn more about how fashion can be environmentally conscious and still be fashionable and innovative. Ultimately, Hutchinson ended the panel discussion with words of advice to retailers: “The consumer has gotten extremely sophisticated and that is not going to change, because they cannot buy as much.”

The NY Salon is a group dedicated to raising cultural discussion and discourse.

—Alexandra Gonzalez