It Takes Green to Go Green

 

I recently read an article about Natalie Portman’s new shoe line. I happen to be a huge Natalie Portman fan. She has a great down to earth style. That said, I was really disappointed with the thinking behind her shoes

Portman designs shoes for Te Casan.  Her shoes are vegan.  When I first read about these shoes, I immediately clicked on the link with one question in mind – how much does that cost?  It turns out they are not as expensive as I thought.  The average shoe is $300.  Now I personally consider paying over $100 for a pair of shoes a splurge, but I was thinking in celebrity terms.  However, that does not change the fact that $300 is more than someone with an average income can afford.    

Natalie Portman’s fight to save animals from becoming footwear got me thinking about a celebrity trend popping up everywhere – Go Green marketing.  Several intertwining trends such as veganism/vegetarianism, and reducing the carbon footprint have given Stars like Natalie Portman their political platforms.  The vegan and vegetarian trend, which made tofu mainstream, gave us Whole Foods.  The global warming carbon footprint trend made environmentalism a hot topic and gave us the hybrid car(www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/10/2269766.htm).  Stars like Natalie Portman made anti-animal cruelty popular and gave us synthetic shoes.

 

In the end the whole movement seems elitist and self serving.
 

Compare the price of Natalie Portman’s shoes to Manolo Blahniks. Her shoes seem more reasonable.  However, I am not meant to feel like I am victimizing a poor innocent animal if I don’t have Manolos.  Actually, having Manolos symbolizes a certain amount of expendable income without shame.  Having them can define you within society’s larger class structure and is often the reason people buy them.  Meanwhile, NOT having Natalie Portman’s shoes, i.e. not spending $300 on shoes, apparently means I’d rather walk around with dead animals on my feet than the overpriced synthetic vegan stuff.   Now I’m an animal killer because I can’t afford synthetic shoes.  Even if I splurge on 1 pair of Natalie Portman’s shoes to support her cause, I have 8 more shoes made from animals.  What’s the point? I’d like to know what Natalie Portman’s lipstick is made out of.

 

Going green is becoming the new Manolo Blahnik.  Going green means you have lots of green. 

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5 responses to “It Takes Green to Go Green

  1. how about going green by not acquiring MORE thing green, but rather just by recycling and appreciating what we already have?

    I love the whole green movement, but all these new collaborations exploiting on consumer/environmental guilt is just a new marketing scheme to ease the ailing buyers remorse we all seem to suffer from.

    good post!

  2. I think Natalie Portman’s vegan shoe line is a great idea. I agree that there is a “green movement” and it has become a fad, especially in wealthier areas since going green can get expensive (environment friendly products tend to be pricier since components are carefully selected).

    However, there’s many people who have been vegan/vegetarian long before this movement. Until recently, these people had only the choice of bland, unfashionable vegan shoe-wear if they are very strict about what they consume being in line with their belief. Natalie Portman’s shoe line gives the chance for vegan’s to have fun with fashion without losing their personal values.

    Going green doesn’t mean you have to go purchase every new “fad” and “green” product out on the market. There’s much more to it, but it’s a great thing that we now have the choice of whether to buy toilet paper made from cutting down acres of forests, or those made from post-consumer material.

  3. statementsoffashion

    Hi Jeannie,

    Thank-you for leaving a comment. When I started this blog I thought I would leave it to readers to continue the conversation I try to start with my posts. However, I’ve been told by other bloggers that it is a good idea to interact with readers. So here goes…

    Your point of view is very interesting. I especially love how you mention that you can now “have a little fun with fashion” while sticking to your values.

    My concern is the judgement cast on those who do not make this choice by those who make it because it is the current cool thing to do. It is great to have that option, but the problem comes from those who cast judgment simply because someone didn’t choose the “green shoe”.

    I don’t think everyone does this. I do think that celebrities, in an effort to use their celebrity for something positive, turn good causes into trends.

    Actually, I am curious though, what do you (or anyone else) think of the cost? I am not sure if it is reasonable because it costs more to make, or if it is inflated because of the designer (which is also TeCasan not just Natalie Portman)…

    I would like to thank you and SeasonalLust for your insights!

  4. I apologize for the late reply (!)

    I personally think that the prices are too expensive. In fact, I haven’t bought any of the Te Casan shoes just for this reason. (although they are all beautiful and I would love to wear a pair). Unfortunately, the business has now closed due to the recession and it’s really a shame, not only since vegan shoes were a good product, but also because it was a place for individual designers to get noticed. But perhaps it will regain momentum in the future…we’ll see 🙂

    I do agree with you that those who are going green “just to be cool” shouldn’t judge others, and vice versa. I think it’s great though, as you said, that celebrities are using their fame to their advantage to speak out on their concerns. Take Hayden Panettiere and illegal whaling, for example.

    Hopefully, the environmental friendliness trend will continue and becomes a more affordable “standard” for all consumers. Natural resources are finite, so in my mind, it makes most sense to take care of our environment while still providing the needs and wants of our economies.

    Great post and thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • statementsoffashion

      Very interesting insights. Thanks for the comment!

      PS I am sad to hear the company went out of business. Even though I am not a fan of the way the Green Movement has been marketed and misinterpreted, there is some good that comes out of it and I believe Portman’s heart is in the right place.

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