Interview with Christina Gath, Managing Editor of COUCH magazine, about sustainability in the current media landscape.
What is the relevance of sustainable fashion for your magazine’s readers? What feedback do you receive from them?
Sustainable lifestyles have been highly relevant for COUCH since the very beginning. Environmentally friendly, fair-trade products are of great interest to a good two thirds of our readers; in fact, this led us to dedicate an entire special edition to sustainability, the COUCH Green Issue, just two years ago.
“We wanted to finally bring the topic into the mainstream and into everyday life without many moralising undertones. We see environmental consciousness and behaviour as entirely compatible with ordinary consumption. It is not really about what someone is doing wrong or should not be doing — the point is to share information and have fun!”
How do you see this issue developing in your industry — is sustainability a temporary diversion or a long-term trend?
It is definitely not a short-term trend! It is great to see how everyone is trying to rethink even minor routines and working habits. Each successful move in this direction represents a little bit of progress; every microgram of plastic saved is significant; and every additional cent for a family in Africa deserves applause.
Which aspects of Cotton made in Africa’s work in 2019 have stuck in your mind?
Well before the “Grüner Knopf” certification was introduced, CmiA had already set me thinking about fair fashion seals. I learnt a lot about cotton production, smallholder farmers ecosystems, the help for self-help approach, and how simple it is to integrate and improve environmental and social standards. When I look at the list of companies now pursuing the same objectives, I am impressed by the scope of the shift, with everyone from Hugo Boss to s.Oliver to Tchibo now valuing sustainably produced cotton and transparency in the production chain. Fair-trade clothing is no longer a niche product but is now available in a range of different styles and levels of affordability.