Sunday, April 1, 2007

Green, Green Update

Bless The Oregonian. When the editors get on a theme, they hammer it!

A few weeks ago it was a billion column inches devoted to the new green listings data point on our local MLS. Since then we've had green lumber and green building. This morning we have green cars on the front page and green clothing in the business section.

Again, this isn't a bad thing. Green products sell, all other factors being equal. The Prius is a popular car because it delivers great gas mileage without a great deal of sacrifice in performance, and a relatively small premium on the initial investment. Hua, the new clothing retailer, is at least saying the right thing: if the clothes aren't right – and competitive with other brands – nothing else matters. And it doesn't (though I note the article didn't contain any pictures of the actual product).

Back in the early '90s, when I was still in the shoe business, a local company came out with a line of completely recycled footwear. Special rubber for the soles, uppers of recycled something or other, even the packaging was all from recycled paper. There was enormous hype, and all the department stores bought into it. Might have worked, too, except they were manifestly unattractive, overpriced, didn't fit and fell apart.

I think the brand and the concept have been resurrected, but their website doesn't work and the only product I can find is at half price. Perhaps it's because … well, you be the judge.

All of which is the long way to update the MLS numbers: There are now 171 designated green listings. Out of 10,442.

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