Thursday, February 7, 2008

Eco-Fabulous on Any Budget

Unlike many trends, eco-fashion is becoming not just the thing of the week, but the thing of all of our futures. Eco-fashion is taking hold because consumers, who have long since integrated responsible buying practices into other facets of their consumption habits, are demanding the same from their clothing. They want products that are produced without pesticides, made using recycled materials whenever possible, and manufactured by textile workers who are being paid a fair wage.

Alexis, our fashion forward contributor and stylist wears a vintage leather coat, del forte skinny organic "calla" jeans, a same underneath black scooped shirt, melissa black flats, and a matt + nat "sade" silver clutch.

From the catwalk during NYC's fashion week to clothes from environmental stalwart Patagonia, there is a style and price point for every palate and budget. Here at tenways, we decided to head out on an eco-fashion finding mission of our own. We started at La Rousse in Seattle, where we modeled some of our favorites (keep in mind that vintage is an ecologically sound way to go as well). I have also put together a list of our favorites along with reasons why they are sustainable, stylish, and sexy.


Fashion designer Rogan Gregory has teamed up with Bono and Bono's wife Ali Hewson to create Edun, a fashion line that works to support causes in Africa, South America, and India by not only manufacturing clothes there, but also by contributing a portion of the proceeds to humanitarian causes on these continents. Oh yeah, and the clothes are really cool too.

For more from Rogan Gregory, check out his organic denim products at Loomstate.

Bamboo is a versatile, renewable textile resource and companies such as Bambooclothes, Loyaleclothing, and Bamboosa are using this sustainable fabric to make everything from casual wear to intimates.

Sameunderneath also uses fast-growing bamboo mixed with cotton, to make their line of cool clothing for both men and women. Another advantage of bamboo is that it naturally wicks away moisture and prevents odor, while still being soft and luxurious. My favorite shirt is now my Same Underneath scooped top.

Del Forte makes seriously sweet denim duds using 100 percent organic cotton. In addition to their project rejeaneration recycling program, Del Forte also donates a portion of their proceeds to the Sustainable Cotton Project.

From top to bottom, Lesley is sporting Grace Gow earrings (local!), Del Forte organic jeans, a same underneath pewter long sleeved scooped shirt, the melissa black "boot JB", and a matt + nat "julia" purse in pewter. I am wearing a Suzabelle grey dress (made in Seattle - localvore clothing -perhaps a new movement?), Melissa black lace "glamah" shoes, a matt + nat pewter "autobahn" purse, and an Abloom designs necklace (local again!).

From fleece to footware, Patagonia continues to be the place to buy outdoor clothing for men, women, and children. In addition to using recycling plastic soda bottles and organic cotton to make their clothing, they have established an extensive garment recycling program. Other eco-initiatives include a land trust and founding membership in 1% for the planet.

Stewart & Brown's infinitely wearable designs (I love just about everything in their collections) is made using organic cotton, Mongolian cashmere (from a co-op in Mongolia that benefits the
producers directly), renewable pesticide-free materials like hemp and linen, and factory surplus materials.

Linen lace tank dress and organic peacock tee from Stewart & Brown


Anna Cohen's line of women's fashion seamlessly intertwines Anna's knowledge of "Italian street couture" and her commitment to using sustainable materials and a globally responsible business model. The best part though is that her designs prove that clothes can be socially and environmentally-conscious AND classy, sophisticated, and hot.

Pieces from the Anna Cohen Spring/Summer '08 Collections

Deborah Lindquist's versatile designs made from vintage fabric and recycled materials can be seen on clients from celebrities to dogs (I'm not kidding - she makes incredible wedding dresses, "sophisticated" dog sweaters, and lots of sexy styles in between).

Linda Loudermilk creates her lines of "luxury eco" using such sustainable materials as bamboo, soy, and sea cell. Loudermilk is a groundbreaker in the field of sustainable fashion, and she continues to produce glamorous clothes that set the standard for eco-fabulous.

Carol Young's Undesigned line is made using such materials as recycled fabrics, eco-friendly tencel, and organic cotton, all with the modern woman in mind.


There are many more choices that I will mention in subsequent blogs (lots are made from funky recycled materials), but here are the ones we used in our shoot:

Mattandnat - I mentioned them in a previous blog and bought a purse from them that I love (see the one below on the left - enough said!) They make cruelty, free vegan purses in a style and size for just about anyone.

"Johnny Black" from the Metal Collection (top) and "Clash" from Japanese Paper Collection

Melissa Shoes - A team of designers from all over the world makes shoes made from recyclable plastic, and all overstock is also recycled into new shoes. I have not found the Melissa Shoe website to be very helpful when trying to find their product, but you can check out Olivine, who sells Melissa shoes online. Of course, if you live in Seattle, you can visit La Rousse, which will also have an online store up and running within the month. Otherwise try doing an internet search with the name of the shoe design you like.

A lot of these designers can also be found online at Coco's Shoppe. So go ahead - buy eco-fashion and be eco-fabulous. You will find that a supermodel is included with every purchase (you).

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