Eco-Chic: Green is the New Black
is the hottest new trend in the fashion industry. Environmentally friendly and fashion forward women everywhere are looking good while doing their share for the environment by investing in eco-friendly clothing. Did you know that production of clothing fibers, especially cotton, are highly damaging to the environment? Just one T-shirt involves the use of a third of a pound of chemicals and insecticides including ammonia and formaldehyde, requires 257 gallons of water, and creates toxins that flood our ecosystem. In fact, cotton accounts for 22% of all insecticides used worldwide--$2.5 billion worth each year!
The good news is that eco-friendly fabrics are a trend that's starting to catch on. Organic cotton and wool are produced without harmful chemicals or pesticides, and fast-growing plants like bamboo and hemp can be grown with only small amounts of pesticides and fertilizers. Science is also helping nature's cause with biopolymers, a group of molecules produced by living organisms. Ingeo, one of these biopolymers, is the first man-made fiber made from 100% annually renewable resources, and is used by Versace and other designers.
The only thing you have to do to help the fashion industry go green is shop! Not that hard, right?! Check out the eco-friendly companies and designers below.
Patagonia is celebrating more than 10 years of using organically-grown cotton. After a commissioned study of environmental impact of its products found cotton to be the most detrimental, Patagonia converted its entire cotton line to organic in just 18 months. The outdoor adventure line also uses recycled plastic in its fleeces and offers organic wool clothing.
Visit www.patagonia.com to shop Patagonia's lines and learn more about their multitude of environmental initiatives.
The Natural Store
Every item on this site has been specially selected with ethical standards in mind, whether it be Fair Trade, local, natural, organic, recycled, or vegetarian. The Natural Store only deals with suppliers who operate on a Fair Trade basis and tries to minimize their impact on the environment in every way possible.
Visit http://www.thenaturalstore.co.uk/ to experience a different type of department store!
Nike has incorporated their usual premium design and performance sustainability with environmental sustainability in their "Considered" design. By 2011 Nike claims that all their footwear will meet or exceed baseline standards set in their sustainability index, by 2015 all apparel, and by 2020 all Nike equipment. The company has recently released the Nike "Trash Talk" shoe, which uses scrap-ground foam from factory production and environmentally-preferred rubber that reduces toxins.
Check out Nike's newest shoe at http://www.nikebiz.com/media/pr/2008/02/13_Nash.html
H&M is continuing to incorporate organic cotton into their affordable lines. The H&M design team increased their usage of organic cotton to 1,500 tons for the 2008 spring collection. The collection is based on a romantic style with references to the 60s and 70s. The color palette is neutral grey, soft brown, khaki, black and white, with accents in poppy red, yellow and rose.
Shop H&M at www.hm.com
EDUN is a socially conscious clothing company launched in Spring 2005 by Ali Hewson and Bono. The company's mission is to create beautiful clothing while fostering sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, particularly Africa. While EDUN's primary focus is trade, they also use organic materials in their collection as a responsible environmental solution, to provide healthier working conditions, and to cultivate a valuable market opportunity for farmers in Africa. Currently, all of their t-shirts are made from 100% organic cotton.
Visit http://www.edunonline.com/ to shop EDUN
The Gap is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, which promotes more sustainable cotton cultivation practices worldwide, with the goal of making measurable reductions in cotton's environmental impacts. The 500-plus Gap stores in North America have started carrying organic-cotton T-shirts for men that are unbleached with no chemical dyes added.
Call 1-800-GAP-STYLE to find Gap locations where these items are available or visit www.gap.com to shop online.
Designer Katharine Hamnett has recently produced an affordable line of clothing that is completely ethical from the organic fabric, to the recycled metal zippers, to the palm nut buttons and even the recycled coat hangers.
Visit http://www.katharinehamnett.com/ to view Katharine Hamnett's lines.
L.L. Bean is beginning to experiment with organic cotton tees. Their organic cotton women's tees are made out of combed 100% certified organic cotton, and produced using low-impact growing methods.
Get one here! http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&categoryId=51508&sc1=Search&feat=sr
Well known for their designer jeans, Loomstate was launched in New York City in 2004 by designer Rogan Gregory and Scott Hahn. The company was founded as a casual brand dedicated to creating demand for certified organic cotton using socially and environmentally responsible methods of production. Loomstate is fully committed to organic farming, a form of agriculture that avoids or excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. Loomstate uses 100% certified organic cotton from various regions of the world such as Turkey, Peru, Africa, India and the USA.
Get some Loomstate jeans at http://www.loomstate.org/
"Levi's Eco" line of 100% organic cotton jeans is available in a range of popular fits and finishes. The jeans include the use of recycled buttons, rivets and zippers, and natural indigo is used to dye some styles of jeans. All external packaging is made from organic fabric or recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink.
Buy a pair at http://www.levisstore.com/home/index.jsp