Eco-friendly fashion, or eco-fashion has been widely discussed and upheld among the fashion industry for a while. The mission is to take social and business responsibility for manufacturing and sourcing practices, ensuring the well-being of their environment and all of its living creatures.
This entails staying away from toxic or artificial materials and harming animals in order to produce leather or fur-based products. As well as refrain from inflicting harm, brands have paid attention to where, how, and with what to produce their goods. Producing locally and from organic, recyclable, and biodegradable materials prevents waste in the manufacturing process and also bring more work to local areas. Social responsibility goes hand in hand with ecological awareness.
Just in time for Earth Day, innovative brands and designers have come out with the newest experiments in clothing and accessories that promote environmental awareness.
Natalia Tisdale, founder of Eco Lustre, actually sells merchandise made of fruits and vegetables. Her designer, Margaret Dorfman,turns raw beets into thin parchment that she layers into bangles and cuffs. The beet cuff is one of their best-sellers. Swirly and rich in color, it’s quite a marvel.
Brands even as mainstream as H & M are going green as many trailblazers in ec0-fashion make vast strides towards sustainable practices. So far, many have set great examples, creating fabrics locally, staying away from toxic chemicals, and using biodegradable materials. The vendor Alabama Chanin produces their home goods, clothing, and jewelry in local sewing houses instead of factories. The company Loomstate grows certifiable organic cotton to manufacture their clothing without chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
Following suit, H & M created a branch called H& M Conscious, which utilizes a recycled polyester they picked up from shoreline waste. The venture cleans up the beach and produces products all at once, demonstrating that fashion business have nothing to lose when merging production with sustainability.
What most don’t realize is how long or how much business professionals in the industry have been working towards environmental awareness. In fact, every year the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Lexus launches the CFDA and Lexus Ec0-Fashion Challenge. The challenge is to design and showcase clothing or accessory line that is founded on environmentally sound and responsible design and production, while having at least 25% of the manufacturing process be eco-friendly. A panel of fashion experts decides the finalists and winner for who has come up with the most innovative and thoughtful impact in sustainable fashion.
Winners include designers Marcia Patmos who used vegetable-tanned leather and faux fur, John Bartlett’s who also made his collection cruelty free by using solely vegan fabrics, 100% organic cotton, and recycled materials, and Johnson Hartig.
It is encouraging to see business professionals and artists alike take environmental responsibility with such creativity and resolve. With so many individuals demonstrating the chicness of green fashion, hopefully companies that have not yet jumped on board will agree that sustainable style can happen “without sacrifice” (Lexus).
Leslie Lee, Fashion Writer.