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ECOLLECTION DAY 1: Sustainable Style Hits the Mainstream
MAGIC‘s sustainable lifestyle show ECOLLECTION debuted this week to an international crowd of fashion industry buyers. The expansive showcase featured a juried and progressive collection of eco-minded apparel and products, as well as seminars, fashion shows, a plush lux lounge, and a bookstore. The sheer volume of exhibitors illustrated how many new brands are turning an eye toward sustainable design. While the products varied in degree of true “green-ness,” the overall fashion prognosis is optimistic. By fall, it will be much easier to shop for a stylish and sustainable wardrobe. Check out the highlights from day one!
Besides Lounge 22’s bamboo seating, ECOLLECTION was decked out with artist Kathleen Plate‘s recycled glass art and Be Sweet‘s giant felt rocks and pebbles. One Plus One, a fellow sustainable fashion blog, provided a helpful Guide to Buying Green with priceless info on what to look for in sustainable fashion, from bamboo to tencel, dyes to ink.
The ‘Greenest’ brand of the day had to be Ecopurna, a new line of urban outer and atheletic wear made from recycled polyester fibers (plastic bottles). Launched by outdoorsy Canadians Mark Trotzuk and Steve Saldebus (manufacturer and designer, respectively), Ecopurna is completely sustainable. They use Blue Sign, a new type of rating system to ensure that the entire production system – from the zippers to the dyes to the very threads – are sustainable. Ecopurna’s designs are functional enough for outdoor use, but stylish enough for urban wear. Our favorites were the tiered Swing Coat and the urban Mandarin. You can look for them at REI in the coming year or order online directly. Pretty cool, eh?
Overall, organic cotton ruled the floor at ECOLLECTION. Santa Cruz’s Kate Organics showed their soft and feminine Spring + Summer 2009 collection. From the simple Essential Tunic, to the long and elegant Mustique with sassy ruffle accent, to the cross-backed Picnic dress, the new collection is comfortable and casual with just enough ornament and detail to make each piece special. Crafted from organic cotton, the palette is all solid for now. But coming later this summer, Kate plans on launching some of the pieces in organic printed toile from India made with low-impact dyes. Look for their lovely frocks and adorable tops at
Our friends from Indigenous Designs, pioneers in the premier eco-sensitive and socially-conscious apparel segment, showcased more exquisite and luxurious fair trade pieces in bright hues.
Designer Peter Lang Nooch of Grey Goods showcased a new, entirely organic eco-line of work and casual wear at ECOLLECTION. “Green Goods” offers all the eco-rockers out there a selection of organic fleeces, casual wear, and industrial work wear (i.e. dickies). They offer an in-stock program so you can order directly from their website and get your very own green goods one day later. The new label is so fresh it doesn’t even have a website yet, but check back soon! With Lang Nooch’s street cred, we’re sure you’ll hear more from Green Goods very soon.
Atlanta-based Lindsay Pelliccia’s eponymous Pelli Cha offered up fabulous eco-chic evening wear constructed out of luscious layers of peace silk from ahimsa to muga. Some of the pieces, debuted earlier this year at Miami Fashion Week, appeared in the morning fashion show at ECOLLECTION, including the Rafaella and the Helena. The fall collection is moody, feminine, and rife with ruffles.
Another interesting stand out was Lady Muse. Started by Mathilde Rosset, a Los Angeles-based designer, writer, performer, mom, and self-proclaimed mystique on a journey of discovery, Lady Muse is totally theatrical. Look for Lady Muse’s baroque and romantic coats this fall on stars like Fergie, Amy Smart, and Annalynne McCord. Made from reclaimed upholstery fabrics, these handmade coats are like modern cloaks, and each one comes with its own little booklet describing its story.
Besides apparel, we were smitten by Be Sweet‘s smart felt creations. From the succulent pillow to the realistic pebble and rock collection, all of their nature-inspired accessories are made by twelve different co-op groups of South African artisans. Besides the home accessories, they offer a range of felt and yarn creations.
Naturescast‘s bright club chair also caught our eye. Composed of dried twigs, dead leaves, branches and forest cast-offs compressed with a water-based resin, it recently debuted in the VIP lounge at the Grammys. Among the celebrity tooshes to grace this bright red, food-safe acrylic seat were Cyndi Lauper‘s and Andrea Bocelli’s! Naturescast was also showing their jewelry.
We also loved the Loop Collection of hand drawn patterns on eco-conscious materials. Loop offers wrapping paper, cards, and even a few special edition prints. Everything is hand drawn by trained architect and founder, Elissa Barbieri, and printed on recycled paper with soy ink. They boast a FSC Chain of Custody certification, ensuring that every step in their production is sustainable. Loop’s lovely creations are available at MOMA and Kate’s Paperie in New York.
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