Sustainable style groupies all know about Project Earth Day and Leanne Marshal of Project Runway’s Season 5, but what about Project Blue, a new eco fashion initiative that has further democratized an American textile staple by recycling used denim into ultra-tailored couture by hot fashion designers? Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York’s sustainably-minded Fashion Director, recently teamed up with ELLE and non-profit Oceana, to promote a unique collection of one-of-a-kind pieces crafted out of worn and faded blue jeans. Eight high-profile designers offered their supreme talent for Project Blue’s charity auction to benefit the international advocacy group, Oceana. These unique eco fashion designs are currently available to the highest bidder in an exclusive e-bay auction through tomorrow night, Sunday, May 10!
During the summer of 2008, Barneys New York collected customer-donated denim with the intent of repurposing worn threads into some haute green pieces. These ‘recycled chic’, indigo styles were featured in the May ”Blue” issue of ELLE, and have also been generated quite a bit of buzz with e-bay fashion hawks.
When else can you collect a one-off ballerina patchwork dress by sister team Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte or score an original Stella McCartney ensemble for your pared down green closet? Inhabitat favorite Rogan Gregory has a super cute diamond pattern dress on the auction block, and my personal pick is the Derek Lam bustier-style top and retro-fitted skirt. Other designs by Bottega Veneta, Alexander Wang, Ann Demeulemeester, and Versace feature some pretty sexy options for denim upcycling and hand-stitched suit combos.
It’s all about bringing the threads of our lives together, isn’t it, despite locale or resources? Oceana’s team of marine scientists, economists, lawyers, and advocates work hard to protect marine life and prevent irreversible environmental damage. Delicate, frayed edges abound in our world, there is no denying this, but collaborative efforts like Project Blue are just one small way to try to piece it all together.
ELLE’s May Blue Issue images were styled by Joanne Blades with photography by Michael Armstrong