Designer Elena Garcia is modern textile renaissance woman. Her recent Fall 2008 EcoLuxe Collection blends traditional fiber techniques with the most luxurious and earth-friendly materials. One might almost say that she practically ‘farms’ her pieces from the local soil. Garcia’s dreamy creations are an exquisite mix of organic silks and linens, delicately embellished with felted organic wool, cutwork embroidery and shibori dyeing. No two garments are exactly alike and strongly serve as evidence that bespoke originality has a sustainable side, too, with Garcia’s fabulous take on how to combine ecological balance with stunning homegrown craftsmanship.
An accomplished linguist by trade, Elena Garcia’s passion as an artist and designer inspired her to enroll at the London College of Fashion, where she formally trained as a surface textile and fashion designer. Her “EcoCredo” adamantly adheres to “organic, pesticide free, fair trade, local, ethical, and sustainable practices and methods.” Elena is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Conscious Designers Collective, the Eco-Design Network and Craft Central. She also engages in public speaking on sustainable fashion and writes for ETP magazine as well as being the designer behind the recycled label, Sew Last Season, her latest upcycling enterprise. Several of her garments are featured in the new series Alter Eco by Planet Green, hosted by supermodel Angela Lindvall.
The Fall 2008 Collection from Elena Garcia features loose jackets, flattering wide-leg trousers, silk camis, slip dresses and elegant satin bustle skirts. The sumptuous fabrics and romantic styles include organic silks and linen in indigo and ivory, with accents of burnt orange.
The organic silks used are sustainably farmed from silk worms and mulberry trees that are pesticide-free, and the silk yarn itself is processed without chemicals. Most of the wool comes from British Blue Faced Leicester sheep that are raised organically. All garments are handcrafted in the designer’s studio or by small local manufacturers and/or social enterprise units. The dyes used are free of metal, amine, and azo compounds, and specialized dyeing is done in the studio itself. (Batch dyeing is sent to a local dyeing company). And last but not least, all promotional materials are printed on FSC certified paper using vegetable inks.
Craft is indeed in the details, and Elena Garcia is truly an inspiration when it comes to imagining the whoie story of a garment’s lifecycle and who might ultimately wear it and love it as well as protecting the planet itself.