We have an announcement to make that we hope will come as welcome news to all you readers who love our fashion coverage (and also all you readers who hate our fashion coverage 😉 ! We’ve been toiling for months now on a new website exclusively dedicated to eco-friendly fashion, and we are thrilled to unveil the newest member of the Inhabitat family today: ECOUTERRE.COM

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In a society obsessed with instant gratification, novelty, and conspicuous consumption, it’s easy to dismiss fashion design as frivolous. Skirt lengths and platform heights appear inconsequential when juxtaposed with real-world concerns like climate change, economic strife, water shortages, and hunger and malnutrition. But if you consider the fact that clothing is something in which we envelope our bodies every single day — and which uses a ton of natural resources to produce — to ignore the apparel industry’s environmental and social impact would be negligent, not to mention foolhardy.

Cotton Field

We’ve been covering sustainable clothing design on Inhabitat for many years now, as part of our general coverage of ‘green design’. However, fashion design, for some reason, has always stood apart from the other design disciplines like architecture and product design. No other subject matter is as polarizing to our readers. Every time we cover clothing design on Inhabitat, we’re often criticized by readers who call these articles “drivel”, “inconsequential”, “trivial” — yet the design of clothing affects all of us very intimately and has an enormous impact on our environment, as well.

Cotton picking in China

Roughly $2 billion of hazardous chemical pesticides are released into the air every year to grow cotton, accounting for 16 percent of global pesticides use—more than any other agricultural crop.

It takes 256 gallons of water and a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow enough cotton for one single T-shirt.

Why does clothing design not deserve the same type of respect or attention that building design or product design gets? Here at Inhabitat we believe that clothing design is hugely important to our society and to our environment, and it deserves smart, thoughtful editorial coverage through the examination of materials, production, labor and lifecycle, as well as style, function and innovation. We couldn’t find many other resources out there dedicated exclusively to covering the DESIGN of eco-friendly clothing, so we felt we had a mission to accomplish with Ecouterre. We hope that Ecouterre will provide a forum to examine the issue of eco-friendly clothing and textile design, as well as bring attention to the growing green-design movement. We hope you like our new website, and we welcome your comments and suggestions!


Garment worker in a sweatshop in Bangladesh