Carrie Parry, eco-fashion designers, green designers, New York City, Amsterdam International Fashion Week, Amsterdam Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, fair-trade clothing, fair-trade fashion, fair trade

PARRY ON

Parry didn’t just graduate from one of the world’s most prestigious fashion schools. Besides the usual pantheon of designers she shadowed, her resume also includes stints on the set of Memoirs of a Geisha and the retro-themed Gifford’s Circus. Occasionally, hints of her colorful past make unexpected cameos in her designs.

Parry’s resume includes stints on the set of Memoirs of a Geisha and the retro-themed Gifford’s Circus.

Before striking out on her own, Parry played an important role helping Earth Pledge compile its “Future Fashion” sustainable textile library. The knowledge she gleaned would prove invaluable in setting up a business with ethics at its fore—no easy feat in an industry dominated by low price points and even lower supply-chain standards. “Being a small business and not having the leverage with suppliers and factories,” she tells Ecouterre. “Also, not having the access to as many fabrics. In a way it can be limiting but it is definitely much more rewarding.”

Carrie Parry, eco-fashion designers, green designers, New York City, Amsterdam International Fashion Week, Amsterdam Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, fair-trade clothing, fair-trade fashion, fair trade

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

For Parry, one of the advantages of staying small is her ability to establish personal relationships with her vendors and suppliers, including Panchachuli, an independent weaving cooperative in India that employs more than 800 women from 32 villages.

For Parry, one of the advantages of staying small is her ability to establish personal relationships with her vendors and suppliers.

Actual production takes place in New York City’s Garment District in a small atelier that has been in business for over 30 years. By overseeing everything from pattern-making to fitting herself—she accomplishes the latter with advice from leading apparel-fit company Alvanon—Parry is able to maintain control over quality while staying nimble enough to identify room for improvement.

The care she applies to her work even extends to her interns, who aren’t saddled with the usual administrative chores or coffee-running drudgery. “It’s important for people to be able to build their portfolio and do what they want, as well,” she says.

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Carrie Parry, eco-fashion designers, green designers, New York City, Amsterdam International Fashion Week, Amsterdam Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, fair-trade clothing, fair-trade fashion, fair trade

JUGGLING ACT

Considering the multiple pins she has to juggle, Parry’s circus experience must come in handy. Besides toiling over her Fall/Winter 2012 collection and pursuing a graduate certificate in socially responsible and sustainable apparel business at the University of Delaware, the designer had to whip up three “eco-looks” for the aforementioned Green Fashion Competition in Amsterdam.

Although terms such as “sustainable,” “green,” and “ethical” are bandied about interchangeably, Parry has given each one careful consideration.

Although terms such as “sustainable,” “green,” and “ethical” are bandied about interchangeably, Parry has given each one careful consideration. “Sustainability is about meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” she says. “To me, social responsibility encompasses labor standards, working conditions, everyday business activities, and the environmental and social impact of fabrics and processes. So, in this context, sustainability is really about improving and building upon social responsibility.”

Carrie Parry, eco-fashion designers, green designers, New York City, Amsterdam International Fashion Week, Amsterdam Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, fair-trade clothing, fair-trade fashion, fair trade

AMSTERDAM OR BUST

For her upcoming fall collection, Parry turned to the people and places she connects with most. In terms of color and print, she referenced Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, as well as an Indian resist-dyeing technique known as lahariya. “There is this one photo of the Panchachuli women weavers and I just love the way the women wear and combine color and how it is such a part of everyday life,” she adds.

For her upcoming fall collection, Parry turned to the people and places she connects with most.

The designs also feature the Bauhaus-inspired shapes and lines that have become Parry’s signature.

As Parry presents herself in front of the judges at Amsterdam Fashion Week on Friday, it’s no exaggeration to say that the weight of the world—or at least, a certain sense of patriotic duty—lies on her shoulders. From what we know of the designer, however, she’ll do us proud no matter what the final verdict. In fact, she already has.

+ Carrie Parry