Our generation, more than any other, is concerned with sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Our interest in the environment’s well-being extends to all aspects of our lives, from simple recycling to more significant lifestyle changes such as biking instead of driving.It should come as no surprise that “going green” has even extended to the way we dress. Green fashion is an up-and-coming trend that everyone can appreciate, and it doesn’t just involve hippie-style Birkenstocks, hemp, and tie-dye.Green fashion can be made from organic, recycled, or sustainable materials, or it can mean local and handmade clothing, since reducing transportation helps reduce the carbon footprint. Vintage clothing is also considered environmentally friendly because it means re-using clothing rather than buying it new. Clothing companies that produce clothes in compliance with free trade regulations and ethical practices are also often supported by people looking to be green.Many high-end fashion magazines and designers, such as Vogue, are starting to recognize green fashion as a necessary step toward move the industry forward. During New York Fashion Week in September, two days were devoted to the Green Shows, which presented eco-friendly fashion designers to mainstream culture. Seven different designers were featured in the shows, including Mr. Larkin (designed by Casey Larkin), Bahar Shahpar, and Izzy Lane. The latter is a British company that uses specific sheep wool gathered from sheep that were saved from slaughter—the weak, the slightly injured, and the little ones. Green fashion is a label often extended to those who practice morally superior practices in their designs, factories, and companies. Other high-couture designers known for practicing environmentally-friendly techniques include Alabama Chanin (Bohemian-styled pieces, where no scrap of fabric goes to waste), and Bodkin, who won the Ecco Domani Sustainable Design Award in 2009.
Like many other earth-friendly technologies and life improvements, green fashion tends to be expensive. However, there are some stores we already shop at that employ green practices. American Apparel is one of the largest employers in Los Angeles, where all their garments are made. They’re known for using solar power in their buildings, recycling fabric scraps, and using organic cloth. The company also donates garments to charity. Luckily for 5-C students, one of their stores is located on Indian Hill Boulevard in the Village. Their clothes typically start around $20 for plain t-shirts. Another well-known brand is Patagonia, which is known mostly for their outdoor-wear. Recently featured in Vogue for their eco-friendly model, Patagonia is known for making sustainable clothing and donating lots of money for green action around the world. Some other boutiques that are good for eco-friendly clothing are Regeneration (Their motto is “Recycle/Repurpose/Rethink”), El Natura Lista in Santa Monica for shoes, and Vert: An Eco Chic Beauty Boutique in Venice for health, beauty, and skin products.If transportation is an issue, you might want to log on to fashionethic.com and thegreenloop.com. Both are a little pricey with tops starting around $30. The brand Jute and Jackfruit, started by designer Shana Yansen, also sells clothes online and is known for being green. If money is an issue, it is possible to be green by purchasing clothing from thrift stores or investing in pieces that will last a long time, allowing you to purchase less and reduce your overall carbon footprint.For more information about green fashion, I recommend checking out the many eco-fashion blogs sprouting up online. Some good ones to check out are
, written by freelance writer and fashion model Victoria Everman, and
, which is written by Starre Vartan, who has recently published a book on this subject. The green fashion magazine boho, recently started in 2008, is known for promoting high-couture green fashion while also profiling celebrities, designers, and boutiques that with eco-friendly practices.It’s the little changes in our lives that will help keep our world healthy.With fashion designers recognizing the public’s desire for eco-friendly clothing, it is now possible to support ethical practices while staying fashionable. Happy (green) shopping!