Eco-fashion — from local to organic to recycled

This weekend, I attended a fashion show organized by Fashion Denver. I was there to help out my friend Ivy, the brains (and fingers) behind Girl With the Curl jewelry in her first big show (whoo!). Her portion of the show went great, and it was lots of fun. And I was inspired to spruce up my own wardrobe with some eco-friendly goods.

The next day, I visited a local used/vintage/crafty/unique stuff store called On a Lark to snap up a bamboo T-shirt. They carry T-shirts from ONNO, made sustainably, fair trade, from bamboo and organic cotton. (Their tag reminds us that conventional cotton consumes 25 percent of the world’s pesticides! In fact, some Buddhist meditation practices ask people to practice compassion by imagining everything that went into articles we use … including the birds and insects harmed by pesticide use in places like cotton fields.) ONNO has a great Web site here with a lot more information. (And if you click on the link in my sidebar at the right to visit, they just might send me a free T-shirt!)

The T-shirt is super soft and the bamboo reportedly inhibits BO. Here’s what the T-shirt looks like:

At the show, I thought the most exciting (and thoughtful) styles by a local designer were from Francis Roces of Kimono Dragons. He creates “disconstructed” garments and adjustable styles inspired by kimonos … like dresses with waistband/belts that can fit different-sized women.

I did not strain my pride by testing his theory with one of the dresses modeled by the size 0 models, but I did pick up this groovy sweater. It’s a thick cotton sweater from Japan, remodeled with some zippers that can be adjusted to give the neckline whatever look you like. For the price of a generic Old Navy sweater, I was proud to support a local designer:

Kimono Dragons sweater

Kimono Dragons sweater

And to top it all off, the current edition of Fiberarts magazine has an article about DIY fashion — remaking used or old clothing to suit your own style and express your unique fashion personality. I tend to be more conservative than a lot of the DIY chicks (and guys), but I admire their pluck (chicken pun intended).

Is your wardrobe eco-friendly?

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6 thoughts on “Eco-fashion — from local to organic to recycled

  1. jessimonster says:

    My fashion is not as ecofriendly as I like. Very little of it is new, most of it is a few years old at least, but when I bought it, most of it was new, not organic, and came from cheapo stores that very likely exploit workers in third world countries.
    I used to do a lot of Goodwill and thrift store shopping when I was in high school, but I just don’t have the time to sort through racks like I used to anymore. Plus, my son doesn’t have the patience to spend that much time in Goodwill. I’ve been meaning to check out some more upper end clothing stores in town, like The Buffalo Exchange, but money is so tight right now, and in the past I’ve found that most of those stores only carry tiny sizes. I wasn’t a tiny size even at my thinnest, and I’m 40lbs heavier than my thinnest right now.
    One thing I have done lately is clothing exchanges with some of my moms groups. I got some new jeans that I’m only about 10lbs away from fitting into. Also, I did buy some nursing tops earlier this year, and most of them are bamboo. When I am able to start buying clothes again, I will make every effort to find the greenest options available. I’m going to check out these designers you mentioned, since I’m in Denver too, and I want to support local business as much as I can!

  2. organicneedle says:

    Great post. It reminds me that I should be doing a lot more to find local eco-designers. I live in NYC for Pete’s sake…what’s my excuse.

    My biggest issue with finding eco-friendly clothes is that they tend to be often just t-shirts. A few t-shirts are fine, but I also like to have something with a little more style. Green doesn’t have to be dull.

  3. cheaplikeme says:

    @jessimonster – I hear you – buying used takes TIME. Even to buy just a T-shirt …

    @organicneedle – and I agree – T-shirts get old – and other items that are “green” are often so expensive. Making a profit is one thing; exploiting people’s consciences is another.

    On the other hand, I guess we could do as many people around the world do and have fewer, higher quality clothes …

  4. erin says:

    What I am wearing right now…sweater bought on sale at Patagonia – a company I love because of its commitment to the environment. A skirt I bought at Goodwill. A AWESOME shirt I got for my birthday that I have worn approximately 57,000 times since the end of August. 🙂 Organic t-shirt material scarf that was a gift. And Keen shoes – another company I admire plus they have a big toe box and I hate when my feet are scrunched. I try to be eco-conscious in my clothing but I think the best thing I could do would be to buy clothes used which I don’t do enough of cause it is hard… I could definitely use some help in the dressing funkier area. I like your new sweater.

  5. Peaceful Disorder says:

    I know from first hand that organic cotton clothing is a great way to naturally alleviate some skin conditions.

    That is an easy call since conventional methods of cotton production use such harsh chemicals.

    I have heard some varying numbers on the amount, but everyone agrees the chemicals just are bad for the earth and us.

    “Traditional cotton production also attributes to 25% of worldwide insecticide use and 10% of worldwide pesticide use.”

    http://www.peacefuldisorder.com

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