New York fashion show highlights eco-friendly garb

Green may soon be the new black, some fashionistas say. Case in point: the FutureFashion runway show last month during New York’s Fashion Week. Everything worn in the show — including clothes by high-profile designers Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler — was made with eco-friendly fibers such as bamboo, corn, and organic cotton. Some clothing execs are hoping eco-apparel will go the way of organic food and beauty products, which have become a $15 billion mainstream industry. Production of clothing fibers can be highly damaging to the environment, with cotton being one of the worst. According to the nonprofit Sustainable Cotton Project, the making of a simple T-shirt may involve the use of a third of a pound of agricultural chemicals as well as other nasties like ammonia and formaldehyde. That’s inspiring many vendors — including Whole Foods, Nike, and even Sam’s Club — to start selling organic cotton. Says eco-designer Marci Zaroff, “We’re taking the market from hippie to hip.”