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  • Three designers tell all during Seattle’s first Green Fashion Week

    If you still think eco-friendly fashion means shapeless, earth-toned duds, you’ve not yet met the 20-some designers showing their latest creations this week in Seattle. From Heatherette to Diane von Furstenberg to Oscar de la Renta, these eco-minded artisans are whipping up “fashion with a conscience” faster than you can say “green is the new […]

  • Philly Eagles are green not just in uniform, and more

    There’s an interesting interview in the NYT with Jeffrey Swartz, CEO of Timberland (not to be confused with Timbaland — he’s his own CEO, bee-yotch). Swartz is frustrated that Big Outdoor Wear worked to address child labor but hasn’t managed a concerted effort to significantly reduce its impact on the earth from making, transporting, and […]

  • Eco-events all over the world

    There's a rash of "greener" fashion weeks popping up everywhere for the spring 2008 fashion season. And there must be an alignment of the stars or the higher workings of an omnipotent green god, because there is barely any overlap in dates. If you were so inclined, it would be possible for you to attend every single one of the shows listed below -- though the jet lag and carbon emissions from such an excursion might leave you feeling a bit ... restless.

    I'll be in Seattle, Paris, and New York, and maybe San Francisco, so please drop in and say hello if you are nearby.

    As enthusiasm for the green design movement continues to grow and the market becomes more robust and sophisticated, it is my (secret) hope to dethrone the Karl Lagerfelds of the world, who went on record to say, "If you want social justice, be a social worker."

    Down, down with the status quo. Hear, hear for revolution.

  • 15 Green Fashion Finds

    Does your summer need a little sartorial splendor? Of corset does! We’ve put together a head-to-toe eco-ensemble that proves innovative designers are giving green a new look. (Of course, the greenest route is to shop secondhand, and those fashion finds you’ll have to dig up yourself.) Shaun Deller Wheely cap Cyclist — or rather, recyclist […]

  • 15 Green Fashionistas

    These fashionistas aren’t just talking the talk, they’re walking the catwalk. See who’s shining a spotlight on clothing with a conscience, then join our comment thread below. Tierra Del Forte Just call her Ms. Green Jeans. This designer and founder of Del Forte Denim has created a line of premium organic denim for women. And […]

  • Clothing companies start to come clean on chemicals


    A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine invited me to an apparel industry environmental seminar chock full of good industry types. Seminars of this nature are always dreadfully boring, but it's worth it because you get the inside scoop on what the industry is (and unfortunately isn't) talking about. The principle topic was regulated substances and chemicals, how to move toward green chemistry alternatives, and how to manage all the issues associated with regulations. The meeting was the first important step in getting companies like Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne, L.L. Bean, and others to begin taking the steps needed to beef up their consumer-protection standards.

    The buzzword of the day was RSL, or "Restricted Substance List." Most RSL's are either proprietary information or outdated. That is all changing thanks to the American Apparel & Footwear Association's Environmental Task Force, which spearheaded the seminar.

    On June 27, AAFA released an RSL to help textile, apparel, and footwear companies take the first step in regulating -- and, in some cases, eliminating -- certain contaminants from their products. I emphasize "first step" because many of the companies sitting in the auditorium were only marginally aware that so many chemicals and substances made up the DNA of their outfits.

  • When journalists go too far

    I could have been sitting across from a writer of US Weekly or OK Magazine, but I wasn't. I was sharing an hour of my morning with a journalist from Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), one of the oldest and most respected newspapers in Switzerland. Granted, my interview was for their "softer" weekend edition, NZZ am Sonntag, but even that paper carries the weight of its weekday counterpart's esteemed name. That's why I was shocked to read a spuriously devised, albeit glamorous, story of my life when the article appeared.

    Let's get one thing straight: The "journalist" did not slander my name. It was quite the opposite: He had me sharing a photo shoot with Mayor Bloomberg; saving sharks in Miami; buttering up old-school Sierra Club veterans; and convincing motorheads to shut off their cars in exchange for bikini-clad pictures. Ooh, how naughty of me!

    He even quoted me in conversations -- on topics ranging from recycling batteries to rainforest preservation -- that never took place, built off of scenarios that never happened. Even the water I was drinking during the interview wasn't "glamorous" enough for him. He had me sucking back a Starbucks coffee after a whirlwind tour around the country. Note to future interviewers: I've never drunk coffee in my life.

  • Which companies are going beyond green

    Summer Rayne Oakes

    "Eco fashion" has definitely become the buzzword of the moment.

    Within the last month alone, my office has received calls from over a half-dozen trade shows and runway organizers seeking to green their events. Apparel companies and clients feverishly searching for organic clothing sources are also becoming quite common. The press seems to be foaming at the mouth for new material too, which is always a good sign; but, in the U.S. at least, we have yet to graduate beyond the "green" theme. This week I'll be speaking to a U.K.-based women's glossy on "ethical fashion," a term I hear used far more frequently in Europe.

    "Ethical" brings a more social-cultural perspective to the mix, one you don't always get when talking straight up "eco" speak. The term has its roots in the fair-trade movement. Fair trade got its start 50 years ago, well before the idea of "eco fashion" was ever embraced by popular culture. It started with international aid groups working with small-scale African farmers. It wasn't until the late 1980s that an international system of Fair Trade certification and labeling was introduced, but heck -- that was about 20 years ago!

    Still, "fair trade" and "ethical" fashion have yet to find their footing in America's popular culture. They are terms that still remain too esoteric for the general public, particularly because fair trade is more often associated with foodstuffs and artsy-crafty products. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  • Eric Henry, sustainable T-shirt maker extraordinaire, answers questions

    Eric Henry. What work do you do? I am the president of T.S. Designs. How does it relate to the environment? We provide the highest-quality, most-sustainable printed T-shirts on the market. We define that as being made of organic cotton or other sustainable fibers, manufactured in the U.S., and printed and dyed with our environmentally […]