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Eco Trends

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Eco Trends

The biggest trend to hit the runway this season is not visually apparent. The rise of eco-designers is paving a new fashion philosophy that encompasses a green world view while also producing clothes that are beautiful, sophisticated, and fashion forward.

The biggest trend to hit the runway this season is not visually apparent. The rise of eco-designers is paving a new fashion philosophy that encompasses a green world view while also producing clothes that are beautiful, sophisticated, and fashion forward.

Eco-friendly designers are producing some of this season’s hottest trends. The 1920s and 1940s are given a modern twist with the help of organic, sustainable, and socially conscious clothing and a sumptuous, nature-loving colour palette.

Season Colour Palette

The must-have eco-colours for winter offer something for every skin tone:

  • dove greys
  • dusty pink
  • aubergine
  • teals and sapphires
  • greens of shale and moss

Translating the Trends

From New York to London, the looks are feminine yet grounded, while the silhouette is a study of contrasts. This season’s trend is all about volume with a unique emphasis on natural fabrics and textures. Some of the key looks are:

  • masculine tailored trousers
  • voluminous or tulip skirts
  • short flapper sheath dresses
  • smocks and layering
  • chunky knits

Socially Conscious Cocktail Dress

Vegan-friendly Stella McCartney updates the little black dress with bell sleeves and a flapper ruffle skirt.

Green Goddes

For an ethereal evening out, this gown by Canadian designer Arthur Mendon?comes in dusty pink and is made locally out of 100 percent iridescent silk chiffon.

Sustainable MOD

Dove grey tailored trousers are the perfect balance to white cotton tee designed by Kate Moss for The Climate Project (theclimateproject.org). Nicole Bridger’s moss green tweed vest completes the look with Polar Bear scarf.

Chic Eco-Knits

Grey cable-knit cardigan is the perfect layering piece over tunic-style wool turtleneck by Grace and Cello of Montreal, an environmentally conscious designer who creates fashions that look good while changing the world for the better. Wide-leg jeans by Loomstate are made of 100 percent organic cotton, paired with wool plaid flats by Browns.

Nature’s Muse

The boho look is revamped with Vancouverite Nicole Bridger’s Altruistic Coat, made of 100 percent handwoven wool from India with Tagua nut buttons. Can be worn like a peacoat or shawl, accompanied by high-waisted sailor-front trousers by Toronto-based Thieves who sew crafty fashions from organic fibres.

Eco-fashion design

The plethora of eco-designers on the scene is changing not only the way we think about clothes but is challenging us to explore a wider world view philosophy. Bridging the gap between hippie and haute couture, these designers are working out of their environmental niche.

Each product demands the consumer to ask a myriad of questions: Is this product toxic? Are the products biodegradable, or in the case of Bono and Ali Hewson’s line, Edun, is this product socially responsible? Edun represents a for-profit business that works on a microlevel to help build sustainable communities in Africa; back in New York it was also the season’s hottest fashion show.

Social justice is built into the fabric of many eco-designers. Organizations such as Social Accountability International (SAI) not only certify the origins of 100 percent organic cotton but also socially account for the workers in the factories, making sure they have benefits such as daycare and medical coverage. Many designers are sensitive to the ecological footprint of their business. High-profile designer Stella McCartney has long been recognized for her vegan clothing line.

Ties to charity are also proving an integral aspect of fashion. Noir, which garnered huge acclaim at London Fashion Week, spearheaded the creation of Illuminati II, a brand of ethnically produced cotton in Africa of which a percentage of sales go back to African workers and families. Cotton is not the only high-profile eco-fabric–hemp, bamboo, and soy silks are gaining in popularity along with recycled materials.

With fashion part of a global initiative, even retail giants such as The Gap, Levis, and Cotton Ginny are jumping on the eco-bandwagon: Cotton Ginny introduced their new “green jeans,” a new line of organic denim, for their fall 2007 lineup.

Fashionistas everywhere can now be earth ambassadors, wearing clothes that are not only beautifully made but also carry a beautiful message.

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