Lisa Haynes finds green has gone fashion forward.
THE days of ‘geek’ eco-warrior fashion are well and truly over. Banish images of dowdy sandals and unflattering sackcloths, going green has never been so stylish.
“A few years ago, hearing the term ‘eco fashion’ was enough to send the fashion conscious into collective cardiac arrest,” says Matilda Lee, author of Eco Chic.
“Now, eco fashion has entire issues of glossy fashion magazines dedicated to it, and famous fashion muses now proudly display their wardrobes’ eco credentials.”
From high-end to high street fashion, stylish eco additions for your wardrobe aren’t so hard to come by.
‘Estethica’, London Fashion Week’s exhibition dedicated to eco- sustainable designers, will be impressing the fashion critics for its second year in September. This summer, Warehouse launched a new Ware-Eco label, Topshop boasts its own line of Fairtrade fashion, and H&M, Next, Gap and Tesco all launched organic cotton ranges last year.
With a recent House of Lords report encouraging consumers to ditch fast fashion and suggesting that VAT be cut on eco-friendly clothes, the future can only become brighter, or rather greener, for eco style. Organic Fortnight, which started on September 6, is the perfect opportunity to flaunt your eco chic.
Here’s a look at five top labels that should give your wardrobe a stylish green revamp.
PEOPLE TREE 0845 450-4595/ www.peopletree.co.uk
:: ABOUT: Creates three seasonal collections a year, including designer collaboration collections by Bora Aksu, Richard Nicoll and jewellery designer Sam Ubhi.
:: ETHOS: “Our products are made to the highest Fairtrade and environmental standards from start to finish and consistently prove that it is possible to wear stylish, exciting and affordable fashion, at the same time as respecting people and planet.”
:: WHAT DO THEY DO BEST: Affordable trend-led pieces by designer names. Tartan fashion fans will love the Bora Aksu check dress.
:: ABOUT: An ethical clothing and accessories label that uses reclaimed and vintage fabrics to create unique styles.
:: ETHOS: “Amoosi addresses both the need to tackle the problems of post consumer waste in the fashion industry whilst also inspiring change in the fashion industry.”
:: WHAT DO THEY DO BEST: Natty little dresses and quirky tops, either couture or limited edition. 60s chicks should dig the couture polka dot mini.
:: ABOUT: Offers over 70 brands and more than 800 ethical products, including fashion, lifestyle and beauty.
:: ETHOS: “Instead of fast fashion we passionately believe in treasured pieces that are made with real consideration and care. For us it’s all about looking good without feeling bad.”
:: WHAT DO THEY DO BEST: Amazing eco-friendly basics like jeans, tees and jumpers. Denim lovers will lap up the Edun and Ascension jeans.
KEEP & SHARE (www.keepandshare.co.uk)
:: ABOUT: Specialising in knitwear for both men and women plus sub-collections such as the Eco Edition line, created from naturally coloured, organic and local yarns.
:: ETHOS: “As an ethical ‘slow fashion’ label, we seek to reverse the effects of throwaway fashion by creating ‘best friend’ pieces that will transcend short-lived trends and age gracefully. We manufacture on a craft scale and seek to minimise our environmental impact wherever possible.”
:: WHAT DO THEY DO BEST: Classic knits and wardrobe staples. Check out the chunky cardigans, perfect for next season’s knits trend.
ECO PEST CONTROL
Fashionistas who want to double check on their favourite shop’s eco credential can do some style snooping.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has launched new guidance which gives hints and tips on how shoppers can help promote ethical trade in fashion.
“More and more people are concerned about how the workers who make their clothes are treated,” says Julia Hawkins of ETI.
“They want to make a difference, but aren’t sure exactly what to do. We want people to know it’s OK to be an ethical pest.”
To pick up handy hints on being an ‘ethical pest’ visit www.eti-ten.org/ethicalpest.html
Organic Fortnight takes place from September 6-21. For more information, visit www.soilassociation.org : Eco Chic by Matilda Lee is published by Gaia, priced £7.99. Available now.