Sunday, January 30, 2011

Build Your Own Eco Wardrobe: Step One, the Knit

by Rickie De Sole

Building a “green” wardrobe can take time; but to amass one, you don’t have to look far. Brands like Loomstate, Bodkin, Stella McCartney, and Hessnatur are being sold alongside their less-eco counterparts at La Garçonne, Barneys New York, and Steven Alan.
Sasha Pivovarova wearing an Organic by John Patrick sweater and Rag & Bone's pleated skirt dyed with natural plant-derived indigo.
Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, Vogue, November 2010
Michael Kors
Michael Kors cashmere natural fiber long sleeve cardigan, $1,395
Michael Kors, 866.709.KORS

For me, it all started with a skirt by Organic by John Patrick. Taken with its A-line shape and chocolate brown color, I was determined to make it my key purchase for fall. But, much to my dismay, it sold out instantaneously at Barneys—my go-to for designer clothing that’s also ecologically responsible. I knew environmentally friendly fashion had become popular, but I had no idea it had reached sold-out status. Luckily, after numerous phone calls (including one to the Organic PR office) I finally tracked the piece down on the Internet. And sure, when it comes to online shopping, the shipping isn’t exactly carbon neutral, but I figure that knowing more about how my clothing is made is at least a step in the right direction towards reducing my footprint.

And thankfully, as my green wardrobe journey continues, I have found more and more designers who manage to be environmentally friendly without compromising personal style. Perhaps John Patrick states it best: “Fashion first”—meaning aesthetics (in addition to global consciousness) should always be a priority. Over the next few weeks, we are going to help you build an eco wardrobe, one sustainable staple at a time—from dresses to cardigans to tanks. This week, we start with the knit.

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