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Ecouterre is a website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. We’re dedicated to showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal. Our ethos: To follow the evolution of the apparel industry toward a more environmentally sound future, as well as facilitate a conversation about why sustainable fashion matters.
In September 2009, Jill Fehrenbacher, founder of sustainable-design website Inhabitat.com, launched Ecouterre to dispel any disparaging stereotypes that still cling to the concept of eco-fashion (hemp ponchos, anyone?), while highlighting innovations in fiber technology that will help pave the way for designers and manufacturers to embrace sustainable materials and processes.
Her goal with Ecouterre is for both designers and consumers to start taking the issue of sustainability in clothing design more seriously. More than simply a laundry list of sustainable clothing and accessories you can buy, Ecouterre’s mission is to inform, inspire, and encourage innovation.
ACCOLADES AND MENTIONS
In April 2010, seven months after our inception, TreeHugger awarded Ecouterre with a Best of Green award for “Best Fashion Website or Blog.” (It did it again in 2011.) That same month, Refinery29 named us one of its favorite eco-fashion blogs.
In 2011, Babble called Ecouterre the No. 1 eco-friendly shopping site for moms.
THE ECOUTERRE TEAM
JILL FEHRENBACHER (FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF)
Jill is the founder of Ecouterre and the entire Inhabitat family of websites, as well as a freelance designer and green-design consultant. Educated at Brown University, where she received a B.A. in art semiotics, and Columbia University, where she worked on a master’s in architecture, she currently resides in New York City, which so far has been good for her obsession with rooftop gardens and vegan junk-food restaurants.
Jill loves eco-fashion and hates it when people dismiss clothing design as trivial matter, unworthy of serious conversation (people, you do wear clothes, right?) She’s been profiled in Vogue, Domino and Paper, as well as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Follow Jill on Twitter @jillfehr.
JASMIN MALIK CHUA (MANAGING EDITOR)
A 15-year veteran of the publishing industry, Jasmin joins Ecouterre from TreeHugger, where she wrote about sustainable fashion and beauty. She has an M.S. in biomedical journalism from New York University—she was a founding fellow of the literary reportage program—and a B.S. in animal biology from the National University of Singapore.
In addition to stories published in online and print publications like Alive, Plenty, The Huffington Post, and Sprig, Jasmin has been quoted as a green expert by such publications and outlets as The New York Times, BBC Radio, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and People. Jasmin was previously a copy editor for Computer Shopper and PRINT. (She still reads style guides for fun.)
Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminchua.
YUKA YONEDA (SENIOR EDITOR)
Yuka is a writer and designer from Queens, New York. She received her bachelor’s in business management from Stony Brook University, and holds a degree in exhibition design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2008, Yuka looked in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. Always feeling like there was something missing from her life, she had turned to excess, amassing a mountain of clothes, shoes, bags, and random tchotchkes to fill the void.
In an act of desperation, she founded Swyyne.com as a guide for urbanites wanting to change their piggish ways and has been learning and smiling more ever since. When she isn’t writing about sustainable design, Yuka amuses herself by making trash into treasure, hunting for goodies at her favorite thrift shop, and offering up vintage, secondhand and refashioned clothes from her own closet to raise money for Japan.
Follow Yuka on Twitter @yukayoneda.
BRIDGETTE STEFFEN (CONTRIBUTING WRITER)
Bridgette is a LEED-accredited sustainability consultant based in Park City, UT and helps individuals and companies reduce their environmental impact. With degrees in mechanical and environmental engineering, she has experience in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, and sustainable development. She is also a contributing writer for LowImpactLiving.com.
When she’s not calculating carbon footprints, recycling materials into new things, or writing blog posts, she spends her time with her new puppy hiking in the woods, writing, and painting. She recently got married to the man of her dreams, a handsome firefighter/paramedic. And she is currently trying to talk herself into writing her first novel, which will most definitely have something to do with sustainability.
Follow Bridgette on Twitter @lilbridge.
KIRIN RINEHART (CONTRIBUTING WRITER)
Kirin is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and blogger. In the past, she has held professional positions in the fields of apparel and furniture design that helped to feed her lifelong passion for discovering creative forms of design in different mediums. She received her bachelor’s in business from the University of San Diego but quickly returned to her roots in the Bay Area.
Kirin is now pursuing a law degree, but her love of fashion,art and design keep her creative thoughts flowing through writing and blogging. Her blog, ClosetCast, is the daily musings of a “fashionable girl weathering daily style storms” and serves as an outlet for expressing her love of fashion.
MIKE CHINO (CONTRIBUTING WRITER)
The managing editor of Inhabitat, Mike is a writer, researcher, and musician based in San Francisco. He left sunny UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in French and modern literature and delved into publishing through a stint at ReadyMade. Inspired by the impact that forward thinking can have on the present, he has cultivated a voracious appetite for developments in sustainable architecture, design, and technology. Mike likes to bike, blog, and build things, and in his spare time he also cooks, produces music, and rocks out.
BETH SHEA (CONTRIBUTING WRITER)
Beth is a chameleon of a writer who found her true color in the “green” niche. After she earned her B.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona, Beth spent several years exploring the world and reporting for multiple publications as a travel and spa writer. Once her daughter was born, Beth wholeheartedly joined the eco-movement and founded Petite Planet, a blog which educates families on simple ways to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Beth is also an editor of Inhabitots, where she unearths the latest sustainable design news and products for the next generation. Having previously split her time between New York City and Los Angeles, Beth moved to Portland, OR, the “greenest city in America,” where she’s constantly on the lookout for up and coming eco-fashion designers and groundbreaking green trends.
Follow Beth on Twitter @PetitePlanet.
AMANDA COEN (CONTRIBUTING WRITER)
Amanda is a writer and photographer based in New York. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of NY, she was never one to sit still. She has lived in the Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Peru and remains an avid traveler. She graduated from Macalester College with a major in International Studies and a minor in Studio Art. She then spent two years in Madrid where she was the theater and dance editor for InMadrid, taught in a public, bilingual school and completed a professional photography course at EFTI. She recently returned from a four month stay in Peru where she worked on several projects with Awamaki, a textile-based NGO in the Sacred Valley.
Amanda enjoys covering stories about sustainability, culture, international development and design. In her free time you can find her cooking with friends, going for a run, biking and pursuing her creative projects.
Follow Amanda on Twitter @amandascoen.