As we dive into a cornucopia of Tofurky roasts, candied yams, and pumpkin pie this year, we have plenty to be thankful about: advances in 3D printing, a new water-wise method of finishing jeans, the first fair-trade-certified clothing in the United States, celebrities who champion eco-fashion, a closer relationship between fashion and philanthropy, and designers who continue to innovate and inspire every day. Below, we give thanks for the eco-fashion developments of the past year.
2010 has been an interesting year for eco fashion, and I’m really thankful for how much more mainstream these ideas about green apparel have become in the past year. I’m thankful that Parsons has started an eco fashion course at their school on zero waste design.
I’m thankful for the Green Shows in NYC, which is always inspiring. I’m thankful to MooShoes for getting better and better vegan shoes and handbags, making it easier than ever before for vegans to be stylish and the stylish to go vegan!
Most important, I’m thankful for the awesome talents of the Ecouterre writers and editors who bring you eco-fashion goodness day after day. And of course, I’m thankful to you, dear readers, for reading us and making it all possible. We couldn’t do it without your support. Thank you for caring about eco-fashion and wanting to make the world a better place! Happy Thanksgiving!
A manufacturer’s responsibility for a product doesn’t end the moment it’s bought and paid for. For the innovators who acknowledge that a garment’s biggest ecological impact occurs after it leaves the store and that end-of-life disposal needs be carefully considered, I offer my kudos and thanks.
This year, I’m most thankful to have discovered that not all bamboo fabric is evil! I’d been a big proponent of clothing made out of bamboo fibers until last year when the Federal Trade Commission released a statement shedding light on the fact that most bamboo fabrics are actually bamboo rayon, a textile that undergoes a process using noxious chemicals (not very eco-friendly at all).
After that, I was wary about any garment claiming to be made out of bamboo, which is sad because that rules out a large portion of eco-fashion garments. Recently, a PR person sent me an email asking if I was interested in checking out a home-goods line made of bamboo and I wrote back with my concerns. She did a little research and followed up with the manufacturer, and what she found out changed my mind about bamboo. Apparently, there is an alternative method where the bamboo is crushed mechanically and softened with a natural enzyme instead of harsh chemicals. After learning this, I’m still careful to ask questions about fabrics made from bamboo, but at least I know there is a nontoxic alternative and that I shouldn’t immediately rule out all bamboo clothing as greenwashed.
This year has offered so much to be thankful for including the first-ever, on-schedule sustainable-fashion show at London Fashion Week. The thing that I am the most thankful for, though, is the launch of Source4Style. Designers can spend up to 85 percent of their time sourcing materials, so having a site that make sourcing sustainably easy has already made some designers go eco.
During my time as a project manager at the Ethical Fashion Forum, I was always aware of the great work happening on the supply side of the industry, but also at how it wasn’t always easy to get the fabrics to designers. The founders Benita Singh and Summer Rayne Oakes bring a great energy to the project, and I know it is going to have a huge impact on the industry. I can’t help but add that I never thought I would see a live upcycling show in the Prince of Wales Garden this year, so I’m also thankful for that!
I am thankful for the ethical fashion gurus who have paved the way in the industry for those of us who are now energized to continue and elevate the movement to greater, greener places. Without the bloggers, designers, and artists who have been promoting green and fair fashion throughout its past evolution, we would not be where we are today. Thanks to the ethical fashionistas and green goddesses who continue to inspire me each and every day. In addition, thanks to the inspiring upcycling designers out there that are truly rethinking the meaning of trash and transforming it into treasure.
In May 2009, Sheena Matheiken started The Uniform Project and showed us the resounding power of the LBD. The project ended on April 30, 2010 with over $94,786 in funds raised for the Akanksha Foundation’s School Project, a fund that pays for uniforms and other educational expenses for children in India.
Although the Uniform Project was created in 2009, what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving is the continued support from sustainable fashion lovers who were inspired by Sheena’s philanthropic cause. Matheiken is proof that eco-fashion can not only result in fashionable looks, but also a revolutionary change for the less fortunate.
2010 graced me with the change to write for Ecouterre and I snapped up the chance! For that, I am exceptionally thankful. I would also like to note that I am thankful for the opportunities that being a blogger for Ecouterre has provided me. My favorite post of the year was writing about the documentary Skin Trade. The video was very dramatic and raw, but everyone should know about the atrocities we put innocent animals through for the frivolous sake of “fashion.”
I’m most grateful for emerging green, body powered devices. Especially these boots, which were made for… talking? Twelve hours of walking in orange power wellies will charge a cellphone for one hour. The possibilities of harnessing human energy and rechanneling it elsewhere to fulfill everyday energy needs are endless. If I had to take a jog every time I wanted to power up my Mac, I’d be a lot healthier!