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John Bartlett Hits the Docks at Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week

John Bartlett, Fall/Winter 2012, New York Fashion Week, New York Green Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

REAL MEN DON’T KILL

Newly vegan, Bartlett didn’t want to show a collection until he transitioned his signature aesthetic to sustainable and cruelty-free materials. For his jackets, he collaborated with Schott to recreate the look of ultraluxe leather with Ultrasuede’s Ambience recycled microfiber instead of animal hide. The resulting pieces are sleek, supple, and infused with colors derived from nature.

To create some of his jackets, capes, and ponchos, Bartlett mined his personal collection of Hudson’s Bay point blankets.

Unlike other heritage-inspired brands, Bartlett’s elegant suits don’t consist of wool but rather blends of organic and conventional cotton. His striped henleys, sweaters, and dress-shirts, also made of organic cotton, evoke the romanticism of the preindustrial era.

To create some of his jackets, capes, and ponchos, Bartlett mined his personal collection of Hudson’s Bay point blankets, which were typically traded to First Nations and Native Americans in exchange for beaver pelts and other goods in the 18th and 19th centuries. The repurposed wool, with its distinctive striped pattern, is a recurring motif throughout the range.

“Taking my brand in a cruelty-free direction has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” Bartlett says.

His intent, Bartlett tells Ecouterre, is to “make a large impact and leave a small footprint,” as well as inspire other designers to do the same. “Taking my brand in a cruelty-free direction has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” he says. “It really wasn’t until a few years ago when I started seeing an overwhelming abundance of fur on the runways that I realized how truly disgusting and inhumane using animal products really is.”

He’s also keen on giving back. The designer’s “Tiny Tim” collection feeds directly into the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, a nonprofit he established to raise funds for dog-rescue groups who pull animals from hill-kill shelters.

In a way, Bartlett is redefining what it means to be a man in today’s world. A burly, husky countenance—the kind that rips trees from the ground and polishes chainsaws—is well and good, but it takes a real mensch to show a sensitive side.

+ John Bartlett

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