It’s Possible to BE Green Without Looking Green

lindquistI get totally depressed when I go shopping and I’ve come to realize lately that I don’t think that’s the desired effect. (Shopping is supposed to make me feel good, right?) Every time I find something I totally adore and just HAVE to have, I check the label and it’s either made from some animal product, something toxic or in a sweatshop in China. So, I’ve continually fallen on my fallback wardrobe of tees, jeans and canvas sneakers.

But one can only tolerate so many years of dressing like a boy and I just can’t do the hippie/hemp/tie-dye thing, so lately I’ve taken more time to get to know fashion, what I really like about it and where I can find the looks I like that are made in a way I can support. Here’s a list of four of my most recent favorite finds:

Deborah Lindquist is a celebrity favorite and has been referred to as a “trailblazer in green fashion.” I love sustainable fabrics just as much as the next greenie, but what gets me really excited about eco fashion is reused objects, and Deborah Lindquist has this art down to a science. She recycles a variety of posh vintage materials like kimonos, saris and silk scarves and throws in a dash of organic hemp and cotton here and there. Her look is a little Urban Outfitters meets Delia’s meets Anthropologie, which makes it totally wearable. She also designs a green wedding line (a totally underserved market) that would get me excited if weddings did it for me.

ecoSkin is a California-based label with a name that doesn’t do it justice. The name ecoSkin brings to mind Whole Foods hemp dresses, but that’s definitely not the case. Wrap dresses and tops, cocktail dresses and hooded wraps are all very “Stevie Nicks,” but in updated, streamlined fabrics. ecoSkin’s designs are made from environmentally sustainable luxury fabrics that are all woven and sewn in America. Sandy Skinner, the founder of ecoSkin, aims to make sustainable living mainstream, and with these chic designs, mainstream is definitely possible, though with prices in the triple digits, maybe not entirely affordable.

Chlorine might just be my favorite eco brand right now, because although I totally hate to admit it, I secretly LOVE handbags. I’ve tried to suppress my love for handbags in the past because I don’t buy leather (vegetarian principle number two) unless I buy it vintage. This little principle makes it hard to really go as die-hard for handbags as I would like to, but Chlorine’s totally adorable refurbished vintage handbags bring my bag fetish to the surface big time. Too bad I would NEVER be able to afford one of these clutches or totes (prices run from about $400 to $800), but if you can afford it, hats off to your good taste and thanks for not buying that ghastly Gucci bag all your girlfriends have.

Sophie Young and her g=9.8 label totally stole my heart when I discovered her through some silly Valentine’s Day ad. The French designer created a line of lingerie that’s American Apparel meets Mary Greene (which just so happen to be my two favorite undergarment lines) made from Lenpur, a fabric made from pine tree clippings that is completely biodegradable. I haven’t had a chance to feel the fabric (once again, out of my budget), but reviews say it’s as soft as silk, much like bamboo.

For more sustainable eco fashion, including designers, labels and a great blog, check out Eco Fashion World.

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© 2009, Sarah Toler. All rights reserved.

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