Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eco Clothing: The Good, the Bad, the Expensive

A "dowdy to Divine" 1960's retro Dress, restyled by Meritt Elliot for
"Out of the Ordinary," a recent green fashion auction in Los Angeles.

Best Bet:
Jonano Clothing...affordable and local!

I was reminded of the TV series "Fame," in which a sexy choreographer, pounding her cane on the dance floor, reminds her students that "fame costs," when I saw the collection (and prices) for Ferragamo’s “Eco bag” Collection. The 86-year-old Italian brand uses a metal- and pollutant-free tanning process to treat the skins used for a five-piece collection of totes and handbags. Dying is done using tannins from tree bark. "But there’s a drawback" says the Los Angeles Times: "Sometimes it costs to be eco-chic. $1,190 to $1,890 at Salvatore Ferragamo boutique, Beverly Hills." Then there's the Banana Republics "Heritage" Collection. The 45 pieces in this eco line look as good or better than the usual recycled, stencil-front T-shirts and they're made from 90% sustainable fabrics and trims. You get your khaki button-down safari-style jackets, leopard-print tank tops and shimmery, champagne-colored cropped cargo pants — all mixed and matched. The eco styles have a little green elephant on the tag. Not bad for $19 to $150. Then consider the green fashion savvy of Doris Raymond, owner of the trendy California boutique--The Way We Wore. Raymond had designers from both coasts restyle clothing for the inaugural event of Earth Pledge's Future Fashion, a nonprofit initiative promoting sustainable practices in the apparel industry. Raymond told the LA Times:"We all have pieces in our closet that we're not wearing, and it's a pity. There's still integrity and a usefulness to them, but how do you tweak it to a point where you want to wear it?" A legion of famous designer names took the challenge and took scissors to everything vintage from Blass to Yves Saint Laurent to create truly unique uberfashion.

Locally, were lucky to have Bonnie Siefers whose company--Janono--headquartered in Pittsburgh, designs, manufactures and sells an organic clothing line. A visit to her website or blog (listed above w/pic), gets you in touch with your eco side, plus a wonderful range of clothing that includes dresses, scrubs and baby apparel. We were particularly impressed with the ecoKashmere T which is made of a bamboo fiber blend "known for it's buttery soft feel without the cost,"...only $20, and the Jonano blog echos that sentiment "Why should sustainability be stuffy, unaffordable, and over complicated?" It shouldn't. We'd bet that on a brand new pair of beautiful bamboo underwear!

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