When you think of fashion, you see runways in Milan, Paris, and New York. You have visions of frou-frou frocks, thousand-dollar handbags, and impossibly high heels. You imagine Hollywood ingénues waltzing down the red carpet, flashbulbs popping as they field the inevitable question, “Who are you wearing?” Not what, who. And then there are the countless style shows, fashion magazines, and even the lady at the nail salon who keeps telling you that your skinny jeans are SO last season. But one thing that definitely does not pop into your head in accordance with fashion is the term “eco-friendly”.
So what does eco-fashion entail? First of all, the fabrics must be all-natural, like hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, or soy silk, just to name a few. Second, they are subject to certain standards of production, including minimal use of chemicals and pesticides during the growing process, sustainable farming practices, eco-friendly certification, and they must be animal friendly. And once the fabrics are produced, they tend to be treated with non-toxic dyes and biodegradable finishes. But how does that translate into the clothes you wear every day?
When you first consider eco-friendly fashion, your mind may gravitate towards something along the lines of homemade hippie hemp-wear. However, this is far from the reality of green fashion today. Sites like www.thegreenloop.com have just as many designers as any department store (if not more), all offering eco-friendly fare. Some of the designers featured on this site include Alchemy, which makes handbags that look like vinyl, but are actually recycled inner tubes from bike tires, EcoSkin, which combines bamboo, Tencel, and Spandex to make stretch fabrics that look and feel like jersey (in styles that are very now), and Sub Urban Riot, which boasts some killer graphic tees made from organic cotton and recycled polymer-based materials. You can also find shoes, jewelry, and even eco-lingerie. And this is just one of many websites devoted to making fashion more eco-friendly!
The other unexpected boon of eco-fashion is the pricetag. Most people think that anything even resembling environmentally sound will automatically raise the sticker price. Not true. The cost of green fashions can be as low or high as clothing at any other retailer, from department stores to designer labels. Prices vary based not only on the product, but also on the designer, just like in any other area of the fashion industry. And even if you were to spend a little more on an eco-friendly outfit, wouldn’t it be worth if for the fact that you are helping to preserve our planet while still looking smoking hot for your date Friday night? In fact, if you do a little browsing, you may find that you can get exactly the fashion you’re looking for, at a comparable price, and show the earth a little love along the way.