Green Fashion is Here to Stay

bamboo fashion - bamboo dress by cariloha

It’s easier and more popular than ever for trend-setters to be chic and save the planet with green fashion. Designers and retailers are making a conscious effort to provide fashionistas with organic, recycled and cruelty-free alternatives in every genre of style. Some also incorporate fair trade wages for economically disadvantaged workers. You can even buy environmentally friendly shoes from companies which will then send a pair of shoes to someone in need.

Eco-friendly can mean many different things in the world of fashion. First, it often refers to sustainably harvested and organically grown fibers, such as cotton, linen, hemp and bamboo. Second, it can mean that the item contains no animal products, like silk, wool or leather, or that the animal products were produced without cruelty. Third, it’s a label often seen on wardrobe essentials crafted from recycled clothes, plastic, glass, wood and metal. To carry it a step or two further, shoppers may also make an effort to shop for locally produced items and to buy from socially responsible companies.

Organic clothing is causing a media frenzy and turning Hollywood heads. Director James Cameron’s wife began the Red Carpet Green Dress designer challenge back in 2010. It’s now an eagerly anticipated annual event, with the winning design revealed at the Oscars by an actress whose identity is kept secret until the A-list occasion. Participating designers have utilized organic, cruelty-free and recycled fabrics and closures, as well as natural food and mineral dyes, in their one-of-a-kind creations.

Couture houses around the globe now proudly offer environmentally friendly clothing. Spring 2013 Fashion Weeks in Madrid, Miami, New York, Berlin and London provided exclusive forums to spotlight eco fashions. Their runways featured swimwear made entirely of recycled materials, and apparel and accessories wrought from organic cotton and repurposed vintage fabrics, among other green components. One designer went so far as to create an alternative energy-themed collection and catwalk. Vancouver has an entire Eco Fashion Week, now in its second year. The event is dedicated to demonstrating that planetary responsibility and quality design can blend together in perfect harmony.

Fashionable green clothing and accessories also go hand in glove with social responsibility. Today’s consumers often prefer to shop with companies who give back to the community in one way or another. Wise retailers dedicate a site page to their material donations programs, foundation grants and employee volunteer activities. In addition to shoe donations and fair trade wages, there are companies that gather old clothing and accessories, as well as industrial supplies like fishing nets, break them down into components, then up cycle them into sustainable fashion. Shoppers with a keen eye can do their own take on the socially responsible wearable’s theme simply by visiting their local nonprofit thrift shops. They can wear their purchases as is or take them apart and put them together differently.

On another industrial recycling note, following the devastating 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Cajun fashionistas started a unique and meaningful trend when they repurposed their used blue roof tarps into tote bags.

Thanks to all the efforts being made by constantly growing numbers of designers and retailers, it is now possible to fill your closets with green fashion. From toes to nose, apparel and accessories are available in eco-friendly fashion to suit any taste and price range.

About the Author: Jessica Hamilton, with Cariloha, enjoys to blog and loves shopping and traveling. She enjoys reading, writing, and camping.