Jasmine J.

Trend Report: Eco-Fashion Brands

In Eco trends watch on May 24, 2012 at 1:49 am

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Photo: H&M Eco-conscious Collection 

The fashion industry is one of the most fundamental expressions of human art and culture, and amassing $300 billion in revenue annually, it is also one of the most lucrative. But, what does it take, at the other end of the chain, to make it so successful? Sadly, quite a bit; so much that its environmental foot print is barely sustainable.

It takes the resources of healthy ecosystems—fresh water, clean air, thriving biodiversity, productive land—and the stability of socially just societies. As it has now become the third most environmentally damaging industry in the world, one might wonder if its fashion leaders are doing their part to promote the responsible business practices and sustainability necessary for the industry’s long-term viability.

As it turns out, brands are starting to take a stand for sustainability giving more choices to those with an eco-conscious mindset. And these are some of the exciting collections this season that prove that being eco-friendly one need not sacrifice style to respect Mother Earth.

Exclusive Glamour Conscious Collection at H&M

Available in stores as of last month to coincide with the Earth Day celebrations, H&M is making a big sustainable fashion statement this year with its Spring and Summer 2012 collection of eco-friendly red carpet looks. The flashy items and other bling are all made with sustainable materials, from organic cotton and hemp to recycled polyester.

Most notable “conscious” standouts include the Photo Print Dress, a kaleidoscope of colours on a recycled polyester blend; and the Beaded Maxi, a lemon yellow chiffon maxi gown in recycled polyester with a beaded bodice. The limited edition Ultimate Red Carpet evening dress is made with white organic cotton silk and bouclé atop an organza plissé meringue skirt for extra diva effect. For everyday eco-chic attire, H&M offers additional Conscious collections for women, men and kids. hm.com

Feral Childe

Feral Childe is a womenswear clothing line that originated as an art project but has since successfully evolved into seasonal wholesale collections while maintaining the artistic spirit which earned them a an international audience. Since its first wholesale collection in Fall 2006, Feral Childe has created original textile prints for each season and continues to represent the collections with projects incorporating collage, film, performance, photography and music.

Its dreamy 2011 Orchestra collection explores the world of sound through vivid textile prints composed by layering the ink drawings, watercolours, and paper collages. The collections pallette ranges from icy whites, blues and grays to the warmth of deep browns, reds and oranges. All made in NYC using fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel and hemp blends combined with surprise elements such as pleated surplus nylon mesh, silk taffetta, printed organza and double georgette. Wonderfully creative, each piece in their collection has just the right amount of detail to make it an easy wardrobe staple, yet fun to wear on its own. feralchilde.com

Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily is a socially responsible lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through eco-friendly fashion and design. Its product line is varied, ranging from scarves and jewelry, to paper and bath products. In Northern India, marginalized women print press and stamp images on recycled paper created from old newspapers, cotton rags and denim jeans. The output is truly unique and each purchase of Raven + Lily stationary helps these women to support their families and maintain their financial independence. Additionally, Raven + Lily’s beaded jewelry supports the women of Northern Ethiopia. Artillery shells from former  armed conflicts found on farmers’ land are given to bead makers, and local women are employed to craft the jewelry collection, thanks to Raven + Lily’s partnership. These delicate yet powerful designs, made from melted bullets and vintage coins, are a beautiful way to support the company’s cause and its dedication to sustainability. ravenandlily.com

Note to readers: This Canela Pura piece to be published in the 405 Magazine, http://www.thefourohfive.com on May 25

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