Category Archives: Events For Fashion That Gives Back

“Runway to Green” Designers Announced!

Yesterday I was so pleased when I came across a tweet from the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) that said “Participating #Runway2Green designers have been announced!”

I had just written about Vogue.com’s coverage of this spectacular event in fashion, and I was eager to find out which designers would be taking part to lend a green hand to help such an outstanding cause.

For those of you who are just as excited as me, take a minute to sneak a peak at the list of designers who have been confirmed to donate or create for this year’s Runway to Green!

Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Burberry, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, Jason Wu, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Marni, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Osklen, Prada, Pringle of Scotland, Rachel Roy, Rag & Bone, Stella McCartney, Thakoon, Timex80, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Talk about a star-studded list. Now that I am in-the-know, I cannot wait to see the exclusive garments and accessories!! March cannot come soon enough.

Vogue Highlights “Runway to Green”

I usually start my day with breakfast and blogging. Aside from updating ‘Fashion That Gives Back,’ I love getting up to date with all the fashion news that seems to happen overnight!

Some of my favorite reads include the eco-fashion greats such as Ecouterre, Ecco*Eco, Goodlifer, and EcoSalon, as well as mainstream fashion sites such as Refinery29, Vogue.com, Bazaar.com, and TheCut.

What makes me most ecstatic is when these two streams mesh—-for example, just last week Vogue.com covered Runway To Green in their Style Ethics column—and honestly it was the first time I had ever heard of this amazing program.

Set to launch in late March, Runway to Green has gathered some of the fashion industry’s best and brightest in an effort to raise money for the environment.

So far about 25 fashion brands have been recruited to create an exclusive item or donate a piece from Fall 2011 as part of a curated collection to be sold in select stores around the world.

Runway to Green, which funds the National Resources Defense Council, has made a vow to include only those designers who have or will be making a commitment to take on and learn about sustainable practices developed by the NRDC’s Clean by Design project.

According to Vogue.com,

“everyone from Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander Wang, and Burberry have jumped on board. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will go directly to Runway to Green.”

The program kicks off alongside Christie’s “Bid to Save the Earth” event in NYC, with an A-list party hosted by Vogue, Salma Hayek, and the Rockefellers.

Not too shabby, eh?

The 2011 Observer Ethical Awards Are Here!

By now you are probably sick of looking at all the pink and emerald green dresses that showed up on the red carpet this past Sunday at the Golden Globe awards. With about a month until the Oscars in late February, there is something else to think about in the realm of sustainable fashion…..

THE OBSERVER ETHICAL AWARDS!

Six years ago, the Observer Ethical Awards began showcasing designers, fashion houses, and retailers, with a serious commitment to sustainable fashion. This year the fashion and accessories categories, which have been called the “green oscars,” are being sponsored by Vogue.com (UK).

According to Vogue UK fashion features editor Jessica Bumpus,

“This year boasts a judging panel that includes model Lily Cole, actor Colin Firth, Vogue.com blogger and owner of Eco Age Livia Firth, director of sustainable fashion at London College of Fashion Dilys Williams, co-founder of The Body Shop Gordon Roddick,”

Model Lily Cole

and of course the Vogue.com writer herself!

How awesome is that?

Luckily, the deadline to participate is March 11th, so if you are looking to show off your sustainable skills you do not want to pass up this awesomely-green opportunity!

Enter here.

In Conversation With Julie Gilhart

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Julie Gilhart, the Fashion Director and Senior Vice President of Barneys, in conversation with Colleen Hill and Jennifer Farley, the curators of FIT’s Eco-Fashion: Going Green Exhibit.

Not only was Gilhart a sight to see, dressed in an embellished leather jacket and leopard boots, but she was also very intriguing to hear. She talked about sustainability in regards to Barneys and initiatives that the high-end luxury store has been associated with in the past, and present, and will be in the future.

Some of my favorites included Lauren Pierce, a sustainable designer known for her knack for social responsibility. All of the fabrics in her collection are hand dyed by women in the Congo, and Pierce tracks which woman dyes what garment. The end result is a highly personalized, and beautiful piece.

I was also at the edge of my seat while Gilhart talked about a project called Plastics is 4Ever. This basically started out as a partnership between Loomstate and Christie’s, for which Loomstate designed a line of T-shirts that were sold through Christie’s, and 100% of the profits went to four different sustainable organizations. With 5,000 shirts produced, 60% were sold as a result of the partnership with Christie’s. Plastics is 4Ever took care of the other 40%.

How?

Gilhart told the audience about a woman who collects plastic scraps that she finds on the beach and creates jewelry out of them with fishing wire. So, she took the leftover Loomstate t-shirts and had Ecuadorian workers sew  her plastic jewelry onto the shirts. The colorfully cool shirts will be sold in Barneys come spring, for $150.

Gilhart also mentioned YSL New Vintage, a mission that tackled high-end designers and their tendency to generate exclusive fabrics that often go to waste, i.e. they are burned when the designer is done with them. Gilhart and her team at Barneys had YSL designer Stefano Pilati, use his unique fabrics to create a special collection of iconic styles that sold well in the past. Great thinking, huh?

As for the future, Gilhart talked about some super cool things to come in the sustainable fashion world. My favorite was artist Greg Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s nephew, who has started designing jackets out of army duffle bags. Unbelievably impressive.

So all in all, Gilhart was a real delight. An awesome question was asked by one of eco-fashion’s big names, Greta Eagan, who also happened to be in the audience. Having founded Fashion Me Green, she inquired about the best way to go about educating consumers who aren’t aware of sustainable design and how fashionable it can be.

Gilhart’s response was quite intelligent, so I have divided it into 4 parts.

1. It is important to wait for a customer to be sold on a product’s design before telling the sustainable backstory.

2. Targeting the top three fashion designers and having them do some sort of sustainable capsule collection, would help to open up the customers’ eyes.

3. High-end designers collaborating with ethical organizations can only be a good thing.

4. The prevalence of celebrity culture in America. Gilhart would love to see someone like Michelle Obama wear sustainable brands, because that would really be a call to change.

So there you have it, highlights from FIT’s talk with Julie Gilhart. Advice for the future—-DO NOT miss her next appearance, wherever and whenever that may be!

CFDA Eco-Fashion Challenge

Whenever I hear the letters C, F, D, and A, I am filled with excitement—why? Well, in my opinion, the CFDA or the Council of Fashion Designers of America, is one of the most amazing organizations that the fashion industry has ever seen. It has been around for over 40 years, as a successful not-for-profit trade association of over 350 members that leads industry-wide initiatives and RSVP-worthy events.

But wait, it gets even better.

Just a few days ago the CFDA paired up with Lexus for an Ec0-Fashion Challenge that pushes sustainable practices in replacement of environmentally-harmful methods of production and manufacturing. Ten finalists have been chosen based on their most recent collections—and in order to qualify, 25% of their work had to have been done in an eco-conscious manner.

So who are the 10 noteworthy designers to watch??

Maria Cornejo


Monique Pean


Organic by John Patrick


Alabama Chanin


Costello Tagliapietra


Continue reading

The Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show

The sustainable fashion bug has gone viral. This week it has spread to the West Coast, and for the next few days, Los Angeles is the place to be (although when is it not?). Starting today, Cali will go fashionably green at its very own Fashion Weekend!

Head over to the Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show, which is sponsored by the Green Youth Movement (GYM), a Los Angeles non-profit that seeks to educate younger generations about responsible design and sustainable materials.

The show will take place tomorrow at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood and it will feature new collections from sustainable fashion designers such as Emily Factor, and Jonano.

The Green Initiative is open to the public and tickets are available for a breezy $25. Proceeds will aid the Green Youth Movement in the continuance of their green-lovin’ endeavors.

Image Fest… FIT’s Eco-Fashion: Going Green

I finally got the chance to head over to Manhattan’s westside to see the Eco-Fashion: Going Green exhibit at the FIT museum. I couldn’t resist the urge to sneak out my camera and snap a few pictures (for your enjoyment, of course)!

While the whole exhibit had me going ga-ga for eco-fashion, my favorite pieces included a necklace made out of the plastic from a six-pack as well as a silk-printed dress by Organic by John Patrick. This is one exhibit you totally do not want to miss.

So be sure to check them out below! And—don’t miss your chance to catch the amazing exhibit with free admission until November 13th.

Click here to read my Eco-Fashion: Going Green post.

 

Organic by John Patrick Dress

 

EcoChic Asia Starts Today!

If by any chance you are an eco-fashion lover headed to Hong Kong, the stars have certainly aligned just for you. If you don’t happen to be one of the lucky few, just keep reading 🙂

Today marks the first day of EcoChic Asia’s eco and ethical fashion show! Set to take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, EcoChic Asia will showcase 29 fashion and accessory designers from 14 Asian countries. All or most of the designers have production roots in Asia, including names like Stella Chen from China and Suzuki Takayuki from Japan.

Lucky number 13 seems to be the theme of the fashion show, which will take place in two parts. The first one features 13 established ready-to-wear labels, of which the focus is the environmentally-friendly aspect of sustainable fashion. The second part centers on 13 eco-couture garments created for Green2greener, a charity established in 2007 that supports sustainable living in Hong Kong.

All of the designers taking part in the show have the desire to improve the environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry. Therefore they have devoted their work to using eco-textiles such as bamboo and organic silk, while also incorporating fair working conditions.

So it seems like the whole world is responding to the need for sustainable fashion. Keep up the good work!

Image Fest: The Ethical Fashion Show

Sadly, the lovely city of Paris has bid adieu to The Ethical Fashion Show, a tradition since 2004 in which a major effort has been made to bring ethical fashion to the forefront of the industry.

The show’s creator defines Ethical Fashion as anything that includes “economic, human and environmental aspects,” explaining that it is often “a mix of different choices and involves various production techniques, which makes light of the protection of people, their work conditions, the environment, and the ancestral skills.

Interestingly, all the designers that choose to participate in the show are required to fill in a questionnaire. If you ask me, that is a great idea. When forced to answer questions about Ethical Fashion, the truth comes out. And those designers who genuinely fit the description and the mission of The Ethical Fashion Show, truly emerge.

If you are anything like me, I am sure you regret not being able to jet-set over to Paris in order to catch a glimpse of the three-day event. But don’t be too sad because I decided to make today a fabulous Friday, by sharing a sneak-peak at the most fashionably, ethical designs.

Special thanks to The Vancouver Sun and Bertrand Langlois for Getty Images.

To see the rest of the images, click here.

Eco-Fashion Makes Front Page News

Last Tuesday, New York City was lucky enough to host The Green Catwalk Event, put on by the cat litter brand, Yesterday’s News. The brand has been known to use environmentally-sound methods of managing cat waste, which leads to the promotion of clean homes all over the country.

Four of our favorite eco-fashion designers were on tap—generating some industry buzz that some would be yearning to categorize as “front-page news”. Or as Ecouterre’s Jasmin Malik Chua put it,

“Sustainability in fashion is rarely a black-and-white issue, but for four leading ec0-fashion designers on Tuesday, all the news that’s fit to print was grist for a bold-faced makeover.”

Talk about creativity with words….

 

The Four Newspaper Designs

 

Anyhow, the four eco-stars included Samantha Pleet, Lara Miller, Bahar Shahpar, and Anthony Lilore of Restore Clothing. Asserting their design genius, the foursome presented original garments made entirely of reconstructed newspaper. And although it may be hard to imagine, these garments weren’t just your old, run-of-the-mill dresses and skirts. They actually looked more like works of art. Think perfectly structured bodices and lots of detail.

The designs were intended to promote Yesterday’s News as well as the Do-Gooder Design Challenge, which included an auction of the newsy cat-walk pieces on eBay. Proceeds went to four different charities chosen by the individual designers themselves.

So it looks like The Green Catwalk Event was a total success. If you ask me, there is nothing like an ec0-fashionable makeover to spruce up our age-old newspapers. With eco fashion on the front page, all that’s left to do is ‘start spreadin’ the news.’

For more photos, check out Ecouterre.com