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Q&A With Ecco*Eco’s Abigail Doan

Abigail Doan is one cool chick. With her knack for writing about sustainable fashion and the fact that she is always jet-setting to some far-away place, Doan has an eye for all things in the eco spotlight. Whether focused on her own artist blog or managing the one-stop spot for sustainable fashion, Ecco*Eco, Doan is certainly at the forefront of the eco fashion movement.

Check out what she had to say when I asked her some questions a few weeks ago!

1. First off, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing for Ecco*Eco?

“I am an environmental fiber/textile artist who creates site specific, land-based projects as well as sculpting fiber forms with recycled/organic materials – principally fiber and vegetation. I started writing about sustainable fashion in 2005 as there was a lot of interesting overlap with my art work and what designer friends were doing in fashion and product design. I originally documented some of my ideas on my own artist blog, http://abigaildoan.blogspot.com, but then there became a need to create a separate blog for ideas that were a bit more fashion-oriented. Ecco*Eco became a way for me to organize and share some of these discoveries.”

2. What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

“Sustainable fashion is very much about creating a system that works for you, your sense of style, and your lifestyle. Included in this are standards/ideas about environmentally friendly materials; social responsibility (fair trade initiatives, ‘locavore’ philosophies, and sustainable economic development); knowing oneself and one’s personal style so that one’s purchases are long-term; and perhaps most importantly, creating a relationship with the environment that is non-harmful and/or regenerative in some way.”

3. Do you think that the phrase ‘sustainable fashion’ could ever become redundant? If yes, how so?

“Perhaps not redundant, but rather contradictory. Sustainable fashion needs to continue to be both aesthetically and functionally pleasing without being exclusive as a moral/ethical agenda. Having attended a few fashion weeks over the past several years, I think that the best fashion is about thoughtful style and the dialogue that the designer creates with her/his materials and devoted followers. People want to be a part of the fashion story, and if more and more people believe that fashion is part of their lives, the term sustainable fashion might just melt away. That is, as they take more and more interest in how they dress while also greening their lives, the definition as we once knew it might need to be reworked and updated.”

4. Are there any eco designers that you feel have already bridged the gap between mainstream fashion and eco fashion?

“Yes, John Patrick ORGANIC, Eviana Hartman/Bodkin, Alabama Chanin, and perhaps Patagonia. Of course, these designer are still touted as being part of the sustainable fashion camp, but I believe that editors recognize them as being fashion-forward, first and foremost.”

5. Do you think that eco fashion can be profitable? Do you have any proof?

“I am not a designer, so I am not really privy to numbers. One example, I might share, though, is that fact that eco fashion stores/boutiques in small towns and communities in the U.S. are actually surviving and developing a dedicated following.

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