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In Honor of Earth Day: Eco-Friendly Fashion

Stella McCartney. "McCartney is really the ultimate example of the green movement at work in the world of very high fashion." Image and quote via NBC NY

Last September, I was invited to Gina Constanza’s House of Glam NYC’s Eco-Fashion in the Park in northern Manhattan.  I was really excited to learn about this niche in the industry and to participate in the clothing swap. So last September, I set off with my swap items and camera in my little buggy for a full day of eco-friendly fashion in New York City.  Half an hour into my journey, the music and subsequently my trip, was interrupted by a loud beep followed by an ominous flashing light on the dashboard alerting me to a Volkswagon owners nightmare, my car was over heating. I was unable to attend the event, as a result.

I saved all of the materials that were sent to me by their PR contact, Anllelic Lozada, and at this time, in honor of Earth Day, I would like to share them as well as share my own recommendations for eco-friendly and fashion savvy bloggers to follow.  First, let’s get familiar with some of the commonly used terms.

Green Fashion Glossary:

  • Sustainable: This label applies when an item is produced in ways that minimize its environmental impact, whether it’s made in a solar-powered factory or uses renewable resources or biodegradable packaging.
  • Naturally Derived: It’s a term used for a product whose raw materials come from a natural source, such as botanicals and fruit extracts, but have been chemically altered to make the formulation.
  • Natural: A formula that is primarily made up of natural ingredients and contains no petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, or dyes. Any parabens or sulfates that might be in it are naturally derived.
  • Organic: The official USDA certification is given to products made from natural ingredients that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides
  • Recycled / Reborn: Created with reclaimed, recycled or re-purposed materials. Anything that has been made from already existing materials, fabrics, metals or fibers. These are often reclaimed from previously made clothing and accessories and reworked into new ones. Fibers can also be re-purposed from pre-existing fabric, re-spun and reused for new garments.
  • Vintage / Second Hand: Vintage is a generic term for new or second hand garments created in the period from the 1920’s to 1980’s. However, the term is often used more generally for second-hand clothes or up-cycled clothes. Articles of clothing that have been given a new life through some sort of customization.
  • Fabric Waste Reduction: In the production cycle, as little fabric waste as possible in cutting and sewing process.
  • Socially Responsible: Promoting an awareness of environmental and/or social issues. Participating in eco programs.
  • Custom / Tailor-Made: Also called demi-couture or made-to-order. This is a way of encouraging quality and “slow fashion” over mass-produced disposable fashion.
  • Local: Designed and constructed in your local community.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in Style:

Melissa Shoes "This Brazilian label has been making waves in the green fashion world for nearly 30 years with sexy shoes developed from "eco friendly mono materials that can easily be disassembled and recycled." The company also practices no-waste and cruelty-free production, and has snagged designer " - NBC NY

Here is Gina Constanza’s list of how you can reduce your carbon footprint and still look stylish.

  • Do an inventory of your closet before you go shopping.  This prevent you from adding pieces to your closet that you really don’t need.
  • Donate pieces that you haven’t worn in 8-months.
  • Get together with friends and do a clothing swap. Shout out to The Swapaholics in Boston, MA for leading this effort among bloggers and fashion enthusiasts.
  • Look for clothing that are made with natural fibers which includes: organic cotton, hemp, wool, bamboo and silk.
  • Invest in pieces that have multiple use. For example, I used to really love those  3 piece suits that came with a skirt, jacket and sheath dress or pants.  It was so unbelievably versatile.
  • If there are items in your closet that you absolutely cannot part from, work with a stylist and/or designer or tailor to help redesign it.
  • Invest in pieces that does not require dry cleaning.  Dry cleaning leaves a BIG carbon footprint on the environment.
  • Give new life to historic pieces by buying vintage.
  • Wash clothes, only when you have a full load.
  • Reduce, reuse and restyle.

Eco Friendly Fashion Blog and more Eco-Friendly Reading Sources:

The Goodwill Project. Eugy Alliegro wears a sheer blouse with a velvet collar that she found at Goodwill for $4. She pairs it with waxed pants and color-block heels (both from Zara) and Michael Kors clutch. Stunning! Image via The Goodwill Project

As bloggers, we love to give second hand finds new life by mixing them with pieces in our closet or mixing them with our new purchases.  There are a few bloggers that do this very well including:  Tavi of Nine to Fly Blog and Sammy Davis Vintage but the blogger(s) that I’ve been the MOST impressed with is the pair from Miami responsible for the The Goodwill Project.

Be sure to check out the other eco and budget friendly fashion bloggers that share their finds and style on Shana and Adam’s weekly Monday Thrifters Anonymous blog linkup.

Additional recommended reads:

Styleites: What You  Need Right Now: 10 Pieces of Eco-Friendly Fashion

CBS New York’s Go Green: A Guide to Organic Style Boutiques in NYC

NBC New York’s  18 Fabulous Eco-Friendly Fashion Labels.

For those of you in the northeast U.S. who is still waiting on the predicted heavy rains (we need it bad), enjoy the rest of Earth Day.

XoXo, Natasha


About Natasha Samuels

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  1. aww, thanks for the eco shout out!!

  2. So honored….thanks for the mention! Ingenious post, Natasha. 🙂