The common conception of eco-friendly fashion as being a hippie-centric -- and, well, unfashionable -- niche actually isn't all that misguided... it's just outdated. "When eco fashion began, it was really mostly about organic cotton tees and hemp socks," says Carrie Pollare, editor of White Apricot, a fashion, beauty and lifestyle website and newsletter for the eco- and socially-conscious.
Simply put, eco-friendly fashion is apparel that is not harmful to the planet to produce. "Our definition of eco-friendly is clothing that is grown, processed, and used as consciously as possible," says Edie Marrs, CEO of Geo Mio, LLC, which owns the green apparel brands geomio and minawear. This involves not just a consideration of the materials used, she explains, but also things such as fabric scraps, garment lifespan, and packaging.
Pollare cites high fashion lines by Deborah Lindquist and Linda Loudermilk and budding lines Perfectly Imperfect, Sublet, Bahar Shaphar, Beau Soleil and Lara Miller as standouts. Candice Caldwell, founder of the online shopping destination Fashion Ethic, lists clothing from Lizzie Parker, Peligrosa Knits and Emily Katz among her personal favorites.
The prevalence of eco-friendly clothing isn't just increasing due to the influx of these green designers; preexisting apparel companies are beginning to take measures to be more environmentally sound. "The corporate brands are starting to focus more attention on adding organic and natural fibers to their lines," says Marrs.
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