28 November 2011

Cyber Monday: Eco Fashion Finds

Extreme shopping season kicked off last week with Black Friday Specials everywhere you looked and Small Business Saturday for those of us who don't like getting pepper sprayed at Wal-Mart. But the deals don't stop: Today is Cyber Monday, also known as the most epic online shopping day of the year.

So, you can get on board and shop Amazon or the big box stores' websites. But also consider visiting some awesome eco-chic online retailers to get your shopping fix while doing good. Below are two to check out that both have great gifts and gift services.

One example is A Green Wardrobe. Check out their amazing clearance section with items up to 80% off, plus you can get 10% off by signing up for their email newsletter. I'm particularly in love with this Article 23 Weller Shirt if you have a guy to shop for on you list. The black stripes give the look of suspenders and will be perfect at any prohibition style cocktail party!

Another great website to check out today is Gretchen & Grace who is having a crazy amazing 50% off everything sale right now! Once you've found the perfect gift, let Gretchen and Grace gift wrap it for you with their Eco Friendly wrapping service using paper designed and printed in the USA on 100% recycled paper with soy-based inks. They also use 100% recycled boxes, tissue, and ribbon to wrap your gift. Plus there are attractive papers to choose from, which is exactly what all you EcoFashionistas love - style and respect for the environment. Check out a swatch of the Chilly Dog pattern!

Stay tuned for more holiday gift and shopping guides this December. Have an item or website you'd like us to feature? Just leave it in the comments below.

15 November 2011

Guest Post: Eco Fashion on a Student Budget

Photo: College Students Leave a lot behind. MSNBC.com
Sometimes fashionable ethical clothing is difficult to come by within a student budget, as it usually requires more craftsmanship. If you are a student in online graduate programs or at a traditional campus, you might be broke, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have ethical clothing options.

It helps to look for discounts at boutiques and thrift shops. Although boutiques are the more pricy option, something may be on sale that you love. Buying used clothing is better for the environment and for your budget than supporting the products produced new in factories, and working from thrift stores or found items will give you some creative inspiration for your wardrobe.

It will definitely be more affordable to change your wardrobe gradually. Some staples that can be used in a variety of ways will help you buy fewer clothes in general. Hand-dyed sarongs, wraps and scarves can be really versatile and can be used as a head wrap or purse.

Since eco-friendly clothing can sometimes be difficult to find, if you find a design you like that is too large or is damaged, see if you can negotiate a discount. You can also repair or alter the garment yourself with a needle and thread, or even some simple patches.

It is possible to look fashionable while still dressing ethically, even when you're on a shoestring student budget. Although it takes a little more work to find ethically sourced materials, your efforts are always worth it as you are making an investment in the planet.

This is a guest post from Anthony Garcia from Online Graduate Programs, written exclusively for EcoFashionistas.

17 October 2011

Think Big Forum at Chatham University

Featured Speaker Susan Koger of ModCloth
Part of changing the world through responsible fashion is thinking big... really big! And what do you know, Chatham University in Pittsburgh is hosting the 6th Annual Think Big Forum this Friday, October 21st. Although it's not specifically an eco-fashion event, Susan Gregg Koger, the lead buyer and Chief Creative Officer of ModCloth, is one of the featured speakers.

ModCloth is also based in Pittsburgh and is a pioneer of vintage online shopping. The e-commerce site started by selling vintage pieces Koger found in local thrift shops and has now expended to carrying thousands of pieces vintage inspired kitschy clothing, shoes and accessories. Basically, if you haven't heard of them, you've been living under a rock.

The theme of the forum is "Branding and the Customer Experience". It will feature keynote speaker Maxine Clark, CEO and Founder of Build a Bear Workshop, and a panel discussion with regional women executives and entrepreneurs about creating strong brands that drive greater engagement through meaningful customer interactions and ways to develop personal brands for greater business success.

I think this really ties into eco-fashion because in order to make ethical fashion successful and the mainstream choice for consumers, our brands need to be branded and marketed effectively. Engagement is key in spreading understanding of eco-fashion, what it is and how to support it.  Register for the forum here.

22 September 2011

Pittsburgh Fashion Week: The Eco Show

A Karen Page Design
Pittsburgh Fashion Week is coming up and among the local boutiques and fashion forward looks there will be a dedicated Eco Chic Show. This show will feature local artists and designers, many of whom I have worked with before. The line up includes: Lana Neumeyer, Karen Page, Keith Bloom, Jerry Floyd, Designer Days Boutique and Armani Nejor. Unique costumes for the Introduction will be designed by MJ Whalen Couture. 

Of course the focus is eco-fashion, but we can't leave out some gorgeous green beauty as well. The hair and makeup will be by Glam Earth Natural & Organic Beauty Boutique, a store located just south of Pittsburgh in Washington, PA. 

I love when eco-friendly fashion also become ethical fashion by contributing to our community and those in need. This show will do just that by auctioning off some of the original pieces with proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus, a project presented by Trib Total Media which helps to distribute food across Western PA.

The Eco Chic Show will take place from 6 – 7pm Saturday, October 1st at the Clarion Hotel in Greentree. Hope you can make it!

01 September 2011

Still time this Summer for Eco Swim

Although summer is winding down, there is still one key beach weekend left and I'm sure many more days of sun. Not to mention getaways to exotic locales! I think tha swimsuits are naturally inclined to be eco friendly because they're so small to begin with, they don't require a lot of fabric and you don't put  them in the dryer either. But we can always improve! And that's just what Aqua Green has done with their Eco Swim collection.

Eco Swim by Aqua Green is leading the charge for a better and more sustainable tomorrow. As a fourth generation family owned company they believe their family has a responsibility to your family to reduce our environmental impact. They design, fit, source, cut and sew in their home state of Pennsylvania (also my home state and where I'm writing this post as we speak!).

Of course we all want to reduce our carbon footprint, and nowhere is this highlighted better than at the beach where you want clean beaches and safe conditions.  From bottle to beach and plastic to poolside, these chic suits are all made from recycled materials.

Check out this video that highlights some of the brands eco initiatives and goes behind the scenes at their latest photo shoot.

30 August 2011

Ultra 10: 10 Items for 365 Days

The Ultra 10 Collection is the winner of the Ethical Fashion Forum INNOVATION Award 2011 as judged by VOGUE Editors and International Ethical Fashion Leaders. This innovative line features a ten piece wardrobe that should get you through all 365 days of the year.

The ULTRA 10 is made of modular and interchangeable pieces like a 4-in-1 Coat/Dress/Jacket/Skirt and a 2-in-1 Jacket/Vest. Almost everything is black (the perennial color of fashion), apart from one white blouse.

With this way of life, I think accessories will be key. A bright scarf, funky jewelry and statement shoes will ensure that your 10 items feel fresh and new each time you put them together. My favorite item has to be the mini-skirt. Click through to see the full collection and let us know what is your favorite.

The full 10-piece set includes:
The Vest
The Backless Top
The Cropped Top
The White Shirt/dress
The Skirt
The Top/Dress
The Stretch Pants
The Cotton Trousers
The 2-in-1 Blazer
The 4-in-1 Coat-Dress-Jacket-Skirt

To make it even more eco friendly, the pieces in the line are made of recycled and organic materials. Not only that, but you may return the ULTRA 10 at the end of each year for a fresh supply. The items you return will be recycled or re-purposed into new usable materials.

22 July 2011

Feral Childe Design Copied by Forever 21

Feral Childe print top, Forever 21 below
Many of you may have heard about the lawsuit filed by Feral Childe against Forever 21. The fast fashion mega retailer has come into the spotlight countless times over copyright infringement, but this is one of the first cases I've heard of that concerns a much loved ethical line.

I have long appreciated Feral Childe's work and even wore one of their tops at Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver last fall. One of my colleagues forwarded me an email from the designers about this ordeal. I wanted to share that letter with all of you, I think it really highlights all the hard work Alice and Moriah put into the line. Forever 21's abuse of creativity needs to stop.

Please read the letter below and do your part by sharing, tweeting, emailing and re-posting this story.

Dear friends,

A few weeks ago, we discovered one of our prints appearing on garments manufactured by Forever 21--a large, major retailer. Feral Childe's artwork was used without our permission or knowledge, and appears on multiple styles sold in the Forever 21 stores and on their website.  Some styles have even received press. The print is our hand-drawn Teepees, widely featured in Feral Childe's Fall 2009 Collection School Play. Many of you have leggings, jeans, and dresses or other garments featuring our Teepees. The Forever 21 garments appear to reproduce Teepees exactly. If compared side by side you would not be able to distinguish any difference in the artwork.

Feral Childe has always strived to bring you the very best in innovative, ethically-produced clothing that is made to last. When we first started out we could only dream about the day when we'd be able to design our own fabrics. With the support of our community--friends, family, collaborators, showroom, suppliers, contractors, and our loyal customers--we have grown the business to be able to offer our very original, very personal hand-drawn textile designs to you each season.

For the past fifteen years, we have dedicated ourselves to this artistic partnership.  Feral Childe's designs are the product of these years invested in our deep friendship and artistic training. We create textile designs reflecting a singular aesthetic voice.  It can take months for us to develop Feral Childe's prints. The creative process begins with the two of us sitting side by side drawing and painting together and continues as we comment, critique and edit until we perfect the print design.

Through our hard work, Feral Childe has been sold in more than 70 independent retailers in the US and Japan. We feel fortunate to have weathered the recession and to be able to continue to do what we love. Even with our successes, we are a tiny company. Each wholesale account is a personal relationship nurtured over the course of seasons. Each customer we meet inspires us to design something better for you next time. If you are reading this, we could not have come this far without you. It simply is not fair that another party profits from artwork that was not created by them, was not their idea, and does not belong to them.

Forever 21 has unfairly profited from Feral Childe's years of artistic development. Without any consideration or respect for the origin of the artwork, Forever 21's mass reproduction of our textile design without our permission is extremely unethical, and in direct violation of the law.  It's frustrating that this enormous company, with over a billion dollars a year in revenues, would dare to poach the artistic creations of a small company such as ours.

Our Teepees design is protected by law, registered with the US Copyright Office.  When we sent Forever 21 our cease and desist letter regarding this copyright infringement, Forever 21 denied liability and even stated that perhaps Feral Childe copied the design from another source. Once we received that outrageous response, our attorneys filed a lawsuit, currently pending in Federal Court in Los Angeles. We hope that you might show your support for Feral Childe by spreading the word. Tell your friends, or forward, comment, post, retweet the articles below. We thank you in advance.


Alice & Moriah