There was a time when finding stylish eco-friendly clothing was about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Tie-dyed hemp tunics, anyone? No thank you! But these days, given that green is the new black, clothes claiming to be organic, eco-friendly, and sustainable abound.
The trick now is to wade through the green-washing (a term that refers to potentially false, misleading, or simply exaggerated or under-researched claims of a clothing item’s planet friendliness) to get to the good stuff. One way to do this is to turn to Fashion Takes Action (www.fashiontakesaction.com), an organization founded by ultimate eco-fashionista and PR maven Kelly Drennan that provides the perfect balance of social conscience and fashion consciousness.
Drennan and her crew promote eco-awareness in the fashion world in a variety of ways, including the Design Forward award, which marks the first time an award has been created in an attempt to completely pull back the curtain on what goes on behind the scenes in the eco-fashion world. What Drennan wants is to reveal the good, the bad, and the not-so-green”and to celebrate the true achievers.
Here are some Canadian designers and companies that are FTA-approved and truly green, in the most ultra fashionable way possible. Time to go shopping!
Designer Sonja den Elzen’s Thieves won the Design Forward award, and deservedly so (main image is Thieves jumpsuit). Thieves ” the shop is on Toronto’s Queen West” offers a cache of clothing that combines cutting edge style with sustainable substance. The clothing at Thieves is made from sustainable fabrics such as hemp blends, tussah silks, organic wools, organic cottons, lyocell, bamboo, and soy. The philosophy behind the clothing line is about reclaiming a sense of expression while staying true to our landscape, and conversely, the stewardship of our planet. Aside from their unquestionable eco-consciousness, the clothes den Elzen designs are at turns sexy, whimsical, ethereal and grounded in on-trend sensibility. Visit thieves.ca for more info.
The women behind Elladora are friends Amelia Musselman and Constance O’Heare are attempting to foster sustainable change with their gorgeous line of clothing, all made from natural and organic materials and constructed in Canada using fair trade labour. Elladora’s truly adorable clothing line for summer includes pretty-with-a-pin-up-girl edge sundresses, skirts, and tops and a fantastic line of retro-inspired swimsuits that are pure Betty Page with green sensibilities. Visit elladorashoppe.com for more info.
Paper People Clothing
The brainchild of Jennifer Fukushima, Paper People Clothing uses recycled and reclaimed fabrics to create a line that’s funky and fresh. Fukushima also uses bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton to construct her eclectic styles. And she ascribes to a variety of waste-reducing practices. For example, she donates all unusable scraps of fabric to local artists, crafters and community groups, and her company is Bullfrog Powered. Visit paperpeopleclothing.com for more info