Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fashion’s Cause Célèbre: World Peace

Ask me how I would define fashion and I’ll provide you a sketch. Albeit poorly drawn, it would be a spectrum of images beginning with draping fabric (aka “Toga” or “Grecian Goddess”) fastened by an ornate brooch or fancy knot paired with sole to the earth sandals, followed by corsets and men in tights, then delicate Victorian collars and tweed suits, the little black dress (thank you, Audrey!), the little black mini (thank you, Madonna!), and then menswear for women feminized with Manolo Blahniks or Christian Louboutins.

I’m not a fashion designer but I suspect our definition would be similar. Fashion is a perspective, social commentary, and personal dialogue with his/her muses. Fashion is also a mood that influences what you put on in the morning. Today, I want to channel Audrey, so I’ll slip on my Givenchy-inspired black dress.

What is definitive is that fashion speaks volumes. It sends messages daily of who we are through the clothes we wear and how they are worn. Its fashion personified.

Eventually, we evolve and so does fashion. Fashion will always be a source of personal identification, but now it challenges us to use our resources, time and awareness to invest in others. Designer Kenneth Cole pioneered a subtle yet compelling ad campaign addressing the AIDs epidemic in 1985. Honestly, I remembered learning about AIDs in freshman Health class but it was Cole’s bold ads that inspired me to act. I attribute my appreciation for cultural diversity in large part to Benetton.

Today, instead of sending a check to your favorite charity, you may opt to attend the organization’s fashion-themed fundraiser. Shop the silent auction or trunk show while learning how you can save the environment or support a group of artisans in Guatemala.

The Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) is one such organization. In an effort to promote its mission, and in particular its Schools for Africa Project, the tradition of hosting a fashion show started in Japan and is now duplicated by its counterparts worldwide.

Caroline Betancourt, Vice President of the DC Chapter of WFWP, finds a commonality between fashion and peacebuilders.

“Fashion is an international art form beyond words to create a common bond,” says Caroline Betancourt, “which is similar to peace building.”

On Sunday, December 9, Washingtonians will convene at The Washington Times building to watch six international fashion designers present their designs at the 2nd Annual Fashion for World Peace fashion show.

Among them will be Ghanaian fashion designer, Afua Sam of Studio D-MAXSI.

The sought-after designer returns to the runway to present her latest collection of women’s apparel. However, the real goal is to support issues that affect women.

“The number one issue for me is female empowerment,” Ms. Sam said. “It is so important for young girls around the world to be empowered in all they do, whether it is academia or the arts. When the confidence of women are reinforced thus empowered, it makes for a better world. Women are such a source of strength for all mankind that enriching, educating and nurturing the female child is in essence making the world a better place.”

As producer of the show, Natasha Bryson of REDgemini, hopes the event draws a diverse audience.

“I think fashion is one of those things that any and everyone can identify with,” Bryson said. “Fashion essentially becomes the drawing card used to deliver the bigger message.”

Ms. Sam could not agree more.

“Fashion is a vehicle for social awareness,” Ms. Sam said. “A lot of people see fashion as fluffy and materialistic, however fashion is an industry that provides employment to so many around the world, it allows individuals to show their creativity and it serves as a source of income. My goal with Afua's Foundation is to raise awareness about issues that are important to me and utilize my work as a designer to provide as much financial support as I can through fundraisers, donations and personal contributions.”

Studio D-Maxsi will share the runway with renowned fashion designers Alek Risminic Couture, Estella Couture-Nigeria, Lenny Yorke, Magnami Style & Co, and Shaka King.

In addition to a silent auction, the WFWP will present its Ambassador of Peace award to Carol Schwartz, At-Large City Council member and Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, California’s 33rd District of the House of Representatives in recognition for their contributions to peace building, education and human rights for women and children.

WFWP, USA is based on the belief that the family is the cornerstone for peace in the world, and that mature couples are the foundation for strong and loving families. WFWP, USA encourages every woman to become a "woman of peace" through cultivating her mother’s heart, to care for all children and families throughout the world, by developing and utilizing the qualities of empathy, forgiveness, and unconditional love. For more information, visit www.fashionforpeace.org.

Ask someone what fashion means to them and hopefully you will hear the words catalyst for change.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can Fashion Fight Poverty?

Borrowing from the title of a recent forum sponsored by Fashion Fights Poverty, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, a panel of experts enlightened an audience of fashion mavens and activists on the global landscape of poverty.

According to UNICEF, one billion children live in poverty – half of the world’s population of children. Six million children die from malnutrition before their fifth birthday every year. 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 work in developing countries. Startling numbers in an age where wealth knows no boundaries.

The fashion industry - in collaboration with international humanitarian organizations and fair trade federations - have a solution: creating sustainable economic markets through employing local artisans (of working age) and using environmentally-sound methods to produce fabric. For an industry that is the mastermind behind fads, this is an idea that took root more than five years ago. However, the fad is growing in momentum and the international community sees room for improvement.

The forum provided a platform for experts to share challenges and solutions. A representative from UNESCO calls for capacity-building, investing in local markets, and creating networks for local artisans.

Kimberley Person of Gecko Traders, a Virginia-based fair trade company, cited difficulties working in developing countries but has found success in implementing sustainable employment strategies as a method to alleviate poverty. This sensible and long-term approach is at the heart of the fair trade industry, which has become a $220 billion industry – we love fair-traded products!

The panelists were quick to point out the one person not seated amongst them. That person occupied the seat across the room. An equal player in alleviating poverty is you, the consumer. Stop and think about it. Where do your clothes come from? Where was it produced? How was it produced? By whom was it produced?

It is disturbing to think that while hundreds of thousands of children take to the streets peddling everything from candy to themselves worldwide, we agonize over what to wear to an upcoming gala or whether or not we want the Prada or Louis Vitton handbag. This is not a guilt versus selfish argument I’m making. It is more an argument for responsibility. As echoed in earlier blogs, each and everyone of us has a responsibility to our environment and social infrastructure beginning with awareness. Just as you may be aware of the harmful effects of sun damage, you may want to consider the origin of that $300 blouse – was the fabric dyed or spun from 100% organic cotton? Was it sewn by the hands of a 6-year-old or working-aged adult for $1.00 an hour or a decent living wage? Was it made in the confines of a safe environment or a poorly vented warehouse?

These are not tough questions, but the answers are not always easy to find. Sure, transparency is more widely enforced than ten years ago but what anti-poverty groups want to know is where are you willing to draw the line?

If anyone or anything should raise such questions, it should be the fashion industry. These are provocative questions coming from a provocative industry. It is only fitting that an industry synonymous with self-expression, innovation and trendsetting, plays a role in alleviating artisans and communities out of poverty.

The third annual Fashion Fights Poverty Fashion Show followed on the heels of the forum, igniting further attention to global poverty and global issues.

The show featured eight international designers selected because of their commitment to ethical fashion. The designers hail from the far reaches of Russia to Brazil unified in implementing eco-friendly practices and sustainable economic development throughout its supply chain.

“This kind of fashion is just as much as Vogue as it is Greenpeace,” said Michael Dumlao, co-founder of Fight Fights Poverty.

This year’s beneficiary was Aid to Artisans, an international non-profit focused on preserving artisan traditions through sustainable economic and social development for craftspeople worldwide. Past beneficiaries included United Nations Developmental Programs and Bead for Life.

“We are fighting fashion through beauty,” said Clare Brett Smith, President Emerita of Aid to Artisans.

I would be remised if I did not comment on the fashion show itself. Rickey Medlocke from Lynyrd Skynyrd fame, led the catwalk with guitar, courtesy of Gibson Guitars (eco-wood), in hand showing off the craftsmanship of Elizabeth Muir, the self-titled clothing label. “Sweet Home Alabama” rocked the house as the models strutted in the Afghanistan-inspired cloaks and accessories met with rock, country influences. The ready-to-wear portion of the evening concluded with Organia, a collection of feminine mini frocks and loungy tracksuits created by Miami-based designer Janelle Funair and graphic artist and designer Rodrigo Londono.

The intermission did not let you off the hook. Not that you would have wanted to make a run for the restroom or chocolate room – yes, a heavenly-scented room of chocolate. Guests refrained temptation in order to learn more about the beneficiary, Aid to Artisans, and watch the wives of the NBA Wizards model accessories by local craftsmen supported by Aid to Artisans and The D.C. Fashionista Group’s very own Abigail deCasanova. The finale was reserved for designers showcasing haute couture. My Signature Look had the pleasure of assisting the design duos behind Ecliptica. Norein and Michelle Otero presented evening cocktail attire favored by celebrities such as Hilary Duff, Roselyn Sanchez, Dayanara Torres, Carmen Dominicci and 2001 Miss Universe, Denise Quinones. The use of sequins and satin fabric was timely given to the volume of sequined mini dresses and tops found in every major chain department store, but they capitalized on their Spanish culture in the chosen vibrant colors and patterns. For a second, you imagine every female the luxury of wearing a dress so pretty.

But the reality is, no stress caused dressing 15 women in a matter of seconds compares to the stress of earning enough money to feed your family daily. Awareness may reveal ugly images, which is contrary to the glamour associated with the fashion industry. However, thanks to organizations such as Fashion Fights Poverty and Bono’s One Campaign, not only is global poverty more visible, these campaigns are providing real solutions, raising awareness and bringing an ever-increasing number of fashionably responsible options to you. If buying Edun or Del Forte jeans is not realistic at this time, then act by educating yourself and others on the issues, volunteering at an organization that addresses global poverty issues, or simply make a commitment to be part of the solution.

To find out more about global poverty and ethical fashion, check out the following links:

Aid to Artisans
Bead for Life
Ethical Fashion Forum
Fashion Fights Poverty
Fair Trade Federation
Gecko Traders
United Nations Association

To shop local examples of responsible dressing, check out these D.C. retailers:

Alex Boutique - clothing
American Apparel - clothing
Pangea World Market – clothing, accessories
Relish - clothing
Setchi Boutique – clothing, accessories
Tabar Boutique - handbags

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

D.C. Fashion Week Goes International

D.C. Fashion Week came to a close September 30, culminating in the Cojor International Fashion Show featuring a contingent of international designers such as Yosoy Fashion, Studio D-Maxsi, Motlapele, Symbat, and Sophia Ali. Runway Africa jumpstarted the week with what could be described as electrifying, followed by collections from Central Asia’s leading fashion house, Symbat, and four international designers in the Ethical Fashion Show.

Did I mention this was D.C. Fashion Week? After all, the nation’s capital is the epicenter of multiculturalism and international designers speak ready-to-wear and haute couture.

My Signature Look had the fortune of styling the Suutra collection for the International Ethical Fashion Show. Suutra was founded by two Indian women, Avni Jamdar and Mona Shah, to offer contemporary women’s apparel and accessories while creating sustainable employment opportunities for women artisans in India. Suutra’s clothing integrates a sophisticated fashion aesthetic with exquisite, age-old artisan techniques. In support of the sustainable and green movement, the fabrics are organic and eco-friendly that do not harm the environment. The models walked the runway as if they were going to a farmer’s market or meeting a friend for coffee – moderate pace, hips swaying, and smiling. The outfits were accessorized with CG Originals’ colorful beads and silver and high-quality handbags from TABAR Boutique.

Priya Pratel, founder of Avani Ribbon, produced the show in collaboration with Fashion for Development, a project started by Pratel at the World Bank. Pratel’s mission to promote ethical and emerging market designers became realized through the show’s mix of trade show and fashion show. Vendors and designers, whom all endorsed an Ethical Code of Conduct, impressed the attendees and each other with natural fabrics transformed into exquisite clothing, precious jewelry, and durable handbags. The union of creative talent sparked future business relationships and impulse purchases that validated the night’s purpose.

The week’s events brought the world to us. We sat entranced by the bold use of color and fabrics that conveyed the designer’s worldview - perhaps influenced by their cultural identity and belief system. If there were any shared views, then I hope it was in the social responsibility we have to sustain an industry built on fairness and respect for workers and the environment.

Save the Date: D.C. Fashion Week Spring 2008 February 24 - March 2, 2008. Don’t forget your passport!

For more information about Avani Ribbon and the other participating designers and vendors visit www.avaniribbon.com. Photos of Suutra collection posted above (see Avani Ribbon for more pictures of this collection).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

D.C.: Mecca for Politics, Activism, and now, Fashion"

Washington D.C. is a haven of sorts for the avant-garde. In the founding fathers’ wisdom, the nation’s capitol attracts lawmakers, lobbyists, social activists, entrepreneurs, and artists, bringing a worldview shaped by color, structure, the abstract, and ambition. Their activities vary depending on interests and economic means but all hand over their credit cards or cash to a sales associate who all too eagerly carefully places their boutique bargain or department store annual sale item into a bag. Here, it is who you know and how you dress that often leads to returned calls.

This “economic union” has poured millions into the district. Last year alone, the apparel industry was the fourth largest in retail revenue. That is quite impressive when DC tends to don a timeless uniform. But that is changing. The U Street Cordozo area is quickly becoming the equivalent of an urban chicdom. Drop into Lettie Gooch and strut away in a curvy pair of jeans by Salt Works, or pick up a Kara Janx dress at Pink November a couple of blocks away, or stop by Nana on upper 15th and U Street and dress yourself in independent designers like Preloved and House of Spy. While you are at it, slip your feet into a funky pair of heels at Wild Women Wear Red or vintage at The Junction.

Granted a legislative aid may not be able to afford boutique prices but that doesn’t stop them from inspecting sale items at Urban Chic, Sugar or Valise in Georgetown. The real challenge all DC residents have is finding local designer labels grace the racks of boutiques and chain retailers.

Yet, attend any DC Fashionista meeting and you leave feeling like you have just been to a tradeshow. Local designers are all too eager to show photos of their jewelery, handbags, and clothes or you might have the pleasure of seeing such works of art up close.

Such opportunity will hopefully become more mainstream if the Washington DC Council has its way. The Council is the brainchild behind the proposed Commission on Fashion Arts and Events Establishment Act (Bill 17-0173). The Council successfully gained the support of three Council members who introduced the bill in April.

The bill’s fate is now in the hands of the Committee for Economic Development before going to the full council for vote. The Act calls for a 15-member advisory commission to oversee four primary objectives: promote DC as a destination for fashion events, develop support services for local designers and stylists, create educational opportunities for students interested in the fashion industry, and designate a fashion retail corridor.

If enacted, D.C. will be joining the ranks of other major metropolitan fashion meccas such as New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, the latter being the most recent where the city appointed a full-time member as the liaison between the fashion community and city government.

Imagine for a moment ladies going weeks without running into a peer wearing your Ann Taylor suit or H&M bold-printed jumper. Imagine saving your gas by opting to shop in DC’s version of Soho instead of trekking up to the real thing? Imagine attending a fashion show where the headliners are graduates of a DC fashion institute? These are the possibilities afforded to us if such Act was adopted.

Our fashion visionaries at the DC Fashion Council, which currently serves as an Advisory Body consisting of designers and industry leaders to promote the fashion industry in DC, is to thank. The Council is in the process of obtaining its 501c6 status which enables the group to lobby and register members. Christine Brooks Cropper and Mariessa Terrell White, founders of the Council, plan to further develop partnerships between the fashion and business communities that they believe will increase economic activity and improve quality of life.

To galvanize support for the bill, the DC Fashionistas, a consortium of fashion industry professionals, will be staging a rally Monday, September 24. Organizers of the event plan to offer demonstrations by local stylists, a fashion show, and expected speeches by council members in support of the bill. The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Freedom Plaza.

Fashionistas, and well just about anyone who shops!, are encouraged to write a letter to their Council member and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty expressing support of the bill.

The beauty of this bill is that everyone benefits. From the politician to the schoolteacher, from the consumer to the makeup artist, from the fashion-challenged to the fashion stylist, DC can and should lead the nation in being a fashion trendsetter.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Covering Up Can Save Your Life

In case you didn’t get the memo, summer is in full force which means wearing tank tops and short shorts or mini-skirts have become the dress code for accommodating sweltering temperatures. (Actually, pair shorts and mini-skirts with a loose, voluminous shirt for balance; where’s the mystery in tight-fitting clothes?)

Unfortunately, I ignored the memo about the harmful effects of skin damage and may very well pay the consequences (amongst the numerous freckles on my arms and my face are varied-sized white spots, indication of skin damage). Thankfully, odd-shaped moles and/or increasing-sized brown spots have yet to surface but what about in five to 10 years from now? I don’t have to wait to hear those scary words “skin cancer” before I take action, all I need to do is look at family history. As one of ten kids, our Mexican-Irish heritage produced a range of skin tones. My likeness to Irish left me faired skin and prone to sunburns growing up. Despite my mother’s warnings, I lathered up in baby oil or Coppertone Sun Tanning lotion only to radiate in hot pink - not exactly the beautiful brown some of siblings possessed. Fast-forward 20 years and while I tend to tan instead of burn oddly enough, several of my older siblings are experiencing the results of childhood sun-bakes. Their frequent trips to the dermatologist to have pre-cancerous moles removed was the alarm I needed to change my relationship with the sun. I will always be a heat monger and rely on the sun to boost my energy and mood, but I choose to engage from a distance. That distance that separates me from my once-beloved friend is SPF moisturizers and body lotion and now fabrics that contain UVA and UVB protection.

To learn about skin cancer and how to prevent it, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Web site at http://www.skincancer.org.

A few factoids: (source: Skin Cancer Foundation)

• UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing is a colorless compound that shields those parts of the body most likely to be overexposed to the sun.
• Effective sun-protective clothes have an UPF of 15 – 50+
• Darker-colored fabrics are more effective than lighter fabrics at blocking out the sun (white tees only have an average of sun protection factor SPF 7, yet a long-sleeved dark denim shirt offers an SPF 1,700!)
• When washing clothes, add specialized laundry detergents that contain sun-protective ingredients such as Rit Sun Guard test.
• Opt for high-luster polyesters and thin satiny silk due to their blocking of radiation.

Sun-Protective Clothing, Accessories and Beauty Products

BTC Innovations Casual Clothing
Clothing with UPF 30 – 50+

Solar Eclipse – http://www.solareclipse.com
Offers clothing and accessories for adults, youth, and children

Solumbra – http://www.sunprecautions.com/shop.asp
Shaun Hughes experienced the harmful effects of sun damage the hard way – skin cancer. After beating the odds, Hughes turned his experience into a fashion crusade by developing Solumbra, a line of sun-protective clothing that blocks more than 97% of UVA and UVB rays. The clothing is most advantageous for medically sun sensitive people; however, everyone can benefit from the range of hats, shirts, skirts, and accessories.

Sun Protection Clothing – http://www.sunprotectionclothing.com
Online shopping for UPF-certified tees, sweatshirts/hoodies, children’s swimwear, and accessories.

SPF 15 Oil-Free Moisturizer and 30 Healthy Defense daily moisturizer light tint. I don’t leave the house without wearing this dermatological-approved moisturizer.

Kiss My Face Sun Swat – http://www.chopinchemists.com
Remember to spray on this sunscreen and natural bug repellent before heading to the beach or mountains.

Korres Yogurt After-Sun Face and Body Gel - http://www.chopinchemists.com
Cool down inflamed skin with this soothing gel.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Running in Style

I recently ran in my fourth half-marathon through the scenic wine country north of Santa Barbara, California (think “Sideways”). The soft rolling hills took my breath away (Ok, some shortness of breath was on account of the steep inclines!) but it was snazzy running shoes and colorful skorts donned by fellow runners that caught my eye. Yes, I admit, even while engaging in the sport of running, I steal quick glimpses of runners from head to toe. This is not always a pleasing experience (i.e., the robust male and female in spandex shorts); however, on occasion I’m impressed by the latest high-tech sneakers paired with loose fit running shorts and a cute motif tee. Now, I’m not advocating for spending hours planning your outfit to wear running around the track but sportswear designers are making it more fun to dress the part. Walk into any running store and you are forced to pass racks of apparel before you reach the shoes. Nike, Adidas, Asics, Reebok, and Champion all offer coordinated pieces in bright hues and standard black, white and grey. Look for lightweight material such as Lycra, cotton blends and mesh stretch panels, in the case of shorts, for breathable and quick-dry wear.

Of course, not everyone is a runner, but sportswear is fast becoming synonymous with healthy lifestyles – or at least looking like it. Scarlett Johansson is a perfect example. The 22-year-old actress claims she never exercises yet she teamed up with Reebok to create a line of funky sneakers, leggings, and hooded tunics called “Scarlett Hearts RBK.” Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg, real fashion designers, have designed a line of “lifestyle” shoes for adidas and tennis dresses for Reebok, respectively. The spring 2007 runways featured sports-inspired collections from the likes of Marni, Cynthia Rowley, MaxMara and Jean Paul Gaultier in tunics, leggings, and anoraks.

There is no doubt that sportswear is comfortable, but if there is one rule I can impart, sweatpants, sweatbands, spandex shorts (rather spandex anything!) should only be worn while exercising! Hit the streets in a pair of dark jeans (Levi’s Eco Jeans) with a long tee (American Apparel) under a zip-up hoodie (Scarlett Hearts RBK or Urban Outfitters) and Tom’s canvas shoes. If there is one sport conducive to designer sportswear it is walking. So take a leisurely stroll to your favorite park in style!

The majority of brands listed below participate in environmental and worker’s rights efforts.

Sportswear for Exercising
adidas - http://www.adidas.com/us/shared/home.asp
Asics – http://www.asics.com
Hincapie Sportswear - http://www.hincapiesports.com/index.php
Nike - http://www.nike.com
Reebok footwear - http://www.rbk.com/us/rbkrunning/
Run and Become – http://www.runandbecome.com
Umbro – http://www.umbro.com

Sportswear for Lifestyle
Emporio Armani for Product (RED) - http://www.joinred.com/products2.asp
Gaiam - http://www.gaiam.com/retail/Apparel?CMP=KNC-booyah&atlas=true&gcid=S18376x001&keyword=eco%20friendly%20apparel
Lucy - http://www.lucy.com/
Patagonia – http://www.patagonia.com
Scarlett Hearts RBK - http://www.rbk.com/us/scarlett/
Tom’s Shoes - http://www.tomsshoes.com/

To learn more about the sportswear industry and fair labor practices, check out the following organizations:

The Life of Football Factory Workers in Thailand. Report by Clean Clothes Campaign, http://www.cleanclothes.org/publications/06-06_tlc.htm

Fair Labor Association. http://www.fairlabor.org

Sportswear Brands ‘Offside’ on Workers’ Rights. Report by Oxfam International, http://www.oxfamamerica.org/newsandpublications/publications/research_reports/research_paper.2006-05-23.7997564894

Play Fair at the Olympics. http://www.fairolympics.org/background.html

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Fashion Embraces Mother Earth

On April 22, we rolled up our sleeves to give Mother Earth a much-needed facelift. We picked up trash along rivers, at parks, and in our neighborhoods, planted trees, or participated in recycling drives. Our efforts may have revealed a beauty once suffocated by layers of debris; however, the day has come and passed and the layers have re-surfaced.

The protection of our Earth is everyone’s responsibility and collectively, we can reverse, if I may use a cliché, the signs of aging. We don’t have to look farther than our closets to create change. Thankfully, the fashion industry is taking strides to develop and promote “eco-friendly” apparel and beauty products.

Join me in supporting the following designers who have demonstrated a concerted effort to use sustainable materials and fair working conditions.

Eco-Friendly Fashion Designers and Retailers


All Undesigned by Carol Young – www.undesigned.com
Carol Young designs womenswear made from recycled-clothing and activewear materials.

Ciel - www.ciel.ltd.uk/
Sarah Ratty, the designer behind Conscious Earthwear, brings Ciel – a collection of women’s wear made with organic cotton.

Del Forte Denim – www.delforte.com
Tierra Del Forte lives up to her name (Tierra in Spanish means Earth) by designing 100% organic denim jeans. This salt of the earth designer contributes to The Sustainable Cotton Project (www.sustainablecotton.org), which promotes sustainable and organic cotton. A portion of Del Forte Denim’s proceeds will go to support The SCP.

Alessandro DeVito – http://inhabitat.com/2007/01/07/sans-future-forward-fashion/
Couture designers Alessandro DeVito and Lika Volkova are the creators of SANS, an eco-conscious collection of sustainable materials such as wool, tussah silk, bamboo and soy used to produce fashion-forward garments.

Edun – www.edun.ie
Ali Hewson, her husband Bono, and menswear designer Rogan Gregory joined forces two years ago to create Edun, a socially-conscious clothing line that promotes sustainable employment for developing areas in the world.

Loomstate – www.loomstate.org
You’ll find 100% organic cotton tees with environmental motifs that are too cool to pass up.

Stewart + Brown – www.stewartbrown.com
This husband and wife designer duo live up to their title as “Organic Pioneers” by supporting “1% for the Planet,” an alliance of small businesses that pay a voluntary earth tax and donate 1% of all sales to non-profit, non-governmental environmental organizations.

Online Retailers

Azalea Online – www.azalea.com
Shop eco-Azalea for all the latest trends made of sustainable materials.

Equal Clothing - www.equaclothing.com
Eco-friendly Web site that offers stylish eco-fashion labels, including Hug jeans, People Tree and Ciel.

The Green Loop - www.thegreenloop.com
When you shop from The Green Loop you are supporting its mission: “Green Life. Green Style.”

People Tree - www.peopletree.co.uk
Since 1997, People Tree has promoted fair trade and organic materials in the production of apparel.

Traid - www.traid.org.uk
This company recycles 2,000 tons of clothes each year. Check out their summer dresses and jackets.

Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Burt’s Bees – www.burtsbees.com

Green with Glamour - www.greenwithglamour.com

Inara – www.inaraorganic.com

John Masters Organic – www.johnmasters.com

Kiehl’s – www.kiehls.com

Articles and More Information on Eco-Fashion

What is up with Eco-Fashion?

Eco-Fashion 101

Green Card: Eco-Fashion Steps Up

Organic and Eco-Fashion