Sustainable fashion is often a hit-or-miss proposition. On season 12 of Project Runway, aspiring sustainable designer Timothy Westbrook showed just how difficult it can be to execute eco-friendly fashion – and what a challenge it can be to get people to appreciate and understand it. Let’s face it: when you think about eco-conscious fashion, you probably picture someone in a baggy, hand-dyed tunic and hemp sandals. But there’s so much more to the story than that. Every year, more and more big-name fashion designers and celebrities are demonstrating that green fashion can be high-fashion. And though we’re not even a month into 2014, we’re feeling optimistic that the eco-trend will continue to flourish this year.
Awards season is in full-swing right now, and plenty of stars are continuing to live up to Livia Firth’s ongoing Green Carpet Challenge. Just a few weeks ago, actress Cate Blanchett accepted a Golden Globe for her performance in Blue Jasmine in a pair of dazzling Chopard earrings crafted from Fairmined gold and conflict-free diamonds that shone like the light of an eco-friendly candle. These stunning earrings managed to be ethical and still reach the heights of high fashion. And Blanchett wasn’t the only Blue Jasmine actor representing eco-conscious fashion at the Globes: her co-star Sally Hawkins chose vintage Dior, showing how classic couture can have a high-fashion impact while using few resources. Meanwhile, our favorite Golden Globes presenter Emma Thompson and her daughter raided Williams Vintage for their iconic Lanvin and Laura Ashley gowns.
Eco-friendly fashion even has worldwide appeal. Kenya is an up-and-coming fashion destination, and designers in the capital city of Nairobi often use upcycling to create looks that provide a fresh modern twist on traditional fashion with an eco-friendly twist.
Just like graphic designers can use their art to humanize homelessness, fashion designers can use their creations to demonstrate the beauty that can be found in sustainability. Ready-to-wear fashion is, after all, about both form and function, and more and more people are demanding that sustainability be a primary function of fashion. If this month is any indication, it looks like it will be easy to be green in 2014 without compromising your style.
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