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.
Don’t get us wrong. We would swan around in vintage evening dresses every day if we could get away with it. But it’s just as important to have access to sustainable ready-to-wear options for those rare occasions when a Valentino ball gown isn’t appropriate. Luckily Stella McCartney is continuing her eco-couture mission. A few weeks ago, she gave a sneak peek at her punk-inspired Autumn 2014 collection. Her edgy, fashion-forward looks largely incorporated sustainable wool, organic fabrics, and even wood. Pointed loafers also featured biodegradable soles. McCartney isn’t the only established designer embracing the eco-conscious fashion lifestyle, either. Gwen Stefani (known in the fashion world for her wildly successful line L.A.M.B.) is collaborating with designer Michael Glasser on an 18-piece eco-friendly fashion line called Designs With A Purpose (DWP).
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.
Shopekomiko shows the world that saving the environment can be fun, sassy, and sexy. Become an EkoHero or EkoHeroine every time you visit shopekomiko.