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Monday, 4 July 2011

The Greening of Fashion Week

The Greening of Fashion Week

Author: Jason Urban
Each year fashion week events in cities around the world become the focus of the apparel community and its many fans. Runway shows in major cities like New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney signal to fashion devotees which new styles and trends are in the pipeline for coming seasons. For 2011 there's a trend on the horizon that doesn't have to do with cut or color. This year, it seems, fashion week has gone green.

Last September celebrity stylist-turned eco-stylist Myriam Laroche launched the official Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver. The event featured seasonal collections from established earth friendly labels like Prophetik and Nixxi (seen above, photo via ecofashion-week.com). Beauty Company Aveda was amongst the big sponsors of the event and helped to provide organic and locally grown food for people behind the scenes. In addition to presenting new apparel and accessories, the Eco Fashion Week hosted discussions and workshops that covered sustainable fashion and its future in the broader market. Participants noted that the week signaled a genuine public interest in clothing that considers environmental impact and many believe that eventually there will be no need for a separate fashion week for sustainable designs.

In fact, green labels are already on the scene in major mainstream markets. For example, emerging Malaysia-based label Ultra will be showing at Paris Fashion Week this year. The young label's inclusion in the biggest stage in the fashion world is a good indicator of the kind of integration that will be necessary for sustainable fashion to be the norm, rather than the exception.

More evidence that planet-loving style is moving into the mainstream is the recent announcement that Norway's Oslo Fashion Week has officially banned fur from the runways. The ban was a result of efforts by Mote Mot Pels (Fashion Against Fur) - a group founded prominent fashion designers, stylists and editors. The move also had the support of major media outlets like Norwegian Elle and Norwegian Cosmopolitan.

It's terrific to have things like Eco Fashion Week, where sustainable designers get the spotlight they deserve, but might not otherwise get. However, the transformation of the fashion culture will occur when eco-fashion isn't a subset of the industry and in fact doesn't even need a name. The tide seems to be turning, so expect to see more and more green style at fashion week around the world each season. Soon sustainability will be a status that's taken for granted - we hope!

At Urban Ecology we support these brands. We provide a place to make that choice. Every label featured on this website has gone through extensive processes to ensure that they are doing everything they can to improve and maintain the best standards in regards to the environment, and sustainability. Obviously there is not a single certification that covers all conditions however each label has shown in their own context the best practices available.

It has been sometimes frustrating to see that the only eco friendly clothing we could find were not items we would want to wear. So we've tried very hard to provide some seriously good urban style.

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