Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clothes with a Conscience

Let’s face it. The environment’s a mess thanks to all of us. Sure, we’re all recycling stuff (and I personally consider re-gifting an important part of this), there’s more we can do for our planet. Since this is a fashion blog, I’m not going to suggest that you throw out
all your designer duds, merely that you consider looking into environmentally-friendly apparel and accessories. Take my word for it, you can go green and still look like a fashionista at a fraction of the cost (unless you have a wardrobe full of Stella McCartney’s

I won’t bore you with a million resources (especially since, like me, you’re probably broke from the holidays), just a few designers that I feel are worth checking out. You might have to do a little digging to find out where these collections a sold but I think you’ll
find the results are worth it.

I found some pretty amazing stuff at JONANO an eco fashion house that developed the concept of “organic essentialism” that underpins the collection of separates. The fabrics used are bamboo, flax, cotton, hemp, waste corn and wild “peace” silk, emphasizing a
commitment to environment sustainability and social responsibility. Since we’re talking Spring here, check out some of my favorite pieces such as the chic “Audrey” sleeveless, fully lined sheath in mélange grey bamboo/flax/linen, the two-tone “Lauren” dress in the same
mélange with the raglan sleeved top in white silk voile. To pair with just about any pant, shorts, leggings or even a swimsuit, I suggest the “Majorca” open weave easy boat-neck sweater in black or white bamboo/viscose/ecoKashmere. For more info go to
Jonano's Audrey

Jonano's Lauren

Jonano's Cabo Fisherman's Sweater

I scoped out PAUL & JOE SISTER at one of my trade show runs and immediately full in love with some of the cutest, most wearable clothes around. Check out their fresh take on the military look with “Declic” a 100% cotton jumpsuit in beige with cuffed shorts, cargo
pockets, bow tie belted in navy with white polka dots. There’s also another winner in “Edgar” a slim mini dress (or ¾ jacket, it’s that versatile) available in off white, khaki or navy hemp.

I doesn’t get any greener than this next collection. KEOKJAY’s owner/designer is based in Cambodia! While the collection still has a way to go in terms of “fashion” there are a couple of items that have definite potential, namely a racer-back recycled red jersey dress in a
screen print design and a classic button front shirt with short turn back cuffs in hand woven naturally dyed cotton with embroidered detailing at one shoulder and hem and nicely accented with vintage buttons. Find out the story at

Keokjay's Two Great Eco-Entries

You knew it was only a matter of time before I got into accessories (which happens to be my favorite category anyway) especially jewelry and handbags. It’s my belief that one can never have too many of either. At MAKE LOVE NOT TRASH I went gaga over the sporty cross body
saddlebag and the giant doctor’s bag in a print canvas from the “Safari Wing” collection, available in sienna, midnight and sand, all with natural leather trim. For more info go to

Make Love Not Trash
Makes Your Bag Habit Green!

That’s it for bags for now so let’s move on to jewelry shall we? The owner/designer of MORNING GLORY left the corporate world to create a collection utilizing recycled materials, from scrap metal or wire to vintage beads, findings and even chandelier crystals. And each
one-of-a-kind piece is completely hand made. My choices include the hammered brass cuff from the “Raw Metals” collection, a Celtic design recycled copper braided bracelet and the twisted copper braid necklace from the “Woven Metals” range. I’d consider each piece in this line to be wearable art. Ned more info? Go check them out at

Last but not least is one of my all time favorite jewelry collections, LOIS HILL. In addition to all of the gorgeously intricate silver pieces there is now a brand new baby. Hands & Heart-Recycled Glass beads is a “line that comes from the heart and gives back”. The
main focus created from the heart of Africa is to give back by donating a portion of of the proceeds to grass roots efforts to improve the lives of people in areas of greatest need. The collection incorporates hand made glass beads crafted by African artisans from
discarded glass bottles and windowpanes, to antique one-of-a-kind African trade beads, coupled with sterling silver beads to create distinctive, colorful item bracelets. Retailing from $25 - $1500, this is most definitely a collection to seek out for the woman who wants to
stand out from the crowd and look fabulous in the process!

That’s all for now. C&C

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row