Focus Corner

How to look eco fabulous

April 29th, 2009 by   (View Author Profile)

To celebrated Earth day last week, Whatshewears.ie marked the occasion by inviting GreenMe to give advice on what to look out for if you are a fashionista with a conscience.

Obviously we were happy to oblige – Whatshewears.ie brings you the latest fashion and style from celebrity red carpet to casual wear, without having to worry about buying more paper heavy mags to put you in the fashion know!

Published in whatshewears.ie on Fri, April 24, 2009

whatshewears1The economy may be in the red, but our appetite for all things “green” is booming.

In the UK, the most recent Ethical Consumerism Report  – which monitors expenditure on all products deemed to be Fairtrade, organic, sustainable and energy-efficient – shows that eco spending jumped from £31 million £35.5 million in the last year alone.

Thankfully, eco fashion is no exception to this.  While the idea of eco-friendly fashion may seem a contradiction in terms, more and more fashion designers, boutiques and high street fashion chains across Europe are converting to ethical, sustainable and ecologically-aware clothes products.

Green is the new black, and ethically-produced ranges are becoming increasingly popular.

Being green and trendy is not always the simplest lifestyle choice, but it’s far easier if you can buy clothes with a conscience on the high street.   But beware, we need to establish some ground rules about what to look out for when shopping for ethical and eco-friendly clothing.

What to look out for when shopping for ethical and eco-friendly clothing:

• If it’s cheap, ask why it is so cheap?
• Check to see what it’s made of (e.g. is it Fairtrade or organic cotton?)
• Can it be recycled?
• Is there excessive packaging?
• How many air miles did it travel to reach the clothes rail?
• Is it washable? (Dry cleaning has an extremely negative impact on the environment)
• Has it been made in China, where working conditions are questionable to say the least?

…and that’s before we even tackle the question of whether “my bum looks big in this”!

It’s a simple case of supply and demand.  We, the consumer can be a powerful economic and environmental force as we shift our spending patterns to greener alternatives, but many high street retailers need to wake up to these changes.

Here are three stylish pieces which we have chosen with whatshewears.ie for a less guilty way to shop.

Wedding dress (photo by Michael Kelly) Oxfambridal (€70 – €450) Georges St, Dublin 2

As vintage wedding dress demand soars, check out Oxfambridal for a great selection. They had their first fashion show in February 2009 where four brides-to-be walked away with their dream wedding dress. If an Oxfambridal wedding dress sells for €250, this can buy two families a goat for each father, a vegetable garden for each mother and school books and musical instruments for the kids.

Edun Tribal Jumpsuit (€298)

Founded in 2005 by the Irish activist couple Ali Hewson and Bono, the collection uses organic cotton where possible and is all about sustainable employment in developing countries. On trend with this jumpsuit made from 100% silk, we applaud Edun for their early adoption of eco fashion.

7 For All Mankind Bootcut jeans, House of Fraser (€168)

With many jeans labels now using organic materials it’s great to see this industry making progress with the green movement.  7 For All Mankind has lots of eco styles for 2009, all made from cotton which has been harvested from pesticide-free plants. One such example are these boot cut jeans –we recommend buying jeans with a percentage of elastane (usally 98% cotton and 2% elastane) so that they will hug your figure.

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