Confessions Of An Eco-Style Newbie

Stacy Cox Searches for Great Looking Eco-Friendly E-ttire

I confess: I don’t own any environmentally friendly attire. Whew, got that off my chest! My mind and budget have been so geared towards shopping smart, being frugal and trying to take advantage of the recent sales both online and in stores, that I feel like I have completely ignored this socially and environmentally relevant fashion niche. So it’s time I build a new awareness for myself (and you in the process) and structure a new section in my closet I will dub “Eco Friendly E-ttire”.

Here’s the vocabulary list to complement our newfound green fashion sense:

ALTERNATIVE FABRICS– Fibers that are produced from unconventional substances, often in an effort to find sustainable and/or organic substitutes for cotton, wool, linen, etc. Examples include hemp, bamboo and soy.

BAMBOO– Natural, renewable and growing in abundance without the use of chemicals, this plant can be made into clothing and home furnishing items such as flooring. It is breathable and naturally anti-bacterial. (My wood floors at home are bamboo, but I didn’t realize it can extend onward to my clothing. Faboosh!)

ECO-FRIENDLY– Also, environmentally friendly. This term has come to refer to products deemed less harmful to the environment or produced in a manner that has limited impact on the ecosystem. There are no standards or regulations regarding the use of this term, it does not mean something is organic, natural or even that it is in any way less damaging than something not labeled.

GREEN– Apparel with this designation has not been exposed to bleaching, chemical dyes or sizing agents. It is not a legal term and does not guarantee organic standards were followed at the farming level or that the item was not exposed to pesticides.

HEMP– An alternative fabric that is both bacteria-resistant and insulating. It is considered to be one of the stronger natural fibers and requires considerably less water to grow than cotton. (Isn’t Woody Harrelson a big proponent of Hemp?)

LOW-IMPACT LIVING– Habits and practices that lessen the amount of irrevocable damage humans and big business do to the earth. (I think I need work in this area!)

MODAL– Crafted from beechwood cellulose, it is an alternative fabric that is more water absorbent than cotton, is extremely soft, and has been used in clothing, outerwear and bed linens.

NATURAL– Anything that comes from the earth. Although wool comes from sheep, and is therefore natural, this does not imply that it is organic in any way.

TURKEY– The number-one supplying country for organic cotton. (Gosh, who knew?)

GO GREEN, Get Gorgeous!

Here’s a “green” take on the LBD (Little Black Dress) made of soft eco-friendly bamboo. The Matt and Nat handheld satchel is a fun design with an eco-friendly lining crafted from recycled plastic bottles. This “natural” version of the ballet flat has vegan friendly construction made of 100% certified organic cotton, soft bamboo lining and a recycled car tire outsole. The chic bangle set is made of gold plated recycled metal.

Gosh, I didn’t realize organic styles often don’t come cheap! Organic cotton products like the jeans, t-shirt and hoodie shown below can be quite a financial investment, huh? But certainly stylish and hip. The sneakers are fashioned with a hemp upper, natural canvas lining and recycled-rubber sole. I love the Eco friendly necklace “Be the change you wish to see in the world”…so true, plus, proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund.

  • Lauren M

    I am a HUGE environmental enthusiast, and I thank you for putting out there that being eco-friendly can extend into realms of your life that you never thought possible. Unfortunately, being eco-friendly often seems to require having a lot of money as well. I have to suggest the book “Big Green Purse” by Diane MacEachern – learn to be green without breaking your bank.

  • JRG

    I agreen with Lauren M, often being eco-conscious is portrayed having to buy something to be green. Instead of just showing what clothes you can purchase that are eco-friendly maybe you could also show how to refashion old attire into new styles. It’s a great way to recycle while keeping your wardrobe fresh.

  • paula

    Show those of us who are POOR things that are NOT eco-couture. Not everyone can shell out $200.00 for a pair of jeans and over $100.00 for anything else. I have to shop at thrift store for most of my wardrobe and have to buy NON eco-friendly underwear at places like Target and Walmart.

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