Written by: Giulia Simolo
Although green is the new black, eco-friendly designers are not as common as we’d like them to be, and this is especially the case when it comes to male designers. However, there are some hot names that steam up the runway and lay down the threads for the creation of a more eco-savvy closet.
Here are four fashion designers that represent certain milestones and developments in eco fashion, showing you can love your tailor-cut suits (or spoil your lady with pretty dresses) without putting the environment under the knife.
Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello from Costello Tagliapietra
The message: ECO FASHION MUST ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD
Do you know that approximately 20 percent of all industrial pollution is a result of the treatment of fabric? That is a scary thought! But it will please you to know that there are designers out there who are waging war on the ruining of our ozone layer and environment. Design team Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello are an example of such designers. In their 2010 Fall collection, they flaunted creations that were printed and coloured with AirDye. AirDye is a process that involves no water and it doesn’t result in toxic waste. When you look at it from a numbers point of view, the technique actually saves up to twenty five gallons of water per item of clothing! The cool thing is that the AirDye fabric is naturally reversible, which means you score two items for the price of one. Read more about AirDye here or check out Costello Tagliapietra designs here.
Craig Jacobs, Fundudzi
The message: SOUTH AFRICAN FASHION CAN BE ECO-FRIENDLY
Fundudzi, founded by Craig Jacobs, is a legendary label in South Africa and the world, renowned for its environmentally conscious approach to fashion. The fashion items are a blend of interesting eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, soy, corn and organic cotton. Even the dyes that are used are first certified as being environmentally-friendly before they are added to garments. Craig Jacobs and Fundudzi are committed to the idea of sustainability. They are also focused on putting Africa on the fashion map by ensuring that all their clothing is designed and created right here in the motherland, thus benefiting our local fashion industry and communities. Fundudzi is focused on changing perceptions of Africa through the development of fashion. When you are in search of clothing that is free-spirited, distinctive, mindful of the environment and proves local is top-notch, look no further than this label.
Stephan Martin, Ilan
The message: CHANGE YOUR LIFE, CHANGE FASHION
The real lasting changes you can make to your art are ones that first start with you. This is the inspiring message we can take from design label Ilan, created by Stephan Martin. This eco-fashion brand is highly conscious of the environment, and this lifestyle extends beyond the actual fashion line. Stephan is a vegetarian and committed to living a lifestyle that cares for the environment. It is this idea that ends up flowing into Ilan designs, with all fabrics being sourced locally to keep carbon footprints at a minimum. Upcycling is an important term when it comes to Ilan because garments are often incorporated into new designs so that no fabric goes to waste. Love for the environment thus results in the design of earth-friendly clothing, which sends love back into the world. It’s a great philosophy to express through your image. Visit the site and see the collections here.
Bono & Ali Hewson, Edun
The message: USE YOUR FAME TO ENFLAME FASHION
Sometimes the merging of celebrity with eco-fashion can be magical. This is the case for U2 front-man and activist Bono. In 2005 he launched Edun with his wife, Ali Hewson, an eco-friendly line of clothing and accessories that uses environmentally-friendly materials. The production of the items takes place in developing countries so that these areas of the world can benefit from jobs. What makes Edun (which is “nude” spelled backwards) all the more special is that it has attracted many celebrities to its cause, from rap artist Jay-Z to model Christy Turlington who have been spotted in Edun gear. Gaining attention to eco-fashion is what’s needed to propel this trend even further and make it last. When speaking of his line, Bono has been quoted as saying that it has four respects: respect for what your clothes are made of, respect for who is making them, respect for where they are made and respect for the people who are going to be wearing them. Check the clothing out here.
The liveeco team