Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

The Shirt on your back....

Coco Chanel once said: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Well this style icon could not have been more right and more relevant in this moment. As we all look to make small adjustments to our lifestyles to do our part to help the planet, we can sometimes forget that the shirt on our back (and indeed the 40 others in the closet) is a huge part of our carbon footprint. But is there a way to not have to sacrifice your personal sense of style and be an eco-friendly clothes horse? Being green is on our minds and we are living and breathing it - so what are ways we can green our closets.

When we think of being sustainable we still jump to a certain stereotypes, and one of the big stereotypes is the style of dress. Yup, I am talking about that image that comes up of the dreadlocked, hemp tunic with wool socks and Birkenstock wearing character. (whether there is actually a person that exists and dresses like this is something I have yet to see, but I do clearly see this image when some says, eco-fashion). Now if you are this person and this is your choice of style, wonderful, but for those trying to turn their everyday jeans and t-shirts into something eco where do you go when you need to incorporate you personal style that may be something other than hemp?

Now many fashion houses are coming out with eco-friendly lines or claiming their lines are “green”. In 2008, New York Fashion week was all about sustainable design and it has now become the new trend in design. But what makes clothing green? The answer is, many things and the fashion industry does not have a body that is regulating green practices, so there is not stamp to look for - you have to be your own green detective.

Check out Green Livings Guide to Eco-Friendly Fashions but check out these style retailers:

H&M starting March 25th will launch their Garden Collection. This 80 piece collection uses organic cotton and linen, recycled polyester and tencel ( a fibre made from dissolving wood pulp) which is a renewable material.  Though other collections at H&M have had some “green” pieces within them, this is the first collection that has been designed as all “green”. Remember to take your re-usable shopper with you as you pick out some of their new pieces that draw inspiration from the 70s Flower Child.

lululemon athletica  - this brand does not go about advertising that it is “green” but rather just uses (and always has), used sustainable practices. As a company, lululemon does not ship using cardboard boxes, but rather re-usable tubs, that are picked up when emptied at each of their over 100 stores in North America, when new deliveries are dropped off. Their retail stores use re-furbished wood for floors, non VOC paints, low energy lights and many of their stores help to create recycling programs in malls and communities that did not have them in place to start. They make headbands out of