Social Media Offers the Eco Fashion Industry the Perfect Niche to Prove Permanence:
By: Billy Griffin
Social Media offers designers the chance to promote their own eco-friendly fashion lines, as well as share the green methods in which they create their garments. The social media sphere as a whole offers a place for the green advocacy movement to create awareness. The sustainable fashion is not just a trend, not just hippie potato sacks and Kumbaya, but instead a wearable, fashionable and profitable permanent niche within the overall fashion industry.
websites like Ecouterre.com, an online community devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design, provides evidence that going green is not a trend. According to their mission statement, “Organic clothing, produced without toxic pesticides and dipped in low-impact dyes, is gaining popularity across the globe. In 2006, retail sales of organic cotton products reached $1.1 billion globally—85 percent higher than the year before, according to the Organic Exchange.”
The stigma of eco fashion conjures the image of hippie love children wearing recycled potato sacks singing Kumbaya. The plethora of green runway shows displayed at this past February at New York’s Fashion Week breaks this stigma stating that sustainable fashion is far from its 60’s commune stereotype.
The video “The Latest Eco-Fashions from the Green Shows at New York Fashion Week” posted on the homepage of Ecouterre.com, chronicles the beauty of sustainable fashion, as well as feature the different methods designers take in order to create green couture.
Samantha Pleet, founder and designer of Samantha Pleet, started her collection four years ago. She wanted to make clothes that were sexy, for people who want to dress up a little bit of their lives. More intriguing than the fairy tale–esque collection is the fabric itself. “The mud silk is an amazing fabric,” Pleet said, “it’s an ancient Chinese tradition, they take China Silk and actually hand dye them with yams, then bury it in a river bed. In two months you get this amazing fabric, it’s like a paper bag.” Garments shown include shorts a dress even a romper all made from the mud silk fabric.
JoAnn Berman founder and designer of JoAnn Berman, utilizes the recycling of old fabrics. “People don’t make fabric like they did in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. There’s almost something church-like in a 1920’s nightgown, and it takes a lot of cajones to cut it up, turn it into something, and have people appreciate it!” Berman said. Among the colorful garments featured is a spliced piece with a 2010 cut, created from an 80’s beaded dress and a broken leather handbag.
Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder and designer of vegan coat line Vaute Couture, started a year and a half ago. “I spent a year on development, eight months on fabric research alone,” Mai-ly Hilgart said, “all my fabrics are made for the line and are completely high performance. They are ready for a
Chicago winter, that’s how I designed them. They are wind resistant, snow resistant, heat retaining, completely recycleable, machine-washable and made in the USA. Her recent collection features her signature pea-coat dress updated for the season by incorporating geometrical inspiration to reveal sleek lines.
The social media sphere has proved its permanence in the fashion industry by creating a more personal consumer-producer relationship. This social phenomenon contains various facets extending to different niches within the wide world of fashion, one being the eco branch of sustainable clothing.