Much of what we wear was made in a sweatshop or produced using materials that are sustainable. However, there are numerous designers that focus on eco fashions that are both ethical and fashionable that also brings this awareness to the consumer '?? so that we can become more educated about what we are actually buying. I recently had the pleasure to learn more about eco fashions and sustainable clothing, makeup and accessories at a showroom in honor of Earth Month. Sponsored by GlobalFashionBrands.com, the pop-up store, held at the Lexus Showroom, featured a consortium of hand made, unique and ethically produced fashions for women.
With the host of brands and designers in attendance (Ailin, Jonano, Moonlight, Vella Mode, Boutique Ethique, Tammam, Elena Garcia, and Tompkins Point, to name a few), I was excited to learn more about these issues as well as see these eco chic fashions firsthand.
My first stop was at the Kroma Makeup booth, a line created by Lee Tillett, that only uses natural and organic ingredients. Having sensitive skin, I try to stay with products that are natural as possible and I was excited to learn that Kroma'??s product line uses minerals in their powders and botanical extracts such as calendula, cornflower, chamomile, wheat germ, jojoba oil, St. John'??s Wort, and Vitamin E in their foundation. After dabbling with some of their products, I really loved their subtle coral reef lip gloss that contained and shea butter, vitamin E, aloe and green tea '?? leaving my lips naturally moist and not annoyingly sticky.
After I was all glossed up, I chatted with Show Me Your Mumu, a fashionable line that is redefining the mumu from the 1970s into a fashionable frock that looks cute with leggings, a belt, as a cover-up for the beach, or even as a chic maternity shirt. The company recently partnered with Care for Kenya, an amazing non-profit that is helping women with business and work opportunities. Through the partnership, the women of Kibera (an improvised area of Kenya) have been able to create mumus for the company using local textiles and fabrics. The colorful and elegant mumu'??s are then sold via Show Me Your Mumu and at the showcase and 100% of the proceeds go back to women of Kibera, which helps provide services such as clean water, medical supplies and funds for training in order to expand the program - thus improve the lives of women. Not only a gorgeous and unique new addition to any wardrobe, I was really struck by how this line would impact and support the difficult economic and social structure in Kenya.
I also checked out some of the hand-crafted bags at the event. I loved the hand woven bags made by Chak Chel ($600), created by women from Guatemala in order to improve the community they work in by creating an eco-friendly business model focuses on using the areas natural resources while also providing revenue to the community. The company also believes in preserving ancient art and that is certainly apparent in the lines use of bright fabrics, leather lacing/stitching into a one-of-a-kind bag made solely by weaving and spinning. Another designer that I really admired was Jonano by Bonnie Siefers. I really enjoyed her use of color (think bright and multicolored fabrics) while also featuring sophisticated and stylish clothing that is made using organic materials such as bamboo and organic cotton.
After an educational evening (that also happened to be a fashion event), I was really excited to have the opportunity to learn more about how a product is produced, where the money go towards and really how to become a more educated and conscious consumer.
In addition to the physical pop-up event, Global Fashion Brands is also hosting a virtual Earth Month pop-up store for the entire month of April, housing over 116 eco-sustainable styles at: www.GlobalFashionBrands.com/earthmonth. Additionally, 10% of all proceeds from the physical & virtual pop-up stores will be donated to the Red Cross for Japan Relief.
Serena Norr is a NYC-based writer/editor, soup-maker, and more importantly, a mama. You can read more soup recipes on her blog: seriouslysoupy.blogspot.com.