Eco has never been so chic before, I swear! I recently found out about Green is Black, a Toronto-based retailer that caters to a strong eco, ethical, and sustainable sensibility for both men and women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories. The site is a prime example of how one doesn’t have to sacrifice style or fork over large sums of money to get great eco-minded wares. Most of the products on the site are made in Canada or North America with fair labor practices using hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, and soy, as well as reclaimed, recycled and vintage materials. Brands found on the site include both established and independent eco-minded designers such as Edun, League of lovers, Jack & Marjorie,Ecoist, Green Toe by Simple, Kate Organics, Nature vs Future, and my new personal favorite, Karamea.
Green is Black was kind enough to let me try out one of their offerings, and I couldn’t resist but go for the Kaye One Piece by Karamea, a convertible jumpsuit (straps or strapless) in a charcoal grey color! I wore it to the David Yurman reception at Bloomingdale’s last week, and paired it with a sleek black blazer and hot pink pair of heels to make it more of an evening look. The cool thing about the jumpsuit is that it contains a bamboo/cotton blend, and was made domestically and sweatshop free. The site provides great information about each product so you really have a feel for the manufacturing process and ethical stance of each brand/product present on the site.
I spoke with site founder/owner Kerry MacMullan a bit more about Green is Black and thought it imporrant to ask: “For “newbies” to eco-fashion, what would you recommend as a good introductory fabric/item to start off with?” Kerry suggested “either an organic jean (where there is no difference in look or feel), bamboo, which is ridiculously soft and luxurious feeling – or anything made with/or lined with a hemp/silk blend which is really soft, textured and sturdy.” Some examples are the del forte hazel jean, the dale sweater, and the mini oblesk skirt. The ultimate sale shopper, I found the Journey Tunic, $79.50 (was $106), made of bamboo and organic cotton to be a great versatile wardrobe piece, perfectly appropriate for work and the weekend.
I think it goes without saying that it’s time to ditch the notion that eco is synonmous with donning a burlap sack, and embrace the reality that ethical clothing can have both an environmental and chic value.