Ecofriendly fashion tends to be about as exciting as beige canvas totes. We all want to be earth-conscious, but can't it be more stylish? As a matter of fact, yes, it can.
Susan Woo, a young designer debuting her eponymous label this season, had the same issues with enviro-fashion as we do, and decided to do something about it. "I started it because I felt like there was a huge void in the market for clothes that were environmentally friendly but stylish enough for women who have real lives — people who go to work, meetings and cocktail parties," she explains. "Everything ecofriendly was just T-shirts and jeans." (And let's not forget those totes.)
So Woo, who's worked for various fashion companies (Louis Vuitton, Derek Lam, Chanel) took what she learned and started her own line, which uses fabrics and cuts not normally associated with ecolabels. "What is really great now is that there are fabrics available to allow designers to not have to sacrifice style. For example, I just met with a mill that will custom-make me any fabric that may be almost impossible to find in organic or all-natural version — amazing laces, jacquards, and patterns."
And her earth-friendliness doesn't end with just clothes: The entire company is getting an ISO-14001 certification (meaning they don't pollute or waste that much), they recycle all wastes, and, most important, the production houses and factories used have fair labor practices and their own environmental goals. So can all this kumbaya goodness actually sell in an industry that considers forgoing dinner (and downing more booze) the pinnacle of being "good"? We say yes.
The price points are what you expect for designer items (blouses run from $300 to $400 and a coat is $1,095), but perhaps that's a small price to pay for helping the planet. Woo's line is already being snatched up by buyers at Kaight and H. Lorenzo in L.A. Watch the slideshow.
Previously on The Cut...