March 9, 2010

elephant Reviews: Sweet Skins: ecofashion makes life sweeter.

I was given a couple of items by Sweet Skins to “review” for elephant recently.  I guess you could say I’m still reviewing them, as I can’t seem to go a day without wearing one or the other.

Here’s a little background on the company: eco-fashionista Mira Fannin started it up six years ago in Eugene, Oregon, ultimate home of the home-grown.  Everything associated with her business is done eco-consciously, from fabric production to paper disposal.  She employs a group of seamstresses to work out of her converted garage.  The company prides itself in being culturally diverse and is a working business model for other companies in sustainable clothing production.

Sweet Skins features several fabrics, including eco-fleece, hemp, organic cottons and wool.  Not only are the materials chosen for their organic qualities, but for their low impact on the land.  The hemp crops used for Sweet Skins yield 250% more product than cotton crops on the same area.  Sweet Skins eco-fleece is made entirely of 2-liter plastic bottles.  Now, about the way they feel

EcoFleece Hoodie worn over Forever Tank.

This is the Eco-Fleece Hoodie by Sweet Skins.  Basically, it is the fashionable snuggie—what the creators of snuggie meant to produce if they really wanted people to buy them.  The fleece is thick and deliciously cozy. It’s perfect to wear over yoga clothes, to lounge in, apres ski or whenever you want to be wrapped in goodness.  The belt is a sweet detail—you can use it to cinch the waist, making it a flattering top for going out. The wrap style is also a shout out to owner Mira Fannin’s Asian influences—the shape resembles a kimono. Another plus is the huge hood.  It lies almost halfway down my back and swallows my head in fleece when I put it on.  The process of converting plastic bottles to fleece like this is pure genius.  Click here for more on it.

Forever Tank

This is the Sweet Skins Forever Tank.  I love that it can be worn as a top, with jeans, leggings or yoga pants, and also as a cute slip dress or coverup.  The cotton is thick enough to make you feel comfortable in “just this.”  The blend is 54% hemp, 43% cotton, 3% Lycra so that the fabric has thickness and stretch.  The slight v-neck in front and low back are nice design touches.

I wear the two together, over jeans, all the time.  The soft hemp, cotton and fleece feel nice and so does supporting a company local to Eugene with good intentions for the earth and its consumers.

Via Facebook:

Designer/Entrepreneur Mira Fannin Has Transformed Her Garage-Based Business Into One of the Most Successful Organic Clothing Lines in North America With Grassroots Effort, Sustainable Values And a Focus On the Local Community

Eugene, OR, December 29, 2008– The first embers of the idea for Sweet Skins flickered in her mind before she even moved to Eugene. Mira Fannin, who had been honing her skills as a fashion designer for nearly two decades, was also growing more and more conscious of the impact modern life has on Mother Earth. Mira wanted to create a business based on the values of sustainable practice and contribution to the community, and Sweet Skins is this devotion’s off-spring.

Back in 2004, the newly started Sweet Skins was an arduous labor of love, but the interest and support from patrons at Eugene’s Saturday Market told Mira she was onto something. A newcomer to the scene, she was only given a 4×4 spot on the sidewalk – just enough room for a single rack and a mirror – but customers were so interested in the line they tried on the clothes right there. Five years later, Mira has the largest booth.

In the online world, demand for the clothing exploded, and Mira quickly found herself hiring a freelance seamstress – the first of Sweet Skins’ family of four. Only a year after she sketched the first design, boutique owners from around the country started selling Sweet Skins in their stores. It began with Sacramento and Mendocino California, and now Mira has her clothing in 18 boutiques all across North America, from the Midwest to the East Coast to Canada and Hawaii.

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