September 15, 2011

Eco Fashion Picks of the Week: NYFW, Zero Waste Fashion, Wood Watches & the Goodness of Handmade.

Love fashion? Love it even more when it has a green twist? Then you’ll love EcoSalon’s weekly roundup of eco fashion picks. Enjoy!

NYFW — New York Fashion Week for those of you that haven’t been following along — had plenty of eco features, and if the last week is an indicator of anything, it’s that sustainable fashion is being taken seriously, on the street and on the runway. Get all the coverage here.

The one thing that will ruin a good night out? Constantly checking your phone to see what time it is. Fortunately you can class it up sustainably with WeWood watches.

A question posed to me many times regarding watches and fashion: “Do people still wear watches when they have cell phones to tell the time?” I’m sure the watch industry has had a slight decline but people love the look of a solid time piece. They’re tough, sexy and yes, they even help you tell time.

These watches by WeWood are perfect for the fashion blogger or the avid outdoorsman or woman, “emerging out of Italy as an emblem of eco-luxury and design.” With an avant-garde approach to sophisticated sustainability, the brand recycles industrial wood scraps, to create a watch that itself is a statement, beyond fashion.

Plus, for every WeWood watch sold, the company plants a tree which we like to hear about, perhaps even more than the constant tick of time.

Waste-free fashion? Thanks to plenty of innovative designers, we’re getting there. The Textile Arts Center’s current show Yield: Making Fashion Without Waste in New York City showcases some of that innovation.

Why don’t more designers use it if it helps maximize fabric use and create less waste?

Primarily for 2 reasons.

A: When you first start it is difficult to do well. Like any new skill that requires a bit of effort, zero waste can begin badly, many students try it once, it doesn’t meet their expectations and they assume its not possible. The reality is that it’s a technique, like standard pattern cutting and draping on a dress form and sewing, learning it takes time.

B: Because of this, the assumption is that you have no control over the aesthetic – something all designers want. The more you practice zero waste fashion the more you can shape the outcomes. Many good designers have spent 3-4 years being taught the skills of traditional fashion design (sketching, design development, drape, pattern cutting, construction) and then go into industry and continue to have at least some of these skills developed. This enables designers/pattern cutters to have control over the outcomes; a layman has a great deal more difficulty resolving a garment design because they don’t have the skill base.

Making things with your hands is good for the soul, and for humanity, says Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin:

While I was already on the path to slow design and to building a sustainable company, I believe the experience of 9/11 made me cling even stronger to sustainability as a way of work and life. It made the need to create with meaning stronger. It cemented my path with desire for a different kind of business, a different kind of world, a different kind of message – a message that started, for me, with fabric and thread.

Working with needle and thread automatically connects you to the moment. It is a methodical work that physically ties you with thread to your hands. It calms the mind. It gives room for the soul to expand. Over the last decade, we have built a community of sewers, artisans and now an ever growing DIY community that understands the value of making. Maybe this is a place for people to come together.

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