The approaching holiday season has me in a rather reflexive mood. I woke up this morning not only excited for the weekend but also thankful for....eco-fashion. For fear of sounding corny let me be clear that eco-fashion encompasses two of my favorite things. Being fashion forward while remaining eco-conscious. The two are so harmonious--the union is a match made in heaven. The pair have produced wonderful offspring and this week has been no different, but the changes that have been taking place have me wondering: will I still have something to be thankful for a year from now? Is this all an eco-fad or is eco-fashion really here to stay?
1. The CFDA and Lexus awarded three fashion forward, eco-conscious fashion designers $250,000 each for their earth-friendly designs. The designers entered the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Eco-Fashion Challenge, where they were judged mainly on aesthetics but the criteria was that their company has to be 25% sustainable or use 25% sustainable material. But is 25% really enough? Are leaders in the fashion world really moving towards full sustainability or are they capitalizing on the moment by taking a wade in the eco-dipping pool? My hope is that this is just a start and that the stakes will get even higher from here on in. My gut tells me that this is just the beginning. People are beginning to realize that we either change or risk ruining the earth permanently. Though change is slow to come, it is still coming.
2. In addition to the financial assurance that the CFDA gave sustainable fashion reports have been swarming the blogosphere that world renowned fashion creative genius Vivienne Westwood gave this piece of advice at a London speaking engagement last month: "give up shopping for at least six months." In addition, she pushed fashion lovers to wear a towel instead of a coat. She proclaimed that at the moment, it is all about do-it-yourself."
So before you all head off to enjoy your weekends, sound off! The CFDA, the largest, and frankly, one of the most influential unions of fashion leaders, has taken note of the importance of sustainable fashion and one of the most influential creative minds in the industry has become a leading voice on the importance of eco-consciousness in lieu of fashion forwardness. Do the points I've made show that eco-fashion has a stronghold in the overall industry? What do you guys think? Do I really have something to be thankful for this holiday season? Are we experiencing a fleeting eco-trend or have we hit the jackpot and eco-fashion is something that is here to stay?
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with one of our favorite fellow NYC green designers, Allison Parris. We love her design aesthetic and her attention to detail. Read about how she got her start and then check out footage from her last fashion show!
CMar: When did you first begin your company?
Allison: September 2008
CMar: What is your background in fashion?
Allison: I went to FIT for Fashion Design with a specialization in Special Occasion and also completed their program in Leather Apparel and Accessories. Before I started in ready-to-wear, I was designing custom bridal gowns for a few years. Once in ready to wear, I worked with with Catherine Malandrino and Cynthia Rowley, and did a stint in mass market knitwear before starting my own company.
CMar: What inspires you to design?
Allison: Everything. Its great being in a city like New York where there's easy access to such amazing museums, parks, architecture, restaurants, etc... my inspiration is different every day.
CMar: What are your views on eco-fashion?
Allison: I am not an "eco-warrior" so to speak- I dont design the line specifically to be eco friendly. There are so many things you can do though that keep your line eco friendly without affecting the design in any way. Our lining, for instance, is made of recycled PET satin - basically recycled soda bottles. It feels soft and looks nice, and for the most part, people don't even know that that's what it is. I feel if thats something you can do, and no one would know the difference either way, then why not?
CMar: What are your views on sustainability?
Allison: Pretty much the same...
CMar: Who are some other designers you admire?
Allison: I am a die-hard Galliano fan, but I like bits a pieces from a lot of designers. I think its always interesting to see how designers deal with major economic downturns... it kind of separates the men from the boys to see who can shape their line to fit the needs of the market without hurting the artistic spirit of the brand.
CMar: What are your future design goals?
Allison: Way too many to list... Our brand is still young, there is a lot we want to accomplish...
CMar: Where can people purchase your product?
Allison: A full list of stores can be found on our website, or you can buy online at www.allisonparris.com
Thank you Allison for sharing your story with us! xoxo CMar