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September 26, 2010

Co-created Ready-to-Wear that's Good-to-Wear


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This month's Green Mom Carnival topic is on sustainable clothing [defined by the Global Organic textile Standard]. It's held on Diane's Big Green Purse and is a painful subject for me--it's hard enough to find something that is professional and flattering; adding the organic requirement makes it almost impossible to locate anything other than T-shirts and hoodies. 

I love yoga-wear, clothes that work with your body and made from hemp or cotton, but I can't wear them to work. We have to get beyond hoodies, T's and pants. Sweetgrass is a step in the right direction, but still has nothing that I'd wear to a board room. Maybe, that's the problem, we need more boardrooms with looser dress codes...

Then I found Mountains of the Moon, which puts form into fashion and bridges the gap between comfort of the gym and the brashness of a boardroom in a fresh, transitional way which any age group could feel comfortable wearing. The prices were reasonable as well, and the products are said to be made in a sweatfree, USofA shop. Most are of a hemp and cotton mix. 

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Screen shot 2010-09-26 at 8.44.38 AM This is exactly what I have been coveting, a dress that fits in a carry-on suit case, can be personalized with necklaces or scarves and I didn't have to stop eating for a month to afford or fit into them. I hope the fashion industry takes note. For the record, I'm the demographic that has money to spend. 

Still, as excited as I am for ready-to- wear that is also good-to-wear, I'm not seeing proof on their site that they are truly eco-friendly. 

Coral Rose posted an excellent introduction paper following the path of how a T-Shirt is made and all the impacts that simple garment has on the environment. GOTS mention above is the law of the free-market land for organic textiles, even Wal Mart pays attention to it. [See Coral at the Lenzing booth at LA's Textile show.] 

As a member of the business community, the decisions we make in our personal lives are just as important as the ones we make in our professional lives. China sends us billions of dollars of cotton clothing, 45% of the cotton it uses comes from the US, unfortunately it isn't green cotton. Who knew that the US and China were so woven together. Both sides are sinners in this exchange--the US for using so many pesticides on their fields and China for allowing their dyes to go directly into the watershed. Both sides can also be saviors, as decisions by individuals make the difference in co-creating a new, global market. 

Case in point, Coral was a change agent for green cotton while she was a Sr. Buyer for Wal Mart, her organic decisions were part of the reason that Wal Mart started down their path to sustainability. But her decision to put organic cotton yoga-wear in the stores would not have created such a stir in Wal Mart's boardroom if the other "buyers", women consumers, didn't purchase them.

We are all co-creators in this green market movement--we are the designers, the Sr. Buyers, the sellers, the consumer buyers, and the writers of sustainable textiles; a multi-billion dollar industry with global impact. What we do at each stage makes a huge difference in changing the world's economy into one that is good for us all.

Go girls. Walk the talk and wear it well. 

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Comments

You really nailed the dilemma businesswomen face if we want to wear "green" clothes to work. Maybe people like you and me need to get into the design business?! I appreciate the links to the online retailers who offer stylish designs that aren't just halter tops.

Great post! I checked out Mountains of the Moon, and love it! I truly believe that we can make the change, there has been so much progress in the last few years!

Diane, I could do that, I made my own clothes for years, but then there is that little problem of having enough organic textiles to work with.

Mary Clare, I will admit to wearing yoga clothes more often than not. I have done myself a favor, though, and I have found a few nice tops that look great over those good black yoga pants. Add a scarf, and you're good to go! Agree it's tough to find organic fabrics that are fun and glad you offered some suggestions. Sarah

Thank goodness I can wear yoga pants to work (my living room lol). I do have some organic jeans, skirts, dresses, and tops. But you are right they are harder to find. Thankfully there seems to be a growing market!

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