With elaborate settings based on conceptual themes that could only be envisioned by a creative genius like Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s couture presentations are always quite the spectacle and the most recent show was no exception. If you haven’t heard by now, the SS2016 Chanel collection was debuted at Paris fashion week, and the show was filled with a bevy of ‘it’ girl models (of course) and a focus on environmentalism. The Grand Palais was transformed into a tranquil garden with models emerging from a wooden, dollhouse-like structure in exquisite pieces. The environmental aspect of the presentation was quite noticeable in the garments, as some were made from organic and recycled materials. Although it is unclear as to how much of the presentation was sustainable in the literal sense of the word, conceptually the theme was obvious.
Regardless of whether the latest Chanel presentation was Lagerfeld’s attempt to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon (as a few critics have accused him of doing) or a genuine statement about environmentalism, the designer certainly had a point when he said, “Sustainable fashion shouldn’t look like some sloppy demonstration stuff.” This got me thinking about ‘green’ fashion and inspired me to go on the hunt for chic apparel brands devoted to preserving the health of Mother Earth. Here are my top six shops that deliver eco-friendly clothes without sacrificing style.
If you think that sustainable fashion means looking like a grungy, kale-munching hipster, Vancouver’s Nicole Bridger will change your mind. Described as a “fashion line for the effortlessly chic and environmentally conscious woman,” the brand is all about modern and beautifully draped styles. Nicole Bridger also designs maternity wear, which is great for the eco-conscious mama-to-be. The clothes are made from renewable and biodegradable fabrics and the majority of the garments can be washed at home, which eliminates expensive dry cleaning bills and toxic chemicals used in the cleaning process.
The brainchild of design duo Donna Smith and Michael Gaughan, Miik is a 100% Canadian company devoted to supporting the local textile industry by manufacturing sustainable and timeless pieces right here in The 6ix. Their sleek pencil skirts and figure flattering dresses are not only great looks for the office, but they are also long-lasting since the company uses rayon sourced from bamboo in many of their garments. When taken care of properly, items containing bamboo tend not to pill and loose shape like those made from other natural fibres.
Not Just Pretty
This one-stop eco-friendly shop located in Victoria, BC has everything (and I mean everything). Founder Pam Skelton, stocks the boutique with styles that exude a laid-back West coast aesthetic, footwear from some very well-known brands, delicate intimates, handbags, jewellery and oodles of cosmetics. Want another reason to love Not Just Pretty? As a member of the 1% for the Planet, the shop donates at least 1% of their annual net revenue to environmental organizations, such as the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. How could you not want to shop at an eco-friendly boutique with a big heart?
Confident—a buzzword used in lingerie marketing to appeal to women’s emotions. I think we’ve all seen those ads with a gorgeous model that seductively flips her hair and utters, “Buy this push-up bra; you’ll feel super sexy…and confident” (*eye-roll*). Of course, you can get an added boost of confidence knowing that underneath your power outfit is a sexy leopard print bra, but that feeling of self-assurance can be hard to achieve if said undergarment is uncomfortable. This is where Brook There comes in. The line of intimates designed by Brook DeLorme stresses comfort (as in wireless bras), unique designs and garments sourced from organic wool and cotton, bamboo rayon, and real silk. These pieces are so soft and beautifully designed that they’re bound to give you some extra confidence.
Matt & Nat
Drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature, the Montreal-based handbag line Matt & Nat was born. The brand creates vegan Céline-esque purses that are made from materials like recycled nylon and plastic bottles, cork, and rubber. Diaper and yoga bags, wallets, and tech accessories are also on the list of fashionably sustainable goods by Matt & Nat.
With the idea of creating “killer clothes that don’t kill the environment,” Yael Aflalo introduced the world to Reformation. The brand is adored by stylish celebs like Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Alexa Chung for their on-trend pieces and commitment to ecology. With a fast-fashion, but eco-friendly, approach, the company is constantly pumping out fresh designs made from sustainable textiles, repurposed vintage apparel and deadstock fabric from other fashion houses. Reformation takes their ecological crusade a step further by using 100% recycled paper products for their packaging. Chic eco-friendly styles that can easily transition from day to night, sustainable manufacturing practices and free shipping—what’s not to love about Reformation?
2. Miik Kasia Reversible Hourglass-seamed dress, $165
Style Inspiration image Courtesy of Reformation
By Sasha Smith
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