Reduce your environmental footprint one strategy at a time.

Green fashion

Posted on | March 13, 2009 | 5 Comments

9_keyhole_dress_1Of all the strategies we’ll post about this year, this is the one I probably know the least about…but here goes:

Fashion can reasonably be described as planned obsolescence – Each season’s new styles require new upgrades and disposal of the old unfashionable stuff.

However, there are a few things we can do to green our fashion sense.

1. Buy clothes with a commitment to sustainability.

restore_slideThe lovely and comfortable items produced by RESTORE are the next generation of clothing.

I met Celeste Lilore, one of the owners of RESTORE Clothing and she wouldn’t let me out of our handshake until she completed RESTORE’s motto of “Responsible, Earth friendly, Sustainable, Technological, Organic, Recycled, Ergonomic”.

They practice what they preach: RESTORE clothing is manufactured in NYC, they use locally sourced materials, and ship their goods in bio-degradable containers. In April/May, they will transition to RepreveĀ® recycled Nylon, becoming the first in the marketplace to offer this fabric commercially and for which they are being nominated for an award in innovation. They also design their items to last.

Visit RESTORE’s website and enter the code “TOEPRINT” for a 25% discount!

Another designer with a strong commitment to corporate sustainability who I have admired for years is Eileen Fisher.

Recently however, I was shopping at an Eileen Fisher store and noticed that almost everything in the store was made from Italian yarn but fabricated in China and thought that there were too many miles in those clothes. When I wrote to the company to express my concern, they confirmed their commitment to maintaining a meaningful level (15%) of clothing and raw material production here in the United States. They also develop lasting relationships with their factories and only partner with those who make a commitment to the global labor standard SA8000 (Social Accountability International’s system for managing ethical workplace conditions throughout global supply chains.)

I mentioned this encounter to Celeste and she told me that Eileen Fisher is one of her two heroes in the clothing business (Patagonia is the other one) and that

“Eileen Fisher has always done slow, responsible fashion. They have a wonderful organic cotton collection and a fabulous fair trade Peruvian knit collection. When we look for factories to work with and we find one that does work for Eileen Fisher, we jump for joy! because of their commitment to social responsibility.”

2. Buy gently owned vintage clothes.

3. Have a clothing swap with your friends.

4. Hand-me-downs: Save the clothes your kids have outgrown and make a new parent very happy – bonus points if you separate the clothes into packages by age and season.

5. Make it yourself: Do you knit? sew? Most yarn/knitting shops have lessons and the Purl Bee blog has some of the loveliest items (with instructions) this side of Martha Stewart. You can always join a knitting circle.

I promise this is the last you will hear from me this year about fashion! Happy dressing!


5 Responses to “Green fashion”

  1. free karma
    March 31st, 2009 @ 11:25 am

    Buy Organic! There will be no pesticides in your clothing . It may be a bit more expensive but worth it. The chemicals can go through your skin and harm you as well as the fact that the clothing will lay better on your skin

  2. karma
    April 26th, 2009 @ 7:23 am

    Good article

  3. KrisBelucci
    June 1st, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

  4. Architect Designer
    July 21st, 2009 @ 12:24 am

    Hey beautiful story! my friends and I are researching a term paper about Architect Designer and its due next Friday. I did some looking around at and found some useful info there also. Thanks for the information.

  5. Billigurlaub
    July 30th, 2009 @ 7:29 am

    Thanks for sharing this post with me – It was an interesting read :)


Established in 1999, Ellen Honigstock Architect PC is a full-service architecture and energy auditing firm based in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Our solutions are environmentally conscious and the criteria we use are based on national standards developed to bring long-term saving, efficiency and well-being to our clients. Over 35 years combined experience building in New York City gives us an edge in meeting tough schedules and navigating the city's complicated requirements.

About Ellen:

As the Residential Green Building Advocate for the Urban Green Council since 2007, Ellen has been promoting sustainability in the residential marketplace in NYC.

In the position of Chair of the Homes Subcommittee the NYC Greening the Codes Task Force, Ellen has been heavily involved in recommending new green policy in NYC as related to updating building codes, rules and regulations.

Ellen teaches Building Science, Building Envelope, Water Conservation, Indoor Air Quality, Quantifying Energy and Green Building Plans at the 1,000 Green Supers program for The SEIU Local 32 BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund.

Registered Architect, NY, NJ, CT
LEED Accredited Professional
BPI Certifications:
Building Analyst
Energy Efficient Building Operator
Multi-Family Building Analyst

Ellen Honigstock, LEED AP
Ellen Honigstock Architect PC
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Brooklyn, NY 11201
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