By Dawna Matthews:
It seems the newest trend in fashion is upcycling and sustainable design.There has been a marked increase in designers focusing
on innovative designs based on sustainable practices and materials. Not only are designers focusing on the environment, but buyers are also increasing the demand and desire for clothing made in eco-conscious and responsible ways.
I am a woman who adores beautiful things — sunsets, paintings, pottery, and … well …. fashion. I also try to be as earth conscious as possible with my purchases, from home goods to what I wear. There was a time not so long ago, when eco-fashion meant only hippie couture (which I do like to a certain extent), but the fabric felt far from soft. Now, you can find sophisticated, trendy and modern, as well as bohemian fashions with luxuriously soft fabrics or repurposed fabrics. There are eco-fashion runway shows from Berlin to Vancouver, even in my hometown of Denver, Colorado.
The PalletFest in Denver earlier this month featured fashion, art, music, food and gardening — all with the mindset of upcycling and making something new out of previously used materials. What surprises most people is how cool and modern clothing can be while reusing vintage fabrics, sheets, even upholstery. I think fashion shows such as this one which features upcycled clothing is a great reminder of how things you think of discarding can be remade into something wonderful and used for years to come. It gives hand-me-downs a new connotation and makes them fun, fashion with stories to tell. In fact, one of my favorite accessories is made out of reused car upholstery. I have enjoyed this purse for years and see no reason to stop now — I love telling people it used to be a car seat!
I am thrilled to see Denver and the world present eco-fashion because it shows a deliberate and important shift in the mainstream mindset regarding the environment. It reflects that everyday people are demanding clothing which promotes environmental consciousness and looks good. It’s not just about organic clothing or shapeless hemp dresses. It’s about something beautiful and wearable created with the earth, farmers and ecosystems in mind. Reusing, upcycling, repurposing — all show true innovation, technique and fashion forward creativity. And that is a trend I feel will be in fashion for a long time.
For more info on eco-fashion: