Sustainable Fashion? There’s An App For That.

An interview with the founder of a hot new green fashion finder app.

As any stylish eco dresser will tell you, it’s all about access. From finding the perfectly cut organic cotton tee, recycled leather boot or that vintage tea dress that makes a modern statement, putting together a unique low impact look is hard. We rely on tips from those style savvy friends who keep an ear to the ground for new designers, sport lines we’ve never heard of and the scoop on that secret vintage store in town that isn’t overpicked and -priced.

And let’s face it, when it comes to nabbing the best items, relations between pals can get decidedly unfriendly. Ever conveniently forgot the location of your favorite eco store when someone asks where you got that incredible recycled jacket? Or felt a sharp pang of jealousy at a friend’s beautiful vintage find?

Thanks to a new smart phone app launched in the San Francisco Bay Area last week, you’ll have access to all the latest insider information right at your very own fingertips. GreenGlamGo is a mobile social platform that offers the ability to search for green beauty products, sustainable fashion and vintage, handmade items from the retailers who stock them.

GreeGlamGo co-founder, Clarissa Nicola, answers a few questions and shows us how simple it is to keep our shopping sustainable and our shopping relationships civil.

What is GreenGlamGo and how do I get it?

It is for consumers who want access to green fashion, vintage, handmade items, Made in the USA, green bridal, and green beauty products. It is also for green brands and etailers who want to participate on a mobile application platform. We wanted to expand the playing field for consumers beyond online. We created a platform using flash lite 4 and adobe on Nokia phones so their products can be browsed easily and quickly.

What personal challenge inspired the creation of GreenGlamGo?

I have been in the fashion industry for 20 years now, and produced  over 2000 fashion shows and trend presentations for consumers and merchants. After my 10th season of telling customers to buy yet another new pair of black pants for their wardrobe, I stopped and thought “Really?  Do these people really need to buy another pair of black pants? How many pairs of black pants does one person need?”.  I looked at my own closet and realized I had about 20 different pairs, all in different shapes and fit and lengths. Then, I thought of the other basics, like white blouses, t-shirts, and I couldn’t help but think of the impact I was making by motivating people to buy more and inferring that what they had wasn’t enough.

Can you give us a run-thru of the process of say, finding a local fashion designer producing sustainable hats?

We  have four main categories: Handmade, Fashion, Bridal, Beauty. If a user clicks on Handmade, then Hats on the top navigation, they can easily find hats. If they want Bridal hats, they click Bridal first, then hats.

Tell us why you decided to include a handmade section, which doesn’t necessarily feature green designers?

We realize the importance of handmade as it keeps production out of factories, which greatly impact the environment.  With sites like Etsy, we felt it was visually cluttered and hard to navigate. We wanted to feature the best of handmade and to raise that bar by keeping it easy to find within the 4 main categories.

Why do you think it’s so hard to find green and locally produced items?

It is hard because they’re not accessible. No one knows where to find these things. People will buy green if it’s easy and they aren’t inconvenienced. The price has to be right, too. While it can be expensive, we built this platform to give small green businesses a chance to go global and expand their playing field. The more people know about what’s out there, the more accessible it is, and the more prices will go down.

How do you plan to promote GreenGlamGo to communities outside of SF, LA and NYC where it’s so much harder to find sustainably made fashion and beauty?

We partnered with Nokia as Nokia smart phones have a stronger market over the iPhone world wide. Their phones are purchased the most in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia, and Latin America. That is one of the reasons why we went with them. Everyone goes to iPhone first with their app because they dominate the smart phone market in the US. We’re looking to reach as many potential green consumers as possible.

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.