The line for the CFDA and Lexus sponsored Eco-Fashion Challenge event in New York City, wrapped around the building and continued down the block. If that is any indicator of what is to come (which I fully believe it is) sustainable fashion got a major boost from this eco-fashion integration challenge!
“Designing a Lexus is a complicated and sophisticated process that requires putting many pieces together, and the same is true of fashion,” stated Loomstate designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn. “Step by step we are learning a new language for sustainable and eco awareness and bringing it into the fashion story.”
Inside a packed skyline loft, floor to ceiling posters presented the various designers in the running for the CFDA and Lexus package which includes $25,000 towards their next line as well as support for their Fall 2011 show or presentation during New York Fashion Week in February. Words like organic, air dyed, recycled, handmade, fair, local, upcycled, and sustainable lined the posters and defined the designers’ eco-focus. This must be the new language Mackinlay Hahn speaks of. What is reassuring is that slowly, but surely, the general public is learning this lingo and looking for it on the garments they purchase. As a result, “…more designers are asking for it now too, and demanding eco-versions of fabrics from their suppliers,” says Marcia Patmos, the designer from Leroy & Perry who was one of the competing ten designers.
And speaking of supply – which of the ten designers will be applying supplying us with their eco-fashion creations next Fall? Drumroll please! The three labels that were awarded the eco-challenge CFDA and Lexus package are:
“The fact is, we are all trying to be eco-friendly,” asserts Maria Cornejo. “These are little steps that really build into something.” Cornejo went on to advise other designers to ‘be creative’ and think of other ways of being eco than just sourcing, such as being local in production or using non-toxic dying processes.
For fellow winner Monique Pean, eco-fashion translates directly to slow fashion, which she describes as, “…designing pieces that are high in quality and passed down from generation to generation.”
Going back to Mackinlay Hahn’s statement about utilizing a new language to talk about fashion, I think we are definitely there and as Robert Tagliapietra of Costello Tagliapietra so eloquently put it, “This communication is immeasurable.”