Buffalo Horns, Snake Skin and Cadmium?


Last week the Gap, in collaboration with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, launched their newest collections at their Fifth Avenue concept store.

The collection features sustainable jewelry designs from Monique Péan, menswear from Patrik Ervell and luxe women’s wear by designer Sophie Théallet. The trio was titled by the CFDA in 2009 as “The most celebrated in the industry.”

We celebrate Monique for making the grade as a sustainable designer with this pack!

While some of Péan’s organic materials sound a little exotic (water snake skin beads and naturally shed buffalo horns), there’s still something to be said of a designer working with a big box store who supports eco-friendly designs.

This is nothing new. We’ve seen collaborations with Payless, H&M, Target and Kohl’s and we all praise the initiative these companies have taken to make sustainable strides (some more than others). But why does it always come back to one particular big box store screwing it all up?

Case in point? Wal-Mart, a company that tries to convince us that they’re doing so much for us and the environment.

But according to a recent ecouterre post regarding lead tainted accessories from a popular Wal-Mart collaboration with Miley Cyrus, price tags shouldn’t be our worst fear when it comes to shopping.

Editor Jasmin Malik Chua writes: “Just last month, the big-box retailer yanked an entire line of Miley Cyrus-brand necklaces and bracelets from its shelves after tests performed for the Associated Press found they contained high levels of the toxic metal cadmium.”

Though marketed for adults (because so many adults wear Miley Cyrus jewelry), safety issues regarding the jewelry going in one’s mouth was cause for alarm.

CBS news reports, “the items are not known to be dangerous if they are simply worn but concerns come when youngsters bite or suck on the jewelry, as many children are apt to do.”

CBS concludes that “Federal regulators’ own research says that kids start becoming interested in making their own jewelry around age six or eight. As for products featuring Miley Cyrus, she is 17 and her appeal reaches down to kindergartners. ”

Maybe instead of tutoring musicians older than her on American Idol, child star Cyrus should learn how to create and collaborate sustainable with an adult like Monique Péan. After all, Cyrus is just a child. Better yet, Wal-Mart could spend some time carefully investigating their collaborations so they can stop looking like, well, schmucks?

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.