EcoSalon at NYFW: The GreenShows

The GreenShows snag a coveted spot at Lincoln Center.

Too often, sustainable fashion is relegated to the sidelines of events like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This season, however, that changed with the addition of The GreenShows to the official line-up at Lincoln Center.

Held Friday morning at Lincoln Center’s The Box, the presentation featured carefully curated ensembles from eight sustainable brands, assembled by star stylist Julie Ragolia. In selecting the participating designers, TGS considered a number of ethical manufacturing criteria, including use of organic/bio-based textiles and materials, recycled/upcycled fabrics, low-impact dyes, zero waste/fabric waste reduction, local production, craft/artisan production, and fair/ethical trade.

The Box was packed shoulder-to-shoulder for the event, which GreenShows director Lou Sagar called a “milestone” in the sustainable fashion movement.

Sustainable fashion is now a global movement, it’s no longer a trend. (The GreenShows) are a demonstration that fashion always has to be beautiful and appealing, but it doesn’t have to be at the compromise of using sustainable materials and ethical practices. I think the fashion industry is demonstrating a desire to embrace that more and more. We don’t have to feel that we’re alternative because social change is mainstream.

Here, scenes from the show and more information on the featured designers.

The entrance to The GreenShows.

The Lincoln Center lobby, hub of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Venezuelan designer Luis Valenzuela collaborated with Lulan Artisans on this gorgeous hourglass dress, made from raw Cambodian silk, hand-woven and hand-dyed by women artisans. Eve Blossom, founder of Lulan Artisans, told EcoSalon, “By working with these artisans, we prevent them from falling into human trafficking, because we give them job security and options, which prevents them from getting into desperate situations. And these artisans are very proud and incredible masters. All you need to do is help them, highlight them, and create partnerships, and it makes all the difference in the world.”

The model in the background wears a silver, organic cotton jersey gown made from metallic thread.

United Bamboo is a fashion collective from collaborators Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham, focused on the reinvention of tradition and committed to local production. For The GreenShows, they used a traditional plaid on dresses, skirts, and bomber jackets.

Bamboo By United Bamboo is a line of organic “room wear” inspired by the birth of Aoki’s first child. In the foreground, the model wears a black organic wool hooded sweater and white organic cotton romper; just behind there’s a black linen pinafore dress layered over an organic cotton fitted shirt; and in the back there’s a cropped jacket, striped organic knit sweater, and cropped pant.

For STUDY NY‘s fall line, designer Tara St. James‘ focus was on convertability. “Everything can be personalized and is meant to be worn your own way. I think that’s an important part of sustainability. Fast fashion is so recognizable on the street, and you don’t want to be wearing what everyone else is. Even if you’re wearing the same piece it can look very different.”

This olive tweed, 100 percent wool convertible jacket is layered over an olive tweed skirt.

Ajna, from designer Beryl Man, embraces beauty and simplicity while exclusively utilizing organic and sustainable textiles. The knits in the show were fabulously cozy and perfectly paired with the models’ rosy cheeks and fifties-style coiffes. Here, a multicolor organic wool hand-knit turtleneck over a sage organic wool draped skirt.

Using primarily upcycled materials, Brooklyn-based Artists & Revolutionaries put together a stunning collection of pieces using repurposed leather, cashmere, and organic cotton. From left to right: a camel washed wool jacket with repurposed leather sleeve and trim, with black washed wool pant; a white/black spliced repurposed washed wool sweater with black repurposed leather short; and a floral organic dip-dyed ruffle top with check washed wool flip skirt.

Ensembles from The Battalion were sleek, slim, and simple, incorporating materials like bamboo, organic cotton, faux fur, and peace silk. I loved this black modal, spandex zip jacket, paired with a black organic bamboo legging.

The distinctive textiles present in H. Fredriksson pieces are inspired by designer Helena Fredriksson’s own drawings and photographs. The model in the front is wearing an olive 100 percent reclaimed wool batwing coat over a printed silk crepe Stina dress, while the model in the back sports a blue 100 percent silk Milos dress.

Images: Jessica Marati and Jennifer Barckley

Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.