7 Shades of Green for Saint Patrick’s Day

Art and fashion picks to green your Saint Patrick’s Day 2011

March 17th might be the only day out of the year when head-to-toe ‘greenwashing’ is universally accepted. As an Irish American lass born on Saint Patrick’s Day, I have been bathed in green since my stint in the womb. I also had a mother who resorted to drops of emerald food coloring to tint the raw milk on our dairy farm in honor of my birthdays. It is perhaps no coincidence that I now write about sustainable fashion and design, as my rural upbringing also found me crawling around on hands and knees in our alfalfa fields searching for the elusive and perfectly formed four-leafed clover. As a means of honoring all shades of green this Saint Patrick’s Day, here are a few of my favorite art and fashion finds to help you create some good green sheen, now and into the future.

Izzy Lane Cable Roll Neck Sweater £259.00

Awarding winning ethical fashion label Izzy Lane is an alluring example of how to responsibly pull the wool over your eyes for Saint Patrick’s Day with this luxe ‘Emerald Green’ hand-knitted cable rollneck sweater. Lane is an outspoken voice in the campaign for animal welfare and also an advocate for rare breed preservation and the use of British Wool in the British Textile Industry. This specific knitwear piece is made from Wensleydale yarn from rescued sheep.

The Andean Collection’s Açaí Cluster Chain Earrings $29.00

Amanda Judge and her amazing team of artisans in the Andean regions of South America have been unstoppable as as a force in the fair trade fashion and accessories movement. The Andean Collection’s jewelry and textile designs just keep getting more stunning with each season. This is not a function of simply getting lucky but of dedicated team work and genuine talent of several local artisans: Nancy, Olga, Viviana, Carlos, Cesar, and Christian. These naturally dyed açaí seeds and loops of metal chains are strung together to create a pair of one-of-a-kind cascading earrings.

JADEtribe Nina Clutch with Charm $85 from Juno and Jove

Kimberly Hartman of JADEtribe always knows how to sprinkle the textile goodness around with her ethically crafted handbags and clutches fairly made by women in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Unique details such as the hand-braided beads and jewelry that jingles on this Nina Clutch or the incorporation of organically dyed and hand loomed traditional textiles makes each design a timeless expression of colorful, cultural storytelling.

LeAF Shimla Dress from Kaight $108

One cannot celebrate any holiday on the calendar without checking in to see what Kate McGregor at Kaight is offering as the truly green alternative to innovative and chic downtown dressing. This LeAF (Love The Earth Fashion) Shimla Dress is cool and versatile, and as Kate describes, “Can be worn either loose and breezy for hot days or cinched with a belt for a pulled together look.” Ethically made out of 100% organic cotton voile in India, it is a smart summer staple with year round layering possibilities.


A Perfume Organic GREEN perfume $65

On the beauty front, Saint Patrick’s Day would not be complete without the certified organic perfumery of Amanda Walker. A Perfume Organic‘s new signature perfume, GREEN, is an intoxicating herbal mixture of rose (New York’s state flower), black truffle, blue, Roman Chamomile, and an overdose of ylang ylang with a smooth woody finish. Ingredients are certified USDA organic. Now that’s something to get intoxicated on.

Scotch Naturals ‘Leprechaun Lynch’ polish $14.99

Just released in time for March 17th is this latest installment in the Scotch Naturals palette, ‘Leprechaun Lynch’. These non-toxic, water-based formulas contains none of the tongue-twisting chemicals found in typical nail polish: toluene, dibutyl phthelate, formaldehyde, acetone, and heavy metals. This cool mint creme color might be just the right way to don a hint of green without having to wear the entire head-to-toe shamrock get up.


Sculpture by Audrey LavalléeChloé B. Fortin, of BJIOS collective

But in all honesty, in addition to some dark ale and a possible pedicure for my winter weary feet, I will most likely spend Saint Patrick’s Day and my birthday dreaming about art, wild landscapes, and ways to green my life for the entire year, not just on one solitary day. With that in mind, I wanted to share these magical fiber, scrap textile, and rock sculpture forms handmade by my friends the French Canadian artists, Audrey LavalléeChloé B. Fortin, of BJIOS collective. I find these simple expressions to be wondrous in the identifying of green in the small things that we often trample underfoot or cast off like stones in well that has no bottom.  This represents the best of respectfully fashioning the future with resources at arm’s length and with a delicacy that demonstrates strength.

Image: Jennipenni