Notes from the Underground


Anna Korte of AK Vintage, me and Gretchen Jones of Mothlove meeting face to face for the first time during NYC Market Week

I just got back from selling at D&A during New York City’s Market Week and am tired. Like, I can’t get out of bed, don’t want to talk to another designer or buyer dry-heaving in the toilet tired.

It wasn’t because I spent the past week enclosed in a 10×10 space presenting clothing lines to legions of stuffy buyers or entertaining press and new friends over cocktails, it was because sometimes eco-fashion sucks the ever-living life out of me.

So much is there to consider all the time but Market Week, oh man.

From the designer’s manufacturing, amazing new ideas and business plans desperately being shoved down my throat over dinner to the buyers wondering how the heck they can sell this “organic crap” that scares their customers, I get to see and hear it from all sides.

Take note, we all choose our paths but sometimes the weight of it all is crippling when you compare it to how much easier non-eco designers have it (you know, not having to consider the planet and all). And I had to stare at many of them for four days.

I love designers – even have a t-shirt that says it – and true, there’s always the inherent design process that takes skill and a muse, but not designing sustainably has its perks (cheaper to source, easier to sell price point wise, not freaking out customers). Yet I still can’t believe all designers aren’t trying to do something sustainable.

Blah, blah, blah.

In a perfect world, I would wave a magic wand over the designer’s head and whisper three times “Your business now thrives,” and they’d gaily skip away clad in U.S. grown organic cotton and hemp silks to Dylan’s “The Times they Are A’Changin”.

Buyers would just know that educating their customers about what they put on their bodies was par for the course. Shoppers would consider their purchases and be more invested in the person who designed for them and know that by buying a simple coat this fall, they are also doing such virtuous deeds like helping an organic farmer through another season, putting food on the table of a local seamstress, allowing a designer to sleep peacefully through a night and enabling a boutique that does care the ability to buy consciously for another season.

Still, it’s hard to create progress.

After all, Marshall’s is having a fall incentive sale! So, another time we’ll do it, but not today.

But maybe, just maybe, we will begin to consider something else next time there’s a craving for boots or a pretty cardigan or even a new wireless bra. Maybe we’ll step outside the box to consider more than that purchase; prioritizing the dedication (or lack of it) involved in the process.

Me? I’m bound by it.

Amy DuFault

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