under the canopy No one ever traded lunch with me. You see the commercials and hear the stories of kids trading twinkies for a candy bar. Not with my recycled brown paper lunch bag. Organic green pepper cut up, organic apples, wheat free bread with organic free range chicken with a light hint of Canola mayo, and some wheat free dairy free ginger snaps (organic of course). But I wouldn’t change it for the world. My family is forward thinking and healthy. Organic is now the ‘hip’ way to eat and looks as if organic is now the ‘hip’ way to dress. (image from Under the Canopy)

Organic clothing is no longer suited just for hippies — high fashion and big brands are going green, too.

High fashion is going granola. But not the grunge of hippie yoga wear and grainy hemp T-shirts typically associated with organic clothes.

Think soft soy dresses, cropped organic terry jackets and slim-fit organic denim jeans to pair with stilettos, not flip flops.

Consumers worried about ingesting harmful pesticides have long been purchasing organic foods. But the philosophy is slowly hitting mainstream clothing retailers as experts warn about the dangers pesticides pose to the environment.

Whether shoppers are buying eco-friendly because it’s trendy or because they hope to preserve Mother Earth, they no longer have to sacrifice fashion for philosophy. With major retailers like Target, Victoria’s Secret, H&M and Nike joining the green trend, there’s something for fashionistas of every price range in 2007.

”We’re fashion first. The fact that they’re organic is a value added product,” says Marci Zaroff, founder of Under the Canopy, one of the world’s largest producers of organic clothing.

Organic cotton, which makes up 95 percent of organic fabrics, is the driving force behind the trend. Global organic cotton sales increased 119 percent, from $245 million to $583 million between 2001 and 2005. Sales are expected to reach more than $2 billion by the end of 2008, according to the Organic Exchange, a nonprofit trade association that works to expand the use of organically grown cotton.

Read the rest of the article below! Thanks dad again!!!!

Though more retailers are considering organic cotton, it currently makes up for less than 1 percent of cotton produced in the world. Designers are also experimenting with eco-friendly fabrics made of bamboo, soy, Ingeo (corn) and hempsilk.

”The market is really expanding in large because a number of very large retailers are actually going to have a lot of product available in 2007,” said Rebecca Calahan Klein, the president of California-based Organic Exchange.

Target, which carries a select number of organic baby clothes, is expanding its line this year. (Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart are among the top five brands that use the most organic cotton globally, according to Organic Exchange.)

Victoria’s Secret will also add organic cotton to its collection this year, Klein said.

Nike, which has been using organic cotton for several years, is one of the world’s largest retail users of organic cotton. Spokeswoman Morgan Shaw says 52 percent of the garments the company manufactured last year contained at least some organic material.

Costs are slightly higher, but comparable. A men’s vintage-style organic cotton T-shirt at Wal-Mart is $9.83, while a similar regular cotton T sells for $8.83. Levi Strauss & Co. started offering organic denim jeans in select stores in November — $68 for their Red Tab jean compared to $40 for nonorganic.

ACCIDENTAL ACTIVISM

The look and feel of the clothes are so fashion-forward that many clients don’t even realize they’re buying organic. They just like the style, says Zaroff, a perfect spokeswoman for greenwear.

A yoga devotee with long, dirty-blonde hair and lots of hippie jewelry, Zaroff looks years younger than 39. She talks about Al Gore’s movie on global warming and other environmental issues at her Boca Raton office, where she is working on a new high-fashion line debuting later this year.

The 108 line of upscale street wear includes dresses in muted tones made of soft soy and organic cotton voile.

She founded her company in 1996 when organic wear was little more than a hemp seed. She says it will do $10 million in sales this year.

”It was frumpy and boxy and crunchy and all those things people don’t want,” Zaroff said of older organic clothing. “The consumer was ready. The seed was planted with organic food and beauty products.”

High-end designers like Stella McCartney are including organic fabrics in their collections and celebrity entrepreneurs are also joining the trend. U2’s Bono launched his socially conscious clothing line, Edun, in 2005 in an attempt to increase trade and create sustainable employment in places like Africa. About 30 percent of the company’s clothes are made from organic cotton.

HOLLYWOOD POTENTIAL

With celebrities endorsing hybrid cars, vegetarian diets and launching their own eco-friendly clothing lines, experts say it was only a matter of time before the Hollywood trend caught on with fashion.

”It clearly has gotten more attention now because it’s not just an industry sector. It’s a global phenomenon,” said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst for the NPD Group, a market-research firm. “We’re seeing it in cars, we’re seeing it in homes products, apparel, food.”

He says consumers are willing to spend 20 percent more for eco-friendly products like organic clothes.

POLLUTING

It takes about a third a of a pound of pesticides to produce one cotton T-shirt. About 180 to 300 pounds of chemical fertilizer are used on one acre of cotton in the United States.

About 90 percent of the fertilizer doesn’t stay on the plant, but washes off, ending up in water supplies and habitat, says Klein.

Retailers say it’s not just about buying organic, it’s about the entire process. Under The Canopy uses a dye factory fueled by rice husks instead of fossil fuels. Growing organic also requires crop rotation, meaning a field that this year is used for cotton could be used for food the next.

”So if we get a large amount of cotton production moved to organic, we’ll also end up expanding the world’s access to organic food supply,” Klein said.

Via Miami Herald

BY KELLI KENNEDY
Associated Press

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • R. Randolph Ashton

    Fantastic Article! Here comes Collared Greens dancing quietly in to high-end organic fashion market. Very good insight. :wink:

  • R. Randolph Ashton

    Fantastic Article! Here comes Collared Greens dancing quietly in to high-end organic fashion. Very good insight. :wink:

  • A. Martin

    Why are you mentioning collard greens in reference to this article? I missed the joke.

    • Dorcas Derr

      Collared Greens is the brand name of a new line of upscale organic cotton clothing–shirts, mainly–being introduced soon. It’s a pun on collard greens of course — but you’d be surprised how many people on the web think that’s how the leafy vegetable is spelled.

  • Fashionista

    With organic fashion being so in right now, I found a site where you can find a variety of ultra comfy shirts! Its called Artfulwears.com
    Check them out!

    http://artfulwears.com/CL_at2.shtml

  • Susan

    Does anyone know if Collared Greens has a website? SO curious!

  • R. Randolph Ashton

    Susan – Hi. We do have a website.

    http://www.collaredgreens.com

    We will be selling beautiful Silk Printed Ties and Polo shirts very soon. All our beautiful products will be manufactured in the states.

    I am a photographer with two published photography books living and launching Collared Greens in Sun Valley, Idaho. My two photography books are ‘A Celebration of Salmon Rivers’ (Stackpole Books) which raises money to help save wild Atlantic salmon (dedicated to Jack Hemingway and forwarded by HRH Prince of Wales) and ‘Fly Fishing In Idaho’ (Stoecklein Publishing).

    Collared Greens is a super fun brand for anyone who loves the environment and loves looking handsome.

    “You do your best when you look your best.” -rra

  • Hi my self john and I am 20 year old. I have problem my skin was very oily. But my friends tell about the organic proudct and I was use the organic product this product is very good for my skin and now my skin is very smmooth thanks organic product.

  • Hi my self john and I am 30 year old. I have problem my skin was very oily. But my friends tell about the organic proudct and I was use the organic product this product is very good for my skin and now my skin is very smmooth thanks organic product.

  • Sarah

    i most definately loved this article! i ran across it doing research for a paper and found it interesting and learned a whole bunch :) (organics hold the key to my heart)

  • Jacob

    I just received my first order from Collared Greens and am very excited about the brand. At first inspection, the logo cap is well made and fits nicely. I look forward to seeing how the clothing line expand in the coming months. Bravo to everyone involved in the organic clothing movement.

  • Christian T Shirts

    Che bella idea

  • Naggy

    I don’t even eat organic foods, so… (ipad)

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