Ecouterre Brings Eco-Fashion to the Forefront


Photos via Ecouterre
'Green Fashion is More than Just a Passing Trend'
That's what Ecouterre is banking on; the brand new site, just launched today, has arrived to highlight the critical environmental impact of clothing design. From the same folks who gave the world the always wonderful Inhabitat.com, Ecouterre will try to dispel the disparaging stereotypes that still cling to "eco fashion" and reverse the frivolous connotation associated with fashion design.
It wouldn't be eco-fashion without Summer Rayne Oakes. Photo credit: Ecouterre.com
Green Fashion Design...Who Cares?
Fashion is ephemeral, but it's impact is forever. Now, the downward-shifting economy has forced people to open their eyes to our limited resources, and the trend toward frugality has actually bolstered the sustainable movement by encouraging consumers to be smarter about their spending and be more creative with their resources. In addition, clothing manufacturers are shifting their modes of production. In 2006, retail sales of organic cotton products reached $1.1 billion globally--85 percent higher than the year before, according to the Organic Exchange--which is telling evidence that "green" is finally becoming a selling point for consumers.

Despite the fact that most fashionistas are loath to talk about the environment, and most environmentalists are loath to talk about fashion, the environmental ramifications of clothing design impact each and every one of us on a daily basis. The cotton industry releases roughly 16 percent of global pesticides--more than any other agricultural crop--each year. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 3 million people are poisoned by pesticides every year, resulting in 220,000 deaths worldwide annually.

Why Green Fashion? Why now?
Ecouterre taking a smart approach. They want to change people's minds about what "fashion" is: moving beyond fleeting fads and mindless consumerism to a smarter understanding of what goes into the textiles that we wrap around our bodies on a daily basis. They'll approach fashion from a design perspective, maintaining that like any other form of design -- architecture, product design, urban design -- fashion design can, and should be better, smarter, and more socially and environmentally responsible.

"I got tired of grouchy greenies slamming me for fashion coverage on Inhabitat, as if what we wear on our bodies day in and day out is somehow less important than other types of design. I thought it was high time for fashionistas and hardcore environmentalists start talking together and thinking about the power of good design," says Jill Fehrenbacher, Ecouterre's founder and editor in chief. "I got tired of having to explain to skeptical fashionistas that there is more to 'eco-fashion' than organic T-shirts, while simultaneously trying to convince my grouchy environmentalist friends that they need to focus their eco attention on the clothes they wear on their back."

Well said -- sounds like a good plan. Best wishes to Jill and team! Get started at Ecouterre.

More about eco fashion
Green Fashion : 7 Reasons Why You Should Care About Sustainable Fashion
Green Fashion Isn't Skin Deep: Eco-Friendly Fashion Can Reduce Your Carbon Emissions
How to Go Green: Wardrobe
Quiz: How Green is Your Wardrobe?

Tags: Sustainable Fabrics