What to Wear Now: 7 Hip Green Fashion Icons Share Their Secrets
5. Zem JoaquinOccupation: Founder and CEO of Ecofabulous.com/eco-design and strategy consultant
Favorite Green Designer: I'm enamored with Noir and their younger sister line Bllack. The straight-off-the-runway, tailored looks are slightly edgy but incredibly wearable. Giving European fashion houses like Prada and Gucci a run for their money in terms of style, the Danish company operates under a rare code of conduct that protects human and environmental rights. It even has its own ethical organic African fabric collection that rivals even the finest quality threads and they only use B1 certified leather (remnant hides w/ natural dyes).
Photo of Zem Joaquin, left, with Wade Crowfoot, Christopher Bently, and Amber Marie Bently via Drew Altizer Photography
I also have a lot of respect and appreciation for the designers that took chances when most people thought eco-design was an oxymoron. John Patrick and Linda Loudermilk are two of the trailblazers who continually advocate for organics, introduce innovative new fabrics and push the eco-envelope. Leila Hafzi's jaw-dropping gowns are unparalleled in their combination of elegance and ethical commitment. For affordable, everyday basics, Sust is a one stop ecofabulous shop.
Favorite Outfit: Sara Shepherd has this gorgeous handmade black silk skirt that is reminiscent of Gone with the Wind. Paired with a Bllack organic cotton t-shirt it is sexy and fun enough to wear to a cocktail party. Topped with a more fitted blouse it is red - or green - carpet ready. Favorite daytime getup: J Brand Green Label 90210 pencil leg jeans, Sust organic cotton disco top, vintage gold belt and necklace (from Torso Vintages), "vulture" Mink cork wedges and a vintage clutch that my friend Joanne gave me (her grandma's). I also feel undeniably glamorous, a la Mad Men, in my vintage black and white dress (Cache coutour) and vintage Manolo Blahnik's. Finally, I feel like I should mention my unmentionables: I wear PACT organic undies because they have great cuts and 10% of each sale goes to the charity associated with the design.
Must-Have Piece for Fall: Leggings and jeggings (jean leggings) are an absolute essential. Hot coupled with riding boots, fitted top and jacket, or beneath a dress to warm up the ensemble, they are versatile and very au current. Lots of sustainable versions will be available this fall in every fabric and look imaginable so find a pair that match your personal style and values.
Essential Green Accessory: Though I have a personal aversion to literal boho, draping vintage chains adds depth and intrigue to a variety of get-ups. It is really the ultimate eco-accessory because you can create your own from your grandmother's junk jewelry box (your grandma might have nicer baubles than mine) or canvass resale stores for previously worn gold or brassy chains. If you aren't that crafty, there are a bunch of jewelry lines ready to answer your ethical dreams. One example is Dirty Librarian. Mr. Larkin incorporates recycled layered chains onto their chic milk fiber and cupro (fabric made from the stems, seeds and other cast-offs from cotton production) for an ethereal, sublimely feminine frock. I wore the longer milk fiber version with reclaimed metal embellishments to the Global Green Awards this year.
Favorite Individual Piece: I love the shirt dress for its functionality and longevity, which is really the IT idea of the decade. I have a vintage Gucci silk shirt dress that I wear with pumps and a blazer for daytime meetings and then accessorize with a funky belt and boots for wild evenings on the town or with a gold chain belt and strappy heels for a more sophisticated agenda. Forgiving and versatile, you can dress them up or down depending upon the occasion. Bllack has awesome 80's inspired, gold splashed frocks as well as more refined blousy one-pieces that echo my beloved Gucci dress, but thankfully, if you buy quality, you really never need to replace the item! Disposable fashion is so out. My favorite jewelry item is my recycled gold faucet necklace from Linda Loudermilk. It is beautifully executed and gets more attention than Paris Hilton. It is an excellent conversation starter that makes the topic of clean water refreshing. It's also available in an eco (as in eco-nomical) recycled silver version as well.
Style Philosophy: Wear what fits your body best, not what someone tells you is au current. I always try to revive what I already own and search for vintage options and then supplement with items by conscious designers. I love pairing a skirt I got during the previous decade with a fresh organic cotton top. My rule of thumb is to own a couple different silhouettes of the little black dress, jeans and leggings and then accent with dramatic accessories. Vie Bungalow in L.A. is hands down the best resource to determine what looks good on your body type and which designers are making their beliefs a part of high design.
6. Blake Mycoskie
Photo via Planet Green Occupation: Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes Favorite Green Designer: Rogan Favorite Outfit: J. Crew plaid shorts and pants, denim shirts, and anything Trovata Must-Have Piece for Fall: TOMS Cordones, our newest lace-up silhouette Essential Green Accessory: SIGG Water Bottle Favorite Individual Piece: Handmade bracelets that I pick up from local artisans while on shoe drops Style Philosophy: Wear anything that would demand attention or had a story associated with it. Whenever I wear a pair of madras pants or any one of my crazy pairs to an event, it leads to more interesting conversations and introductions.
7. Aysia WrightPhoto via The Greenloop Blog Occupation: I wear a lot of hats: I own and operate Greenloop, I, along with a great group, am putting on Project Green Search, a search and campaign to find the next green "it" girl, and I have just joined the ranks of Seven Planet as consultant & buyer. Favorite Green Designer: Impossible to choose just one but if i had to, it would be Stewart + Brown--they don't follow the hype on the latest, so-called greatest fabric but stick with proven sustainable textiles, they are trend conscious but not ruled, meaning they design flattering, comfortable, fashion ready pieces that will take you through the seasons and trends with grace.
Must-Have Piece for Fall: A great hat--like Faith Hats
Essential Green Accessory: Something that is conversation-worthy, that allows you to discuss eco fashion and how it's better for the environment - a recycled billboard bag, recycled metal jewelry, flashy vegan pumps...
Style Philosophy: Choose a look that reflects your personality and ethics, that fits you and your lifestyle. Don't subscribe to fast fashion, slow it down, choose classics and basics with a twist. Read the label and support independent, sustainable designers.