I am excited to announce Florum Fashion Magazine's Green Designer Index! If you're wondering what exactly a "Green Designer Index" is, I will be happy to share with you the details. The Green Designer Index will be listing our favorite Green Clothing and Green Jewelry designers, as well as online boutiques that sell only "Green" products. For those who don't know what our Eco Criteria is, please allow me to explain.
Florum's Eco Criteria includes the following.
- Artisan-As the name suggests an Artisan made product is unique and handcrafted, with the utmost care and attention to detail. Every wonder why antiques are so valuable? Its because a long time ago, before factories and quick production, fashion was unique and personal. Not to mention, an Artisan made piece is much better for the environment then massed produced items (Please take a look into the #SlowFashion Movement). You can expect a product made by Artisan to last a long time, it is something that was built with care and designed to last. When buying at Artisan piece, you not only support the art of craftsmanship and artistry, however you also illuminate the connection of the people who create the things we wear and use on a daily basis. A great place to find Artisan Products are craft fairs, farmers markets, and local boutiques.
- Vintage-Vintage fashion is my favorite way to be "Green" when it comes to fashion. It means that anything you find a that has been used before, is green. As whats better for the environment then reuse, and not having to produce anything at all. A few websites that are consignment based, and often have some amazing vintage fashion are The Real Real and Tradesy, also be sure to check out your local theft stores and antique shops. The treasures you can find, are incredible.
- Vegan-This means that the product is completely animal free, and made ethically. There are a ton of faux leather products, that are made with very harmful chemicals. So when looking for Vegan purses or vegan shoes, be sure to look for upcycled materials, as well as organic materials. A couple vegan handbag brands I love are; Freedom of Animals (their vegan handbags remind me of Chloe, the look and feel is luxurious), Alexandra K (their vegan handbags give me that reminiscent feeling of Celine handbags, they make a clean bold statement), and Matt & Nat Vegan Handbags (they have a HUGE selection of vegan handbags, vegan backpacks, vegan wallets, even vegan diaper bags and vegan yoga bags).
- Made in the USA-Made in the USA has become the symbol of premium quality products, made in a fair workplace. Dubbed the "Heritage Movement," Made in the USA products have slowly begun to return after almost a decade of disappearance. This also a huge economic boost towards our country and communities. The reduced carbon footprint, of not being shipped overseas, is also a great aspect of Made in the USA. Jeans are my favorite to find, recently Made in New York has been branded as a very luxurious product. Take a look at Public School New York, they produce all clothing in New York and have a real
- Sustainable-There are countless smaller companies, that are taking significant eco-friendly measure that minimize their environmental and carbon footprint. Many however because of size or age, do not qualify for certifications, some do not having the funding to pay for the certifications as well. Many companies produce locally and ethically in developing companies. One great example is Pima Doll, they source their Pima Cottom and produce their garments in Peru. Their knit garments are really incredible and one of a kind.
- Fair Trade-Free trade is an organized movement that promotes standards of international labor, environmentalism, and social policy. By creating this commerce in developing countries, we create sustainable employment that may help to permanently lift people out of poverty. A great Fair Trade brand to check out is Della, they produce all of their products in Ghana, West Africa and provide education, money management, micro-financing, and fair wedges to the men and women they employee. Currently hey employee 55 employees in Ghana, West Africa, 35 are full time and 20 are part time.
- Recycled-More recently known as "Upcycled" is anything made from previous materials, including metals, fabrics, and fibers.This can mean the whole product or a portion of the product is made up of reused and recycled products. A vegan handbag that I mentioned before Matt & Nat, uses recycled plastic to create the linings of all their vegan purses.
- Organic-Organic is probably the most common term of all when it comes to Green Fashion. As it commonly known, Organic Clothing and other Organic products are made up of Natural Fibers that are grown without toxic pesticides or other toxic materials. This helps to preserve our environment, animals, and even bugs (the honeybees that are disappearing are a prime example of the consequence of pesticides, more commonly known as Colony Collapse Disorder). In my opinion pesticides are very serious, they threaten vital species as well as the purity of our water supply and farming land. One fabulous clothing brand Organic by John Patrick has been around since 2004, they use only organic materials (they have some amazing organic essentials for every closet, be sure to check out their sweaters).
We hope that the Green Fashion Index, can be used as a tool to help our readers find green brands, green designers, and green boutiques. As every time we spend money in todays economy, we are choosing the environmental impact of ourselves and the type of world we want to live in.