A fresh trio of eco-conscious designers who give green a good name. By Naomi Nevitt
Organic fabrics, non-toxic dyes, and earth-friendly practices are all becoming second nature with the millennial explosion of green fashion. But recently, even more new designers are incorporating eco-conscious materials and themes into their fledgling collections. Check out our latest trio of earth angels, designers who have plenty more than T-shirts and denim on the menu.
A Small Collection
"I started out to do A Small Collection to address the entire picture: photography, illustrations, styling, clothes," says Alyson Fox, an Austin-based designer who made a name for herself as an illustrator and photographer. Fox launched her modestly titled line three months ago as an experimental foray into fashion while maintaining a distinctly artistic eye, comprising her look-book of short videos and illustrations to extend her overall aesthetic. "I'm very proud of the art direction of the line," Fox says. But the limited-edition collection's use of organic cotton, hemp, and linen, clever absence of zippers, and producing the entire collection of wrap dresses, buttery tees, and oversized sweaters locally is what makes A Small Collection truly an artful endeavor. "It's already starting to become hard to get eco-friendly materials with all the demand," Fox says.
With the peculiar moniker Blake Hamster, the 5-month-old German line is not particularly shy—especially in its beliefs. "For us, green fashion is a wholesome thing not just a label for where and how the raw material was grown," says Mathias Wrba of Blake Hamster. From organically grown cotton blended with Seacell, to their water-based silk screens and tailoring produced at the legendary Italian Confesiono Barbon manufacturers, to the carbon neutral shipping of their products, the Munich-based company is dedicated to going all the way green-wise. But even with all this attention to the manufacturing, the product is just as bold as the mission. The limited-edition garments created in collaboration with over 15 German designers, illustrators, and photographers ranges from well-tailored solids tops to T-shirts soiled with ink-blot prints. "We might be a little bit darker, sexier, and more dangerous than what people are usually used to when it comes to eco fashion," says Wrba.
Now, in its third season, Los Angeles label Souvenir is building a reputation not only as an eco-friendly fashion house but also a bona fide California classic. "We work around the idea of subtle shapes that are really approachable but that also have a feminine spirit," says Kristen Dickson, one half of the design team behind Souvenir. "We're anti-throwaway clothing, so we try to make pieces that go beyond a gimmick or fad." With her partner Brady Cunningham, Dickson has an approach to responsible fashion that focuses on staying power by employing organic and vintage fabrics to create understated wardrobe standbys. For spring, the duo looked to '50s beach resort style to craft their collection of candy-colored dresses, cropped vests, and ruffled bikinis. "It became really playful and flirty, and by the end we were both saying Coney Island Carnival," confesses Dickson. And for the girls who see green as the only way to go, it's more about using the earth-friendly point of view as a starting point. "When Souvenir began, we were both thinking a lot about the patterns of consumption in fashion and how we could offer something different," says Dickson. "Now, it's so much about a desire to raise a level of consciousness around clothing."
A fresh trio of eco-conscious designers who give green a good name.