Portland Fashion Week serves up sustainability with style. By Valery Joseph
That Portland, Oregon, is a poster-child of green values and sustainable living is hardly news. Consistently name-checked in the media and the recipient of countless awards—most recently, the honor of "Greenest U.S. City"—the Pacific Northwest town has become the urban darling of the eco-set. So, who better to celebrate the ever-increasing union between fashion and the environment? With its 4th annual Portland Fashion Week—taking place through October 24—the city is throwing its hat in the style ring, proving that eco-conscious fashion is not merely a fleeting fad.
One of the local visionaries and sponsors for the event is shop owner and longtime Portlander Aysia Wright. Her boutique, Greenloop ("Clothing and accessories that looks as good as they make you feel"), is dedicated to spreading the gospel of sustainable design. "Fashion is an ideal vehicle to relay the message that sustainability is sexy, current, and necessary given the ecological limitations of this planet." Wright says. Greenloop carries several well-known eco-faves such as Edun and Loomstate as well as smaller labels like that of Portland native Emily Katz, who also makes our list of Fashion Week designers to watch. Here are some other runway highlights from the week in Green.
Chicago native Lara Miller's architecturally inspired pieces are studies in contrast: with the flip of a garment, each can be re-created to suit the style of the individual wearer.
Stewart + Brown
Husband-and-wife duo Karen Stewart and Howard Brown fashions easygoing knitwear and accessories from luxe yet sustainable fabrics such as super-soft Mongolian cashmere.
A vintage sensibility informs this designer, whose work combines organic cotton, hemp, soy, and wool to tasteful effect.
Nature vs. Future
Naturevfuture's Nina Velenti fuses natural and sustainable fibers such as organic cotton, hemp, and soy to create a modern, slightly avant garde aesthetic.
Portlander Emily Katz works in soy jersey, hemp, and organic cotton to create updated classics with a modern twist.
Based out of Los Angeles, Del Forte's premium denim is a study in luxurious, yet ethical style.
New York based label Habitude's playful pieces use 100% sustainable materials to embody the idea "be the change you want to see in the world."
For more information on Portland Fashion Week, go to www.portlandfashionweek.net; Greenloop, 8005 SE 13th Avenue, Portland, 503- 236-3999. For information about Greenloop boutique, go to www.thegreenloop.com.
Portland Fashion Week photo by The Photographers. Stuart + Brown pictures by Anna Wolf, courtesy of Stuart + Brown.
Portland Fashion Week serves up sustainability with style.