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Hamnett’s Ethical Fashion Show

May-7-2009
Eco Fashion Events

Last summer Katharine Hamnett, one of Britain’s most popular style gurus, sold denim jeans with a difference. It wasn’t their style that was unique, nor their color. Instead, the uniqueness lay in the fabric – they are manufactured from organic cotton. They cost slightly more than the non-organic variety, but their cost in terms of environmental protection is phenomenal. People, from buyers to distributors alike, flocked to Hamnett’s fashion show, to get a sampling of the variety of environmentally responsible fashion offered by her – and they weren’t disappointed.

Hamnett is one of the first designers in Europe to explore the potential of organic cotton. She has produced an entire range of green fashion, employing un-bleached, un-dyed cotton. Katharine Hamnett is alarmed about the fabrics currently used in the fashion industry and has been keenly developing more environmentally friendly fabrics. She showcased her collection in the ‘Ethical Fashion Show’ in Paris, which offers a platform for environmentally friendly designers from around the world to showcase their clothing and accessories. Katharine Hamnett’s clothing line is made entirely out of cotton, untreated wool or linen, containing no pesticides or other harmful chemicals like conventional clothing does.

The first ‘Ethical Fashion Show’ was held in 2004. Now an annual event, up to 50 designers show to the increasing number of distributors who want to sell designs that are ethically produced and environmentally friendly. Due to such efforts, the textile industry, one of the largest manufacturing industries around, is looking greener these days. There are more and more options available for choosing sustainable clothing that is environmentally responsible. Where earth-friendly clothing was once mild in color and design, today’s designs incorporate bright bold colors with professional and trendy styles that blend in with the other garments strutting down the catwalk.

Clothing is a process that starts with either renewable or non-renewable feedstock, which is treated and woven, dyed, and sewn to produce a piece of clothing. The clothing may have started out as a fossil fuel, or a cotton plant, with many workers and manufacturing and transportation processes along the way. Most synthetic threads like polyester are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that even during the refining process produces contaminants.

A lot of fashion designers in the contemporary age are turning to green fashion. Edun, a company set up by Bono and Alison Hewson aims to offer a clothing line for people with a social conscience. They use organic fabrics, made up in environmentally friendly factories with ethical working conditions. Other environmentally conscious designers provide their customers a variety of options when it comes to buying and wearing responsible material.

Fashion magazines promote new styles for every season. Everybody needs clothes, but before you purchase that must-have sweater or perfect-fit pair of jeans, consider what goes into the manufacturing of those garments. Fashion can be a dirty business, but choosing clothes that are made with environmentally friendly materials ensures it doesn’t have to be that way.

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