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Eco Fashion: More Than An Elite Luxury

What exactly is eco fashion? Well, a large portion of sustainable fashion is simply recycling old threads. In the past decade, there has been growing interest in vintage apparel, with bloggers and celebrities like Nicole Ritchie sporting ‘blast from the past’ statement pieces. From recycled fashion to the emergence of organic, animal-friendly and fair trade garments, it seems as though hipsters, high fashion trendsetters and hippies are all, in a sense, driving the eco fashion movement.

Non-recycled eco-fashion from designers like Stella McCartney often gives us the illusion that eco-friendly products are luxurious. This perception was strengthened when high-end designers, who had never before taken eco-friendly measures, began flirting with the idea. For example, Yves Saint Laurent recently produced a limited edition eco collection, along with Phillip Lim, with his ethical Go Green Go collection.

However, trendy eco-fashion has become much more than an elite luxury, and there are many edgy, affordable eco collections right at the average shopper’s fingertips. Our international short list of stylish, eco-friendly brands are not only readily available, but they’re quickly taking the fashion world by storm.

1. KowTow Clothing 

(Photo 1)

New Zealand based brand KowTow is certified fair trade and organic and fully available for purchase online. While offering super stylish cuts without sacrificing comfort, KowTow clothing is the epitome of hobo chic. The KowTow range of comfortable and unique cotton garments offer a much cheaper and natural alternative to similar and more expensive fashion houses like Alexander Wang.

2. Partimi

(Photos 2, 3)

1960s inspired Partimi creates whimsical pieces that manage to reach a perfect equilibrium between hippie and chic. With a flagship store in London, distribution by major US retailer Anthropologie, online availability on Young British Designers and a feature in Vogue, this brand is quickly growing. Partimi uses all organic fabric and minimal waste reduction textile cutting techniques.

3. Studio JUX  

(Photo 4)

Organic Dutch label Studio JUX is a 2012 Amsterdam Green Fashion Competition winner and is produced in Nepal under fair labor conditions. Designers Jitske Lundgren and Carlien Helmink, are masters of minimalism, blending the perfect combination of conservative tones with bright splashes of color in both their womenswear and menswear. When designing, Lundgren and Helmink draw inspiration from their own profound life experiences, including travels to India and Asia.

4. Gudrun and Gudrun

(Photos 5, 6)

With a high fashion, maximum impact look that belongs on a runway, it’s hard to believe that this label is both designed and hand crafted by local artisans on the tiny Faroe Islands. Their collection is ethereal and grunge, giving a unique but similar feel to British brand, Allsaints. Despite its small, somewhat humble beginnings, the Gudrun and Gudrun collection is now popularly sold online to customers all over the world.

5. 100% 

(Photos 7, 8)

100% designers and partners Daniel Silverstein and Marge Baconare, are 100% committed to waste reduction. Using a zero waste technique when cutting the fabric for each individual piece, and using 15% of all fabric from textile waste, the brand is fiercely dedicated to the eco cause. The 100% collection pieces are often both fitted and flowing, elegantly complimenting the female form.

Photo 1 courtesy of KowTow Clothing (

Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of Partimi (

Photo 4 courtesy of Studio JUX (

Photos 5 and 6 courtesy of Gudrun and Gudrun (

Photos 7 and 8 courtesy of 100% (