Saturday, August 27, 2011

A History of Eco-Fashion

Cover of "Green is the New Black"Cover of Green is the New BlackBy Adrienne E Estes

In the sixties, hippies donned tie-died shirts, long skirts and peace-sign accessories. The seventies were defined by polyester garments and sequined roller-disco outfits. The eighties and nineties...must we even reminisce?

Since then, an overshadowing trend of "fast fashion," cheaply made garments, most likely from third-world sweatshops, provided easy, cheap access to the trend of the season. Prices would be significantly low, making the purchase extremely tempting and most likely not regrettable, even if the dress falls apart after only three nights out.

A new era of eco fashion has been rising, shaping the way this current decade will be remembered in terms of style.

The idea of eco fashion began rising in the 1980's when concerns regarding chemicals in fabrics, such as flame-retardants and pesticides in the crops, came about. At the time, it meant chemical-free, and was mostly protecting us against fears for our own health and not so much our planet's deterioration. After the Chicago Tribune uncovered Levi Strauss's unethical use of sweatshop labor overseas in '92, eco fashion began to really take off.

Although it seemed big brand after big brand were being busted for the use of unfair, exploitable labor and ethical fashion was on the rise, the concept still triggered the image of an expensive, itchy burlap sack for a dress. It simply wasn't stylish.

As the years progressed, many designers began to take a stand for eco fashion, and produce lines of clothing that were stylish, organic and fair trade. It was a new generation of fashion entrepreneurs, creating something that was not only a new up and coming trend, but also a style that would morph its way into a timeless fashion that anybody, of any personal style and walk of life, could wear.

As small time designers began launching new eco fashion labels, big time designers also jumped on board. Designers such as Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Vera Wang have supported the eco fashion movement through use of sustainable fabrics and fair trade practices.

The way we have remembered decades in terms of trends in fashion, a new era of timeless style, eco fashion, is dawning on the horizon. More and more designers have switched to promoting sustainability and ethics, and keeping a whole-hearted commitment to the environment and the world around us. The way green is the new black, socially conscious clothing brands are the new leaders of the fashion industry.

Adrienne is a contributor at {r}evolution apparel, a sustainable clothing company for travelers and minimalists. She writes about sustainable fabrics, eco fashion designers and the process of creating a socially conscious clothing line.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why It's Better to Choose Organic Clothing

The National Organic Program administers the O...Image via WikipediaBy Lucy Tomkins

Organic clothes are made with fabrics grown and raised by organic standards. "Organic" generally means that no synthetics, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, organisms that are genetically modified and other unnatural materials are fed to the product during the growing process.

Now, it is true that there may be some chemicals used after the material is manufactured, like dyes and preserving agents, but even when a few unnatural elements are used, these are minimal. For the most part, people can avoid exposure to chemicals and other unnatural substances when they wear organic clothing, and, while promoting their own health, they can support sustainable resources.

Clothing for Babies

The manufacture of organic clothing for babies has become a successful industry because babies' skin is delicate and sensitive. Organic fabrics seem to be more healthful for them. Indeed, some babies with extremely sensitive skin have had rashes improve while using organics instead of synthetic clothing and blankets.

Through the years, people have found that natural fibres, and especially cotton, are perfect for tender, baby skin. Now, with the escalating production of organic cotton, bamboo, wool, jute materials and more, people can purchase baby clothes that are even better for baby skin.

Chemicals and other unnatural substances can be especially harmful to babies as they develop. Many of these harmful ingredients can be easily absorbed through the skin, especially the skin of infants. The very reality of their smaller size makes the threat of these toxins greater for their body weight. Then, the toxins build up because the young system is not strong enough for rapid elimination of these substances.

Clothing for Sensitive Skin

Some people grow to adulthood and never outgrow their skin sensitivity. In fact, many adults have chronic skin conditions such as rashes, dry skin, and eczema. They may have had some medical treatment, but it has been unsuccessful. They resign themselves to live with poor skin, but they find their skin is uncomfortable most of the time and only natural, breathable materials are tolerable. Organic clothes are significantly beneficial to such silent sufferers.

Eco-Friendly Clothing

Even when organic materials are treated in the finishing process with chemicals, these organic material manufacturers are careful to use proper storage and disposal of these substances. They are conscious of eco-friendly alternatives for dyes and fabric preservatives and use them whenever possible. Certainly, clothing labeled organic use fibers that are grown organically and little or no chemicals are added in the fabric finishing processes.

All humans, animals and the earth's environment receive much less exposure to synthetic chemicals because of the manufacture of organic clothes. Therefore, people, pets and the world can live more comfortably just because of this successful and growing organic fabric industry.

Find a wide selection of organic clothes for you and your baby online.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ideas for Hosting a Rockin' 1960s Themed Party

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - GatefoldImage by thejcgerm via FlickrBy Martin A Horton

If you are hosting a party that mirrors the 1960s, there are many factors that you should consider. First of all, the 1960s does not have much in common with the culture and style of the current day. When focusing primarily on costumes, choose attire that represents the different styles and designs of the 1960s.

Some ideas for hosting a rocking 1960s party include a direct representation of the music, fashion costumes, cultural activities and authentic cuisine. Consider having a friend dress up as a celebrity from that era, and act the part to give the party even more authenticity.

When hosting a party, the most important component that your guests remember is the music. If the music does not represent the top hits of the specific decade, you can lose your guests at the beginning. There are many styles and beats to choose from including classic rock, alternative rock, blues and soul.

If you can create smooth transitions between these genres, you can establish a wonderful atmosphere, while simultaneously representing the popular music of this generation. Include some of the top artists from the 1960s into your selection including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, The Who and Ray Charles. The songs from these composers are still popular today and provide a positive flow of energy in the room.

Fashion is an important factor to consider if you want to mirror the style of the 1960s. Ask your guests to incorporate styles that are reminiscent of the 1960s, including bouffant hairstyles, short skirts and afros. The attire of the 1960s is very vibrant and eclectic, showcasing individuality and personality.

This gives your guests the chance to think outside the box with their outfits, and creates a very fun and creative environment for your party. As the host, you can wear an Elvis Presley or Paul McCartney costume, two of the most influential figures during this vibrant era. The more authentic your costume, the cooler you feel.

Finally, introduce your guests to the culture of the 1960s as soon as they enter your home. Include posters and stylish banners that symbolize important events of the era. The decorations of the 1960s are typically gaudy, so try to mirror this accordingly.

Also, the creation of the Barbie is a major hit for this era, so incorporate a Barbie theme into your presentation. If you want to spice up your party, create a slideshow that depicts some of the most momentous events of this decade. Include clips of John F. Kennedy, The Beatles and John Glenn.

Keep the theme positive, as you want a festive and party atmosphere, but incorporate some fun facts to give your guests educational benefits. Study the impact of food on the 1960s generation, and choose an assortment of dishes and desserts that mirror the popular dishes of the time. Following each of these steps puts you in the best position for a rocking 1960s themed party.

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