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Eco-Designer Carrie Parry Bringing Summer Color to the Big Apple With Classic Fashions

Photo by Carrie Parry.

Expanding her recognition in New York City, Carrie Parry hosted a “Pop Up Shop” over the weekend featuring her designs and also participated in last month’s Designers and Agents annual spring Green Room exhibition that showcases emerging fashion designers and their use of eco-friendly materials, sustainable production practices, and supporting local and fair trade labor.

Parry’s style themes are best described as revolving around the ideas of tailored sophistication within simple looks that also have a bit of whimsy. She says as much as possible she uses eco-friendly renewable materials, and recycled materials.

Some of my favorite fashions from her collections are her colorblock sleeveless dress, V neck sleeveless blouse with its removable scarf, and her pleated skirt.

The colorblock dress has a nice causal look that can be dressed up with a belt for going out at night. The material is 88 percent recycled polyester and 12 percent spandex jersey.

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HandCrafting Justice Wowed At NY Festival With Handmade Handbags From Recycled Materials

Thailand artisan woman. Photo by HandCrafting Justice.

Making people aware of the beauty of traditional artisan craftsmanship from around the world – often women from small, rural communities – HandCrafting Justice showed off at the NYC Green Festival last weekend with a collection of one-of-a-kind handbags made of recycled materials including telephone books, chip bags, and silk.

HandCrafting Justice is a nonprofit project of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd that markets over 1,000 different items through its website, wholesalers, and special events. Items sold include: handbags, clothing, jewelry, accessories, pottery, indigenous art, and toys.

HandCrafting Justice works with over 3,000 women in over 20 countries around the world, working within Fair Trade initiatives to make sure that they work in clean, safe environments and are paid fair living wages.

Featured at the festival were hand-woven handbags from recycled telephone books that were crafted by Filipino artisans from the Alay Kapwa Coop in Manila.

Recycled telephone handbags. Photo courtesy of HandCrafting Justice.

These unique handbags also featured bamboo handles and closed with wood bead latches. The bags were waterproof coated for stiffening and being safe in the rain.

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Vancouver Eco Fashion Week to Showcase New Hot Cultural Designs From Around the World  

Kicking off with a cocktail reception and an opening runway show of vintage American fashions from the mega-thrift store Value Village, the main focus of this season’s Vancouver Eco Fashion Week (April 10-12) will be showcasing new internationally inspired fashions from over a dozen designers.

Kreati-ka label by designer Kathy Sabin-Mensah. Photo by designer.

This’ll be the event’s fourth season, and organizers are eager to expand the vision that eco-designs can run the spectrum from classic to high end couture fashion, and still take responsible care of the environment.

The event’s fashions will feature many multicultural inspirations in designs and color patterns, and emphasize organic, natural, and recycled fabrics. Antique jewelry will also be an important theme in the week’s shows.

During the week, among the notable fashions on the runway will be the Kreati-ka label from Kathy Sabin-Mensah, a French designer living in Seattle. 

Mensah says that her inspiration comes from nature and the women around her, though among her most prominent recent inspirations has come from Africa.

“I was deeply attracted to fashion when I went to Africa for the first time several years ago. I have been amazed by the fabric texture, the color sand, and the style of the women. It’s so colorful and so beautiful to look at,” said Mensah.

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Vintage Fashions Theme For Opening Runway Show At Vancouver Eco-Fashion Week  

Opening this season’s Vancouver Eco Fashion Week  (April 10 – 12) will be a vintage runway show presented by the mega-thrift store Value Village. The store also carries modern designer name brands including Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Reitmans, and Eddie Bauer.

Value Village’s show was considered the ideal opening event because the store epitomizes many of the core values of the week, which include bringing new life to what already exists, keeping clothing out of landfills as long as possible, as well as supporting local community and global business initiatives.

The thrift store chain purchases its merchandise though “working relationships with 140 nonprofit partners across the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Over the past 10 years, we’ve paid more than $1 billion.” said Value Village.

The chain explains how they acquire their merchandise, saying, “Our nonprofit partners contact people in the community to ask for donations of reusable clothing and household items.

“We then pay our nonprofit partners based on the number of boxes and bags of merchandise they deliver to us. Additionally, we also pay them for donations delivered directly to our stores via our community donation centers. Our staff sorts through the donations to select the highest quality reusable items, then prices, and displays them.”

Besides clothes, Value Village sells merchandise includes: shoes, toys, books, kitchenware, sporting goods, infant products, suitcases, electronics, wicker items, furniture, and collectables.

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CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge Winners Impressed With Collections At NY Fashion Week

Showing a love for socially and environmentally friendly design and manufacturing practices, the winners of the second annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge gave an impressive display of sustainable fashions during this New York Fashion Week.

Marcia Patmos collection at New York Fashion Week 2012. Photo courtesy of ecouterre.com.

The collections of this year’s three winning fashion designers – Marcia Patmos, John Bartlett, and Johnson Hartig – were presented at Milk Studios to a full audience, including fashion editors and buyers.

As a winner of the fashion challenge, Marcia Patmos reflected on her experience, saying, “I’ve been really interested in the eco-friendly design process for a long time. I think it started when I worked for the Gap because we were producing such large volumes of things, so I really start thinking about it. I started to try to get them to do organic cotton tee shirts and use recyclable packaging.

“I always try to think of new ways to incorporate sustainability and I had a new idea this year which was to try to use discontinued end-stock service yarns, and to just not even create anything new. You know each piece will be slightly different, but it won’t matter because it’s part of the design and all.

“Also as a designer I was interested in the technical things and ways to put things together. It’s a challenge and it’s a fun challenge just to think of a better way of doing anything. It’s so exciting to be a winner and such an honor, and also to possibly inspire more people to be involved in this movement.

“It can’t all just be about being organic, it has to be something that people will want anyway. It’s an added value and something that they will feel good about when they are buying something.”

Patmos’ inspiration for this collection was early 20th century Native American design. Her materials included vegetable-tanned leather, animal-friendly faux fur, lightweight woven linens, silk-cotton blends, domestically milled cottons, as well as discontinued and mill-end leftovers, which are commonly discarded by manufacturers because of insufficient yard lengths.

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