In my quest for truly luxurious, fabulous & sustainable life, fashion plays an important role. I’ve long been a fan and a customer of Kayce Armstrong’s Art of Shade fashion label. I first came across Kayce and her amazing fashions as I was walking along Lincoln Road in Miami Beach one Sunday afternoon in 2003. Her clothes were gorgeous and like nothing I’d ever seen. You see, Kayce makes her dresses from totally recycled materials.
One dress I fell hopelessly in love with was made out of an antique electric blanket. You could see the tracks running across the fabric from where the cables used to be-and it was stunning. She makes wondrous creations from old tablecloths and stuffy old dresses and almost anything you can imagine.
All the Monkies here at G Living would like to welcome Inaia, one of our newest free roaming, globe trotting, green juice guzzling, “G” Living, Monkie Contributing Authors.
My name is Inaia and I consider myself a raw vegan, jet-setting, fashion-loving, jazz singer & house music DJ. My first full-fledged dive into raw food was while I was in Tokyo doing a 6-month singing contract at a 5-star hotel. I’d been vegetarian or vegan for the previous 20 years. I had experimented with raw food in varying percentages while living in Miami Beach and Paris for a couple years and had been reading about the diet, listening to podcasts, visiting websites, reading books and doing my research on it.
I had finally gotten to the point where the only thing left to do was dive in and see what effect a completely raw vegan diet would actually have on me, my health, my singing and my appearance. So I dove in.
Everyone should know by now I live in London, but I am not really English. I am what you would call a mutt, if I was a dog. I have a little bit of blood from almost every type of culture on the planet. A pinch of French, a dash of English, a smig of Spanish, and a whole lot of other strains I couldn’t even identify, but I know they are in there. All this blood mixture has made me a bit more dark, than your average English girl. You see, the girls around me tend to be more the English purebreds dull types. You know them when you see them on the street, they all have that chocky, blump, and grim face look. For a long time I thought that was just what my fellow mates looked like, but I was wrong. It’s all the dairy, beer and fried fish they suck down. As soon as I started hanging with the G Living crowd, everyone started looking a bit more human or should I say Monkie.
My point is, and I have one, is that G Women just seem to look better and when you look better, you feel better. And when you feel good, you also, feel a whole lot sexier. Which leads me to my point. G Women may feel sexy, but when it comes to vegan / organic options in the Lingerie department, we are completely left out in the cold. We don’t want chemical laden fabrics, we want soft organic sexy fabrics and designs.
Lucky for all of us, dark brooding, 1950 loving “G” club hopping girls, Jennifer Ambrose has created Enamore Limited a vintage Lingerie / Fashion House.
Julia: Why did you start with a eco / green lingerie line? Did you have experience designing lingerie?
Jennifer:Enamore started as a clothing label in 2004 and in 2006 I decided I wanted to create lingerie with the same principle as my clothing range. I didn’t have the skill to make lingerie myself so I approached designer Ayten Gasson to collaborate. The first collections were a mix of hemp/silk and vintage prints, which were a big hit with my customers. In the beginning we were fulfilling all the order from Ayten’s studio so each piece was hand made. Further down the line we parted company to focus on our own ideas. I took over the design work and started to work with a production unit in South Wales.
I always LOVE getting an amazing shoe or piece of clothing that is vegan & cruelty-free. I am always on the lookout for products like this. I continue the process of phasing out products that do not adhere to these principles from my life & closet.
For this reason I was over the moon about discovering Olsen haus and it’s wonderful collections. So much so that I immediately ordered what has quickly become my favorite new pair of shoes.-The Brazil shoe with the eggplant heel. These are great for running around all over Santiago, Tokyo, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Miami, Manhattan and all the other cities I get to spend time in when I am singing.
Here is a small bit of Olsen haus’ philosophy taken from their website:
Business as Usual? More like Business Unusual.
The philosophy of olsenHaus is anchored in the universal truth, respect for all beings, with a dedication to the expression of truth in the material world. We are committed to being 100% animal-free / cruelty-free, producing functional goods, with a high standard of ethical social responsibility in animal rights, human rights, and the environment.
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as one-stop shopping for the fashion-forward “G” set, but Eco Citizen is definitely the most earth friendly find of the week. This new boutique, located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill, caters to eco-fabulous fashionistas in search of high-end, sustainable style.
(From their website) “Eco Citizen strives to offer high quality, fair trade, classic fashion design and construction to the eco-conscious consumer. Our mission is to support the planet and its people while encouraging and implementing fair trade practices, sweatshop-free merchandise, and organic fashion products. Eco Citizen promotes a lifestyle choice that goes beyond the traditional allure of fashion, by transcending the self through transparent business practices, while providing fashion-forward and classic clothing for the 21st century woman.”
The ability to take one of the world’s oldest sustainable fabrics and spin it into a sleek, luxury designer line is exactly what G Living looks for. And this writer has a special fondness for hemp. Enter Viridis Luxe, where hemp is sexy and luxurious.
Hemp as a fabric is a time-honored tradition dating back to the Italian Renaissance. History would have us believe that hemp denim was even used in the creation of the very first pair of Levi’s.
Focusing primarily on fabric made from sheer silk hemp (you have to see their jersey tops), the Viridis Luxe creative team of Hala Bahmet and Amadea West have designed a collection of fashionable sweaters, skirts, wraps and tunics. (There’s also a terrific line of exotic bamboo t-shirts.) Their hands-on approach to beautiful, sustainable creation involves long fiber hemp harvested by hand, along with the use of all-natural dyes and routine supervision to ensure healthy factory working conditions.
This weeks Exclusive G/Fashion interview is with New York based Fashion Designer Mika Machida. Mika started her company after being influenced by Johanna Hofring, the owner of Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Everyone should remember, we interviewed Johanna back in January. I can see why Mika would be inspired by such a dedicated and amazing woman.
But Mika is obviously inspired by more than just other G Living fashion designers. One look at Mika’s line and you can’t help but notice something different is going on here. Mika literally wants you to wear your love of nature on your sleeve, chest, and back.
Julia: Mika, your dress have to be a major conversation starters for the women wearing them. I have to ask you about all the embedded animals in your design, what inspired this design path?
Mika: I think being a designer right now is an extension of what I have been doing since my childhood. I Always loved drawing, making things, flipping through animal books…and I still do the same things! As for green fashion, after I realized that there’s the other side of urban human life, the whole human impact on nature and on ourselves. With the knowledge of unfair labor practices in poorer countries, there was no other choice left for me than going green with a responsible production process. It’s still hard to be 100% ethical and have no impact on the environment, but I am trying as much as I can and hope this will someday make a difference.
Launched in New York City back in 2004 by Rogan Gregory and Scott Hahn, Loomstate is quite simply the coolest ethical demin line around. The name itself maybe derived from a century old term for just-woven fabric but the result is timeless, effortlessly casual and quintessentially American. With a firm foundation in jeans and tees — which now extends to hoodies, shoes and beyond — Loomstate not only creates its garments from certified organic cotton, its fashion forward designs also create demand for these garments.
NAU reached out to its customers today in an effort to have an open honest conversation about the true cost of the clothing on our backs. We thought this would be great opportunity for NAU to speak directly to all consumers, not just their current customers. And yes, many staff members here at G Living are current customers. I myself own more than 30 NAU Clothing items and you will see me in a NAU shirt most days of the week. So, I guess you can say I am more than a little curious to hear what they have to say. I understand the issue of cost and find myself weighing cost vs usage. How many times will I really wear something and what does that cost workout to be. Most of the time it works out to be pennies, so it makes it worth the up front investment.
Tell us what you think about pricing of green clothing. If you have an opinion, please say something in the comments.
The following is from nau.com about us section: The post is titled, Our case for a new value equation.
In any economic climate, and particularly in one as difficult as this, it’s natural to consider the price of the products we buy, and whether their value justifies their cost. In recent months, we’ve received a number of comments on The Thought Kitchen regarding the prices for Nau products. One poster commented that “the clothing is great and unique but the pricing is outrageous,” while another wrote “You have to own the grid to afford those prices.” At Nau, we’re big believers in making considered choices, so we understand our customers’ desire to understand what value our prices reflect. So here’s a look at the true cost of producing Nau clothing.
The mission of BOA Studio is “to provide eco-friendly and aesthetically-wise designs that will truly become a part of your life”. This was my introduction to the green fashion brand coming out of Istanbul of all places. I don’t know about you, but the name Istanbul pulls up childhood images of adventures with our beloved Michael Palin. In his very English way heading out to exotic locations around the world, to visit the natives. Well, could he have imagined Istanbul, a place seeming so ancient, would be home to the highly creative and inspiring green fashion duo, Sena and Seray.
Sena Çevik and Seray Cengiz had a dream called Boa. More than another fashion brand, a company who’s focus is to inspire you to live green through fashion.
Julia: How did you choose to become a designer and how did you start your career? Why G/Fashion?
Seray: Boa Studio is actually formed by a graphic designer and a design manager. Neither of us had fashion design backgrounds. The idea behind Boa was to create eco-friendly pieces that would become a part of our everyday lives. What we put on at home, outside or even when we go to bed defines how we live. Our bodies are in full contact with several kinds of fabric everyday. Why not prefer to create your designs with such a fabric that is responsible to the ecology as well as your body? Boa is the result of a one full night’s talk at home, thinking how we can collaborate our experience and ideas and how we can do it responsibly. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
As an emerging green fashionista will tell you, it’s exciting to discover and fall in love with a new designer — and then later unearth the fact that they are green. It’s like eating an entire tub of ice cream and learning afterwards that it was National No Calorie Day. Or to find out that cigarettes were good for you after all. (I’m so kidding about this inflammatory last remark — no pun intended).
Amidst the all excitement that surrounds socially conscious fashion these days, it’s easy to forget about the basic principle that either makes or breaks beautiful garments, green or otherwise — the cut. There’s no such oversight when it comes to Japanese design duo, Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate. Their Paris-based label Commuun has been presenting exquisite collections at Paris Women’s Ready to Wear Fashion Week since its debut in 2005.
The core of each collection is nature with all its idiosyncrasies. The designers reconstruct these ideas through “simple but strong shapes and fine detailing”. Their commitment to the environment is also displayed through their choice of fabrics: Japanese organic cotton and Italian linen, to mention a few. With the design and materials chosen, the duo employ their trademark French pattern technique to construct long-lasting, beautifully tailored garments that are functional and stylish.