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Fashion 101: taking eco-friendly outlooks to the runway

Eco fashion is becoming more and more relevant every day.

There are over 200 clothing and accessory brands, over 50 makeup brands and even a fashion week dedicated solely to ecological and sustainable fashion. 

Stores like H&M and Urban Outfitters even sell ecological fashions.

So instead of doing my usual coverage of New York Fashion Week (which begins TODAY!), I am going to take you into a new era of fashion, from the place fashion is exploring to the place fashion is going. I am going to take the trends of the season and present them in an ethical, ecological and sustainable way.

Could eco fashion be the new frontier?

First on the list is fur. Yes, I said it, fur. Just the idea of the textile would make any eco-lover roll over in disgust, but there is a way to be ethical and fashionable at the same time.
Fur adds a touch of luxury to an outfit unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It can make an inexpensive outfit look expensive and will transform your everyday jeans and T-shirts. So why not be fashionable and ethical at the same time?

Faux fur is a fantastic alternative to the real thing, as long as it’s good-quality faux fur. Many fakes are easily distinguished as fake by just a touch. Even though it’s not the real thing, you want it to feel like the real thing. Odds are you are going to be wearing this outerwear for awhile, so you want it to feel good as well as look good. Don’t go for the scratchy, cheap, dull faux furs. They may be cheaper, but you will regret the decision later.

Stylist Rachel Zoe launched a line of faux fur products with QVC last year, and it is the perfect choice for your fur this fall. The feel is fantastic, the look is luxurious and the price? Just right.

Up next, leather. Leather is another one of those untouchable subjects in the ecological world, but again, faux is your friend. Just the look of leather, whether in boots, vests or jackets, adds an edge to any outfit in a way that’s not too over the top.

Alternativeoutfitters.com specializes in vegan apparel. Yes, such a thing exists. The site has vegan boots, vegan handbags, vegan clothing, vegan accessories and even vegan beauty products. You name it, they have the vegan alternative. Who knew the vegan lifestyle would evolve into clothing?

To stay on the subject of our furry friends, I can’t help but mention the animal print. Shoes, dresses, scarves — an animal print adds something unexpected to an outfit, almost like a secret.

Animal prints can be scary at first, so start small with accessories. Belts, shoes and purses are all great options for beginners.

As far as accessories go, shoes and belts are my favorite. But animal prints are largely made using leather, so be cautious when purchasing. Read the label if you are in a store, or if you are shopping online, read the product information. It’s the easiest way to find out if the product you want is stylish and ecological.

There are so many trends and eco-friendly alternatives — sometimes all it takes is a Google search. Looking for a white linen shirt? Search organic linen shirts and browse away. If you are searching for a brightly colored blazer, search for clothing with chemical-free dyes.

Ecological, ethical, sustainable. Three words that have been used numerous times throughout this column and three words that can be a bit frightening to the uninformed. But becoming more ecological, sustainable and ethical can be as easy as the click of a mouse.

For more information on eco fashion, visit www.ecofashion-week.com for the industry’s leaders in ecological, ethical and sustainable fashion.