Eco-friendly fashion may have a hippie connotation, but these days it’s nothing short of haute. Here, six standout brands that refuse to sacrifice style for sustainability.
Best Handbags: Hozen
The Look: Minimalist handbags in punchy colors and chic circular shapes.
The Mission: “Hozen” is Japanese for conservation, and the vegan leather line lives up to its name by utilizing sustainably sourced materials. Each bag is made by hand in a Los Angeles factory, minimizing the company’s carbon footprint.
The Designer: Rae Nicoleti worked as a prop stylist before studying hand leather techniques under Hermès master artisan Beatrice Amblard.
The Most Coveted Item: Canteen bag in rouge, $395, Hozen
Best Craftsmanship: A Peace Treaty
The Look: Bold and lively handmade clothing, jewelry, and accessories that embody the stories of their makers.
The Mission: With a priority on slow fashion and the preservation of centuries-old craftsmanship techniques, A Peace Treaty employs marginalized female artisans in economically depressed countries.
The Designer: Dana Arbib started her line as a way to celebrate ancient artisan methods while empowering women around the world.
The Most Coveted Item: Manda Blue Scarf, $225, Space519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Best Menswear: Komodo
The Look: Wearable men’s basics that merge comfort with sophistication.
The Mission: A pioneer in the eco-clothing space, Komodo has been using organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo since the early 1990s. Today, it is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum, the industry body for sustainable fashion.
The Designer: After spending significant time in Asia, Mark Bloom, otherwise known as “Joe Komodo,” was inspired to launch a clothing line that respected the earth as well as the Asian ethos.
The Most Coveted Item: Harrington Wool Jacket, €170 ($209), Komodo
Best Shoes: Rafa
The Look: Classic footwear combining luxury, comfort, and style — with an eye-catching twist.
The Mission: Rafa eschews environmentally challenging materials such as leather and suede in favor of 100 percent vegan textiles including faux-suede, velvet, and plush tapestry fabrics.
The Designer: Taghrid Zorob emigrated to Los Angeles from Lebanon, where she worked as a blogger and photographer before creating her own sustainable shoe line.
The Most Coveted Item: Sock Boot in sol, $400, Garmentory
Best Local Line: Production Mode
The Look: Uniquely draped silhouettes that boast interesting textures and an impeccable fit.
The Mission: Honoring designer Jamie Hayes’ commitment to slow fashion, each collection utilizes local resources and vegetable-tanned leather. In an effort to reduce waste and ensure that garment workers are paid a living wage, each piece is hand-sewn in Logan Square.
The Designer: After working in immigration and labor rights and volunteering as a campaign leader for Chicago Fair Trade, Hayes channeled her frustrations with the fast fashion industry into a line of her own.
The Most Coveted Item: Fluid jumpsuit in 4-ply silk crepe, $745, Production Mode, 3013 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
Best Children’s Wear: Bobo Choses
The Look: Comfortable, wearable basics for little ones, featuring quirky, hand-illustrated prints.
The Mission: In an effort to prioritize sustainability, the line uses organic cotton and recycled materials in addition to ensuring that 100 percent of clothing is made locally. Most recently, the company pledged to donate $25,000 to ocean conservation, which inspired the 2017 collection.
The Designer: Adriana Esperalba worked as an art designer in Barcelona before starting her own graphic design studio. When her babies were born, she set her sights on children’s clothing.
The Most Coveted Item: Banana Spaghetti Strap Swimsuit, $62, Half Pint Shop, 3756 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
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