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Eco Threads

August 13, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Nicole Dextras Mobile Garden Dress
You can check out Nicole Dextras' Mobile Garden Dress as a part of the No.9 Eco Art Fest in the Don Valley This summer.

You’ve probably heard of fast food, and maybe event about Slow Food. But do you know about the Slow Fashion movement?

Lots of clothes (just like lots of fast food) are produced really quickly with cheap material, so that they can be sold to you very inexpensively. Needless to say, these garments will probably disintegrate after you wash them once, but who cares? If a shirt only costs $5, you can always go and get a new one.

This kind of design is pretty wasteful, and frequently (as I’ve pointed out in another post), the savings you realize at the cash register have hidden costs somewehere else (human rights, environmental, etc). As a result, there’s a growing movement to support ‘slow fashion’ – clothing that may cost a bit more at the outset, but is made of environmentally sustainable material & produced by workers who are paid a reasonable amount (maybe even sewn the designers themselves). Slow fashion also aspires to create pieces that will still be beautiful and stylish a decade after you initially pick them up. (You can read a much better description of the slow fashion movement here)

Ecoholic BodyThe library’s got some great resources to help you think about the ethics of the clothes you wear, and find some clothing you feel good about as well as look good in. Adria Vasil, author of NOW Magazine’s long running Ecoholic column has recently released a great book called Ecoholic Body,The Sustainable Fashion Handbook in which she uses her trademark humor to help you find great clothing, cosmetics and accessories that are environmentally friendly as well as fabulous.

You can also check out Sandy Black’s beautiful The Sustainable Fashion Handbook to find out about how designers around the world are creating beautiful garments that are also environmentally friendly. Featuring interviews and essays by leaders in the fashion world like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, Black’s book outlines some exciting new directions for a more friendly fashion industry.

The relationship between what we wear and the world around us also makes for some pretty stunning art. If you were intrigued by the image at the top of this post, you should absolutely check out the work of Vancouver-based artist Nicole Dextras. A true eco-fashion designer if there ever was one, Dextras' Weedrobes series involves creating garments that function as structures and art installations, and whose wearers interact with the ecology of their surroundings. You can find out more about Nicole Dextras' art by visiting her website, or if you're looking for an excursion, by checking out some of her Weedrobes as a part of the No. 9 Eco Art Fest at Todmorden Mills here in Toronto!

Have any tips or resources that help you dress ethically? Share your thoughts below!