Here’s something fun. While wandering cyberspace doing some research on dyes and chemical sensitivities, I bumped into this web site, Junky Styling, a new East End London store founded by Anni Saunders and Kerry Seager. An eco epicurean fashion boutique based on the joys of clothing recycling, Junky Styling has gained an international mystic with its creative one-off styles.
Saunders and Seager are not designers by training but rather
stumbled into designing while making their own clothes to save money for traveling. The originality and freshness of their
designs plus the environmental friendliness of recycling clothing quickly
popped them into eco fashion awareness.
Saunders and Seager have developed a design style based upon their destroy, repair, enhance, and reform approach which they call “Wardrobe Surgery”. They take old, recycled, donated clothing and deconstruct it by removing parts of it such as sleeves, lapels or panels and then reconstruct the remaining bits by moving seams, reassembling sleeves as leggings, or perhaps a sleeve turns into a torso when opened out. And then they might add bits of details such as ruffles on shirts and cuffs on trousers from other recycled clothes. Saunders and Seager might become the Picassos of eco fashion.
Clients and customers of Junky Styling range from young eco warriors to matronly art society ladies searching for the new “look.” While Junky Styling closely embraces recycling, one of the touchstones of the environmental movement, Seager has stated “we are obviously eco friendly but our main drive was to create and produce beautiful clothing.” We are beginning to find more and more environmental principles being incorporated into fashions and other industries.
Saunders and Seager are not the only designers incorporating environmental and recycling principals into their fashions. New York’s Miguel Adrover has added ammunition belts to ladies fashions to emphasize the plight of indigenous tribes fighting for their lands in the Amazon rainforests and being forced out by American oil companies. Miguel Adrover has also used recycled fabrics such as an old Louis Vuitton handbag to create a mini-skirt and plaids found at flea markets in some of his big New York shows.
Deborah Lindquist, Los Angeles designer for the celebrities, “reincarnates” old and vintage clothing and accessories by recycling them into reconstructed one-of-a-kind eco haute couture. Lindquist transforms her love of the environment by recycling old cashmere, saris, kimonos, scarves and other old bits and pieces into her environmentally-sensitive wearable eco art. Corsets and bustiers are a trademark of Lindquist. Deborah Lindquist makes a fashion and environmental statement by using recycling to reincarnate, renew, and transform the old into new beauty.
So, what does this have to do with organic clothing? Directly, not much; but indirectly, quite a bit. Recycling is important for reusing and conserving natural resources. Organic clothing is important in reducing chemical toxins found in conventional fertilizers and pesticides and from garment manufacturing processes. If you think of the environmental movement as being a large tree dedicated to improving the health of our planet and all life, then eco-friendly fashion and organic clothing are like two large branches of the Tree that each have smaller branches that intermingle and come together sometimes. For example, both recycling fashion and organic clothing could be called eco sustainable fashions. Organic purists decry that not all eco fashion is healthy. And fashion mavens sniff that not all organic clothing is fashionable. But both contribute to improving the health of the planet; sometimes in different ways and sometimes in the same ways. This is one of the features of the environmental movement that give it vibrancy and relevancy, IMHO.