Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Q: I eat organic and recycle, but when it comes to clothes, I want capital F Fashion. Must I settle for bland, baggy stuff?
A: Remember Jenna Elfman's crunchy-granola parents on Dharma & Greg? You don't have to look like them. It is possible to be ethical and chic. Many designers are doing their bit by using organically grown fibers, drawing on recycled materials, observing fair-trade practices—or all of the above. And as green style becomes more prevalent, the fashion establishment is paying more attention (Stella McCartney built her business on cruelty-free principles; John Patrick's Organic line was a 2008 finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an industry grant to emerging designers). I'm not just talking about T-shirts and drawstring pants, either: These are grown-up, cutting-edge clothes, and they aren't all oatmeal beige.
They Don't Look Earthy: Checked blouse (Organic by John Patrick, $275) and glamorous pants (Eco-Ganik, $174) are made of purer-than-pure cotton. Phillip Lim has designed an all-organic collection: This sleek jacket (Go Green Go by Phillip Lim, $595) is a highlight. Floral dress comes from Suno, a company that makes clothes in Kenya with recycled textiles ($495).