From Hemp to Haute Couture: A Fashion Career in Organic Fashion Design


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by Kristin Marino
Fashion School Review Columnist

June 9, 2006


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Hemp clothing, organic unbleached cotton fashions...surely worn with tie-dyed t-shirts and Birkenstock sandals. Fashion career suicide? Forget that notion. There's room in high fashion design for ecologically friendly clothing design ideas, and fashion schools have started recognizing this trend.
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No longer are these fashions worn by hippies and eccentric celebrities. Students of prestigious fashions schools are learning that hemp can be spun into a fine fabric that drapes beautifully and feels like silk, and that hemp is being blended with silk to make a fabric with gorgeous sheen and luster. Many of these same fashion schools are teaching students that natural wild silk is harvested from cocoons found in the wild, months after the moths have abandoned their little homes for greener pastures. The fibers are broken, making a slightly textured, and very chic material.

Celebrities are going to bat for organic fashion design. Alicia Silverstone recently signed on to be the face of Burning Torch, a clothing line that uses organic fabric and vintage pieces in their creations. And where fashion design is concerned, where celebrities go, non-celebrities will follow.

Of course there's always the yoga clothing, t-shirts, and sleepwear fashions produced from organic cotton, but the natural dyes used in these fabrics is gorgeous and rich. Fashion schools are beginning to offer instruction on ecologically sound fashion design, and a fashion career that focuses on producing these designs is highly rewarding for those who care about the environment.

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About the Author
Kristin Marino is obsessed with haute couture, even though she lives in Reno, Nevada, where you can't even get Gucci or Louis Vuitton, let alone Jimmy Choo. She has a Bachelor of Art in English Composition from the University of Nevada.

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