From: Asha Chowdary, The Times of India
Published January 23, 2006 12:00 AM

How Green is My Wardrobe

The eco chic movement is big news this year.


It's easy to be careful about what we eat, but how about what we wear? The new buzzword in fashion circles is 'eco-chic' and with Sienna Miller and Ali Hewson, wife of U2's Bono, lending support to the movement, ethical and planet-friendly clothing is top priority this year.


Eco-chic is not as boring as it sounds. It does not mean opting for coarse cotton and ugly fabric alternatives. It just means buying beautiful clothes that are in some way eco-conscious either by being organic, recycled or manufactured in a way that protects workers and the environment.


So skip the synthetics, the feathers and leather and opt for clothes that can breathe, are safe and make a fashion statement, too. Says design expert R Vidyasagar, "Putting the eco-chic look together has to be done carefully otherwise you'll end up looking like a failed politician.


While using natural fabrics, make sure you give it a contemporary twist. Choose a fabric like jute, khadi or earthy cottons for a skirt and team with a sparkly top. Or give a blouse an overlay of jute and embellish with stone or metal work. For a handbag, use an eco-friendly fabric but with an international design."


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Says fashion pro Deepika Govind, recycled fabrics, handlooms, new age natural fibres and environmentally safe dyes are very important in these times. "Avoid high tech fabrics like mock or patent leather which could contain chemicals.


For accessories, go for banana fibre or bamboo. Indian vegetable dyes are very good, otherwise use azo-free dyes. To look chic, try different finishes the tea stained, vintage look is very happening now. For summer, the best buys are the mulls, the matkas, linens and good quality cotton."


Adds style expert Varuni Mohan, "All traditional Indian fabrics are hand woven and made from natural fibres, so the concept of eco-chic has involuntarily been a part of Indian fashion. International design houses may soon turn to us for truly eco-chic couture."


To see more of The Times of India, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com


Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News


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