Eco-clothes going back to nature

December 04, 1991|By Pat Morgan | Pat Morgan,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

NEW YORK - It's a philanthropical kind of season here. Maybe the fashion industry is hoping to do well by doing good.

California-based Esprit de Corp. is launching a new collection for spring '92, called Ecollection, trying "to be socially and environmentally responsible."

The 12-piece line uses fabrics made from organically grown fibers and those colored with vegetable dyes. It includes pants, shorts, jackets, shirts, coveralls and T-shirts in natural linen and cotton.

Ecollection a licensed line designed by an expert on the environmental impact of clothing manufacturing will be shipped to Esprit stores worldwide beginning in early 1992. Retail prices range from $30 to $120.

Among the save-the-planet ideas incorporated in the collection are naturally colored cotton (you can get it in any color you like as long as you like green or brown) and buttons of hand-painted wood or reconstituted glass.

Esprit cofounder and creative director Susie Tompkins promises that the knowledge gained from Ecollection research and development eventually will be used to make the company's other lines more planet-friendly.

Ecollection, a cute, casual and fun line likely to appeal to young customers was previewed at a press reception here at Terra Verde, an ecologically correct "trading company" in SoHo.

Refreshments included organic wine, carrot juice, warm apple cider, and corn and wild rice fritters. Written on a chalkboard was the store's motto: "The times require a new way of thinking, for designers and consumers alike. How something is made is as important as the product itself."

It's a hopeful and noble thought, even if one isn't willing to spend $3 for a single roll of Terra Verde's ecologically correct toilet paper.

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The Council of Fashion Designers of America is reviving its "Seventh on Sale" event and taking it on the road to benefit AIDS research. The next sale will be held at the San Francisco Fashion Center May 16.

More than four dozen designers have signed on to donate women's, men's and children's apparel and accessories.

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