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Ecologique Fashion is a sustainable fashion PR and events consultancy based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Traditional Patterns and Dyeing Techniques Emerge for Spring/Summer 2016

Previously written for EcoHabitude.

This Spring/Summer ’16, trend isn’t the only thing dictating the fashion calendar. The emphasis is on conversation pieces that tell a story, and fashion enthusiasts are feeling more connected than ever to the makers and cultures that inspired or created their outfits. Lively color, mimicking native flora, is also in demand. With the momentum of the slow fashion movement comes a resurgence of natural dyes and earth-inspired patterns that replace toxic, synthetic dyes with color derived from plants, minerals, wood– even insects.

Spring 2016 Trends :: Nature Dyed

Natural dyes aren’t something new, they’ve been around since the bronze age. It was only in the mid-19th century that synthetic dyes were introduced and began their wide-spread into many of the products and clothing we use today. Over time, the craft of natural dyeing took to the underground, but has stayed alive through traditional cultures of North America, Africa, Asia, and the Scottish Highlands. Shibori, a Japanese art of dyeing where the cloth is bound, stitched, folded, twisted or compressed before being dropped into the dye vat, has also resurfaced this season. With shibori, one can create gorgeous geometric shapes and resist patterns without having to machine print onto fabric.

modern shibori

Hexagon Silk Scarf : Modern Shibori

This year, many designers have partnered up with natural dye experts, artisans and foragers alike to integrate this ancient art form into their lines. Some are even learning the technique themselves and basing entire collections upon these gorgeous color ways and irregular effects. Take for example, San Francisco based Elizabeth Brunner, founder and lead designer of sustainable fashion brand Piece x Piece:

“Honestly, it never really occurred to me as to why I decided to learn how to dye on my own. I guess I’m stubborn in a way because if I really want something, I figure out how to roll up my sleeves and get it. It can be really hard sometimes but it’s always gratifying. With dyeing it was the same, it started small then I just kept saying to myself… ‘now let’s try this’. The rich natural colors of those first experiments ended up being my muse and inspired me to evolve my brand and take it to the next level.  

My creative process is simple. I do what feels right. With the new collection it was about creating a non-toxic collection. Organic cotton is starting to become more prevalent, why not take it even further and demand less chemicals in the dyeing process too? For me, it’s a small positive contribution to a bigger issue, but every effort to make things better, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.”

 

“The rich natural colors of those first experiments ended up being my muse and inspired me to evolve my brand and take it to the next level.”

Elizabeth Brunner, Piece x Piece

 

piece x piece

Eva Silk Jacket : Piece x Piece

As the weather warms up, many of us are re-introduced to the outdoors as the season brings with it the ever-awaited music festival. From Coachella to SXSW, people are gearing up to get back in touch with their roots. Expect to see a lot of bold, ethnic patterns inspired by African, Navajo and Andean cultures. Speaking of bold, a revival of thick chunky bracelets, long earrings that dangle to shoulder, and chocker-esque statement pieces that rest at the base of the neck will be accessorized.

Spring 2016 Trends :: Ethnic Bold
 Like natural dyeing, we are seeing traditional crafts emerge this year, peaking the interest of the mainstream – and rightfully so. These handmade works of art have a history and uniqueness all their own. Through conservation of these invaluable skill sets we can help them survive while supporting the economic wellbeing of the people that make with them. Many fashion companies are doing just that by partnering up with artisan collectives in places like South India, Peru and the Thailand Burma border.

ikat estwst

Pochampally Ikat Shoulder Sling : EST WST

Socially focused company EST WST works with handloom weavers in rural Nepal and India to create authentic rucksacks, messenger bags, slings and ipad cases from traditional handwoven textiles like dhaka, a staple in western Nepal, and ikat, a resist dyeing technique used to create tie-dye effects through weaving . These crafts are quickly vanishing with the rise of machine wovens. EST WST co-founder, Jhana Clayton told us:

“The first factory to start weaving dhaka in Nepal once employed, housed and fed 400 weavers, now they have 25. Although technology will always progress, in rural areas there’s a huge problem with power shortages and extended daily blackouts; the incredible thing about handloom textiles is that they don’t require the use of electricity. Through the practice of weaving these authentic fabrics, women can work from home instead of migrating to the overpopulated, polluted city. They can earn a sustainable living from home, without having to compromise time with their children or time caring for their land or livestock. This is where slow fashion can be so empowering: it produces more jobs and provides economic opportunity in remote regions, usually for women who would otherwise have a very hard time earning a living wage.”

“Through the practice of weaving these authentic fabrics, women can work from home instead of migrating to the overpopulated, polluted city. They can earn a sustainable living… without having to compromise time with their children or time caring for their land or livestock.”

Jhana Clayton, Co-founder of EST WST

Pesticide use is also a problem in the area resulting in high rates of depression and farmer suicides in rural Andhra Pradesh, not to mention the contamination of local water sources. In response, the use of EST WST ikat, made from organic cotton and azo-free dyes, not only supports fair wage opportunities for the weavers, but in purchasing an EST WST ikat product, you are helping save enough fresh water for somebody to drink for a year.

layered cuffs ways of change

Layered Cuffs : Ways of Change

Conscious consumerism, a new form of philanthropy, can also offer a way to support those affected by conflict and migration by connecting them to a global community. Ways of Change, a fashion brand inspiring change through community development, works directly with artisan refugees living on the Thailand Burma border to create gorgeous brass jewelry utilizing skills that have been passed down for many generations. We spoke to the company’s co-founder Lauren Baird:

“From the start WoC has worked in collaboration with refugee artisans because we wanted to help in the preservation of the traditional Kayan and Karen jewelry making skills that were otherwise dying out due to a lack of sustainable income. It allows us to create truly unique and one of a kind collections that are both inspired by modern designs while simultaneously capitalizing on traditional skills. The best part of the whole experience for me is watching the younger generations learn these traditional skills and become so excited about keeping their culture alive”

 

“The best part of the whole experience for me is watching the younger generations learn these traditional skills and become so excited about keeping their culture alive”

 

Lauren Baird, Co-founder of Ways of Change

 

In addition to helping secure a livelihood for artisans, a portion of Ways of Change profits go towards community projects focused on empowerment and sustainable living, providing support to refugees as they become repatriated, resettled or integrated into local communities.

Metis Makers Grand Opening

For Immediate Release–San Francisco, CA— North Beach Sustainable Fashion Boutique, Metis Makers, Announces Grand Opening Celebration

Metis Makers brings sustainable fashion and locally made designs to San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood. This premiere boutique combines the creative forces of Bay Area artisans who met at the slow-fashion incubator the 25th Street Collective (http://25thstreetcollective.com/).

In Greek mythology, Metis is the mother of wisdom, craftiness and skillfulness. Each designer at Metis Makers creates eco-conscious styles with modern elegance. An artistic collaboration between Platinum Dirt ( http://platinumdirt.com/), Scorpion Sisters (http://www.scorpionsisters.com/), GhEttO GoLdiLocKs (http://ghettogoldilocks.com <http://ghettogoldilocks.com/> ), O’Lover Hats (http://www.oloverhats.com <http://www.oloverhats.com/> ), Myrrhia Fine Knitwear (http://www.myrrhia.com <http://www.myrrhia.com/> ), and Gneiss Wood (http://www.gneisswood.com/); each maker consciously creates their product lines locally in the Bay Area.

Metis Makers will carry a beautiful blend of high fashion knitwear, leather jackets and accessories made from upcycled car seats, bold hats and headpieces, repurposed and edgy apparel, jewelry featuring reclaimed materials with a rock n’ roll flair, and artfully designed gifts created from salvaged driftwood.

Metis Makers will be open on Friday, September 20th and the Grand Opening Party will take place from 6 pm to 10 pm. Customers are invited to sip complimentary wine and bubbly and enjoy beats by DJ Candy. Metis Makers is located at 1314 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133.

Metis Makers Website: www.metismakers.com <http://www.metismakers.com>
Please RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/594176487311109/

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear Releases SS14 Consciously Created Collection

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear Releases SS14 Consciously Created Collection. Made entirely in the USA from fibers grown and spun domestically. Now accepting wholesale orders at 60 and 90 day delivery.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ecologique FashionSep. 11, 2013SAN FRANCISCOPowerhouse Myrrhia Fine Knitwear is starting a fashion revolution this SS14 with a consciously created collection made domestically in Northern California.

Exploring the subversive side of human expression, Myrrhia’s collection evokes an empowered, authoritative attitude. “For Spring I was thinking about a woman who rebelled against oppression and then became a main stream leader,” says founder Myrrhia Resneck whose inspiration began when she was reading about the recent protests in Brazil, and the response of the Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff. “Here is a person who fought with guerrillas to overthrow the dominant paradigm in Brazil, then went on to become the President.”

This progression of a changemaker is portrayed through the duality of SS14’s soft and edgy combinations that include naturally dyed 100% silk charmuse slips and camis, tailored moto jackets, structured pyramid skirts, infiniti scarfs, sheath dresses, polka dot knit tops and spikey clutches. A radical color palette of strong gold, brown, steel and black engage with tranquil greens, blues, and beiges.

Consciously created in a no-waste process from fibers grown and spun in the USA, SS14 integrates California-grown, organic cotton by Foxfiber® and Lenzing Tencel®– an eco-friendly, high performance material that is naturally hygienic and silky soft on the skin.Myrrhia Fine Knitwear SS14 consciously created collection is now taking orders for delivery February 14, 2013 through August 14th, 2013 at wholesale prices of $39 – $105.

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear SS14 Consciously Created Collection is now taking orders for delivery February 14, 2013 through August 14th, 2013 at wholesale prices of $39-$105. Now accepting wholesale orders at 60 and 90 day delivery.

Founded in 2010, Myrrhia (pronounced “myrrh-eye-uh”) Fine Knitwear  is a Northern California based company focusing on contemporary, sustainable, Made-in-USA sweater knits. Ranging from $20-$140 wholesale, styles include cardigans, jackets, pullovers, dresses, skirts, tops and knitted accessories. Starting as a designer of hand knitting patterns, Myrrhia’s customers started requesting finished custom knitted garments. Myrrhia Resneck, the company’s founder and designer, released her first product line for AW12. Inspired by the opportunity to support her customer’s self-actualization, Myrrhia designs with natural fibers and materials ethically sourced in the USA.

website: www.myrrhia.com

SS14-1 Line Sheet: http://issuu.com/refix/docs/myrrhia_ss14-1_linesheet_-_online

Wholesale inquiries: wholesale@myrrhia.com

Press inquiries and sample requests: andrea@ecologiquefashion.com

Press Preview: Myrrhia Consciously Created Collection SS14- 1